Mike Hancox from Steel & Flint was kind enough to arrange an early prototype of the Steel & Flint Pen, which recently launched on Kickstarter. If you are looking for a high-quality pocket pen option then you are going to want to check this one out.
Two things struck me when I first opened the package: The pen is smaller and lighter than I was expecting looking at the pictures online. That doesn’t mean this is a small and light pen necessarily, but my brain was feeding me different information before its arrival.
The size and weight of the Steel & Flint Pen play to its advantage as a pocketable, on the go pen. The aluminum barrel keeps the weight down, and the rounded ends allow for it to slide easily in and out of a pocket or a bag. It is clipless pen, so don’t expect to attach it anywhere, but I think that is a feature of this style of pen, not a negative.
The pen is available in three anodized finishes - Silver, Black, or Champagne - and each are bead blasted to give it a bit of matte/satin feel. The finish feels nice in the hand and gives it enough texture to keep it from feeling slick. The knurled grip is a wonderfully done as well. It is refined and feels almost smooth across the top, but keeps your grip in place when writing.
One concern about the finish I have is how the constant capping and uncapping will have on the look of the barrel. Will friction stripes start to appear from metal on metal sliding? And will I care? I imagine at some point marks will start to show up, and I probably won’t care. This is a pocket pen, so it is going to get scratched and dinged as it is. Only time will tell.
When this pen was launched, one of the main comments I heard was that this pen is a copy of the CW&T Pen Type-B. As one of the biggest fans and supporters of the Pen Type-B on the planet I can safely say these pens are almost nothing alike aside from the general silhouette.
The sleeve on the Pen Type-B is designed for an air-tight, zero tolerance fit, which gives it a unique capping and uncapping feel. The Steel & Flint sleeve is essentially a cap. Pull off and push on, with a magnet snap pulling it tight at each end. It feels good and works well. It’s also shorter, narrower, and about 1/3 of the weight of the Pen Type-B. It is a totally different pen in my mind.
If I were to give it a comparison to other pens, it’s more like a mash up between the look and feel of the Baron Fig Squire and the technical machining and size of the Karas Kustoms EDK. I love both of those pens, and the Steel & Flint Pen is right there with them.
Refill wise, the Steel & Flint Pen takes Parker compatible (International G2) refills. While not my favorite option, it does ship with the a Schmidt Easyflow 9000M, which is probably the best of the bunch. I’m always on the lookout for something finer though.
As far as being the “World’s Finest Soft-Close Magnetic Pen”, ok I guess so when it is a competition of one. I can caveat myself into being the “World’s Finest Bradly Stephen Dowdy” too, which doesn’t tell you much.
At $69, it is priced fairly and I have backed it myself. Post-Kickstarter pricing will be closer to, or over, $100, which gives me pause. I do see a future where other materials could be introduced to the Steel & Flint offerings which could justify a three-digit price.
My thanks to Mike and Steel & Flint for sending me this pen at no charge for the purposes of this review.
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