I try not to use the word “cheap” but rather affordable. Lol. Remember, you get what you pay for. Go too “cheap” and the plating may wear off from normal use. You don’t want the reputation of making junk.
I guess it all depends on what look your going for. Most of the commonly used pen kits have different platings that alter their price range. I like the durability of chrome for the less expensive platings. I make a lot of pens that fit in a pocket or are comfortable to used. I Usually stay away from overly themed kits unless requested or donating to an interest group. I like the blank to make the statement, not the metal parts. Myself, I like the Sierra line and Jr lines. There are just so many to pick from now a days.
The elegant look and smooth mechanism on these Executive pen kits will make them one of your most popular pens. Plus, the single tube and straight-cut styling make these pen kits quick and easy to turn.
$5.45, single barrel, big seller. Works great for both genders and works great for small or large hands, fits your pollo shirt easily. They also have a gun metal or gold version. Gun metal sells more for me, but it cost $6.45
I would second Rob's suggestion.
I started off with executive twist because it's one barrel, so no need to match up grains, etc. also the bushings are the same size on each end so no real need to shape at all if you don't want to. Lastly it's a smaller tube at less than 3 inches So if you get a slightly oversized blank bigger than 6 inches you can get two pens out of it. Oh also the assembly is super easy.
similar to the executive twist is the rollester pen. Same kind of turning (single tube, easy installation) but has a cap rather than a twist mechanism cost around the same.
Attaching a pic of an executive and rollester I turned not too long ago for reference. Enjoy and good luck
I like the Gatsby pens, both regular and Grande versions. Similar to the Sierra pens, but because of the "beads", they're more forgiving when it comes to body diameter. The Gatsby Grande is thicker, but the tube is only 3/8" diameter, leaving more "meat". Great for semi translucent acrylics. And like KenB, I also like the Editor/Little Giant pens. Very inexpensive kits, but people seem to really like them. I made them for some people at work for Christmas, and they were well received. The first three photos are Gatsby, the second two are Gatsby Grande, and the last are Editor.
Budget Round Top European 7 mm ballpoint twist pen kit. Cross-style refill included. Requires bushing 107A, drill 7 mm, pen mill shaft 7 mm, and mandrel A/7 mm (sold separately).
Don't forget that this price is in Canadian dollars, so, with a sale price of $2.99 CDN, that becomes only $2.37 USD.
That price is in effect up to and including Saturday April 10, 2021 (midnight eastern).
This vendor does indeed ship to the US . . I do not know how much the shipping would be to the US.
Disclaimer :- I do not have any ties to this company.
3rd on the PSI Executive. They are pretty straight forward to make and assemble. The bead is forgiving if your barrel diameter is not right on the money, too. There are a few other kits with the beads that are good for starting out, such as the Gatsby's that have also been mentioned.
The starter set has 6 different finishes plus the bushings.
This is a great way to get started making the Executive Pen Kit. You get one of each pen in six different finishes; 24kt Gold (Item# PKEXEC-PEN), Brushed Satin (Item # PKEXEC-PENS), Chrome (Item # PKEXECPENC), Black TN (Item# PKEXECPENB), Rhodium (Item# PKEXECPENP) and Gun Metal (Item# PKEXECPENG).