Gift Guide: The Pen Type-A

Short Version

The Pen Type-A is a pen milled from a block of type 304 stainless steel that should last at least 50 years. It looks and feels great, and it’s a good writing tool that uses Pilot’s Hi-Tec C ink cartridges. The ruler casing doubles as a sleeve. It is precisely manufactured so that the pen slowly slides in and out like a pneumatic cylinder. It’s a pen for pen geeks.

Long Version


  • Solid and durable pen
  • Ruler in inches and centimeters
  • 0.3mm black Hi-Tec C ink cartridge included
  • Compatible with 0.25, 0.3, 0.4 and 0.5 Hi-Tec C ink cartridges
  • Dime screw on one end
  • No branding


  • MSRP: $150
  • Manufacturer/retailer: CW&T
  • Made in the U.S.

The Pen Type-A is…

… a pen that happens to be a beautiful piece of engineering. Contrary to aluminum pens, a steel-based pen is much heavier and sometimes tiring to use. But the industrial design with no crack in the entire body gives it a unique look.

It is also an early Kickstarter success. The team shipped the last pens a couple of months ago and just started taking new orders. They proved that you could ship a complicated hardware product on Kickstarter while keeping up with customers’ expectations.

One of the most compelling features is that the Pen Type-A uses Pilot Hi-Tec C ink cartridges. It’s easy to order them online, future proof and there are a lot of width and color combinations. The Hi-Tec C has been my pen of choice for years — it’s very good.

But at $150, it’s an expensive pen. Just like watches, pens can be luxurious items, sometimes too blinged-out with ornamental and gilt bodies for my taste. They look dated and stand out on a desk next to the glass of my smartphone and my aluminum computer. Cold and futuristic objects like the Pen Type-A merit a spot in the luxury category. It is still reasonably priced compared to Sailor or Namiki pens, while very expensive Mont Blanc pens are in another category altogether.

Buy the Pen Type-A for…

… your loved ones who like beautiful objects and writing. As much as I’d like to do everything with digital devices, I still use a pen every day. It’s efficient and portable, and sometimes you just need to write things down. When you are on the move and you need to take notes, a pen is indispensable.

But a cheap pen is enough for nearly everyone. Only those who like design and beautiful pens will care about the Pen Type-A. And they’ll love it.


… a present should be something unique that someone wouldn’t think about and wouldn’t buy for himself or herself. People don’t spend money on pens anymore. With the Pen Type-A, you’d make a deeply personal yet beautiful present.

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