Darriel Caston reached out to me a couple of months ago about his first Kickstarter project, the D Rocket Titanium Oval Bolt Pen. We exchanged emails, he shared his designs and thinking behind the pen, and a few weeks ago was able to ship me out a prototype, which I have put through the paces.
The primary design decision with the D Rocket was to keep the bolt as clean and flush with the side of the barrel as possible. Darriel succeeded in doing this by making the barrel an oval shape. This may be confusing to process, but the shape is subtle and in practice works quite well. I have a standard grip and I picked up the pen and was comfortably writing without hesitation.
The bolt action is smooth and snappy as well, a feature that is a must with this style of pen. It is easily workable with one hand, but something odd hit me after about the third click: The bolt is located in the left-handed position. Mike Dudek pointed out the same thing, so I'm glad I'm not crazy in thinking I've never used a bolt with this setup. It's not a deal breaker, but I have to flip the pen around to use it with the clip out after engaging the refill.
Materials wise, titanium is found in all the primary parts of the pen, making it a durable choice for EDC. I asked Darriel to send me the model with the D Rocket logo and laser markings to see how it would look on that type of finish and I like it. It gives the pen design a little extra pop.
The primary question with the D Rocket Oval Bolt boils down to this: Are titanium materials important to you? If so, this pen is well worth looking at. It fits Parker compatible refills, such as the Fisher Space Pen and the cool Ohto 0.5 needle ballpoint that shipped with mine, making it a durable, functional choice. If not, the aluminum Karas Kustoms Bolt or Maxmadco Bolt will save you a few bucks and suit your needs just fine.
My thanks to Darriel Caston for sending this pen over for review. If you like what you see be sure to check out the Kickstarter project for more details.