I was very excited when Brad Dowdy announced he would be going into business with Jeffery Bruckwicki to manufacture handmade pen cases. I knew they would be great and I backed the Kickstarter project immediately. Just recently Brad and Jeffery opened their online store and so I thought the time was right for me to start posting some reviews. There’s nothing worse than reading a review of something fantastic and then finding out you can’t actually go and buy it.
That last paragraph may possibly have given away what I think about this case. This is the Sassafras case which is billed as a ‘five pen bi-fold’ but will actually hold several more pens if you don’t mind them touching. I do mind some of my pens touching but others I’m not so fussy about. The former go on into the three slots on the left; the remainder are jammed into the two slots on the right.
This is the case I use for pens I’m going to use throughout the day. There are usually two fountain pens (the one I’m going to use in my diary/journal that day and one that will be okay to use in meetings), a nice rollerball, a ballpoint, a Sharpie, a gel pen or two, a multipen and a mechanical pencil. I want to cover most possibilities, in other words. On this particular day I was using, from left to right, a: Kaweco Dia 2; Faber-Castell Ambition; Retro 51 Tornado; Pilot Juice; Tactile Turn Mover; Pilot Coleto; Pilot Frixion highlighter; Sharpie Fine; and Rotring 600 pencil.
The build quality is outstanding. The canvas is tough and waterproof. The stitching is neat and strong. It reminds me of a climbing harness in its construction and in the confidence it gives you in its ability to not come apart. The flaps fold over to keep your pens protected from each other and there is enough thickness in the material to keep your pens safe from the outside world.
There’s nothing to keep the case closed and that suits me because it’s either squashed in my bag or on my desk ready to use. If it was floating about in a big spacious bag there might be some issues. It’s also a little short for the occasional extra-long pen or pencil. (Particularly pencils – all wooden pencils are too long when new.) These are both design decisions and don’t reflect negatively on the quality one bit. I mention them because it’s possible that means this isn’t the right case for you.
Whilst I was writing this review I realised that I’ve taken this case for granted. It does it’s job so well that I don’t notice it and I forget that before I bought it I hadn’t found a case that was what I wanted. That’s how good it is.