What is it? A ‘mechanical pencil cartridge’ that replaces Parker type pen refills and converts the writing instrument from a ballpoint pen to a mechanical pencil.
Schmidt is a German company that makes componentry for writing instruments. Their ballpoint refills are sold by a lot of retailers as an economical alternative to the genuine name-brand item.
So, first up I grabbed a Parker pen and quickly realised it wasn’t going to work. The spring that fits on the front of the pen refill has to be removed for the converter to fit. My particular Parker’s spring appeared to be permanently affixed inside the pen barrel and I just couldn’t remove it. So then I tried another pen, a non-Parker but one that I could get the spring out of the barrel. But again it was all to no avail. It was actually a twist action pen and I just couldn’t get it to operate the converter mechanism.
Well that was two strikes, so I needed to hit a homer before I was three and out. I had another ballpoint that took Parker refills, and I could get the spring out. It all seemed to fit but I just couldn’t get it to work. I then realised that the converter was actually just a fraction too long, and was permanently ‘pushed in’ when the pen was assembled.
So by slowly chopping small amounts off the top stem of the converter I found a length that made it work, and Voila!
It all woks fine as a standard push top ratchet mechanical pencil, but the lead sleeve is not retractable. So overall, not a bad idea, but a little difficult to get to work in the real world. If you had a pen that you really liked and wanted it to be a pencil, then there’s a chance this converter might just work for you.