While Mr. Sunday may have mistaken the technology of the Navy's diving gear (he was corrected that it was actually spun copper at that time), make no mistake, the Modern Fuel mechanical pencil has an entire body made of brass.
There are times when having a heavier than average writing implement just feels right, such as when your journal entry is really emotional, or your are just sick of not noticing the gravity of your words because you are using a lightweight pencil. At 55.6 grams, the brass mechnical pencil by Modern Fuel is one you will notice whenever you pick it up.
When you first get the pencil, it comes in an unadorned cardboard/paper box, nice and simple (very much a theme here). Taking the box out of its custom cut cardboard holder, it reveals the slogan "A mechanical pencil that will last you a lifetime."
Taking out the cardboard reveals a number of accessories including:
- a full package of Pentel Super .5mm lead in HB (I immediately swapped to 2B, but that's just my preference. This is a great lead)
- a cork pencil sleeve
- 5 replacement erasers
- 3 capacitive styli nibs (to replace your eraser with if you want to use this on your touchscreen device)
- a section of Scotch Brite® pad to shine up your pencil or remove light scratches (if you desire)
To put it mildly, Modern Fuel thought of everything you would need to use this pencil. I really appreciate that.
The body of the pencil is striking yet devoid of decoration, being made of a solid piece of brass. I love seeing the machining marks on it, and the scratches that are being added from my own use, which leads to each pencil getting its own character from the owner. Modern Fuel spent a lot of time and effort making sure that the brushed finish minimizes the seam at the top of the pencil, making it hard to see. The eraser is black (and does an admirable job erasing your pencil marks), as is the removable aluminum pocket clip, making for a nice contrast. While there isn't a grip section, the finish makes it easy to hold onto, which is important for a pencil of this weight.
Modern Fuel wants this pen to last you a lifetime, so it naturally comes with a lifetime warranty. Any issues with it, send it back, and they will either fix your pencil or make you a new one. Nice! In a society where we are so quick to throw things out, it's nice knowing this one will be in your family for generations.
I really enjoy writing with this pencil. The balance feels great, and while I wouldn't want to write a novel with it, shorter writing sessions are great. I do notice that after awhile I get some slight indentations on my fingers if I don't take a break, (and a slight smell of brass on my fingers), but I think these are small prices to pay for a pencil of this abundance.
I do have a few gripes with this pencil however. First, if you drop the pencil at all (even a few inches on your desk), even with the lead retracted fully, part of the lead will shatter and you will need to remove it then advance more lead. It makes sense due to the weight, but I wish they could have thought of a way to minimize the trauma to the lead. Next, the lead advancement mechanism has a very soft click (both in volume as well as pressure). This is great for writing, but is problematic if you use the attached eraser, as you wind up advancing the lead as you erase. It's not a problem for me as I usually use a separate eraser anyway, but it's something to keep in mind. Finally is the price. At $75.00 there is a pretty steep price of admission to get one of these. While I did receive this as a gift, the fact that it will outlast me would make this a pretty solid purchase for me, but for many people that may be a deterrent.
I think Modern Fuel's foray into mechanical pencils is a great one. It gives you an impressive visual pice (quite a few people who are not into pencils or stationery have given me positive comments on it), while at the same time a solid, weight, writing experience. If you are bored with mechanical pencils that weigh the same amount as a feather from the big box stores, you don't mind having a possible hand cramp from use, and can get over the pretty high price tag, then I highly recommend going to Modern Fuel's website and pick up one of these today.