Review: Leuchtturm1917 Drehgriffel Pen

Review: Leuchtturm1917 Drehgriffel Pen
The pen, along with it's packaging. So pretty!

The Leuchtturm1917 Drehgriffel Pen is a newly introduced pen by Leuchtturm1917, a brand primarily known for its notebooks that feature high-quality materials and designs – so much so that this pen was awarded the Red Dot Design Award in 2020, highlighting its highly thought-out characteristics. The modern Drehgriffel pen is designed after an old design dating back to the 1920s. I'm assuming the "source material" (if you can call it that) is from Leuchtturm1917, but I haven't really found any objective evidence.

My video review of my pen.

Although I don't speak German, after a quick Google search, I've discovered that "Drehgriffel" is a compound word, paying homage to the twisting mechanism and the earliest writing instruments in history. Pretty fitting.

The packaging of this product is great. It has a small footprint but remains presentable (a win for both the environment and design!). The pen is presented in a triangle, Rotring style box that opens with a split in the middle. The box fits together quite snugly and is significantly smaller than the ones many Rotring models provide.

Another angle of the packaging of the pen

I got my Leuchtturm1917 Drehgriffel in the Stone Blue color. I love it. The contrasting (but still mellow) dark blue-on-white accents with an exposed (seemingly) brass tip bring balance to the overall look of the pen. The pen's weighting is also excellent, and it's comfortable during everyday use.

The pen, with its metal body, feels high quality in hand without being overbearingly heavy or large. The hexagonal body and the proportions of the pen's parts lead to the writing experience being very similar to that of a traditional No. 2 Ticonderoga pencil. In addition, with the thin but high-quality metals and coatings on the pen, it feels and weighs comparable to traditional wooden pencils.

A close-up shot of the barrel of the pen

The pen's barrel features three different blocks of text. The first block reads "LEUCHTTURM1917", and the third reads "Nr. 1". These two texts have the same font in a small but readable font. The middle block has a larger font and has "Drehgriffel" written in a cursive font.

The center of balance is located near the "Leuchetturm1917" text. The lead refill extends through a twist mechanism on the back of the pen. The mechanism is smooth, and the white knob is grippy and easy to twist one-handedly. While writing, the pen is extremely smooth and easily one of the best ballpoint writing experiences I've had.

The pen extends and retracts by twisting the white knob on the back of the body

I got the Gel refill variant of this pen. It's the same price as the standard version but comes with a gel refill instead of a standard one. However, I believe you should be able to put other refills inside this pen (I haven't tried it, but it looks like it does).

I haven't had any issues with the refill included with the pen. It writes on its weight (which isn't very heavy!), so writing is easy and fun. Accessing the refill is easy – all you need to do is unscrew the nib, just like most other pens in general. However, the nib is on pretty tight, so it's prone to metal screeching sounds when unscrewing, so brace your ears just in case.

The pen, dissembled with all its internals laid out.

Overall, for the price point of around $25, this pen is a fantastic deal. It has everything you'd want from a ballpoint pen without being too overbearing and is low maintenance. It's a great pen for anyone, from students to professionals. It's slim, lightweight, and high quality. You won't be disappointed by this pen.

Nathan Ma

Nathan Ma

Hi! I'm Nathan, and I'm a stationery enthusiast. I've been in love with anything regarding writing and have built up a huge collection that I can now share with others!