My inner 12-year-old loves retractable pen mechanisms. While the adult me knows they’re nice because of the practicality, the kid just can’t stop click, click, clicking them. And retractables with a different twist to them, like bolt-action pens, are even better.
My current pen of envy is the TiBolt, an all-titanium bolt-action pen created by Brian Fellhoelter, an Arizona knife-maker turned pen designer.
The TiBolt is sleek and utilitarian with a gun-metal gray finish that reminds me of an old ’50s sci-fi movie robot. As Fellhoelter says, any part that can be made from titanium is, from the clip to the tip. And its retraction mechanism is the highlight, a bolt on the barrel that opens and closes the pen with a simple push and slide with your thumb.
It ships with a Fisher Space Pen refill, but can be filled with any standard Parker or Fisher-type cartridge. And while the default pen option includes a smartphone stylus on the end, buyers can choose to have the stylus tip switched out for a titanium cap.
The pen is so popular that Fellhoelter opened a TiBolt Kickstarter project to expand his production capacity. His goal was US$19K. He hit that number and kept going, more than tripling his goal. So far, he’s raised a little more than US$68K.
While it’s my favorite so far, there are others that are nearly as cool.
ThinkGeek offers a bolt-action ‘tactical’ pen with a sexy black barrel made of anodized aluminum.
Check out this video of the Bolt Action Tactical Pen from Think Geek
And Economy Pens has reviewed the W.A. Stark .30 cal. Bolt-Action Pen, which looks great, but is ultimately too gun-ish for my tastes.