Modern Fuel Design
Review and Kickstarter Launch
Andrew over at Modern Fuel Design got in touch a few months back about an exciting new pencil project. I’m not huge on mechanical pencils, but this one sounded interesting and I happily agreed to check out the project. The pencil is machined out of brass or aluminum, made in the United States, and perfectly weighted and balanced. The 0.5mm lead advances through the solid brass conical tip with precision. There is not an ounce of wiggle to be found or felt. I thought it was one of the coolest parts of the design because the tapered tip comes to a nice point and has a very small, 0.5mm hole drilled in the end.
The pencil looks a lot like a classic mechanical pencil, and I think that’s why I like it. It’s very simple, no knurling, grips, plastic colored pieces, or crazy lines. It’s a clean, simple pencil that is brass, rubber and steel. I think it looks great, but most importantly, it feels great in hand. The brass adds a nice amount of weight that I am not used to in a pencil. It practically disappears in hand during longer writing sessions, and it’s not so heavy that fatigue sets in. When speaking to Mike Dudek about the pencil, he had mentioned that the internal tube a few other pieces inside are plastic. I was slightly upset at first, but then I realized that the plastic internals are dead silent and do not rattle around like the Kaweco Special mechanical pencil, which I have since retired because of the annoying sound. I’m sure the plastic will hold up to daily use and abuse.
What I initially thought could have been a weak point may have actually contributed to why I like the pencil so much. Admittedly, I’m not thrilled with the click mechanism. I like more of a tactile click, and the knock is a bit mushy. The lead extends easily with every click, but it’s just not that satisfying. Perhaps a strong spring in there would make for a more solid “click”? Other than that, I love the pencils slimline design and how it feels in hand.
If you’re interested in getting one for yourself, head over to Andrew’s Kickstarter project. A $60 pledge scores you an aluminum pencil, and you can add an additional $5 for brass. The project has three weeks to go and has far surpassed its initial goal. Thanks again for sending the pencil over for review!