Tactile Turn Updated Movers and Shakers
Kickstarter Announcement and Comparison
Will over at Tactile Turn releases one or two pens per year. First the EiMIM X, Y, and Z, then the Mover and Shaker, the Gist Fountain Pen, The Slider and Glider Bolt Action Pens, and now an updated version of his Movers and Shakers that honestly feel like a new pen altogether. Will has an excellent track record on Kickstarter – constantly shattering his goals and meeting delivery times. Over the years, he’s built up his machine shop with some of the best mills and lathes in the business, a solid crew, and the desire to improve his products. The old Mover and Shaker had a Schmidt-made click mechanism which happens to be the Achilles heel of most machined pens out there. After receiving constant complains of busted mechanisms, Will decided to make his own completely out of titanium. The new in-house mechanism is not the only thing that’s changed on these pens, let’s take a closer look!
Here’s the link to his Kickstarter project
(which at the time of publishing is over 145% funded!)
Starting this one off with a huge disclaimer. Will at Tactile Turn is a photo client of mine (I also consider him a friend – we text about stuff that isn’t pens too). There was an exchange of money for photo services AND I consider him a friend. What does that mean? EXTREME BIAS!!! (I mean, not really but I can see where you might think that). I started doing photo work for stationery companies because of this blog. I built relationships that resulted in me getting to take photos of something I love for money – I don’t mean to brag, but it’s pretty great. That being said, Tactile Turn didn’t pay me for this review. I’m doing this because I love his work and I think it can be helpful to see a hands-on before committing to something on Kickstarter. If you want to see the photos for the campaign, check them out here. Want some sweet photos of your products? Get in touch!
Okay, let’s get into these shiny new pens…
A Solid Foundation
For those of you who don’t know about the Mover and Shaker, here’s a quick rundown. These are two click-action pens from a Texas-based brand called Tactile Turn. The man behind the machined pens is named Will Hodges. One time we ate fried chicken together in NYC, it was a good time. He’s been making pens out of his machine shop for a few years now. He’s no newcomer to Kickstarter (multiple projects delivered on time), so I’d say you can back this project with confidence. The Mover and Shaker take two different styles of refills. The Mover takes G2 style refills and the Shaker takes Parker Style refills. The Mover measures in at 5.5″ and the Shaker at 5″. Confuse the two? Think about this: The Shaker is shorter. Alliteration. Fun and handy! These pens are covered knock to tip in a ridged pattern that adds some serious grip to the pen.
New vs. Old
The photo above outlines the most obvious changes. In addition to these visible changes, there are some others that aren’t so easy to see. The main one being the weight of the pens has been decreased. The more obvious changes include:
- In-house Titanium Mechanism – With the help of his new Swiss lathe, Will is now able to manufacture his own mechanisms out of titanium. They are a bit larger than the Schmidt mechanism but have a few noteworthy improvements. The travel distance is further so that the refill sits deeper inside the pen (no accidental inky pockets). The titanium is more durable and lighter weight than the Schmidt mechanism too.
- Sleeker Clip – The newer clips are a bit thicker and the notch they sit in is tighter. They’re now held in by the mechanism even tighter, thanks to a small amount of loc-tite on the threads. They’re also engraved with “TACTILE TURN” on the underside which adds some subtle branding.
- Improved Threads – The threads that hold the body together are larger, making them easier to connect. The old threads were smaller and harder to align. There’s also an o-ring at the bottom of the threads that keeps the pen securely closed. It feels nice too.
- Full-length Grip Pattern – This is one of the most exciting things for me. I’ve been harassing Will for a Mover with full length grip for ages and here it is. Like the Gist, Slider, and Glider, the Mover and Shaker now feature Tactile Turn’s signature grip pattern on the entire length of the pen. Compared to the old version, this makes a huge difference. I think it looks better too!
The new Mover and Shaker feel much more refined, from both a functional and design standpoint. The full-length grip pattern not only adds a much-welcomed grippy-ness, but it also looks much better. The new mechanism is larger, yes, but the advantage of the refill having a longer travel distance is worth it. The step from the body to the body of the mechanism to the actual knock are evenly stepped – resulting in a much more intentional looking design. The tip of the pen is also a bit more beefed up, which will help should you accidentally drop it. I do have a few minor quibbles with the pen. The Slider and Glider have me kind of spoiled. They sit SO low in my pocket, which I prefer. While the 2017 Mover and Shaker ride kind of high, it does make it a little easier to grab because of the amount of pen that sticks out of your pocket. Again, I think the increased travel distance is worth the additional length.
So Many Materials…
Another thing about the 2017 Movers and Shakers worth mentioning is how many different colors and metals that they’re available in. The last few pens were not offered in aluminum, but these are…in nine different colors to be exact. Will found a great anodizing company and man do these colors POP. Here’s a quick rundown on the different metals and colors in the above photo (L to R top, then L to R bottom)
- Black Aluminum – Lightweight, easy to carry, and a nice deep black.
- Stainless Steel – Hefty, sturdy, yet not too heavy.
- Titanium – the perfect weight. The Ti models are just hefty enough, yet lighter than the stainless steel. The body matches the mechanism for a streamlined look – possibly my favorite.
- Clear Aluminum – Nice that this is clear anodized for some added durability.
- Brass – Hefty. This should pick up some nice patina over time. Cool vintage look.
- Copper – Same hefty feel as the brass. Will also patina over time. Very coppery.
- Grey Aluminum – I really like this. It looks a lot like the zirconium pens that Will offered in the past, except minus the extreme fire hazard and hefty price tag.
- Red Aluminum – Nice, deep red. For lovers of the color red.
- Orange Aluminum – I hate the color orange, but I don’t hate this one. It’s a medium tone, almost burnt orange that really works well with the pen.
- Green Aluminum – Extreme bias. Green is my favorite color. This is a good green. Foresty? Yeah. It’s like a forest.
- Blue Aluminum – This blue freaking pops like crazy. It’s an electric blue that seems like it’s glowing.
- Purple Aluminum – You know how those other colors pop? This one does too. Dang.
- Pink Aluminum – The pink is pretty nice. Not too light, not too dark. It’s a solid medium tone.
I think Will did an excellent job on these pens. The new mechanism, improved grip, and streamlined design result in a pretty damn great pen. There’s an option for everyone – whether it be an exotic metal or awesome anodized color. The pens start at $49 for aluminum, and jump up to $79 for titanium with the rest falling in the middle. I think for a US-made, machined metal pen with a custom mechanism his asking prices are quite reasonable. The design is definitely an improvement over the original and an excellent addition to his solid lineup of pens. You can snag a Tactile Turn Mover or Shaker for yourself at this Kickstarter link.