Tactile Turn Slider and Glider
Bolt Action Pen
- Description: A bolt-action pen that’s ready for EDC. Available in two lengths for different refill types and several different metals.
- Refills: Slider takes Parker style refills, Glider takes G2 style refills
- Mechanism:In-house custom C-shaped bolt mechanism
- Measurements: Slider is 5.1″, Glider is 5.6″
- Color Options: Steel, Copper, Brass, Titanium, Zirconium, Damascus Steel
Starting this one off with a big ol’ disclaimer: I took the photos for this Kickstarter campaign, and I consider Will both a friend and client. This review wasn’t paid for, but the photos were. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get into these new bolt action pens. Will of Tactile Turn is back at it again with the Slider and Glider. He’s designed a custom bolt mechanism that’s both easy to use with one hand, and really fun to play with. Since I took the photos for him, I’ve had hands-on with every model of the pen. Read on to find out how they hold up!
Appearance & Packaging:
The Slider and Glider are reminiscent of the Mover and Shaker, but they’ve ditched the often-unreliable Schmidt clicky mechanism for an in-house designed and manufactured bolt. The pen has a very sturdy clip with subtle branding underneath the clip, a unqiue grooved pattern on the pen body, and practically seamless construction. In the middle of the body, the pen unscrews. It’s hard to tell at first where it is, as the grooves hide the seam really well. There’s an o-ring in between that makes opening and closing the pen super smooth too. The pen will come in a cardboard/foam box with some subtle branding on it. The pen looks sleek, yet heavy-duty. It’s somewhere between “classy” and “tactical” and it hits the right balance between both design principles.
Performance & Extension System:
The shorter Slider model accepts Parker style refills, and comes loaded with a Schmidt EasyFlow 9000 ballpoint. The longer Glider comes loaded with a G2 refill, and accepts many others in that popular size. The writing experience changes with your refill of choice, and each pen is capable of accepting over 20 kinds each. I really like the affordable Pilot Juice refills and the Pentel Energel Needlepoints.
What makes these pens unique is their C-shaped bolt mechanism. Most bolt pens use a J-shaped groove, which isn’t as easy to use with one hand, and doesn’t quite feel as natural. The Slider and Glider are both very quick to extend, and even quicker to close. The mechanism works great, and it’s fun to play with. I’ve been annoying my coworkers and wife by clicking this thing all day. Another part about the mechanism I like is the travel length of the refill. I found that on the Mover and Shaker, some refills were very close to the tip of the pen even when closed. The refills is nearly 1cm into the pen when it’s closed. This definitely alleviates any worry that the refills may make contact with a pocket and leak. It’s happened to me before 😦
The Slider and Glider feature Tactile Turn’s custom groove pattern across the entire length of the pen. The older models only had this on the grip, and I’m happy to see it on the whole pen. The grooves are shallow enough to be comfortable, yet deep enough to “grab” just a bit. It makes the pen easy to hold and gives it a cool look too. The bolt mechanism slides easily along its track and clicks into place with confidence. I don’t see it working itself free while writing, as there’s a slight indentation in the track that locks in the bolt. Another thing I like is the sound when you disengage the bolt. It’s a mix between a “click”, a “thud”, and a “whoosh” and it’s satisfying to operate. The only thing on the pen that I’m not wild about is the tip. It’s a little fatter than I’m used to, and depending on the refill it gets in the way a little. I really like the Energel needlepoint refill in this pen because it gives a little bit of clearance between the tip of the pen body and the tip of the refill.
Steel: This is the most affordable option, it’s nicely weighted and the friction of the bolt in the channel is low. It’s easy to operate and makes a great base-model.
Titanium: The titanium is probably my favorite. It’s lighter than the steel, has a slightly grey tone to it, and feels solid. The bolt is surprisingly smooth, especially given how titanium tends to feel “crunchy” when making metal-on-metal contact.
Copper: Copper is really, really heavy. I’m not a huge fan of copper pens, but they look great. If you’re looking for heft, check this one out.
Brass: Brass looks and feels classy. It will pick up a nice patina as you use it, and polish up nice and shiny should you desire a new looking pen. The bolt is especially smooth on the brass model due to the properties of the metal.
Zirconium: This premium metal oxides up to a sleek black color when heat is applied. It’s right in between steel and titanium in terms of weight, and it feels great in hand. I like this one a lot too, but the titanium edges it out slightly because of the price.
Damascus Steel: Damascus steel is strong, durable, and absolutely beautiful. This steel has a built in pattern that’s extremely unique. It does come with a hefty price tag, but there’s no denying how nice it looks!
- Solid construction
- Comfortable to write with
- Fun and unique bolt mechanism
- Tip of pen body is a little wider than my preference
The Slider and Glider look great, they’re built to last, and they have a unique mechanism that’s both fun and functional. They’re available now on Kickstarter, and at the time of writing they’ve surpassed the funding goal by over $45,000. Will is aiming for an October delivery, which would make these one of the fastest delivered Kickstarter projects out there. Back one for yourself here!
15 thoughts on “Tactile Turn Slider and Glider Bolt Action Pen”
Great write-up and outstanding quality Photograph as per usual Ed!
Is the one next to your coffee a glider?
Thank you! I believe that’s the Glider, yes.
Thanks for posting this. I’ve been having a hard time deciding between the ss and the ti, but I think you convinced me to go ti with this write-up. This will also be my first “good” pen, so I don’t have a ton of experience with these materials in a pen.
You’ll like the titanium, the weight is just right! It has a bit more of a grey look than the steel, which I really like.
Great write up and I love your photos. I’ve backed three of Will’s projects and am looking forward to this one being as good (I’m backing for a brass pen, still undecided on the model)
They look great, but I am curious about which pen you’re holding in the pics that include your hands. It’s hard to tell how long they are, and it would be great if I could have some scale!
Enjoyed the write up, and I’ve backed two as well.
How does the bolt feel on the other metals (copper, zirconium, damascus)?
How does the bolt feel on the other metals (copper, zirconium, damascus)?
It’s really not that much different. The copper is on the smoother end, and the damascus and zirc are about the same as the rest.
Ed, what do you think about Ti vs DLC Ti vs Zirconium? (I’m currently down for a Ti, but thinking about going for DLC Ti. I also have a Zirc Gist, which is nice, but the Zirc Glider is a too much for my current budget.)
I really like the DLC Ti, it’s the best of everything. It’s all-black, light weight, more budget-friendly, and looks great. I think it’s my favorite.
And now you (and Will’s comments) have convinced me to upgrade to the dlc…
Thanks again for giving us your impressions. It really helps when we can’t see one in person before the purchase. Take care!
I’m really torn…the DLC is cool, but it’s about a 60% premium over just Ti (but much less than Zirc).
I’m half tempted to go Ti for the Glider, and save for a DLC Ti Gist (which wouldn’t be cheap, but much less than a full Zirc Gist), but then again, hmmmm, tough choices.
I totally agree – I’m actually still having a hard time. It is really a big premium over the regular ti, and I keep feeling tempted to change my kickstarter pledge back to the regular ti. But the dlc seems really unique.