Penwell Co. was formed this year “with the simple goal of making and selling a useful, attractive, and well-built product.” That product is the eponymous Penwell, a pen stand that “turns any pen into a desk pen” and not only comes in quite handy, but looks great at your workspace.
The Penwell is ingeniously simple, and has only four parts: (1) the base, currently available in either walnut, aluminum, or brass; (2) an internal clip, which grips the pen; (3) a foam insert, which protects and pads the pen cap; and (4) a microsuction pad that adheres to your desk or other surface. The Penwell does not use any sort of adhesive, but rather thousands of tiny microscopic suction cups. The microsuction system works incredibly well. It stays put, and I’ve moved my Penwells multiple times without damaging the finish on my wood desk.
To turn your pen into a desk pen using the Penwell, simply insert the pen cap-first into the foam insert until it’s fully secured. Larger pens and slip cap pens may require further adjustment, and Penwell Co. offers detailed use and care instructions on its website, including pointers on how to make these pens fit. For the record, I’ve had no issues with any of my pens not fitting in the Penwell, including larger pens like the Montblanc 146 and my Kanilea pens (which look absolutely gorgeous in the Walnut version).
The great thing about this product is that it creates versatility. I love desk pens, but I don’t like the fact that a dedicated fountain pen desk set has to stay parked on your desk all the time. I’ve had issues with the ink drying up from disuse. Penwell solves this problem by making it easy to grab your "desk pen" out of the Penwell and go - to a coffee shop or my downtown office, for example - and then re-park the pen in the Penwell once I get home.
Another thing I love about the Penwell: it helps me out with those pens that won't post at all or are too long posted to use comfortably. (Parker’s Modern Duofold and Conklin’s Duragraph are two that recently crossed my desk.) I generally prefer to post my pens, in part because I have so much stuff sitting on my desk at any given time that I tend to lose track of caps or drop them on the floor. These longer, "unpostable" pens are perfect for the Penwell, which will hold the cap while I'm writing. Another problem solved!
Takeaways and Where to Buy
Many thanks to Dan at Penwell Co. for sending me these two Penwells and making this review possible. This is one of those well made, thoughtful products that makes you smile and which I have been using every day. Since the Penwell was released just in time for the holiday season, it made its way directly into my 2017 Holiday Gift Guide, and would make a great present for any pen enthusiast.
You can purchase the Penwell directly from the Penwell website. The walnut version costs $49, the aluminum version $59, and the brass $89. These prices are more than fair, given the quality, originality, and obvious effort that went into finalizing and packaging this product.
Disclaimer: Penwell Co. sent me the products featured in this review free of charge, for review purposes.