View Full Version : Pen supplier

Martin Boekers
11-08-2010, 12:12 PM
I'm quoting a job for 2000-4000 pens anyone have a supplier to recommend.

I usually by these from JDS, but I'm trying to find something closer to a $1.00ea. They can be wood or anodized metal.



Dan Hintz
11-08-2010, 12:53 PM
Might be a good time to sign up for one of those mass-marketing type accounts... pens are cheap.

Martin Boekers
11-08-2010, 1:38 PM
Might be a good time to sign up for one of those mass-marketing type accounts... pens are cheap.

I buy from some specialty dealers now, the budgets a bit tight on this so even with their
discount to resellers it bites pretty heavily into the profits.

At about 30sec to unpack engrave and put in a box (no packaging)
that's roughly 120 an hour, I do have 2 lasers and an assistant so I'm not tying
up regular work. Time frames are quick at the shop typically less than 48hr turnaround
so it's easier to do it here. and if I can get $.75- $1. plus pen cost I can come put ok on it.

JDS is the cheapest I found so far at $1.55 per I think I can make it work and justify it
at that level, but I'd rather see it closer to a $1.00ea They have to be a decent pen.

We'll see they have a sample now and time will tell!

Scott Woodson
11-08-2010, 9:04 PM
Laserbits has an anodized economy pen (stock # NCH 164-149 various colors) for $.92 per. Haven't tried it, but gets to your price point.

Anthony Scira
11-08-2010, 9:59 PM
Awesome your getting pen work. The few jobs I quoted I got laughed at. And after seeing the Discount Pen website I can see why.

I think they charge around 35 cents a pen to laser engrave. No way I can or want to compete with that.

Would be fun to turn your own pens and do some cool lasering but even then it would have to be pretty spectacular for someone to want to pay for a nice pen. And I have seen some pen work from members on this forum, its a hard act to follow.

Mike Null
11-08-2010, 10:48 PM
Have them made by an ad specialties company.

Martin Boekers
11-09-2010, 8:57 AM
Have them made by an ad specialties company.

The quick check I did, by the time you paid set-up fees and shipping plus quantities of 100-500 at a time, plus quick turns there wasn't anything left
to mark up and fit their limited budget. I've' checked with buying blanks
from ASI vendors and for some reason they are more than vendors such as JDS:confused: I get free shipping from JDS so that saves there also.

I already have the set-up, someone to do it and can kick out 120 pens + an hour, that includes unpacking and just putting in a box when finished.
So I am making roughly $100+ an hour not bad. It does take tweaking though
to make it work, like free shipping, quick engraves. I do most of my work at
600dpi and I imagine with a bit of testing I can get that lower with acceptable results
and cut time back even more.

Client is into sustainable so I'm leading towards bamboo.

I turn pens too, and they hard HARD to sell. I have a consigner in the shop
that sells a few every now and then, but not for much, doesn't cover his time.

The ASI manufacturers have special designed lasers for things such as
pens it's amazing you can check out some of these lasers on you tube.

It is hard to even mention compete with them on these projects.

If it wasn't for the parameters on this job, I probably would outsource.
still may if I find something better.

I was considering a pad printer, after research a bit more decided against it.

Jeff Belany
11-09-2010, 10:36 AM
Pretty hard to compete with machines like this:


Jeff in northen Wisconsin

Richard Rumancik
11-09-2010, 11:13 AM
Something odd about the video - when you watch them being engraved there is about a 7 second cycle time. Yet they shown them later dropping off the conveyer at about one per second. I have a feeling it is on a "rapid feed" or a "purge machine" cycle. Still an impressive speed, but could leave the wrong impression as to just how fast it is.

Dan Hintz
11-09-2010, 11:13 AM
When the machines cost $20k without options, yeah, it is pretty easy to beat it ;)

Dave Gates
11-09-2010, 11:15 AM
I've bought a lot of pens from hubpen.com in the past. Most pens I paid less than $1 for.

Terry Swift
11-09-2010, 3:34 PM

That laser looks sweet, but what about initial investment and probably "all" the belts you need for many different parts. While fast even at 7 seconds - is there enough ROI in there? Why the double engraving? Is that really needed or was it a different graphic going on? I ask, as I'm not familiar with these types and those of much larger size like the Kerns, etc. Would love to own a few for awesome production capabilities.


Martin Boekers
11-09-2010, 4:27 PM
Thanks all!

Got the approval, running with the standard Maple pen.