Even if their initial purpose is to replace the consumable pencil (or extend the life of a pencil), you can spend a lot of money on a mechanical pencil. Especially a plastic version that, once the lead is finished or the eraser is turned into a useless nub, ends up in the trash to make way for a new one.
But what if the mechanical pencil you bought was so sleek and so durable (and so expensive) that you had little choice but hang onto it? Barring the last feature, this is what creator Andrew Sanderson had in mind when creating his vision of a permanent pencil.
With his third Kickstarter project, and second successfully funded pencil design, his goal was to make a mechanical pencil people would use for a lifetime. Using a solid piece of aluminum or brass, Andrew crafted the Modern Fuel Design (MFD) mechanical pencils to intrigue users with their design and composition. The pencils were successfully crowdfunded last January 2015.
Now Andrew is at it again; this time with a number of improvements to his initial design.
For starters, he has replaced the older versions with new mechanical pencils consisting of titanium, copper, bronze, and stainless steel. These are still made from a single piece of metal and follow the same standards as those found in aircraft engineering.
The pencils themselves use a mechanism composed of 100% brass–no plastic parts here. This makes the pencil a tad heavier than an everyday pencil but also makes it more durable. The eraser can be removed and the pencil tip retracted, just in case you want to use the pencil as a stylus rather than a pencil. As for its reliability as a writing apparatus, the pencils use lead which measures 0.5mm, 0.7mm, or 0.9mm in diameter.
There isn’t much to it (it is a pencil, after all), but the design of the MFD pencil is intricate and well thought out. It looks like a single piece of metal, is perfectly balanced, and just in case you want to take it apart, a hidden screw system allows you to fiddle with its insides like a junior MacGyver.
The first mechanical pencils cost $70 with extra lead, erasers, and a cork case. The new version starts at the same $70 price for steel, copper or bronze with the titanium version starting at $130. If you want something to pass down to your children other than your prized stamp collection, you can snag one of these pencils on the Kickstarter project here and find out more about their products on the MFD website.