A first attempt at a review. Apologies for the photo quality - I need to practice.
Tactile Turn Gist - all Stainless Steel
I bought this pen in the UK rather than through Kickstarter but the full range can be found on the Tactile Turn website.
Tactile Turn are a small American company who also produce ballpoints and razor handles.
The Gist is available in a range of materials, both metals and polycarbonate, with the opportunity to mix and match materials, or purchase different additional grip sections.
This pen is a cartridge converter, supplied with a good quality, slightly shorter converter, but will take standard international cartridges.
The pen uses Bock No.6 nib units, so you can easily swap the nib and feed for an alternative unit which can be purchased from Tactile Turn or other locations. This gives you a wide choice in nibs, both standard steel, titanium, gold and steel italic nibs. As it is a number 6 nib you can almost certainly just replace the nib with any number 6 nib, although I've not tried this.
I opted for all Stainless Steel, and for those of you who dislike heavy pens, this option won't be for you. This is a heavy pen at around 73 grams.
I've got other heavy pens in my collection, and don't generally suffer from hand fatigue issues, but also rarely write at great length. I find that the overall balance of a pen is more important for comfort than weight.
The pen is a slimmish short cigar shaped pen, which when capped is roughly equally divided in two between cap and barrel. What sets this apart from most metal pens is the turning on the barrel and cap. They are finely ridged, which to my eyes gives an attractive finish that's neither overly industrial looking or in any way displeasing. I like the feel of the ridges in the hand - they give good grip, but could in no way be described as sharp or unpleasant. The pen is finished with a simple rather squared bent steel clip. I can't dispute the functionality of the clip - it grips well, but it looks very functional and slightly inelegant. Mine came with black coated clip and I think the black coating against the bright stainless steel draws too much attention to the clips aesthetic shortcomings. A plain steel clip is available as replacement and I'll be ordering one.
The cap screws on (personally I prefer the security of screw on caps over the speed of click-on) and does take just over two full turns to unscrew. No metal threads on quickly wearing plastic cap liner here (yes I'm looking at you Faber Castell) - this is nicely machined, solid and reliable metal on metal. The threads are slightly sharp if you want to run your fingertips over them, but they're shallow enough and in use never found my fingers resting on them, or causing me any comfort issues. Well designed and machined.
This is a slightly short pen when capped, but too long to be a shirt pocket pen - approximately 130 mm capped.
Comparison shot with a Pilot Custom Heritage 74, Pilot Metropolitan and Faber Castell e-motion.
Why it wasn't made 10mm longer escapes me. A few extra milimeters in length would have allowed standard length converters and solved another of my slight issues with this pen.
Uncapped it's about 118mm including nib - pretty much identical to the Faber Castell e-motion, which for me is too short to use comfortably for any length of time. It's a noticeably slimmer pen than the Faber Castell and I find it even less comfortable to use unposted - an additional 10mm in length would make this much more comfortable for me. If you've got small hands it might be fine.
The good news is unlike my e-motion this posts securely, giving a posted length of approximately 157mm (around 3mm longer than the Pilot Metropolitan). Posting requires a firm push, and I was worried that it would scratch the barrel, but I can't see any scratching.
Unfortunately the weight of that substantial cap does leave the pen rather back heavy. The nice balance it has unposted is completely gone. I suspect that if you want a well-balanced pen that posts you really need to look at either the Titanium or Zirconium barrel/cap options with a brass/copper/steel front section. Replacement grip sections are available at reasonable costs, but the only grip section heavier than Steel is Copper and it's less than a gram heavier. If replacement caps were available I would just buy a Titanium or Zirconium cap, but sadly they're not.
Mine came with a fine steel nib. It's on the broader side of fine, and only slightly finer than a Bock medium - in my experience the steps between Bock's steel nibs are fairly small with the medium only slightly wider and the extra fine not that much finer (even the broad isn't that broad). This nib worked flawlessly out of the box, producing a smooth even line and no hard starts or skipping, I have however had other Bock nibs that have needed a bit of work to flow freely and smoothly, although to be fair all have worked well after adjustment. I've yet to try a Titanium nib (one on order) or a gold nib (a significant price jump) but the steel nibs are solid performers - not completely nail like, but there's not a great deal of spring or line variation. I'll probably end up fitting a broadish italic for occasional use unless I get used to the pen's short unposted length or the posted back balance.
There's a lot to like about this pen, and I think it's very fair value. I don't love it - the length/balance issues in this version are too great to make me want to use it as an everyday carry, which is a shame given the robust construction and reliability. I probably won't order another Gist, but I'd definitely consider other Tactile Turn pens if longer barreled versions are produced in the future, or there's a new design that catches the eye.
Edited by ManofKent, 17 April 2017 - 12:49.