I have recently become very impressed with some newly acquired writing implements. They are from MonteVerde USA in Canoga Park, California. The brass barreled pen is all business and appeals to my utilitarian side. As an old mentor of mine used to say, “Pretty is as pretty does,” and these writing utensils are doers.
The first thing you’ll notice is the ruled surfaces on the hexagon barrel. The rules are for inches, centimeters, and for two scales 1/200 and 1/300 meter. As you rotate the barrel, you will see the built-in spirit level.
In most of the reviews I googled, the pictures would show the levels being used for picture frames. They’d be shown with some handyman tool. Of course they are useful for these situations, but that’s not how I saw myself using this pen.
I saw this pen being my sturdy companion on the high seas, or plotting my path through the woods, like Walter Mitty I was off to daring do. I do my share of handi-dude stuff, don’t get me wrong, but that’s where I went in my mind’s eye when I hefted these pens.
They positively shine doing that everyday stuff. It’s been handy down in my engine room, from seeing what size of wrench I need by measuring it to writing down part numbers.
Still…I was was out there dreaming:
“Day 30, calm seas today, raised the light air drifter, sat back and enjoyed a beautiful sunset,” and so on; I’d write in my log with my trusty pen. You get it. This cool pen inspires.
I have two of these writing tools. For charting my path across the ocean, I have the MonteVerde tool pencil. It’s a twist mechanism with a .9mm lead. I checked it out. It’s also good for marking a cut on a board and various shop tasks.
For logging notes and various other tasks, I have the ballpoint version. It writes really well, even on chilly mornings. Look at this! It’s great for showing off how good my fiancé shot my .22lr at the range the other day!
The spirit level would be great for checking your scope while in the field, taking a trip, falling, and giving it a hard knock. It’s also right there ready at hand for setting up that tripod for a perfect landscape photograph. I’ve used this pen to level my RV trailer on my favorite boondocking site as well. Yup, this tough little pen is all that. If you are a person of action this should be part of your EDC list. And yes, you’ll have no excuse for crooked pictures. Now back to the cool stuff.
This tool pen is proving indispensable in the wheelhouse. I use the Inavx chart plotter on my iPad for day to day chart plotting. Recently I worked a navy job, where the coordinates were so precise that using my finger on the touch screen made it all but impossible to use my range and bearing functions because my fingers were just too fat! I couldn’t see under or around them. The pen stylus has improved that quite a bit. I’m looking forward to less oily fingerprints on my iPad screen as well.
Underneath the stylus you’ll find another really handy feature:
Mounted in the back of the barrel is a 1/8th inch micro driver. It comes with a reversible flathead and Phillips bit. The company offers no other drivers at this time. However, they offer replacements for both the stylus and the driver as you wear them out and need to replace them. I picked up a micro driver kit at Harbor Freight and slipped the Torx bit into my pocket for the pocket clip of my Spyderco.
Often the whip on my shortwave radio loosens from all my twisting on it. This tool works perfect for that. Now on to some real MacGyver stuff!
Have you ever wished you could estimate distance? With a little practice and your tool pen, you can! First you need to know your pace count or find yourself a 100′ measuring tape, then you need to file away in your memory the common heights and widths of objects found in your environment, and finally you need to do some experimenting.
Here is an example. A full size truck bumper is about 6ft wide. I measured off 50ft. Then sighted it at arms length with my tool pen. The rule on the pen said 3in @ 100ft it was 1 1/2in.
So straight on if I sight down my pen. I can estimate my distance to a six foot wide object as far away as 150ft (3/4in). Practice and log these observations and you can get good at judging distances to objects, as well as heights of objects.
I’ve found this handy pen to be something I use even more than the pocket knife I carry with me everyday. I highly recommend it. I might add, it’s hefty enough to be “tactical” without the sinister look of a “tactical” pen. It writes really well. It gets a lot of compliments. As you use it, the tool pen will unmistakably become yours. As the old rugged cameras like Leica and Nikon, this pen will brass through the finish.
You can purchase one for yourself here.