Inka Pen, 1.5 Years Later

Inka Pen, 1.5 Years Later

Inka Pen Wear and Tear Back in late 2007 I bought myself an Inka pen, and have been carrying it in my front pants pocket practically every day since.

Every once in a while, I catch myself noticing that the pen still looks good, so I took some macro pictures of it to document how well it has aged. It doesn’t look that different from the time I noted my impressions when it was new.

Inka Pen Wear and Tear While it’s held up pretty well, the pen’s shininess has dulled slightly with use. There are a few small scratches from scraping against keys and coins in my pocket, which isn’t surprising since I keep it on my main key chain. So far, it has not malfunctioned or disappeared on me. There are even a few design details that had escaped me before; the machined metal tube has a small groove to catch the blue silicon o-ring that holds the pen in place. It’s still holding the pen securely in its metal sheath after all this time. And more amazingly, the tube hasn’t dented or bent in any way I can see. This is a quality product.

Inka Pen Wear and Tear The place I see the most wear is on the end-cap, where you can see a few dings in the plastic. This might be from when I use my teeth to hold the end of the pen when I’m scrambling to juggle numerous items in my hands. But it’s not objectionable. There is also some wear on the key chain ring holder, but I have not yet seen any cracking or other signs of imminent failure. And if it did, the Inka people have a lifetime mechanical warranty on their product.

Inka Pen Wear and Tear How it is writing with the pen? Well, it’s a little cramped if you don’t take the time to completely assemble it, and the feel of the ink isn’t going to beat a good rollerball or fountain pen. However, this is the pen that I always have, unless for some reason I don’t have my usual keys with me. And that has proven to be very convenient. Most things that stay in my pockets get destroyed fairly quickly—you should see the sad state of my Moleskine notebooks—but the Inka keeps on rockin’.

!@(images/09/0528-inka05.jpg:F popimg: “Inka Pen Ball Point”)

7 Comments

  1. Jeremy 10 years ago

    I carry around a matte black Fisher Space pen that I’ve had for 9 years now.  I’ve bought 2 refill cartridges for it from Fisher, and love the thing.  It’s been through the washing machine about half a dozen times and although it’s all beat up on the outer case, the grip portion is still nice and smooth.

    The thing I like about the Fisher that I think I’d have a hard time about the Inka is that it assembles into “full size mode” by just putting the cap on the end.  Still fits very snugly and feels solid.  The Inka’s keyring does look like a nice touch, though.

    Have you tried the Fisher to be able to compare?

  2. Dave Seah 10 years ago

    Jeremy: The full-size mode on the Fisher is a lot easier to get to, definitely! I find that I just use the Inka in moments when I need a pen and I can’t find a more convenient full-sized one (I prefer my Lamy Safari and Al-Star). Unfortunately, every time I buy a Space Pen I inevitably lose it because it doesn’t transfer with my keys. I think I owe it to myself to try a matte black one (those are nice)…I bet they look pretty awesome after 9 years of use! Maybe you can get it blued or parkerized by a gunsmith :-)

  3. Jeremy 10 years ago

    Actually, yeah, it looks very “comfortably” used.  The matte has worn off on the ends and you can see the solid brass shining through underneath.

    I just realized I left it in my laptop bag when I went through airport security yesterday.  Fear!  Where’s my pen?!

  4. Jeff 10 years ago

    I relate your concept of the Inka pen to a camera phone. You find the ink isn’t as smooth as a rollerball, but the best pen in your collection is the one you always have with you, just like a camera phone.

  5. Jason 10 years ago

    I bought an Inka about a month after you mentioned them the first time and mine still looks great too.

    It really is an excellent piece of engineering. I carry a Zebra 701 for full size duty and my Inka does get the most overall use.

    As you say, the full size writes better, but the Inka is always there.

    I used to carry a matte black Fischer, so I can compare. The Fischer was better as a pocket pen and almost as durable. I did lose it occasionally though. I never lose the Inka and it writes slightly better.

    Overall I like the Inka better.

  6. Enrique S 10 years ago

    I’ve kept a Fisher refill in my wallet for several years.  It had a small profile, and I always had a pen with me.  A few months ago, a bought a two-pack of Zebra pens from Staples.  The Zebra pen is similar in design to the Inka, but is not on a par with the Inka in terms of quality.  But it works in a pinch, and is easier to write with than the small Fisher refill.

  7. Ray Yuen 10 years ago

    I get around the problem of not having the right set of keys by putting one on the car keys and one on the work keys. I find using it in short form is enough for most of my scribblings and making notes. I usually carry a full sized pen too at work but it’s amazing how many times I’m sitting on the train and I reach for the pen and it’s not there. I have ordered more Inka pens and the compact size, light weight and keyring makes this the best gadget for awhile. I work in an office so the pen is an essential item. I have titanium and stainless versions.