Tactile Turn Sliders and Gliders in Anodized Aluminum Review
What is it? The Tactile Turn Slider and Glider are machined aluminum pens from Texas-based pen outfit Tactile Turn. This popular model has been slightly updated in design and now comes in 8 bright colors of anodized aluminum.
Where you can get it: They’re available now on Kickstarter for only 5 days. Reason being is that most of the production is done already. Head over there to save some cash before they hit the Tactile Turn site.
The Tactile Turn Sliders and Gliders are not a totally new offering from Tactile Turn, but the anodized aluminum options are. A few years back, the pens were offered in a variety of metals and finishes, but never anodized aluminum. Fast forward, and here we are – with 8 brightly colored options to choose from. For those who might not be in the know, here’s a quick breakdown of these two pens, and the differences between the new and old version.
The Slider – The Slider is shorter. Both start with an “s”, that’s the only thing that helps me remember which is which, because they’re very similar pens. The Slider accepts Parker style refills and measures in at 5.1 inches. The aluminum version weighs just under an ounce at 25 grams. That gives it a pleasant amount of heft, but still remains relatively light weight. The Slider ships with a Schmidt EasyFlow 9000 ballpoint refill that lays down a bold, smooth, and consistent line.
The Glider – Measuring in at a half inch longer is The Glider. At 5.6″, it’s a bit longer. Although it may not sound like much, a half inch is kind of a lot in the world of stationery. The added length only adds on a single gram of weight because of the light weight property of aluminum. This pen accepts G-2 style refills and ships with a 0.38mm (fine) black refill.
Both pens feature Tactile Turn’s custom semi-circular bolt mechanism. The mechanism is easy to operate with a single hand and is virtually impossible to extend while inside of a pocket or bag. Out of all the Tactile Turn pens, the Glider is probably my favorite. I really enjoy the added length of the pen, especially because it can accommodate a Pentel Energel Needlepoint refill (one of my personal favs). Since the bolt doesn’t take up as much room as a click mechanism, it allows for the clip to sit very close to the cap. This means that the pen can ride deeply inside your pocket with only the small dome-like end cap sticking out. You can see in the photo below how the clip is much closer to the top of the pen, even compared to Tactile Turn’s other models.
Another thing seen across all of Tactile Turn’s pens is the custom designed machined grooves that run the length of the pen. If you’re a sufferer of sweaty hands (I’m guilty of this), or just need a little extra grip, these pens have your back. Since the pattern runs the whole length of the pen, your finger tips and spot between your thumb and index finger both make contact with the barrel, almost “locking” the pen in.
Improvements in Design
Although the pen remains virtually the same, there’s one small detail that has been changed. The profile of the tip where the refill extends was much chunkier on the older version. While it was perfectly usable, it did get in the way of writing, especially when writing in smaller characters. Not a dealbreaker to the overall success of the pen, but I’m really happy to see that it was fixed in this new iteration. From the photo below, the change is rather easy to see. One more thing worth noting is the availability to add a Damascus steel bolt tip option to the pen. Will has offered these in the past, and they’re back on this campaign. Damascus steel is an expensive material that has a very unique look. It’s made by folding and rolling steel, then heat treating it, then hitting it with a light acid wash in order to show off the interesting pattern that’s a byproduct of the manufacturing technique.
Overall, I’m happy to see some improvements in an already awesome design. The new colors are bright, cheerful, and plentiful. Aluminum overall is a nice material for these pens, because it’s not heavy, but not cheap feeling. The pens are now on Kickstarter for a reasonable $40. For an American made, all-metal, machined pen this is a pretty great bargain. If you’re interested in the Damascus bolt upgrade, it adds an additional $15 to the price of the pen. The campaign runs for only 5 days, then the price bumps back up to $59 on the Tactile Turn website. Rewards are slated for a July delivery.
Disclaimer: Will at Tactile Turn is a friend and client of my photo business. Please keep this in mind when reading the review. I was not compensated monetarily for the review, but I was compensated monetarily for the Kickstarter campaign photos.