I was contacted again recently by the folks over at BN WORKS about a new pen they were releasing called the TWIIST, a 2 in 1 pen and stylus combo which looked pretty cool and had some interesting features. They offered to provide a sample for review so special thanks to them.
If you haven't heard of BN WORKS, it is likely due to the fact that they are a bit newer on the scene in the pen stage. I reviewed their first pen, the BNdot ballpoint pen back in September of 2016, and the TWIIST is their second release.
Right out the gates I'm going to say that I've really liked the look of this pen from the start. It has a sort of "business" appeal, but also seems a bit on the edgy side. It certainly doesn't look like the standard pen you'd see at the office, but still fits into a more professional setting I think.
The TWIIST is an all metal pen which gives it a surprisingly solid feel. It is extremely sturdy in its build, but not overly heavy at 1.2 oz. Upon removing a the pieces I didn't see any plastic inside, so my thoughts are this thing is made to take some use.
Upon release, they opted for four colorways in combinations of silver, black, copper, and rose gold and I opted for the silver top with black clip and black grip section. I did mention to them that my first choice would've been an all-black model as they have the parts, but they told me that it would be a "coming soon" if that is also more your thing. Still, I think the color combos look sharp and I'm pleased with it.
The finish on the outside of the pens is beautifully done and is clean and sharp. Upon inspecting all the pieces closely I couldn't find any noticeable imperfections or blemishes.
Not sure exactly what the coating is, but it seems to be some sort of PVD or baked on finish. Although the silver part is somewhat "shimmery" with a metallic look, the overall appearance is more of a subdued matte.
Even though they refer to it as a 2 in 1, I'd actually probably consider it a "3 in 1" due to the fact it can take both a Parker style refill (P900 included) or the popular capless Schmidt P8126 rollerball AND has the built in stylus. So, not really 3 at once, but you can adjust the pen quite a bit to fit your fancy.
While the P900 is a good refill, I immediately swapped in the P8126 rollerball for the majority of my testing. To remove the refill the grip section unscrews from the top half making it accessible.
The reason they call it the TWIIST (notice the two "II" in the name) is because of what I'd consider a really unique mechanism system as there are two twists. The first, main twist is done by turning the grip to extend the refill for writing, and the second is in the knock which also twists extending and retracting a replaceable stylus.
I mean, you have to admit that it is pretty cool to have double retractable mechanisms working independently in the same pen. Yeah, I'll say I'm geeking out a little as I think it is neat.
The twists are actually super smooth. With a smooth gradual turn the refill or stylus sort of "pop" into place letting you know they are engaged.
This is not uncommon with grip section twist style pens, but I found myself having to retighten the grip and top half of the barrel to allow the ink refill to retract again. No biggie.
Even though I mentioned that I swapped in the rollerball refill as my primary, I did take the time to compare how the writing was with each.
Although minimal, I did find that the ballpoint (P900) had some slight play while writing (really, not bad at all, but somewhat there), but the rollerball felt rock solid. Not sure if the refill size and shape differences made up where they contrasted, but something to note.
While writing the pen feels pretty balanced. Maybe a hair heavier towards the top, but is quite comfortable. The matte texture of the grip makes the pen less slick, but not "grippy".
The final point is regarding the stylus. I'll admit, I don't use a stylus personally so having one incorporated into the pen isn't a major selling point for me. But, I know there are a lot of people that do and having it may be a really convenient feature.
You can't argue with the awesome deployment discussed earlier...
Functionally, the stylus worked pretty well on my phone/iPad touch devices and seems fairly standard.
BN WORKS includes two additional replacements in the package and they are kind of full-on fancy replacements. Not just the silicone tip, but a brass threaded screw, metal post, and the stylus all in one. If you're wearing out stylus tips like crazy, this would seem to be a plus for sure.
I will say that for those of us that don't use a stylus, having one could dissuade a purchase, being so central to the design. I really, really like the style and feel of the pen, but could see myself not buying one since it has a stylus. In an ideal world what I'd love to see is potentially just a rollerball pen with the same design, but sans a stylus as part of the lineup. Maybe wishful thinking.
Overall I think this is a solid execution on the pen by BN WORKS. Everything feels great and the fit and finish is pretty flawless. The price point of $85 is on the higher side, but not completely unreasonable.
Special thanks again to BN WORKS for sending the TWIIST for review!