Saturday, October 31, 2015

First Impressions: Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pen @TactileTurn

These fountain pens were sent over by Tactile Turn for me to check out and share with you. I'm a fan of Tactile Turn's work, and as you know, of fountain pens. This is the best of both worlds! Check out the project on Kickstarter ASAP if you're interested!
Review Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pen @TactileTurn (23)


All three:
Length (capped): 130.7 mm/5.14''
Length (uncapped nib-end): 117.7 mm/4.63''
Length (posted): 155.0 mm/6.09''
Barrel Diameter: 9.9 - 12.3 mm/0.39'' - 0.48''
Section Diameter: 8.8 - 11.3 mm/0.34'' - 0.44''

Weight (all): 24 g
Weight (cap): 10 g
Weight (body): 14 g
Body material: Polycarbonate
Grip & Finial: Zirconium
Nib: Steel

Weight (all): 80 g
Weight (cap): 32 g
Weight (body): 48 g
Body material: Copper
Grip & Finial: Copper
Nib: 14kt Gold

Weight (all): 44 g
Weight (cap): 18 g
Weight (body): 28 g
Body material: Titanium
Grip & Finial: Titanium
Nib: Titanium

Fill type: Cartridge/Converter
Price: Pledges start at $49USD
Where to buy: On Kickstarter!

Review Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pen @TactileTurn (1)
I'm a big fan of Tactile Turn's new boxes. The box is small, grey, and firm, with the Tactile Turn logo on the top. The tray inside can be pulled out from the bottom by a little white cloth pull tab. The pen sits in a bed of foam. Not that these robust pens need to be tenderly protected or anything, but this minimal packaging does just that. Also, little wasted space.
Review Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pen @TactileTurn (2)

I have three finishes here:
Copper body + copper grip/finial
Review Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pen @TactileTurn (3)
Polycarbonate body + zirconium grip/finial
Review Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pen @TactileTurn (18)
Titanium body + titanium grip/finial
Review Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pen @TactileTurn (12)
All three pens have the same design. They are round, widest at the middle, and taper slightly towards the blunt, flat ends. The back end is smooth and unmarked. The finial has the Tactile Turn logo engraved in it - kind of hidden, not in your face, and tasteful. I like that. The finial is a dark grey zirconium on the polycarbonate body, titanium on the titanium body, and copper on the copper body.
Review Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pen @TactileTurn (21)
Review Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pen @TactileTurn (16)

Review Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pen @TactileTurn (11)

The clips are attached internally, just below the threaded finial. The slot through which the clips are attached are small and cleanly cut on the copper and polycarbonate body, but with a loupe, looks like there's some extra metal on the titanium. Not visible or noticeable without a loupe. The copper one looks the best. All three clips are simple - they are black, with rounded off square edges, and theends flare upward a little. I like the simplicity of the clip, and they all match, so if you get every Gist possible, all your clips will matchy matchy.

The barrel and cap are: polycarbonate, titanium, or copper. All three have the same rings on them, running from top to bottom. I like how this looks - it gives them a machined look, but in an organized, classy way. The rings are not very pronounced - they look more pronounced than they feel in hand.

The sections are nice and long - they start with a few, wide, solid threads for capping the pen. They're not tiny little threads, and I like how they look - they separate the section and barrel, but without being too fancy. The section is round, ribbed, and tapers towards the nib, ending quite close to the nib. I like that there isn't a huge ridge before the nib. It looks smooth and seamless, as the section tapers and goes straight into the nib. The ribs on the section also match those on the rest of the pen.

The sections are either a dark, grey zirconium (on the polycarbonate body), copper (on the copper body), or titanium (on the titanium body).
Review Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pen @TactileTurn (17)

These pens? Super cool. I love their designs, shapes, size, and the attention to detail. And it gets even better.


These pens are fitted with #6 Bock nibs. The polycarbonate pen has a fine steel nib. The copper pen has a medium 14kt yellow gold nib. The titanium pen has a medium titanium nib. These nibs have a single slit and round breather holes. They are engraved with Bock, some flourishes around the nib, and the Bock logo.

The steel nib is a great writer - fine, crisp, precise, not too wet or dry, and pretty quick with drying times. I think this is a great nib for this particular pen - the polycarbonate and zirconium finish are topped off with the steel nib. It makes for a perfect every day carry/daily writer pen. This nib did not skip or hard start, and it did tolerate a little bit of pressure. It didn't really offer much in the way of line variation, but a little bit was possible. It kept up well with long writing sessions, as well as with fast writing. Awesome. It's not a super smooth writer, but it's not unpleasant or scratchy at all. A solid performer.
Review Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pen @TactileTurn (19)
Review Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pen @TactileTurn (20)
Review Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pen @TactileTurn (28)
The titanium nib was a pretty wet writer, and drying times were a little longer than average (40s). Overall, I had a few hard starts, but I would certainly not call it a skippy nib. Titanium nibs are just a bit more peculiar than steel nibs. It is not a smooth nib - titanium nibs also have some feedback that you won't find on steel or gold nibs, in general. It's not a scratchy feedback, though. It feels like a nib on paper - you can feel that contact. It's a bit hard to describe, but if you're looking for a super smooth writer, a titanium nib is probably not what you want. This nib wrote well without pressure - good ink flow, consistent writer. With some pressure, some line variation is possible, and the feed handles it reasonably well. I enjoy this nib because it is fun and a little springy, but is a regular medium nib without pressure.
Review Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pen @TactileTurn (14)
Review Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pen @TactileTurn (15)
Review Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pen @TactileTurn (24)
The gold nib may be my favorite of the three here - probably because I have a soft spot for the way gold nibs write (no pun intended). This one writes nicely -  juicy and wet, but it does not gush ink. No skips or hard starts, and reasonable drying times, given how wet it is. It's lovely, smooth, slightly soft, and a bit springy. With pressure, some nice line variation is possible, but with pressure and fast writing, the feed can dry out. No big deal. It's not a flex nib anyway. It writes really well under normal circumstances. The gold nib suits my writing style and preferences.
Review Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pen @TactileTurn (9)
Review Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pen @TactileTurn (10)
Review Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pen @TactileTurn (26)
These are so cool. I love how these nibs perform. I love how I can swap caps, sections, nibs, etc. I love that the converters do not rattle inside the barrels. These pens feel and perform admirably. In addition to all this goodness, the Franklin-Christoph #6 nibs will also fit these pens... I'm thinking that Christoph music nib is going to be spectacular in here!

Review Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pen @TactileTurn (30)
After sitting for a few days, I noticed the feeds of all three pens dried out quite a bit. They didn't hard start upon use, but flow was definitely dry. Not a deal breaker, but not a system that will let you leave the pen in your case, inked up, for weeks on end.


The clips are quite snug, but as the bottom angles upwards, the pens can be slid on to papers, and into pockets/pen pouches. It's good they are snug, as the heavier pens are safely secured - such as those made of brass or copper.

The sections are surprisingly comfortable. The metal ribs are quite smooth, so they do not bite/cut into your fingers. The shape of the section itself is also quite comfortable - it's a decent length, so there is plenty of gripping space, and there are no sharp ridges. I like the ribs; they add some texture for easy gripping. In other words: not a slippery section. Furthermore, the copper has a slightly tacky texture to it, which helps in a secure grip.
Review Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pen @TactileTurn (22)
Review Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pen @TactileTurn (13)
I also love the threads at the back - they are not sharp, and they are really clean cut, and it looks good.  In use, the polycarbonate threads work the best. Since they are large threads, it only takes a few turns to close them, but you can really feel it.
Review Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pen @TactileTurn (8)
Review Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pen @TactileTurn (7)
Unposted, the polycarbonate barrel and zirconium section is so comfy - not too heavy. It's fairly light, balanced, and feels so good in hand. The cap posts by friction and with a good push, it sits securely. It perfects the length, balance, weight, and comfort of the pen in my hand. I love using this one posted. I love how the grip warms up a little. Yummy.
Review Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pen @TactileTurn (4)
Review Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pen @TactileTurn (5)
Review Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pen @TactileTurn (6)
Unposted, the titanium pen is superb. It's a little more solid and heavy than the polycarbonate body. It has great balance and I love the warm feeling of this one as well. The cap posts in the same way as with the polycarbonate, and although I like the length a lot, it feels top heavy. This is likely a good choice if you like medium-heavy pens, if you have large hands, and if you like to post your pen while you write.

Unposted, the copper is a whopper. Its dimensions are the same as the titanium and polycarbonate bodies, so its length works for me, and I can only use this one unposted. It is surprisingly well-balanced for such a heavy pen. As with the others, the cap can be posted, and the length works for me, but it's very top heavy. The posting on this one is not as secure as the other two - you really have to stick it on there. Sine it's so top heavy posted, this was not an issue for me, but if you must post, take that into consideration. This one is a good choice if you love copper, metals that develop patina and character, if you love heavy pens, or if you have large hands. Keep in  mind the copper smells like, well, copper. Pennies. Your hands will smell like that a bit. The copper will start shiny and clean and will change color as you use it.

The great thing is you can swap things - a polycarbonate barrel, zirconium grip, and titanium cap, posted. What about a titanium barrel and grip, with a posted polycarbonate cap with zirconium finial? Oh yeah! That allows me to work out the balance/weight. Now the titanium pen is not too heavy when posted. I love this system.


Polycarbonate + Zirconium
Review Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pen @TactileTurn (29)
Titanium + Titanium
Review Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pen @TactileTurn (25)
Copper + copper
Review Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pen @TactileTurn (27)


Tactile Turn Gist fountain pens are on Kickstarter now. I wasn't paid to write a glowing review, but these are glowing pens, so, there you go. They're really well-made, solid, robust, attractive, and write well (you know, that's always a good thing). Usually I only have one pen to review, which is obviously an unfair sample. This time, I have three! All three are really well made - no sharp edges, I appreciate the attention to detail, and I loveloveLOVE the nib options. You can pick what material you like, what you want to match, what's comfortable, what appeals to you, nibs...!

I have had these pens a short time, but I have used all three of them intensely to get a feeling for them and to be able to review them here. I may update this review in the near future to add some details as I hang out with them some more. I also wanted to share this with you before the Kickstarter ends!

I received these items free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion. No affiliate links.


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