I decided to order a set of these stainless steel templates from Amazon after taking a look at them from various distributors and looking over the provided review s which seemed to indicate they were an excellent value for the price. I can’t provide a specific vendor name because, as you will find with many items of this time, there are literally multiple vendors you can buy them from through Amazon.
The package of templates arrived in short order, with two alphabetic brass-style bookmark templates, one that looks like an iPhone, one that is general shapes and icons, one more focused on flowcharting, and one that looks like a cat. Yes. A cat.
They are made of stamped steel, thick enough to be sturdy but thin enough to fit comfortably in the back of most journals. I slipped one into the vinyl pouch in the back of my Travelers Notebook without an issue and didn’t notice it was there for the entire day. They are a little heavier than their equivalent plastic counterparts, but being stamped steel are thinner which balances the scales in my book.
The edges on the shapes are clean and smooth, making for an easy drawing experience when using the templates. The steel is polished without obvious blemishes or mistakes. Any lettering is clean and clear on the surface. At first glance I would definitely say these look to be high quality templates that will catch the eye of anyone watching you use them.
Unfortunately usability is where these templates fall down. Due to the detailed nature of some of the shapes, unless you are using an extremely fine point mechanical pencil (.05 or better) or a fine point pen you may not even be able to complete some of the shapes. In other cases the shapes are easy enough to recognize on the steel but when drawn they lose their definition.
It’s this lack of usability that prevents me from using these templates on a daily basis (or even less frequently) and also prevents me from recommending them to anyone. It’s a shame because where their design and quality excels it is let down by the execution.