When I first heard of these pens, I assumed the word 'concrete' was just hype for the way they looked. But no, it's meant literally – they're ink pens made from actual concrete.
And it's not a rare idea, apparently. There are companies making concrete pens in Germany, Taiwan and the US. Nice-looking, envy worthy pens, at that.
Concrete Pen Factory in Germany has a simple, concrete-encased ballpoint that can be imprinted with company logos, presumably to be given out as promotional items. It's a little thicker than average, with a smooth stub barrel.
The company's website offers very little information about the actual pens, other than the price, and they aren't cheap. A single pen goes for almost €35. Unless you're a subscriber to the Concrete Plant International trade publication, in which case you get a €10 discount.
Another concrete pen from 22 Design Studio in Taiwan has a really interesting concept – there are ridges on the concrete body that wear away under the pressure of your fingers so that it eventually becomes molded to your hand. Use it enough, and you end up with a pen custom-fit for you.
The metal cap appears to screw onto the pen, which is kind of cool, but would leave you unable to post it. According to the company, the pens use Schmidt 888 fine-point rollerball refills.
The pen is priced about US$70. The design studio also makes a concrete sketch pencil that looks like a lot of fun to use, although it might be too large for some preferences.
Most recently, a designer named Dustin Faddis is making a bit of a splash in the pen community with a Kickstarter project for his Contribute Pen. Other than being made of concrete, the neat thing about this pen is that it has magnets embedded in the tip, end, and cap to hold the cap on for storage or posting.
Also nice is that the pen can be refilled with any one of a number of popular ink cartridges, including the Pentel EnerGel, Uniball Signo DX and the Pilot Hi-Tec-C. It also comes with an optional magnetic button that sticks to the end of the pen to keep it from rolling.
Faddis is seeking US$10,000 to fund the project and seems likely to reach that goal. Contributors who kick in $US55 or more will get one of the first pens off the line, so if you're craving one of these pens, you might want to jump on it.
Oh, and in case you do get yourself a concrete pen, you will, of course, need something to hold it. For that purpose, you can pick up a concrete desktop pen holder.