Sunday, August 13, 2006

Lamy CP1 Twin Pen Review

Lamy CP1 Twin Pen Review

Lamy have gone for the plain austere look with their CP1 Twin Pen (model 656). The body is metal, round in cross-section, and mine is the matt black lacquer finish. The metal body gives it a bit of weight and a cool to the touch feel, while the lacquer gives it a little more grip than a plain metal finish would.

My CP1 Twin Pen is fitted with a black ballpoint pen refill and a 0.5mm pencil system. You twist the lower half of the body one way to push out the pen tip, and the other way for the pencil. You reverse the action to retract the tip and stopping in the central position leaves both tips retracted for transport mode. You can do all this one-handed if you are reasonably dextrous. There are no markings on the pen body to indicate which way you twist to get which tip, so you have to learn to remember which way is which. Replacing the refills is by unscrewing the bottom half of the body so you can get at them.

The pencil system is a 0.5mm push top ratchet. Like most multi pens the push top action is rather drawn out and tough compared to normal pencil mechanisms. There is a small pretty useless eraser under the top cap. The pen refill writes OK, but it is a very small refill so you won’t get a lot of kilometres of ink out of it. There is black around the tip to indicate its ink colour but I don’t think that looks very good. It reminds me of a ballpoint that’s leaked ink and smeared over the tip.

Now, in my earlier review of the Rotring Newton Trio, Michael from Pigpog commented that he had trouble with lead breakage in a multi-pen. I hadn’t ever really thought about that before, but now that he’s planted the seed, I think there might be a tendency for multi-pen pencil leads to break a bit easier than those of normal pencils. Something to keep in mind for future investigation.

The pocket clip on the CP1 is the standard Lamy spring loaded clip, as functional as ever. I have always been surprised that the small “LAMY” stamped into the side of the pocket clip is the only branding on so many Lamy pens and pencils. They never seem to really push their branding on their products.

Lamy market their multi-functional instruments as helping you survive in the corporate jungle, saving time and space by only having to carry the one writing tool. I thought this photo went with that theme.

  • Best Points – I like the good positive click as you twist and select the tips.
  • Not So Good Points – I have a small worry about the twist action to select tips being the same type of action as unscrewing the body to get at the refills. Over time will twisting inadvertently start the unscrewing process?
  • Price Range – Mid/High

Dimensions – Length 144mm, diameter 10mm. Balance point about 80mm up from the tip.

Now, Lamy is of course a German company, so you know what that means. This time we have Hochstetter – no, not the enemy of Colonels Hogan and Klink – rather the geologist, Christian Gottlieb Ferdinand von Hochstetter (1829-1884). Recruited into the Austrian geological survey in 1853, Hochstetter was appointed to the Austrian scientific expedition of the Novara, and visited New Zealand in 1858 where he was persuaded to leave the expedition and remain to carry out geological and mineral surveys. He stayed in NZ for a short while, surveying energetically, before returning to Austria in 1860, and later publishing his works to great success. In 1872 he was a tutor to Crown Prince Rudolf, an unusual appointment by the Catholic emperor given Hochstetter's Lutheran background. His time in New Zealand is commemorated by many place and organism names.

Hochstetters Dome (2827m, 9275 feet) versus Hochstetters Frog (0.05m, 2 inches)


Jay said...

I have used a Lamy twin pen 656 for over 15 years, and have used a Lamy tri pen 756 for around 10 years. Both have proven to be excellent tools. Mine live in my shirt pocket daily. With some cleaning and lubrication, your twin pen should serve you well.

Speedmaster said...

Nice review. I love my Faber-Castell E-Motion mechanical pencil.


Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,
Just got my Lamy twin pen last week. I went with the brushed SS. I love it, and completely agree with your review of it. Feels like a very solid well made MP!

Anonymous said...

I always have a fear of wide bodies with multi pens. This one looks within my range < 11mm?? I have the Lamy CP1 fountain pen (shock horror) in matt black titanium and really wanted the mechanical pencil as a partner but it seems a tad hard to get hold of.

2 1/2p

Kiwi-d said...

Yep, just under 11mm.

Anonymous said...

ive been contemplating of getting a multi pen to finish my collection and does anyone have ideas......its between the cross tech three and the lamy

2nd_astronaut said...

Hi all, I am wondering if there ever was a steel or platinum cp 1 pencil (I don't like the black one)? At the moment the cp1 Pt/St is available as bp, rb and fp (or twin), but not as mp :-(

I think that would give a wonderful companion to my lamy 2000 mp, which has to reside alone in a box with 2 slots...