For people who take their writing/sketching instruments very seriously, Texas-based Tactile Turn is a manufacturer as obsessed with UX as they are with high manufacturing quality. Their Gist Rollerball Pen, simple though it may look, has been carefully considered and slaved over.
“Some people really prefer capped pens over click pens and bolt action pens,” the firm writes. “There is a beautiful simplicity to a capped pen. We use an acme thread to keep the cap secure when closed and because those threads have a flat top they are much more comfortable to grip on.”
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“[We use] Higbee thread starts for the caps. This is a machinist term, but in essence, it means there isn’t a partial thread and so initial engagement feels better and it is a stronger thread. [The cap requires] 1.5 turns to open and close. The original Gists were closer to 3, and it was a bit much.”
Invisible in the photographs, the pens are covered in a subtle texture:
“Tactile Turn pens are known for their texture. It’s where our name comes from. The tactile feeling when you pick one of these pens up is hard to describe, but it allows you to control the pen exactly the way you want. Machined pens often forget about grip, or have uncomfortable grips. [Our surface texture] won’t bite into your skin, but it provides just the right amount of grip. It is subtle, but it also protects the pens from light scratches by providing a textured surface that disguises light scratches much better than a smooth surface.”
The Gist linked above and pictured here is made out of Delrin. (The company also offers copper and brass options.) Incredibly, it’s machined, not molded:
“Tactile Turn was one of the first fully machined pen manufacturers. We don’t do injection molded parts like most other pens. We make parts one by one on our computer numerically controlled lathes in our own shop in Texas. We buy the best equipment available, the best material available, and turn raw materials into finished goods. We never skimp on quality, as everything we make is designed to be an heirloom quality item. We want you to pass these on to your children. People buy Tactile Turn pens because they want an item with simple and elegant design made from amazing materials that will withstand daily use for life.”
This video looking at metal Gist fountain pen variants gives you a good look at the texture: