The Penagain story, for me, started with the ergosoft pens which are very nice pens but had a few drawbacks.
The refills that it came with did not last long so I upgraded it by including Spacepen refills that they use for their multicolour pens.
However, the other drawback that it had made the short lived refills null and void as the way that the ergosofts cover the pen nib was to slide the front down above it. Then, when you wanted to use the pen, the front slid back and was held in place by the clip as it had a slight extension (hidden from view) which fitted into a notch in the body of the pen. A very smart move when it works. There’s a clue in the name that hints to the problem with this idea. The extra bit of plastic and the notch in the body quickly wore down so that the notch couldn’t hold the front of the pen. This led many people to use the ergosoft upside down, which negates all the ergonomic moulding!
To rectify this, Penagain have released the Ergosleek.
The Ergosleek is a lot more refined that it’s older brother in many ways. It is made of metal and this is very evident as soon as you pick one up. This is no lightweight! It is not a heavy pen but weighted to aid its ergonomics.
Instead of trying to make all of the pen comfortable to touch, like the ergosoft, the Ergosleek has rubber pads where the fingers go and the rest of the pen is the metal mentioned earlier.
I managed to get hold of two examples, one black and one chrome. Some people who have had experience of Penagain products might think that they tried to save money wherever they could. It doesn’t appear so. Although I have to point out that no-one could call Penagain pens expensive. The Ergosleek is the most expensive in the range (when available in the UK they’ll be available for £17.99) but a lot of money has gone into the pen.
The colour of the pen seems to be very durable and not prone to being chipped off.
When I first ordered these, I thought I would use the same trick again with the refills but when they arrived, I found that I didn’t need to. Penagain have spent some research money on refill technology! The refills now look like a small parker refill or a small original Spacepen refill. Unfortunately, I have not been able to source a supply for refills or an alternative that will fit. The pen did come with a refill inside as well as two extra so I won’t be needing one for a while yet.
Penagain decided against having the same mechanism to reveal the pen nib and instead opted for a twist design. This allows for the nib to be left showing by accident when you put it in your shirt pocket. The ergosoft’s design prevented this from happening. It does, however, make things difficult if you don’t have a VERY good grip as it will simply not twist. It also has the drawback that you are very likely to unscrew it completely without pushing the refill down.
The Penagain series and in particular the Ergosleek in the UK do have the added advantage that nobody can get away with steeling your pen and claiming it as theirs.
Since starting to write this article (it takes me that long <yet this is the first UK review to my knowledge!>) I have sold two Penagain pens to current colleagues. I’m trying my hardest to get the word out about these pens as I feel that many people could benefit from them.
The full Penagain story and further details can be found at www.penagain.com