If you’ve visited the Writing Instruments sales corner in the past couple of days, you’ve probably seen the posting for the “maxmadco stainless steel retractable pen”. I’ve been testing a prototype for more than three months, and wanted to provide my impressions of the pen, which moved very quickly from a test subject to essential part of my daily ‘kit’.
The pen is machined in the USA from a solid rod of stainless steel. The two piece barrel has a very fine brush finish, and except for the clip which is riveted to the barrel, there are no separate external pieces (nothing to loosen or break). The pen is approximately 9.5mm in diameter, and 13cm long – long enough to be comfortable, short enough to fit in most pockets, including my jeans. The pen has weight but very good balance. The pen uses parker-type refills, which are available everywhere. It comes equipped with a Parker Gel refill (very smooth with dark ink and easy to find – even way out here in the Pacific), but you can use a ballpoint cartridge, and there are a wide variety of compatible refills available on the market.
What sets the madmaxco apart from other pens is its cartridge retraction mechanism. The cartridge is extended and retracted by moving a small bolt located near the pen clip along a ‘L’ shaped channel cut into the pen barrel. A spring inside the pen barrel keeps the mechanism from accidentally moving. It’s very easy to operate with one hand (no cap to remove or twist), yet virtually impossible to trigger in your pocket – no more worries about pen stains on your shirt or pants.
If you’re looking for a pen that can take a beating, yet look great in a corporate boardroom, this is one to take a good look at.
Here are the great photos from the posting: