Michael’s Pen began in the early 1990’s when the founder, Michael, began designing ergonomic pens to improve his grip due to calluses on his fingers. After his first design, “The Worm Pen,” became a worldwide hit, he began expanding his product line and creating a wide range of writing implement designs. This review is of the Michael’s Fat Boy S-Model ballpoint (slim) in the New York Black Edition. The S-Model pen collection is available in copper, copper with a flame patina (shades of red, blue, and green), and black-coated aluminum. The same materials and colors are also available as a mechanical pencil. All products are made right here in the U.S.A.
8/10 Packaging: Although the pen is a slim model, it comes in a huge box. The white outside box has no branding; however, there is a small sticker that says, “Michael’s S-Model,” with the model, color, and writing mode, as well as the company information and website. Inside the white box is a glossy black and white box with the Michael’s logo on the lid. There is also a foam insert, which holds the pen securely in place and has a maintenance card and a booklet with the company’s history, assembly and refill instructions, and contact information.
8/10 First thoughts: The black finish contrasts beautifully against the silver of the clip, nosecone, and relief cuts into the body of the pen. It looks modern, but has hints of art deco style.
9/10 Design: The pen is surprisingly light at 28 grams. The body of the pen is black with relief cuts running the length of the body, giving the pen a pop of contrast between the black body and raw aluminum underneath. There are three rubber rings on the grip section to help prevent the pen from being slick. The pen tip is extended and retracted via a push button on the back of the pen. It is without a doubt the smoothest mechanism I have ever used on a retractable pen, and it is almost silent. The clip is tight, but usable, and may require two hands depending on the thickness of the material. The body has branding on the barrel, which reads “Michael’s S-Model USA” and “New York Edition.” Further, “Made in USA” is imprinted on the clip, and “USA” is imprinted on the nosecone.
9/10 Filling System: The pen is uses a standard Parker style refill and can use the gel, rollerball, or ballpoint refills.
9/10 Value: The pen has a retail price of $95. This is a great price for a beautifully crafted pen machined from aluminum. The solid copper and flame patina copper have retail prices of $250 and $295 respectively.
43/50 Overall: I really like the finish and weight of this pen. The ability to use any Parker style refill makes the pen very versatile and convenient to find refills on the go, instead of having to order proprietary cartridges. The modern meets art deco style makes the pen stand out for daily use and is an attention-grabber in meetings. I am not normally a non-fountain pen user but this pen has changed my mind. I look forward to adding one of these pens to my collection in the future.
Name: Michael’s Fat Boy S-Model New York Black Edition
Design: Black-coated aluminum body with silver accents
Length: 5 inches (127 mm)
Diameter: .43 inches (11 mm body), .55 inches (14 mm clip)
Weight: 28 grams
Filling System: Parker-style refill
Pros: Durable aluminum body, grip rings prevent the pen from slipping, easy to find refills
Cons: Tight clip
In the same price range:
Caran d’Ache Alchemix
Delta Journal ballpoint
“Make your mark”
Eric Aycock (Pengeek13)
Bertram’s Inkwell thanks Eric Aycock for his time and contribution with this wonderful review!
Check out the Michael’s Fat Boy S-Model Ballpoint here.
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Karyn Schmitz says
We are the one and only Museum of Writing Instruments in the US and we have over 70,000 tools of communication. Right now we are working on a permanent exhibit of “Made in America” writing instruments.
MOWI is very impressed with your Fat Boy quality and workmanship and a donation of a Fat Boy would really enhance our exhibit.
Thank you in advance for your consideration and anticipated donation or consigning would be fantastic, as well.
Adam of Bertram's Inkwell says
Thanks for reaching out! We actually aren’t the ones who make the Fat Boy pens. We are a retail store that sells these awesome pens! You might want to reach out to Michael at either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
All the best,