- 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!