- Description: A metal clicky pen that can be changed from pen to pencil in a snap.
- Refill: Schmidt mechanical pencil, Parker-style ballpoint cartridge
- Weight: 49g (may vary by configuration and material)
- Measurements: Between 5.4″
- Color Options: Brass base metal with nickel-plated & brushed, black, or natural brass finish
Today, we’re taking a look at the newest batch of pens from Inventery Co. I’ve reviewed a few of their pens in the past, and when they told me about the newest one, I jumped at the chance to check it out. Inventery Co.’s pens feature clean design, and usually some sort of modularity. This new one is no exception – it can easily be turned from a Parker-style ballpoint pen into a mechanical pencil. Let’s take a closer look at this shape-shifter of a pen in the review.
Thanks to Inventery Co. for sending these pens over my way.
Disclaimer: These pens were sent for review free of charge. I wasn’t compensated additionally for this review.
Appearance & Packaging:
Inventery’s packaging is pretty great. They’ve opted for similar packaging to that they’ve used in the past. The box is cardboard with a cardboard sleeve over the top with some classy gold foil printing. Inside the box is custom cut foam to keep everything neatly and safely in place during shipping. It’s proof that a box can be cool, not overly ornate, protect the product, and not make you feel super guilty for chucking it (should you choose to do so). For me, the packaging is A+. Good job, Inventery.
Once you pull the pen out the packaging, you’ll notice that it’s pretty simple looking. The body is cylindrical with a conical tip at the writing end. On the back of the pen, there’s a pocket clip that’s made from steel with a brushed finish on the brass and nickel, or black finish on the black model.
The clip is flat, with a ball-shaped pearl underneath to help it grip onto fabric or paper. The bottom of the clip is completely rounded. Underneath the clip, there’s some engraving with the word “INVENTERY”, followed by the individualized serial number.
Keeping the clip held on is a screw-down nut that can be swapped out. There’s both a smooth and ridged piece included with the pen/pencil that can be changed according to your preference. Above the clip is the custom knock mechanism with an “I” logo on the top. Looking at the photos, you’ll appreciate the clean lines and attention to small details throughout the design.
The pen is available in one of three finishes: raw brass, nickel-plated & brushed, and black-coated. I like all three of them, but I’ve been reaching out most for the black version. More on that later.
Performance & Refills:
Let’s touch on why the pen is called the “Interchangeable Mechanical Pen and Pencil”. You guys are pretty smart, so you’ve probably figured out by now that the pen can be switched from a pen to a pencil with relative ease. I think it’s a cool feature that will prove to be useful for a lot of people. It doesn’t have the same utility as a good multi-pen, since you can’t easily change on the fly. However, it is nice to be able to switch based on your needs for the days ahead. The pricing structure and package deals in the campaign do favor picking up a set of two, so you can have a matching pen and pencil. Ultimately, I think it’s nice to have options, and the way that the pen switches to a pencil provides you with two of them. It’s easy to switch between the two, and the writing instrument performs well in either configuration.
Let’s look at a pen-to-pencil switch:
In order to make the change, you have to do some disassembly. Start by taking apart the pen at the middle and removing the refill and spring. Then, unscrew the top of the knock and remove the click mechanism through the hole in the body. Once you have the body completely clear of pen parts, you can start with the pencil parts. The Schmidt mechanical pencil mechanism is threaded at the tip and actually screws into the grip section. There’s a small brass piece that has to be fed into the top of the body as well. On top of the internal body piece, there’s a spring that needs to be put in place. Finally, thread the top of the knock onto the internal push piece extension. Boom. You’re done.
The process sounds crazy, but it’s pretty simple. All in all, it should take you under a minute to make the swap.
In hand, I enjoy the heft and balance of the pen. The body is smooth, the clip is unobtrusive, and the diameter of the pen is comfortable. I’ve found the nickel-plated finish to be a little bit more slippery than the rest. Onyx black is the most “grippy” of the bunch. The parts all thread together with ease – nothing feels crunchy, grind-y, or otherwise unpleasant. Taking the pen apart and putting it back together is mechanically easy. The 5.4″ length of the pen is reasonable and comfortable. I’d say my hands are of average size, and the pen is comfortable to hold and write with. Personally, I like a little bit of grip on an all metal pen, hence my preference towards the black-coated option.
- Versatile pen + pencil in a single body
- Quality machining and feel
- Attractive price
- Some finishes are slippery
- Swapping mechanisms can be a cumbersome on the go
- Some may not like plastic internal pieces
Overall, I’m a big fan of these new pens from Inventery. They look, work, and feel great. To me, this is probably the best of their offerings so far, and that’s helped along by the starting price of these pens. For the first two days of the Indiegogo campaign, they’re a reasonable $42 each, or $72 for a set of two. Now, you may make the argument for a multi-pen like the Zebra Sharbo, but the smaller refills present in that pen make it more fuss than its worth over time. The larger ink capacity, ability to switch to a pencil, and the well-balanced feel of the Inventery make it an excellent addition to your stationery collection. Again, thanks to Jeffrey at Inventery for sending these over to check out!