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Tactile Turn Mover & Shaker First Impressions

I don’t remember what made me jump on the Kickstarter campaign for the Tactile Turn Mover & Shaker but I ended up ordering one of each. It wasn’t the strange backer video that drew me in so it must have been the pen design. I originally backed the Mover but I added the Shaker at the last minute to make sure I could handle any gel refill my heart desired.

The pens arrived today in these crazy tubes that I absolutely love. I have no idea where he found these but I need a stash of them to store my pens that aren’t safely nestled in their Nock Co cases. I’m serious when I say the packaging almost made me forget how excited I was to get the pens.

They both come with a predetermined refill, the Mover with a Pilot G2 .38mm refill while the Shaker includes a Schmidt EasyFlow 9000 ballpoint refill. Neither of these meet my standards but that has nothing to do with my impression of the pens. After all, I purchased these to put my favorite refills in so the fact they shipped with anything is a bonus.

I’m not a ballpoint fan so the Schmidt was replaced with the only option I had handy: a Parker Gel refill which — after playing with it a bit — is almost as bad as the ballpoint. Luckily the list of refills that fits the Shaker is quite long so I shouldn’t have a problem finding something I like.

The Mover presents a small problem in that it doesn’t fit my favorite refill — the Uni-Ball 207 — without a little work. The website says “must fill in back space” which sounds easy enough but I haven’t tried it yet. Instead I rummaged around my stash of pens and found a .7mm Blue-Black Pilot Juice to steal the refill from. I hadn’t tried the Juice but I’d heard good things and the rumors were true, this is a fantastic refill.

My biggest gripe is one that you’ll only run into when changing the refill: there’s something weird about the threading. I’m not an engineer or designer but it feels like the 2 halves could have been better matched in size to make a more exact fit. Maybe the threads are too fine? I don’t know. Often it feels like the halves are about to cross-thread and I have to back them off and start over.

That’s all I really have to complain about, let’s get on to the good stuff.

The click mechanism is silent as advertised and the clip is nice and sturdy. You can actually unscrew the clicky bit and thereby marvel in its simplicity. When the mechanism is off, it also frees the clip from the pen which I suppose could allow you to replace it if bent or broken. I’m not certain that Tactile Turn is expecting to sell these bits but it seems like a very serviceable pen.

I ordered my Mover in raw aluminum color and my Shaker in dark blue and they’re quite striking in this combination. The dark blue Shaker has a nice contrast with the aluminum clip and click mechanism which makes me wish I had ordered a colored Mover as well. If I had a chance to do it again, I’d order a green version instead of the raw.

Now to the part I was most worried about: the patterned grip. Machined pens tend to have a slight roughness which send shivers down my spine if I slide my fingers across them wrong. Imagine fingernails on a chalkboard, that’s the feeling. I assume it’s the micro grooves from machining that cause this and while I’ve learned to tolerate it, I was afraid the patterned grip would be a problem.

As it turns out, the grooves are deeper than I imagined and are a wonderfully functional addition. I have another machined pen with a smooth section and I’d love to have this pattern machined into it. It’s just so darn grippy!

While I’ve owned these pens less than 12 hours, I’m quite happy with them. The number of refills available should provide me a decade or two of use which crazy considering what I paid for them. Sure plastic pens are cheaper but I’d rather have something more substantial in my hand and these fit that bill.

Tactile Turn is now listing the Mover and Shaker in their shop for $65. I highly recommend them.