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Copper Embassy Pen Review


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5 replies to this topic

#1 mhphoto

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 00:36

I know this is a fountain pen board, but I thought everyone might enjoy a quality ballpoint pen. This is a review of County Comm's solid copper Embassy Pen. County Comm is an online tactical/survivalist/EDC gear store that sells government contract overrun products. There are four different models of Embassy Pen: the base aluminum, the stainless steel, the limited edition titanium, and the even more limited edition copper.

All of the pens are identical in that their structures and sizes are the same; all are completely solid except for the places where they can't be (mainly inside the cap and in the barrel where the pen cartridge goes). Newer aluminum models, and I believe also SS models, feature a slightly revised design that does not necessitate an o-ring.

There are, of course, differences between the weights of the various models.

The aluminum is the lightest, and weighs in at 40 grams (1.41 oz)
The stainless steel weighs in at 108.4 grams (3.83 oz)
The titanium weighs in at 63.9 grams (2.25 oz)
The copper model is the heaviest, and weighs in at 120 grams (4.23 oz)

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The pen was delivered in a neat container, which I understand is a two liter bottle preform. Inside the container, the pen was wrapped in brown paper. After removing the paper I discovered the pen was covered in a very thin layer of viscous goo, not unlike cosmoline. It was easy enough to remove with some Dawn detergent.

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This pen is incredibly solid. It is, of course, very heavy in the hand. I also have a solid copper flashlight that I got from County Comm, the Maratac AAA Cu. It came hermetically sealed and was hand polished. When I removed it from its sealed foil pouch it was incredibly polished and smooth and had no tarnish whatsoever. The copper Embassy Pen is a different story. Even covered in the cosmoline goo it already had a bit of tarnish on it. Nothing major; certainly not Statue of Liberty levels. Just barely discolored.

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The machining is very good. There are three parts to the pen (excluding the ink cartridge): the cap, the top section, and the bottom section. While the cap screws onto the top section without so much of a wiggle, the is a tiny, tiny bit of creep where the top section and bottom sections screw together. It's absolutely not a problem, and considering that you can just re-tighten the two sections a bit tighter to fix it makes it a non issue.

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I've read some complaints about how hard it is to write with the stainless steel model, and since the copper version is even heavier, it should be hard to write with, right?

Wrong.

I mean, considering that my nice Parker Sonnet fountain pen with a fresh cartridge weighs way less than just the cap of the copper Embassy Pen, it writes like a dream (with the right cartridge, more on that later). It's a heavy pen, so if you don't like heavy pens you won't like this. But I find it ever so satisfying writing with heavy instruments. And if you embrace the heft I think you will too. The only thing that took getting used to was the pen's high center of gravity when in the writing position. The ink cartridge only goes down so far, and from the point where it ends to the end of the pen is about an inch. So when you write you can definitely feel that chunk of solid copper swinging above your writing hand.

And speaking of copper, this thing WILL tarnish and DOES smell like pennies. I love the smell of pennies, so it's no problem for me. And as far as the tarnish goes, I'm a huge fan of copper—it's my favorite of all the metals, with titanium and the alloy brass in a close race for second—and I expected the tarnish. No, it won't turn Statue-of-Liberty-green. Nothing copper tarnishes that much when handled on a daily basis. But the oil on your hand and the oxygen in the air will turn it a brownish color. Embrace it and call it beautiful. Works for me.

After a few days of pocket wear and oxidation:

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The clip is made of hardened steel and is kept in place by two hex screws. I doubt I'll ever have any problems with this thing coming loose. It's feel as sturdy as it could be.

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Another note concerning the copper. Copper is a relatively soft metal, especially compared to the titanium pen. I've read a review of the stainless steel version of this pen, which is harder than copper (though not as hard as titanium), and they complained that through repeated screwing and unscrewing of the cap incited by boredom, the base of the cap has flared out a bit. Knowing this is a possibility, and knowing that copper is much softer than SS, I'm careful when screwing the cap back on. I rarely use force to tighten it, and yet I've yet to have a problem with it unscrewing itself in my pocket, which is where it's been since I got it. I've seen numerous other reports of this happening, but it has simply been a non issue with my pen. Perhaps I'm in the minority, or perhaps it's just because most reviews are on either the aluminum and SS and copper seems to be a lot "stickier: than the other two metals.

Now, about those Fisher refills. The refills are pressurized to 35 PSI with nitrogen, so gravity is not needed for the ink to flow. It can write upside down, at altitudes as high as 12,500 feet, and operate just fine in temperatures ranging from -30 to 250 ˚F. Contrary to popular belief NASA didn't spend millions of dollars creating the Space Pen when Russia just used pencils. The Space Pen was created in the private market. Paul Fisher, presumably the founder of Fisher Pens, created it independent of NASA. But Fisher did approach NASA about its potential uses in space. NASA liked it (as did the Russian cosmonauts, who also ended up using Fisher's pens) and ended up using it in the Apollo missions, and have ever since.

Nowadays there are many different colors of Fisher refills, including black, blue, red, brown, burgundy, turquoise, and silver. With the main colors (black, blue, and red) you have three different thicknesses to choose from: fine, medium, and bold.

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But there are things to consider with your refill choice.

All Embassy Pens of any model include a black medium point refill. The medium refill is fine, but it can be, in my experience, a bit skippy and globby. I have experience with three medium refills (black, brown, and turquoise), and all three are less pleasant to write with than the bold and fine pointed refills. The bold versions are smooth writers, but can be globby, and tend to skip, but much less frequently than the medium versions. The fine refills are the smoothest, best writing versions. Whereas writing with the bold point can be unwieldy and muddled at times, the fine point is much more precise. But I can recommend both with confidence, especially if you like bold pens as much as me. But stay away from the mediums if you can.

Overall I highly recommend this pen. It's built like a tank, it's reliable, it's American made, it uses a great refill, and it's a collectible (only 500 were made, each individually numbered). It is expensive, though. With shipping, you'll pay a bit over $180 for the copper model. The titanium is around $90; stainless steel, $60; and aluminum, $45. Do your notebooks a favor and pick one of these Embassy Pens up, whether it be the affordable and light aluminum, the heavy stainless steel, the flame anodizing customizable titanium, or the beautiful copper, you won't be disappointed.

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You'll especially enjoy it if you're a copperphile like me… B)

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#2 spot

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 00:58

nice review!
I like this pen, seems to be very durable.
I don't own one though.
"To remember what needs to be remembered is the secret of success" Nisargadatta Maharaj

#3 lovemy51

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 02:08

looks interesting! thx 4 the review, but with $180, i can get me an Edison Collier!!!


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:puddle: :puddle: :puddle: :puddle: :puddle: :puddle:

... and with the extra money a bottle (or two) of ink.

Edited by lovemy51, 10 December 2011 - 02:08.


#4 Fountainpenlover

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 09:45

Very interesting bp! I really enjoyed reading your review! One question I have (as you have got me interested in this bp is): could one use a Parker or Schneider or other commonly used refill for this ball pen? Or must it be a dedicated CountyComm/Fisher refill not normally obtainable in Europe?

Edited by Fountainpenlover, 10 December 2011 - 12:26.


#5 mhphoto

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 20:04

Thanks, everyone!

Very interesting bp! I really enjoyed reading your review! One question I have (as you have got me interested in this bp is): could one use a Parker or Schneider or other commonly used refill for this ball pen? Or must it be a dedicated CountyComm/Fisher refill not normally obtainable in Europe?


The Fisher Space Pen refills should be available in Europe. Where I've actually been getting mine from lately are ebay sellers (so long as they have a long track record and good reviews). Here in the US you can order them directly from Fisher at $5 each, but shipping is another $5 on top of that. :headsmack:

As far as being able to use other refills, I'm honestly not sure. I'm almost sure you can't use a Parker BP in it, as the Fisher refills come with a little plastic adapter to make it long enough to fit in a Parker pen. I'd love to find one in a rollerball format that would fit the Embassy Pen. I'll let you know if my search produces anything. :thumbup:

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#6 Fountainpenlover

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 20:37

Many thanks for your prompt reply!
Mario


Thanks, everyone!

Very interesting bp! I really enjoyed reading your review! One question I have (as you have got me interested in this bp is): could one use a Parker or Schneider or other commonly used refill for this ball pen? Or must it be a dedicated CountyComm/Fisher refill not normally obtainable in Europe?


The Fisher Space Pen refills should be available in Europe. Where I've actually been getting mine from lately are ebay sellers (so long as they have a long track record and good reviews). Here in the US you can order them directly from Fisher at $5 each, but shipping is another $5 on top of that. :headsmack:

As far as being able to use other refills, I'm honestly not sure. I'm almost sure you can't use a Parker BP in it, as the Fisher refills come with a little plastic adapter to make it long enough to fit in a Parker pen. I'd love to find one in a rollerball format that would fit the Embassy Pen. I'll let you know if my search produces anything. :thumbup:


Edited by Fountainpenlover, 10 December 2011 - 20:38.







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