Since the launch of the Sunderland mk1 Kickstarter project a few weeks ago, project creator Brad Sunderland has done exactly what you would hope from someone you are putting your hard earned dollars behind: He has listened, communicated, and adjusted on the fly.
The mk1 met its funding goal early on, but Brad wasn't content to rest on his laurels. Listening to backer feedback, he has tweaked the cap design to include a polymer liner in an effort to make cap retention and barrel scratches an afterthought. Having used a prototype of the mk1 for the past couple of weeks (see my full thoughts below), I can tell you that he nailed it. It's a great change to an already excellent design and shows the commitment Brad has in making the Sunderland mk1 a wonderful writing instrument.
There are only four days left to back the Sunderland mk1 on Kickstarter. Do it now.
The Pen Addict Review of the Sunderland mk1
I knew the moment I opened the package that Brad Sunderland had a winner on his hands. I've reviewed many machined pens in my day and the Sunderland mk1 ranks up there with the best. I've had this prototype in my hands for a couple of weeks now and there are several things that set it apart from the rest of the crowd.
First of all, the weight of the pen is lighter than most machined pens I've tried. Aluminum is a lighter metal to begin with, but when making a full barrel out of it you can end up with a pen with some weight behind it. The Sunderland mk1 is just the right weight, and most importantly, extremely well balanced to write with. It reminds me a lot of the Maxmadco bolt action pen in look, feel, and finish, minus the bolt. The tolerances are tight, the lines are smooth and clean, and it feels like quality.
Secondly, you can post the cap without throwing off the balance of the pen. Not many metal pen manufacturers can make that claim. Brad managed that by adding a slight taper on the rear of the barrel so the cap can post deeply. Additionally, the cap has a polymer liner to keep the barrel scratch free and stops the nails on chalkboard sound of metal on metal posting and twisting.
Finally, the most interesting feature of this pen is the hidden thread design Brad created, which keeps your fingers from hitting them while writing. This is big deal for metal pens and is exceptionally well executed on the mk1. It’s not short threaded either, meaning it will take several turns to remove the cap, which is nice for pocket carry and prevents any looseness.
If it sounds like I am fawning over this pen it’s becasue I pretty much am. And I haven’t even mentioned the strong stainless steel clip and top notch black finish of the pen. I loaded it up with an 0.38 mm blue black Pilot Juice refill (it takes Pilot G2 refills as well as Montblanc fineliner and rollerball refills - another great feature) and have rarely left the house without it.
My thanks to Brad Sunderland for sending me this prototype to test out, and I look forward to receiving my backer reward from this project once it wraps up.