Just about three years ago, I reviewed the original Modern Fuel Design Pencil in brass. Today, he launched an updated version of an already solid pencil. Modern Fuel is run by a gentleman named Andrew, who has a passion (and some serious talent) for good design. His goal for the pencil was to make a perfectly balanced, seamless pencil that will last a lifetime. The 2.0 has some welcomed features over the original that make it a worthy update. Read on to learn more about this heirloom quality writing utensil. Even though it just launched a few hours ago, the Pencil 2.0 has surpassed its funding goal.
Full disclosure: Andrew hired me to do the photos for his Kickstarter campaign. The ones you see here are for my own site’s personal use. I was not monetarily compensated for this review, but was for the photos in his campaign.
The 2.0 is sleek and streamlined. There’s no denying that. The body and cone appear to be a single piece of metal, thanks to some tight-tolerance machining. There’s actually a cone that unscrews towards the tip that’s really hard to tell apart from the body when they’re put together. Attention to detail on the pencil is an understatement. Andrew even went on to design his own custom, all metal, retractable lead extension mechanism – not something you see too often. The only parts on the pencil that aren’t metal are the eraser and an o-ring within the body that helps it stay securely closed. Modern Fuel tests each pencil for balance before assigning a uniquely hidden serial number to each piece.
Compared to the old model, I think the 2.0 is a huge improvement. Why? Mostly because of the retractable writing tip. The first pencil (pictured above in brass) has a conical tip that ends with a point. Not only does this point make the pencil extra pokey in your pocket, but it can also be easily damaged/bent with an unfortunate drop. The new mechanism extends out from a blunt tip to write, and is easily pushed back in when it’s time to pocket the pencil and go. There’s no noticeable wiggle in the tip when writing, which is yet another testament to the tight machine tolerances seen in this pencil.
The Modern Fuel Pencil 2.0 is available in titanium, steel, bronze, and copper. I have handled each model, here’s some quick impressions on the different materials:
- Titanium: Very light weight, well-balanced, and easy to carry.
- Phosphorus Bronze: Unique reddish brass color with an impressive hefty presence.
- Tellurium Copper: Rich orange hue, nice heft.
- Stainless Steel: Hefty, sturdy, and solid feeling.
If pencils are your thing, it’s hard to ignore Modern Fuel’s new offering. The 2.0 is now on Kickstarter, you can pledge for one at this link, starting at $60. They’re available in three different lead widths (0.5mm, 0.7mm, 0.9mm) that can be added on for more options in a single body. Andrew and Modern Fuel have delivered a pencil project before, so back with confidence. Let me know in the comments below if you plan on picking one up!