Everything about these pens screams precision and quality, from the smooth bolt action to the accurately machined grooves along the entire length of the body. But first things first: Sascha Stölp, the owner of the German online store Writing Turning Flipping, introduced me to Tactile Turn’s writing tools. He sent me the brass versions of all four ballpoint models, the bolt-action pens Slider and Glider as well as the click-mechanism pens Shaker and Mover (which I will cover in another blog post).
The mastermind behind the brand Tactile Turn is Will Hodges. The pens are manufactured in his own shop in Texas. All parts are machined to a very high level of precision. When I looked at the pens for the first time, I was amazed that I was not able to detect the seam where the halves of the barrel meet. The wall thicknesses in these pens are thicker towards the front and thinner towards the back in order to keep the weight distribution balanced. The most interesting feature of the models Slider and Glider is the bolt-action mechanism. The C-shaped cutout in the barrel allows for one fluid motion to advance or retract the refill.
The main difference between the two pens is their length. The Glider is 142 millimeters long and comes with a Pilot G2 refill. Being 12 millimeters shorter, the Slider is equipped with a Schmidt Easy Flow 9000 medium point with black ink and will fit all other Parker style refills. Weighing in at 60 grams and 58 grams respectively, the difference in weight is negligible. Both pens fit well in almost all hands. In the end, the choice between the two comes down to personal preference. I went for the Slider, its smaller size is more comfortable in my hand. If you have really large hands, the additional 12 millimeters of the Glider might be a plus.
The pens are made from 360 brass, which has a fairly high copper content and is known for its strength and resistance to corrosion. The bolt handle and the clip are stainless steel. Since there are many different ways of gripping a pen, Will Hodges added a subtle nonslip texture to the entire surface of the pens. These precisely-machined grooves create a comfortable tactile experience, which is not easy to describe in words. The texture provides just the right amount of grip and also hides small scratches.
As always, I am looking forward to the patina developing. As you can already see on the photos, once the brass has acquired some patina, the seam between the two halves of the barrel becomes more visible.