If you recall, it was last year when we surveyed a bevy of pens from Schon Dsgn.  Well, Ian Schon (the guy behind the brand) has found success with these pens, as they’re still being produced.  Not only that, they’ve had a handy upgrade occur to them as well.  So, let’s have a look at this latest version of the Schon Dsgn Classic Machined Pen.

I’d say spoiler alert, but the photos would have “spoiled” things anyways.  So, yeah, the update we have on the new Schon Dsgn Classic Machined Pen is the inclusion of a pocket clip.  The clip is one of those things that can be a bit divisive.  Some folks love clips on their EDC items, some don’t like the way some brands design their clips, and others prefer to have a sleeker profile that drops into their pocket. Fortunately for that variety of folks, you can chose between having a clip or not when you buy one of these pens.

For me, I like having the clip.  Yes, with how these pens are machined (from solid bar stock), you’re basically walking around with a solid tube of metal, which means it will take whatever abuse your pocket or bag might dish out.  With a clip, though, it’s easy to have it right at the top of your pocket, or even tucked into a shirt pocket, ready to use.  In that regard, it’s a definite improvement.  Also, if you’re of the sort to set your pen down, with the clip, it’s not going to roll off and crash to the floor.  Though, even if it did, I’d be more concerned about damage to the floor, and not the pen.

Tucked inside the pen is the same Fisher Space Pen cartridge as we saw before.  These cartridges show up in a variety of pens, and you’ve likely run across them.  It’s a basic ink, and it writes well.  Even for a lefty like me, I didn’t have much issues with ink smearing.  I still prefer a quick-drying gel ink (for smudges and general feel), but the Fisher cartridge makes more sense for this sort of EDC application.  The pressurized cartridge is just going to work, in any condition, until you run the thing out.

In terms of the shape and profile of the Schon Dsgn Classic Machined Pen, it’s the same as we saw before.  As I spent time with this new version, I did some to realize that I prefer a more pointed angle on the end of my pens. What Schon has built here is something that supports and protects the end of the cartridge, but it is a touch stubby.  This means that, at least for me, my writing is obscured some by the pen and my hand.  Not that this is a bad thing, it’s just a preference, and I came to realize that I rather like being able to more clearly see where the pen tip is on the paper.  Again, just a personal preference, and I suppose if I had a lathe in the garage, I could try playing around with angles a bit.

The Schon Dsgn Classic Machined Pen also comes with a rather nice branded notebook, made in collaboration with Write Notepads.  This is a nice, compact book, easy to slip into a pocket (front or back) to have with you to jot things down with your pen.

Schon Dsgn is also offering a variety of different caps for their pens.  You’ve got the basic finishes, but then there are others out there on the site that you can personalize the pen a bit more to your tastes.  This is especially perfect for those who may already have the pen, and want a cap with the clip on it (or just a splash of color).  I know there are some lovely blue-toned ones out there that caught my eye.

For our review this time around, we looked at an aluminum Schon Dsgn Classic Machined Pen in a black finish, which, to get your own, will set you back $80.  If you wanted to pick up another cap (or just get one for your existing pen) those run $35.  Oh, and if you’re worried about running out of ink (or something to write on), the brand has refills (adapters and a variety of colors, $2 – $16) and notebooks($3) for sale as well.  You can check those out, along with the full range of materials the pens come in, directly at their site.  I’m glad to see Schon having the success they’ve had – these are solidly built pens, and should last decades, if not for a lifetime.  schondsgn.com

The clip crew

Review Summary

  • Brand & Model: Schon Dsgn Classic Machined Pen
  • Price: $80
  • Who’s it for? You’re looking for a basic, no frills pen that will look good while it accompanies you, day in, day out, for decades to come
  • Would I use it? Absolutely – this is a great way to always have a pen with you
  • What I’d change: As mentioned in the review, a steeper angle on the pen tip might be nice.  Also, curious if an o-ring at the base of the machined threads might help with keeping the ink last longer
  • The best thing about it: As with watches, pens can become weirdly complex.  This is stripped down to the basics, and this simplicity will lead to longevity.

ByPatrick Kansa

A big data developer and leader with a penchant for gadgets, books, watches and beverages. You can find my work on WristWatchReview, Knapsack.News, and Slushpile. If you're on Twitter and/or Instagram, you'll find me there as @PatrickWatches.

Leave a Reply