Machined Beauty: The Tactile Turn Mover

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

Machined pens are quite a thing over on Kickstarter. They're a fascinating genre of pen because they're created by small shops from pieces of metal and eventually shipped to your door. While Tactile Turn now has a shop that you can buy from anytime, the didn't start off that way. Brad took a look at their pens a year ago and came away impressed. I joined the second round of their Kickstarter that featured new materials, and I'm really happy I did.

I have to be honest — it was extremely difficult to pick a style of pen. It was equally as difficult to select a metal and color. They all look good and if money were not object, I'd own one of each. But, money is certainly a consideration, so I went with a black aluminum Mover.

Let's back up a little. There are two main styles of these pens: The Mover and the Shaker. The only real difference is the length of the pen. The Mover is designed to accept anything similar to a Pilot G2 refill, while the Shaker is designed for a Parker style refill. It boils down to choosing the body that supports your favorite refills. Being a huge fan of the Pilot Juice, I went with the Mover.

Apart from the choice between the Mover and the Shaker, you then have a chioce of several metals, of which the aluminum can be had in different colors. Here are your options: titanium, polished bronze, polished copper, polished brass, raw aluminum, and anodized aluminum. The latter comes in the following colors: dark red, black, teal, dark blue, and olive drab.

I really liked the looks of the olive drab pen, but eventually decided to stick with black for now. I'm slowly convincing myself that I need an olive drab Shaker.

The pen you purchase comes with a refill. The Mover comes with a blue Pilot G2 0.38mm refill, and the Shaker comes with a Schmidt Easy Flow 9000.

So, how does this look and feel in person? Like a high-quality piece of art that can withstand abuse and write like a champ.

I've used other machined aluminum pens, and none of them have the right balance for me. They're usually significantly heavier on the nock end, which makes them feel top-heavy when writing. Not so in the case of the Mover. It has a wonderful balance. Another feature that I love about this particular machined pen's design? The textured grip. This is the first one I've tried that has one, and I love it. An alumnium barrel can get slick, and that makes it difficult to control. With the Mover, I haven't had this problem.

The nock used in this pen is the same one that was used in the Retrakt before it. It's a high-quality, smooth, silent mechanism that works like a charm. Personally, I think it looks really nice, too.

The clip is strong, but easily slides on and off when attaching it to my jeans pocket or in a Nock case. Other machined pens I've used have clips that are a bit tight and sometimes require two hands to operate.

The thickness of the barrel is another thing that I love about the design. It's the perfect width for writing. The diameter is really close to my Lamy 2000, which is a pen that I enjoy writing with more than most.

The build quality of this pen is superior, but that's something that you should expect from a machined pen. These make great EDC pens given their simple, excellent design and strength. They also make excellent gifts — they look fantastic and they accept "normal" refills that non-addicts understand.

Prices for these pens range by material. Aluminum bodies are $69, and prices range up to $139 for the titanium model.

All in all, if you're looking for a high-quality machined pen that accepts a wide range of refills and also looks and feels great doing it, the Mover and/or Shaker are a perfect choice. I can't wait to make my collection a pair.

Posted on January 28, 2015 and filed under Pen Reviews, Tactile Turn.

The Pen Addict Podcast: Episode 139 - This Is Gonna Be A Party

Thank you all for allowing this short diversion this week. Between the surprise Kickstarter launch and not covering a single thing we planned on covering on the podcast, I owe you all some new pen review goodness. I'll make it up to you - I promise!

Myke and I thank you so much for supporting our little adventure. We literally could not have done something like this without you. If you are interested in how this all came together this is the podcast for you.

And there are more surprises to come...

Show Notes & Download Links

This episode of The Pen Addict is sponsored by:

lynda.com: An easy and affordable way to help individuals and organizations learn. Free 10-day trial.

Posted on January 27, 2015 and filed under Podcast.

Help Myke Get To The 2015 Atlanta Pen Show

With the 2015 Atlanta Pen Show only a few months away and all of my talk about preparing for it, my podcasting partner Myke had a brilliant idea: Let's meet at the pen show!

On the surface it's simple, except for that whole Myke lives in the United Kingdom thing. So we brainstormed some ideas and came up with what we think is a great way to fund his trip and give something back to you for helping.

We have launched a Kickstarter campaign where you can get custom Nock Co. Hightower pen case and video recording of the Pen Addict Podcast, including outtakes and bonus footage from the show itself. The Hightower case will be an early release of our new Summer 2015 colorway, Forest Green exterior with Sunshine Yellow interior, and for this project only it will include a custom Union Jack tag to denote you were a backer.

The pen show is looking to be a huge blowout, at least from my perspective. I'm not sure what the rest of the pen show people will think! Both Myke and I are so thankful to be part of this community and we appreciate any support you can offer to make this dream a reality.

Posted on January 26, 2015 and filed under Kickstarter, Atlanta Pen Show.

Three Questions With Thomas Hall

King of the Enablers. That is all you need to know about Thomas. Well, you also need to know he is one of the nicest and most generous people you could ever hope to meet. He has taught me more about fountain pens than I could have ever hoped to learn on my own. My thanks to Thomas for answering Three Questions.

1. What role do analog tools such as pens, pencils, and paper play in your day to day life?

There was a point in time when I tried to go completely digital with all of my tools. But now I have returned to a good balance between analog and digital. For both work and personal use, I take notes, draw initial versions of diagrams, and do all of my brainstorming and planning using pens and paper. I transfer things into digital format only when it makes sense to. I find that this helps me focus more, and I get a lot of satisfaction and joy from using them. Even something mundane like taking notes feels more creative when I'm using a direct system like pen and paper.

On a creative front, I often outline and write drafts of my blog posts using pen and paper as well. I also have aspirations of getting back into drawing and watercolor again. Maybe even calligraphy (both western and Chinese brush).

But don't try to take away my mobile devices away from me, though. Both analog and digital tools coexist in my life.

2. What are your favorite products you are currently using?

On the stationery front, I've pretty much settled into a good groove. For quick notes, I keep Nock Co. DotDash Note Cards (Dusty Blue) and a TWSBI Diamond 540/580 filled with Pilot Blue Black ink in a Nock Co. Fodderstack.

Other pens are carried in either a Nock Co. Lookout or one of the many EXB Pen Wraps I own. Usually, I'm carrying an Edison Double-Ended Pearl, Newton Shinobi, and one of my many Pilot or Danitrio pens. Unless the pen has a Japanese nib, most of my pens are custom ground to 0.2mm (Japanese EF) or 0.4mm Cursive Italic by Michael Masuyama or Shawn Newton.

If I could only choose one ink, it would be Pilot Blue Black. Favorite ink brands include Pilot, Sailor, Diamine, and R&K. I use the Levenger Circa system for my notes, as I appreciate the flexibility of the system to reorder pages, remove pages for writing, and even use different size paper in the same notebook. I create my own templates using HP 32 lb. Premium Laser paper or use the Rhodia refills they have. All my letters are written on Rhodia DotPad paper, and stamped with my chop.

On the technology side, I'm usually carrying an iPhone, iPad, and an Android phone. My MacBook Air comes along when needed. I'm looking forward to receiving my TextBlade to see if I can primarily use my iPad on the go.

All of this is carried in one of my Tom Bihn bags. I carry a (now discontinued) Buzz bag to work. If I'm on the go, I'm carrying a Small Cafe Bag or Ristretto for iPad. Using Small Organizer Pouches, I can swap contents between bags quickly without having to individually remove items.

3. What pen are you the most proud you enabled me to purchase?

This "enabler" title should be yours alone. My original goal was to try help educate people by sharing knowledge and sometimes even letting people borrow pens so they can make informed decisions before purchasing. Somehow, that clearly backfired with you, as it seems you've bought the majority of pens you borrowed! :)

You would think I would say I'm most proud of the Pilot Custom Heritage 912 PO. Or any of the Edisons. Or one of the many pens from the big three Japanese pen companies. Or Pelikan. But there is one specific pen I'm most happy that you purchased. Even though it's only been just over 2 years since your first Fountain Pen Education post, I honestly think I'm most proud of you for purchasing your first Nakaya pen.

Is this because I think you choose an excellent color in the Ao Tamenuri? Or because it's an expensive pen? Or it's Japanese, which are arguably my favorite? None of the above. It's because you broke through a mental barrier of worrying about damaging an expensive pen. Now you just use them. This is what we all should do with our pens. They're meant to be used and loved, not just collected.

Then again, there will always be that next pen. The one you don't even know about yet that I will convince you to purchase. So the Nakaya is my answer. For now...

Posted on January 24, 2015 and filed under Three Questions.