Tampers & Tools - 8deco Penner Tamper
A perfect disappointment
Warning: Long read (considerable disappointment = lengthy review). When ordering, this seemed like the ultimate tamper. After trying a good half-dozen others tampers which proved all lacking in some respect, I decided I want a tamper with 1) wide enough tamping surface, 2) a device that protects one's pockets from the ash on the tamper, and 3) a tamper that doesn't roll over when left on an (inclined) table. The nearest try until now was a Vauen Automatic, but the tamp surface is too small (and it being cylindrical, it ended a few times on the asphalt beneath a Parisian café table, after which I fitted it with a pen clip preventing the roll). This 8deco was very promising and I agree with most of the other reviewers' comments on quality. For the price point, it's very decently made, even if it is definitely not a Mont Blanc pen, which it eagerly tries to imitate (to me, ending somewhat in the "Look at me, I am an aspiring snob" section). The screw-in spoon/pick is very practical. However, I find it is 1) quite enormous (longer than a pipe, doesn't fit in my pipe bag...) and very heavy (I'd say about two or three pipes!), an excess weight that's not great for tamping. It was indeed described as "big", but dimensions/weight would have helped. 2) Not an adept of the über-scientific vented tamping surface which gathers loads of ash compared to flat surfaces. 3) By far the most disappointing point is that, inexplicably, the cap cannot be snapped on the back of the tamper, like it would on 99% of pens, Mont Blanc or not!!! What are you supposed to do with this standalone cap, while tamping (or writing)...? Unscrew, tamp, screw again? One more thing to hassle with or to lose. Actually, don't know why, but it is a screw-type cap, and not a snap-on, so the back of the pen essentially lacks a thread for this to work. You can still sort of fit it, but it immediately scratches heavily the acrylic and shiny metal becomes visible. In a nutshell: so close to perfection that it's more of a failure. 8deco, if you're reading this, put me on the waiting list for the 2.0 version, with a discount.