It has only been since 2015 that Urban Survival Gear started producing new pens, but the owner and proprietor, Kelvin Verrett, has not stopped to take a breath it seems! Since then he has been producing new models and variations on his most successful pen, The TiScribe Bolt, every few months it seems.
Now, I know other makers hustle too, but Kelvin HUSTLES. I am seriously impressed by his work ethic that I see show up on his Instagram feed and know the guy cares a lot about what he is producing. And, if you don’t follow him you should as out of all the pen makers in the space he has probably the most outgoing personality I’ve seen. His enthusiasm and humor will make your day!
I don’t usually lead into the reviews so heavy on the maker or brand, but in this case felt like I should. In the world we live in today it can be so easy to buy products from faceless, personality-less (probably not a word) companies that we never meet and never interact with. The pen space, particularly with machined pens, lets you connect directly to the people that are manufacturing and shipping you your goods and that is super cool. Kelvin is no exception and has always been awesome to work with.
One of the newest versions of the TiScribe bolt lineup is the new “mini” version. Same sturdy build out of grade 5 titanium (or copper or brass) as the regular, but just a bit shorter for a more compact pocket carry.
The overall shape of the pen can be described as a tubular, cylinder shape which is extremely simple, but a clean design. No real frills other than the five grooved rings machined into the barrel at the grip section which is kind of nice. It is understated, but still has a rugged, machined look to it. It looks cool.
Now, there are several bolt-action pens on the market to choose from, but Kelvin’s more unique design is that the mechanism itself is built into the pocket clip. I can’t think of another pen that does it quite like this as they are always separate which is a differentiator. This takes something that is already sticking out of the pen’s profile (a clip), and turns it into a dual-function action. It activates the pen as well as keeps the pen in your pocket which is pretty sweet.
Speaking of the clip, it is also machined from grade 5 titanium and works really well. On the all titanium models I like how it makes everything match up in color. It is affixed to the internal mechanism by two torx style screws that sit just below the flat side of the clip.
As far as branding, the Urban Survival Gear logo is cleanly etched at the very bottom of the clip.
The action of extending the writing tip is an easy, one handed motion (as it should be with a bolt action pen).
The regular length TiSribe-Bolt takes a Pilot G2 (or a refill of equal length), but the mini comes standard to take a Parker style. This means it could also take the Fisher Space Pen refill with its included Parker adaptor, or really any other of the many refills in this size. A Parker style refill I’ve grown to like recently is the Schneider Gelion 39 (a gel refill) due to its nice dark line.
I’ve not tried one of these, but if you’d like the Pilot G2 Mini…in the “Mini”, Kelvin also makes an adaptor for an additional cost.
The mini is a fairly lightweight pen coming in at just 0.7oz. One thing I’ve noticed about the Urban Survival Gear pens is that Kelvin tries to keep the walls of the pen thin which helps with the weight.
Overall, the pen is pretty short at just 4.77”, but in the hand it doesn’t FEEL too short. My hands are pretty good sized and I don’t feel like the pen gets lost while writing with it. The weight to length is actually pretty perfect I think. The pic above is how it compares to the standard sized TiScribe Bolt (this particular one is one of his cool Cerakote versions he does from time to time…)
If you are a fan of Urban Survival Gear or are looking for a thin, more “pocketable” bolt action pen I find these really comfortable. The pricepoint on these aren’t super cheap at $89 (he is taking pre-orders right now), but Kelvin makes a great product and they are in line with others on the market.
Special thanks to Urban Survival Gear for sending it along for review!