Category Archives: Reviews

The master list for all fountain pen, fountain pen ink, and stationery reviews:

Organics Studio The Real Teal Fountain Pen Ink Review

Organics Studio The Real Teal – Ink Review

Organics Studio The Real Teal -Fountain Pen Ink Review

PenLamy 2000, Binderized Medium Nib
Ink: Organics Studio The Real Teal
Paper: Kyokuto F.O.B. COOP – Dot Grid – B5

Notes: Thank you to Tyler of Oraganics Studio for sending me home from the DC Pen Show with a few bottles of ink to try out! This particular ink is called “The Real Teal” – it supports cancer research, with a portion of the proceeds being donated every time a bottle is purchased. The ink itself is hand made right in Maryland and it performs great. It’s got a good flow in the Lamy 2000 and some nice mild shading. The ink provides some great lubrication to the nib and glides easily across the page. The color is similar to Diamine Marine, which I happen to love. It’s a great ink, made in the USA and supports a great cause. Definitely check this one out!

Pros:

  • Great color
  • Good flow
  • Good cause

Cons:

  • None!

 

Organics Studio The Real Teal Fountain Pen Ink Review Organics Studio The Real Teal Fountain Pen Ink Review Organics Studio The Real Teal Fountain Pen Ink Review Organics Studio The Real Teal Fountain Pen Ink Review Organics Studio The Real Teal Fountain Pen Ink Review Organics Studio The Real Teal Fountain Pen Ink Review Organics Studio The Real Teal Fountain Pen Ink Review Organics Studio The Real Teal Fountain Pen Ink Review Organics Studio The Real Teal Fountain Pen Ink Review Organics Studio The Real Teal Fountain Pen Ink Review

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[Guest Post] Sailor 1911 Matte Black Full Size with a Naginata Togi MF Nib

[Guest Post] The Sailor 1911 Matte Black Full Size with a Naginata Togi MF Nib

Another awesome guest post by Susan Pigott! You may know her from her own blog, Scribalishess! Her photography, handwriting, and reviewing skills are top notch. If you like what you see here, make sure to go check out more on her site! Here’s Susan’s review of the The Sailor 1911 Large Matte Black Fountain Pen with an incredible Naginata Togi MF nib. Enjoy!

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Review Ink: Diamine Ancient Copper

Specs:

Description:  A Sailor 1911 Full Size in Matte Black with rhodium accents fitted with a Naginata Togi MF Nib

Nib:  21K Gold Naginata Togi MF

Filling Mechanism:  Cartridge/Converter

Weight: 23.7 grams

Measurements:  5.5 inches in length, capped; 4 and 3/4 inches uncapped; and 6 inches posted

Color Options: Black with gold trim; Black with rhodium trim, Burgundy with gold trim, Black luster, Matte Black with gold trim, Matte Black with rhodium trim and metal section, Naginata-Togi Gin-sensuji with Rhodium Trim, Naginata-Togi Ribbed Black with Gold Trim,Naginata-Togi Ribbed Black with Rhodium Trim, Naginata-Togi Ribbed Burgundy with Rhodium Trim, Black Realo with gold trim, Burgundy Realo with gold trim.

Handwritten Review Scans:

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Intro/About: 

I’ve been eyeing Naginata Togi nibs for quite some time now. I’ve always been fascinated with Sailor specialty nibs, and the Togi is the most basic (and least expensive) of the specialty nibs. I bought this pen from a seller on FPN for about $100 off the price listed at Classic Pens ($416). The seller had bought it from Classic Pens, so the nib was tuned by John Mottishaw. I was thrilled because I almost bought this very pen at the full price.

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Ed already reviewed a Sailor Professional Gear 1911, so I’m not going to focus much on the pen itself, though my model is a bit different. This review is all about the nib.

Appearance and Packaging: 

My Sailor 1911 came in a blue, rectangular clamshell box with literature about the pen and Sailor’s specialty nibs. Included were one ink cartridge and a converter.

The matte black version with rhodium trim is subtle and beautiful. I usually like gold-trimmed pens, but the rhodium matches the matte black perfectly. I honestly have too many black, cigar-shaped pens in my collection, but the matte black makes this pen stand out from the crowd. It’s classy, like Bond, James Bond.

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Nib Performance and Filling System:

The nib is what truly makes this pen something special.

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The Naginata Togi nib allows for a great deal of line variation depending on the angle of the pen to the paper. It is an unusually-shaped nib (see photos), and it has a longer than usual tip. It’s a 21K nib and is pretty rigid. You’re not going to get any flex while writing with this nib. The line variation comes from how you hold the pen. In the written review, I held the nib in my normal writing position, which is about 45 degrees, and I found the nib wrote beautifully. You can see differences in line width when I held the pen at a 90 degree angle, a 45 degree angle, and a super low angle (as close to the paper as I could hold it).

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Most of the Sailor specialty nibs are made for Japanese-styles of writing and calligraphy. But I wanted one for writing Hebrew since the horizontal strokes need to be thicker than the vertical strokes. (In real life I’m a professor of Old Testament and Hebrew). Even though I have a Hebrew nib from Richard Binder, it’s got a very narrow width and, unless I write tiny, I can’t see much variation between the horizontal and vertical strokes. The Naginata Togi does quite well, though I still need to practice making the Hebrew look good. I sure wish I could do Hebrew calligraphy.

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I admit I was nervous about buying a Sailor specialty nib. When you go the page on Classic Pens, the specialty nibs are almost overwhelming. They are amazingly intricate, and I was afraid I would find the Naginata Togi to be ridiculously broad. I even called and asked about the nibs and was told they are not for everyone. But I am a believer in this nib. I’m amazed at how smoothly it writes. I love the versatility it has depending on the angle you’re writing.

One concern I had is that the Naginata Togi nib puts down lots of ink when you’re writing broad. I was afraid the feed and the converter wouldn’t be able to keep up. So far, everything has been perfect, though I expect to refill this pen more often than most.

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Feel:

The Sailor 1911 full size feels great in the hand. It’s not a heavy pen. It is smooth as silk but not slippery. I don’t post my pens, but I tried writing with it posted and, for me at least, posting ruins the balance. If you want line variation, you have to hold the pen at different angles. Some angles are quite uncomfortable (such as trying to write super fine at 90 degrees). Other angles are easier on the wrist, but the lower you go, the slower you have to write.

 

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Pros:

  • The 1911 in Matte Black is a gorgeous pen. It is sleek and elegant and the rhodium trim complements it perfectly.
  • The pen feels good in the hand and is neither too heavy nor too light.
  • The Naginata Togi nib is a useful departure from a typical nib. I can see artists using this nib for sketching since you can get such wonderful line variation. For me, it works great as a general writer and it enhances my Hebrew printing.

Cons:

  • I prefer piston filler pens. The Sailor converter only holds .5ml of ink. You can get the Sailor Realo instead, but it only holds .9ml. Currently the Realo only comes in Black and Burgundy with gold trim. So, if you want the matte black, you have to go with the 1911 or Pro Gear.
  • The pen looks rather ordinary and plain. I like colorful pens. But the matte black makes it stand out from other black, cigar-shaped pens and the rhodium trim is different from my other pens, all of which have gold accents.
  • The Naginata Togi nib may not suit everyone’s tastes. If you can try one before you buy, that’s the best thing to do. I definitely wouldn’t go larger than the MF Togi. I’ve read that the medium and broad versions are like writing with Magic Markers.

 

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Conclusion:

All in all, I am very pleased with my Sailor 1911 Naginata Togi. My fears about the nib were unwarranted and, in fact, I am crazy about it. I love how it looks, how it writes, and that it is versatile enough that I can write in my journal or write Hebrew or both (because I totally write in Hebrew in my journal . . . not).

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Zebra Sharbo X LT3 Multipen Review Jetpens

Zebra Sharbo X LT3 Multi-pen Review

Zebra Sharbo X LT3 Multi-pen

- Handwritten Review -

Zebra Sharbo X LT3 Multipen Review Jetpens

Zebra Sharbo X LT3 Multipen Review Jetpens

Specs:

  • Description: A high quality, metal constructed multi-pen that I have been drooling over for years.
  • Refills: One mechanical pencil and two pen refills, see them all here!
  • Weight: ~22 grams
  • Body: All metal construction
  • Measurements: 5.270″ long, 0.360″ diameter
  • Color Options: Black, Silver, Champagne Gold, Cobalt Blue, Azure Blue (Check them all out at JetPens!)

Handwritten Review Scans:

Intro/About:

Zebra Sharbo X LT3 Multipen Review Jetpens

I have been wanting a Sharbo for the longest time, thanks to my friends over at JetPens for finally making that happen. The Sharbo LT3 is a multi-pen that accepts D1 style refills – two of them actually AND a pencil. I used to be absolutely obsessed with multi-pens as a kid, and I’m definitely reliving the fun now. This one is slightly more grown up than the huge, 16-color shiny blue and purple one I had as a kid. I opted for the matte black body, a black 0.4mm gel refill, a maroon 0.4mm gel refill and a 0.5mm mechanical pencil. The Sharbo has a premium metal body, an eraser, and a twist-action mechanism to change refills. Read on to see how the Sharbo worked for me. Huge thanks again JetPens for sending over the pencil and lead for review!

JetPens Banner
Check out JetPens for tons of awesome Japanese pens and stationery. Free shipping on orders over $25, and hitting that is pretty easy with all the great stuff they have. Stop by!

Appearance and Construction:

Zebra Sharbo X LT3 Multipen Review JetpensThe Sharbo LT3 is a slimmer pen, made almost entirely of metal. The threads when the body is opened are high quality and made of metal. The spring loaded clip is sturdy and solidly attached. The matte black finish has no blemishes and looks great. The Sharbo LT3 body is $49.50 and feels like it should be priced as such. I have no doubt that the LT3 will hold up for years to come. The pen has 3 positions, labeled with subtle hashmarks (I, II, III). I wish there was a fourth “OFF” position, but after carrying it around for a few days I haven’t found the pen opened up accidentally in my pocket.

Feel:

Zebra Sharbo X LT3 Multipen Review JetpensThe LT3 is a nice feeling pen. It’s relatively slim ad nicely weighted. It has a premium feel, I especially like the solid yet silent click when the selected refill locks into place. The refills fit perfectly into the tip of the pen with no discernible wiggle while writing, providing a comfortable writing experience. When the pencil mechanism is selected, the entire bottom of the pencil acts as the knock, clicking to advance the lead. The finish is smooth, but not slippery – the matte finish provides a tiny bit of welcomed tactile feedback. The pen is thinner than I expected, but it’s not uncomfortable. There’s another model of the pen (the ST3) that is slightly wider, but does not have all-metal construction that may be up your alley if you do not like thin pens.

Writing Performance:

Zebra Sharbo X LT3 Multipen Review JetpensI REALLY like Zebra’s gel ink pens. The 0.4mm gel refills I opted for lay down a smooth, sharp line. I have heard that they don’t last too long though – which I believe when seeing how small the refills are. Upkeep can be spendy, as the refills are $2.75 each. I like them quite a bit, so I can look past the price. I especially like how the refills lay down a fine line with a conical tip. It provides a sturdy writing experience, moreso than a Hi-Tec-C would. I think the Zebra refills are smoother as well. The D1 refills come from Zebra in many different colors and line widths – there’s a ton of ways to customize a Sharbo. The pencil component works well too. I may be slightly spoiled by my ever-rotating Uni Kuru Toga, but the Sharbo’s pencil gets the job done.

Pros:

  • Multi-pens are cool
  • Premium fit and finish
  • Zebra gel refills are some of the best I’ve tried
  • Great feel when selecting refills

Cons:

  • Refills run out quickly and aren’t cheap to replace
  • Pen may be too thin for some

Conclusion:

Zebra Sharbo X LT3 Multipen Review JetpensZebra’s Sharbo X LT3 is a high quality multi-pen that writes great, looks great, and has a very premium feel. The pen doesn’t come cheap at $49.50, but I think it’s worth it. The pen comes in a modern looking presentation box, making a nice presentation for the pen enthusiast in your life. If the refills were a bit cheaper, the pen and Sharbo system would be perfect.

Zebra Sharbo X LT3 Multipen Review JetpensThanks again to JetPens for sending this over to review, check out their site for more info on the pen!

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Disclaimer: This pen was provided to me as a review unit, free of charge, by JetPens. I was not compensated for this review, and this did not have any effect on my thoughts and opinions about the pen. Thank you for reading!

[Guest Post] The Platinum 3776 Century Nice Limited Edition Fountain Pen Review

Today we have another guest post by Susan Pigott. You may know her from her own blog, Scribalishess! Her photography, handwriting, and reviewing skills are top notch. If you like what you see here, make sure to go check out more on her site! Here’s Susan’s review of the The Platinum 3776 Century Nice Limited Edition Fountain Pen. Enjoy!

Review Ink: Caran d’Ache Delicate Green and Pilot Iroshizuku Asa-Gao

 

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Specs:

Description:  The Platinum 3776 Century Nice Limited Edition fountain pen is a frosted, translucent, faceted demonstrator pen with a rose gold plated nib and accents.

Nib:  Fine,14K, rose gold plated

Filling Mechanism:  Cartridge/Converter

Weight: .7 oz. (19.9 grams)

Measurements:  5.5 inches in length, capped; 4 and 3/4 inches uncapped; and 6 inches posted

Color Options: None

 

Handwritten Review Photos:

 

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Intro/About:

 

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I am not usually one who is interested in clear demonstrator pens. I’ve always felt they were plasticky-looking and sort of silly. Why get a clear pen (and even pay more for it) when you can get a pretty color? But when I saw pictures of the Platinum 3776 Century Nice, I loved it. Somehow the rose gold plated nib and accents on the pen won me over. So, I ordered one from Classic Pens and it arrived yesterday. My Platinum Nice is one of the first 2,000 produced, so it comes with a limited edition number etched on the cap. Mine is 121 out of 2,000.

Appearance & Packaging:

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The packaging is nothing spectacular, but it suits the pen. It comes in a cream-colored oval box with a satin-like interior. It’s understated, like the pen. One cartridge of ink and a Platinum converter are included with the pen, along with a registration form, instruction booklet, and information about the Nice.

I was surprised to discover that the pen isn’t clear. It is faceted and has a frosted appearance. I really love this look. The facets give the pen more character than a smooth-bodied pen has, and they add a wonderful elegant shimmer to what might otherwise be a dull finish. The rose gold is simply gorgeous on the pen. I’ve seen it on other pens, such as the 90th anniversary MB. Personally, I don’t like rose gold with a black pen. It just doesn’t work for me. But because the Nice is a neutral color, the rose gold really stands out.

 

Nib Performance & Filling Mechanism:

 

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Initially, I was disappointed with my new Platinum fine nib–and that’s a first for a pen bought from Classic Pens. I filled the pen with Caran d’ Ache Delicate Green ink because I knew the green color of the ink would look outstanding with the rose gold (and it did). But when I started writing with the pen, I immediately thought, “I’m going to have to return this and get it tuned again or exchange the fine nib for a medium.” The ink flow was poor, the nib felt dry, and I could barely see the green on the paper. I know Classic Pens tunes their nibs before they ship them, but I thought maybe the nib had some factory oil or something that was making it write poorly. So, I dumped the ink, rinsed the nib, used some pen wash to flush the nib, and rinsed some more. I refilled: same thing–dry, scratchy, stuttering across the paper. I was not happy. This was not at all the experience I’ve had with my other Platinum Century pen. So, I decided to change the ink. I cleaned the pen again and put Iroshizuku Asa-Gao in the Nice. What a difference this made in the performance of the nib! I know that some inks work well with certain nibs and others don’t. Apparently Caran d’ Ache Delicate Green is not good for my Platinum Nice. With Asa-Gao, it writes like a dream. Of course, since a Japanese fine is like a Western extra-fine, the nib has some scratchiness to it. But this is to be expected, and for such a fine line, it writes beautifully. Plus, one thing I love about Platinum nibs is their springiness. They aren’t nails; they don’t flex; but they offer a nice, bouncy feedback as you write.

 

The filling mechanism on Platinum pens is a cartridge/converter system. I never use cartridges (except on my Kaweco), so I knew I would be using the converter. The converter is tiny, holding only .55 ml. But it has a solid feel to it. I find it easiest to fill the converter directly with ink (rather than trying to fill it through the nib). I get my fingers pretty inky this way, but I always get a better fill. I much prefer piston fillers, but Nakaya and Platinum nibs are so wonderful that I’m willing to put up with the dinky amount of ink the converter holds. One advantage to cartridge/converter pens: they are easy to clean.

 

Feel:

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The Platinum Nice is a light pen, weighing in at only .7 ounces (19.9 grams) unfilled. I enjoy writing with both light and heavy pens, but I’ve found that my hand tends to last longer with a lighter pen. The Nice writes well unposted, which is how I use my fountain pens. Posting gives it a little more heft, but the weight is on the back of the pen, so it might feel a bit unbalanced. It’s a good length unposted and fits comfortably in my hand. I wrote four pages in my handwritten review without any fatigue at all using this pen. Plus, I have a Platinum 3776 Century in Chartres blue that I’ve been using for a couple of years as my main grading pen (I’m a professor). It’s my main grading pen for a reason: excellent nib and comfortable writing. The Nice will make a nice companion grading pen with a different color of ink. Unfortunately, I won’t be using the Caran d’ Ache as I planned. Guess I’ll just have to get another bottle of Iroshizuku in green!

Pros:

 

  • Beautiful, understated, elegant pen. The rose gold complements the frosted body of the pen perfectly.
  • Excellent nib; bouncy, fairly smooth (with the right ink), and gorgeous.
  • Light and comfortable to write with.
  • Special cap with “slip and seal” technology allows you to keep the pen inked for long periods of time.
  • This is a wonderful daily carry pen. It’s pocketable with a clip; the cap is secure and air-tight; it writes beautifully.

 

Cons:

  • The converter does not hold much ink, so if you use this pen often, as I do, plan on refilling often. In fact, I now store bottle of inks at work so I always have refills available.
  • Fairly expensive for what amounts to a frosted plastic pen (with 14K accents and nib) ($250 retail; $200 at Classic Pens). Still, this is an affordable limited edition pen, especially if you get one of the first 2,000 that are numbered.
  • Plan on getting a medium or broad if you don’t like super narrow nibs. The Platinum fine nib is pretty smooth for what amounts to a Western EF, but you do get a little scratchiness simply because that’s the nature of EF nibs.

 

Conclusion:

 

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I am thrilled with my Platinum 3776 Century Nice fountain pen. It is more beautiful in person than I expected. I love the facets and frosted look of the pen body. And the rose gold is simply lovely. The pen feels solid in my hand, not plasticky. And, once I got the ink problem figured out, it writes like a charm. I realize some might think me crazy for using expensive fountain pens as grading pens. But fountain pens make me happy, and that makes the horrible chore of grading a little less loathsome. A little.

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Tactile Turn Shoot 2

Tactile Turn “Mover” and “Shaker” New Materials Review and Kickstarter Launch

Tactile Turn
“Mover” and “Shaker”

Tactile Turn Kickstarter Pen Launch 6

  • Description: A precision machined pen with a unique lay pattern grip from the people that brought you the orginal aluminum Tactile Turn Mover and Shaker.
  • Point: Variable – The Mover takes G2 style refills, the Shaker takes Parker Style refills.
  • Materials: Brass, Bronze, Titanium and Copper
  • Refillable: Yes
  • Measurements: The Mover: 5.55″L x .46″D The Shaker: 5.05″L x .46″D
  • Mover Weights: Titanium: 42g, Bronze: 61.5g, Copper: 71.2g, Brass: 67.7g, Aluminum: 31.6g
  • Shaker Weights: Titanium: 40.9g, Bronze: 59.0g, Copper: 67.8g, Brass: 63.9g, Aluminum: 31.0g

Tactile Turn on Kickstarter
TactileTurn.com

Intro/About:

Tactile Turn Kickstarter Pen Launch 5It’s no secret that I was a huge fan of the original Tactile Turn Mover and Shaker in aluminum. I was a backer of the project, and I had three in my possession until Will got in touch and told me he was making them in new materials. Well, here they are! My favorite alternative to a fountain pen has been either the Mover or Shaker since I had got my hands on the original prototypes. I didn’t think it was possible, but they’ve gotten better. Tactile Turn is launching a new Kickstarter campaign for the new materials – brass, bronze, titanium and copper – make sure you head over and check it out if you like what you see!

Also be sure to check out my original review of the Mover and Shaker here.

Construction:

Tactile Turn Kickstarter Pen Launch 3Fit and finish are still great. I showed a brass Shaker to my coworker and he didn’t know how to take it apart. The seam in the middle of the pen is virtually invisible until you need to unscrew the barrel to change out refills. Both the Mover and Shaker feel great in hand, but I prefer the slightly longer Mover. The clips are smooth and have some nice grip without being too stiff. The custom lay pattern grip is what really makes the pen shine though. More on that in the feel section.

Feel:

Tactile Turn Kickstarter Pen Launch 2The grip is the same across all the new materials, but it really works great. It does an awesome job of keeping the pen under your control, making precise writing effortless. The new materials really complete the whole experience. While the original aluminum was great, I happen to like these new ones better. The added heft and great looks put this one over the edge. Here’s a quick breakdown of how the materials feel:

Tactile Turn Shoot 2Brass: My favorite. It looks beautiful and has a great substantial feel in hand. There’s no need to press down whatsoever to get the G2 or Schmidt EasyFlow 9000 working. It’s the second heaviest material but still feels great. The lay pattern isn’t as sharp as the titanium, but it still provides great grip.

Tactile Turn Shoot 2Copper: The heaviest of the bunch, this raw copper pen takes on a life of it’s own. After a few weeks of use, the copper will darken and patina – giving a great vintage look and feel. I happen to like how it looks, but those who always need something clean and shiny may want to check out the other materials.

Tactile Turn Shoot 2Bronze: The bronze is similar to the brass, but has a reddish undertone to it. It looks and feels similar to the brass, but it will not patina. According to the Kickstarter page, it will maintain it’s brilliance and shine for a long time without polishing. I’m excited to carry this one around and see how it compares to the aging brass.

Tactile Turn Shoot 2Titanium: Not only does it sound badass – it kind of is. People love titanium for its signature dull grey hue and amazing strength to weight ratio. The grip on this material has a bit more “bite” than the others. It’s lighter weight and looks great. I prefer the brass and bronze, but this one is by no means a dud.

Writing Performance: 

Tactile Turn Shoot 2The original prototype came with a Fisher Space Pen refill, but thanks to Mike Dudek over at ClickyPost.com, the Tactile Turn Shaker is now shipping with the buttery smooth Schmidt EasyFlow 9000. It really makes me want to keep writing with a ballpoint…it’s that good.

The Mover takes a standard Pilot G2 refill which also works quite well. I like the clean precise lines, but the 0.38 is a tad bit scratchy. There are tons of different Parker-style refills out there and others can be hacked to fit a G2. If you’re not a fan of the refills that ship with the pen, I’m sure you can find something out there you like!

Pros:

  • New materials look and feel amazing
  • Lay pattern grip is still great
  • Pricing is very reasonable

Cons:

  • Pen refills STILL confuse me – be sure to do your homework before buying refills if you don’t like the ones that are included.

Conclusion:

Tactile Turn Shoot 2I’ve been using the Tactile Turn Mover and Shaker since I received my backing, and I really do love it. There’s a really good chance I have one in my pocket at all times. These new materials only make me want more of them. Backer rewards start at $45 for the classic aluminum and have tons of options and packages for all of the other materials.

Head on over to the Tactile Turn Kickstarter to pick one up today.

Gallery:

Disclaimer: These pens were given to me by Tactile Turn for review. I also shot the photos for the Kickstarter campaign. They were used with permission on both ends. All opinions are my own!