I tried a little mind exercise earlier today. I tried to imagine a new invention. My criteria for this were that I had to pick something that hasn’t yet been improved upon and it had to make life easier. A light bulb? Nope. A bicycle? Nope. A vase? Nope. A trash can? Nope. I quickly ran out of ideas as my eyes wandered across my office (I even have a Bluetooth gramophone). Then, I realised, all of these items have been improved with mechanical and electrical parts. What if a gadget could be improved, while making life easier, just by becoming simpler?

Enter PENXO, the minimalist 2mm lead holder pencil. It’s elegant and eye-catching yet sturdy and strong all without mechanics. It’s hard to imagine something so simple like a pencil getting a huge improvement, but it’s refreshing and comforting to see a pencil be exactly what it is – a pencil.

PENXO by window

PENXO is beautifully simple with its minimalistic and modern design. There are no springs, no buttons, and no lights yet it functions even more easily than a standard No. 2. It’s a long cylindrical piece of aircraft grade aluminium, carved from a single block, with a window casing for a piece of lead. With such simplicity, it’s the grass roots of what writers and artists have relied on for centuries.

PENXO on book

The benefit of PENXO, in addition to the simplicity, is the convenience of its design. With the window in the middle of the pencil, you’re able to identify which colour lead you’re using, the brand, the hardness, and even how much lead you have left, with just a single glance. No other dynamic pencil can say the same.

PENXO on table

The creators of PENXO have explained its unique non-mechanics best: the “forward cutting gap on PENXO’s tip creates a pivot tension at the opposite end. This counter balance creates a clamp-like effect, providing pressure on the front tip, which secures the lead in place.” In layman’s terms: the specific way the aluminium is cut creates a cocoon for the lead allowing you to extend or retract as much as you need, whenever you need it.

PENXO gif

All it takes to use PENXO is your thumb. While holding PENXO as you would a normal pencil, you wedge your thumb into the gap in the aluminium which releases the grip on the lead and allows it to slide out. To retract the lead, you repeat this process with your thumb while pushing gently onto a surface. It’s quite simple.

PENXO writing

PENXO doesn’t resemble the standard pencil, or at least one you’d find in the back to school section. Needing to drive ultimate convenience while preserving design, PENXO looks incredible and still gets the job done. Being made of aluminium, it’s lightweight, durable, and flexible which means it will last. It comes in at 5.38” (13.6cm) in length, .38” (.96cm) in diameter, and weighs just 17 grams (without the lead). PENXO will fit any 2mm lead refills and will be available in silver, black, gold, and stealth grey. Due to an amazing run on Kickstarter, the team will be releasing new colours which include cobalt blue, rose gold, and lime green (in good Kickstarter fashion).

PENXO with lead out

The creators of PENXO are all about simplicity and quality. In addition to delivering a lovely product, the team will hand-check each PENXO before being sent out, they’ll sell 2mm refills directly from their website, and they make a pledge to not have any middle man in order to guarantee the best customer experience. You can pre-order PENXO for a limited time offer of $29 (the price will soon increase to $35). There are multi-pack options as well and deliveries will begin in September.