The Omega AXL Inkless Pen never needs refilling and writes with actual metal

Originally published at:





Here’s a review video - it’s actually a pencil, not a pen (since it doesn’t use ink, it just leaves a trail of particles from it’s tip). It doesn’t compare favorably with normal graphite pencils. It also will definitely not last forever - look at the tip after this guy has done a little bit of drawing, it’s visibly worn, and as it wears down it will get wider and wider.

The “AXL metal” is probably just lead, or an alloy of lead. If you’ve ever used a piece of lead to draw with, the result looks like this.


“Is Inkless Pen a Gimmick?”

Well… They are selling it in the BB store, so…


I wonder what the alloy is in this case (there seem to be a variety of production out there). I’d assume if it were straight lead they’d need to disclose that.


I can think of nothing I’d rather do than grind away an unknown metal into fine shards and dust in my intermediate environment, because microscopic bits of metal have never been known to cause long-term health effects ever, and that will assuredly bond permanently to any form of paper… sigh.

Anyone know what “AXL-METAL” actually is? Are we sure it’s not just a lump of lead, which would work as this seems to and be unbelievably cheap? Are you sure?

Hard Pass. Thank you drive thru please.


17 posts were split to a new topic: Ads, ethics, and subscriptions revisited

Moving the off topic conversation into its own thread


Thank the higher beings for private enterprise, I guess.

Unless, as others have pointed out, it’s a gimmick, and they were lying… ahem… “marketing” when they said that, in which case all of the pens they’ve produced so far are going to end up in the landfills sooner or later.

Choose which one you believe. Believing them is obviously good news for their bank accounts moving forward.

ETA I’m tempted to start collecting the first paragraph of every boingboingshop post just to see what they’ve been.


“Throwing away pencils”? really? I mean this is just another pencil is it not?


Heavy Metal poisoning.


Rather than buy this scammy “pencil” with unknown metal particles to be released into your environment, may I suggest buying a nice refillable (all metal) fountain pen? I inherited my grandmother’s old silver Parker, and it works quite nicely. I’ve still got the Rotring 600 that I got as a high school graduation present (almost a few decades past), and it works quite nicely.

Take care of a quality pen, and all you’ll replace is the ink you use.

(edit: Also, “never need to replace”? WTF, surely some conservation of mass/energy must be happening. If it’s leaving a mark, it’s leaving mass, which must either be replaced, or regenerated with an energy conversion, neither of which would seem to be part of this design. Thus their marketing dept. is a bunch of liars liars, pants on fire-ers.)


I was baffled by the ad copy here - it’s clearly a pencil*, not a pen (and weirdly, reviews mostly go along with calling it a “pen,” though the vast majority of articles about it seem to be identical paid ads or straight publishing of a press release). The idea that it won’t wear out seems weird, as it may not be leaving behind much material (making it extremely faint), it’s leaving behind some, and sharpening it will remove a lot more. Maybe it’ll last a lifetime because it’s not very useful and thus never gets used.

*Though I’m guessing they call it a “pen” to try to distract from the fact that it’s literally a lead pencil.

Apparently the other brands of identical metal pencils have lead warnings inside the packaging. So this may do as well, though they seem to be extremely cagey about what kind of metal alloy it’s made out of. Though I wonder if they’re legally required to have a warning (especially outside of California), and whether they’d just ignore the legal requirement… plenty of products with lead in them find their way into the market, including, disturbingly often, toys.

No, we’re really not. There are a bunch of totally identical “inkless pens” (metal pencils) on the market from different brands, with varying degrees of honesty about their products. A number come with lead warnings, so we know they’re made out of lead or lead alloys. This brand dodges direct questions about whether it contains lead by explaining it’s made of a “soft metal alloy,” which noticeably isn’t a “no.” Another, extremely expensive brand claims that their “pen” doesn’t work by leaving a metal trace, but instead by “oxidizing” the paper. Which is bullshit, and obvious bullshit because their pencil is completely identical to all the others, including the faint metal markings it leaves on paper (which, if it were actually being oxidized, would be turning yellow). So a certain amount of outright fraud/total lack of knowledge about the product seems to be par for the course with these things…


I have no idea what this particular one is made of; but I have (somewhere, or I’d pull it out to provide more detail) a ‘metal pencil’ that’s essentially a standard mechanical pencil design except that it takes lengths of silver wire rather than graphite cylinders. Markings start out fairly faint but as the small amount of deposited silver tarnishes they darken pretty noticeably.

Lead would certainly be cheaper, and deposit a bit more readily on the paper(as well as providing that signature dull-darkish-silver appearance), so I definitely wouldn’t bet against lead unless the vendor swore up and down that it wasn’t lead and I had test results corroborating that. Wouldn’t surprise me if there are some intermediate options between lead and silver using bismuth, tin, or the assorted alloys that have been pressed into service as lead replacements in other applications; though all are more expensive so can’t comfortably be assumed.

We can only hope that there aren’t any enterprising battery recyclers who have made cadmium of dubious purity readily available in the mystery-metal market…


Oxidized paper doesn’t look light that. If you want to oxidize paper do the secret writing thing by writing with lemon juice and then exposing it to heat.

And as others have said THAT IS A PENCIL NOT A PEN! Indeed you call them pencil leads because people used to think that graphite was a form of lead.


Seems to be a lot like the Cretacolor Monolith pencils, that I’ve been drawing with for many decades. The Monoliths are lacquer-sealed, not encased in metal, though.

FWIW, the 4B Monolith is my go-to.


Silverpoint! That makes for some absolutely gorgeous artwork. When it’s first laid down you get a very light drawing that shines when the light catches it right; then as it tarnishes you get the darker grays and blacks. The fine lines you can achieve with it are stunning, too.


Which is so obvious I can’t believe the company is making those claims in anything like good faith (even if from a position of ignorance). Which makes that company’s sales price of over 100 bucks extra scammy.

So clearly a pencil, by definition, it makes me wonder why they felt the need to call this something else. It’s downright suspicious. It’s a deliberate attempt to mislead about something.


I reckon a potentially toxic widget of dubious utility is still a step above freakin’ poker lessons.

Really, I’d rather have a bunch of dubious but clearly-marked advertisements (especially if they provoke interesting discussion) rather than clickbait about some completely moronic thing done by somebody of no particular significance in the middle of nowhere. But I suppose we’re stuck with both.


Write with STONE, wrapped in WOOD. Genuine pencils.