One of the coolest things about being a pen blogger is that occasionally you’re asked for feedback on designs before they go into production. And that’s how we managed to get an early look at the Modern Fuel Adjustable Bolt Action Pen.
We’ll do our usual in-depth review once the final production pen arrives – but the prototype, and its concept, is definitely worth talking about in the meantime.
There is no one refill that works for everyone. It’s a challenge that every small batch pen maker faces. And that’s the idea behind the Modern Fuel Adjustable Bolt Action Pen. Andrew Sanderson, founder and owner of Modern Fuel, has come up with a pen that you can quickly tailor to suit a host or refill options.
If you’ve ever tried mis-matching a refill from one pen to another, you’ve probably noticed that different refill types require particular pen barrel and spring lengths in order to function properly. To get round this, Modern Fuel’s bolt-action pen comes with swappable parts including a couple of setscrews to alter the internal dimensions of the pen, depending on the refill length.
This setup also has another benefit. The included setscrews let you adjust how far the nib of the cartridge will extend from the pen tip, letting you customise your pen to suit your writing angle.
A small wrench lets you loosen and tighten the crown-styled bolt pin, which keeps the knock in place and also forms the actuator for the bolt action. With the knock removed, you can switch out the setscrew to suit your cartridge. The setscrew tightens into the bottom of the knock to make sure everything stays firmly in place.
The Adjustable Bolt Action Pen currently takes Pilot G2, Lamy M63, Fisher PR4, and many more refills in between. One thing worth noting is that Andrew is still working on getting the design to take Parker refills, which would make this a seriously versatile pen. Fingers crossed he manages it in one form or another.
This prototype sample features a single piece barrel which is very cool. However, this does mean the pen needs to be fully disassembled when the refill runs dry. It’s not a huge inconvenience, but I hope the final pens feature a barrel break so that you only need to take everything apart when you’re dialling in your favourite refill. Modern Fuel also have a great track record for hiding barrel breaks…
We’ll cover finishing and aesthetics in more detail later on, but even on this raw prototype, proportions and looks are on-point. Final pens will come in a choice of metals offering a range of different visual and weight options, including my favourite for those longer writing stints, titanium.
Unsurprisingly, this unique bolt-action pen has smashed its Kickstarter funding goal, but if you’d like to get in on the initial batch dropping next month, you can pre-order one here.
Stay tuned for the full review of the final production version.