Review: Turtle Pens

Turtle Pens are a cool new idea, and made in Edinburgh Scotland of all places. And it’s no secret that we love turtles and pens on this blog.  ;-)

As soon as I read about them earlier this year I knew I had to get my hands on one.

Imho, there are more than enough boring pens out there, it’s great to see something new. And I’m a sucker for a gimmicky gadget.  ;-)

They were introduced a few months ago and got a great deal of press attention. Once the initial rush became manageable, Richard Allen, owner of Turtle Pens (see how they work) was kind enough to send me one of the pens to review.

I got the Work – Black Pen model with the EasyFLOW refill. They claim that it ships in a “Heavyweight Stainless Steel Storage Canister.” And they are definitely not exaggerating. This thing (the steel shipping tube) is almost comically huge and solid and probably contains 8x the metal in most pens.

Here’s how Richard describes them:

Each pen features our patent pending SNAPback™ mechanism. Rather than a typical push button pen, to activate a Turtle pen, a user pulls the rear casing prior to letting it “SNAPback”.  Once the rear casing has recoiled to its starting position the nib is exposed. The second interesting design element of a Turtle pen is its extendable casing (or “Turtle Head” as it is otherwise known). This element gives Turtle pens their unique appearance. During activation the nib pushes the Turtle Head out from within the pen transforming each pen from a steel cylinder into what now looks like a unique pen.

There are two refill options, Ballpoint and EasyFLOW. The latter is a halfway point between a ballpoint and rollerball, but lasts much longer than a rollerball refill. Note that even the refill cartridges have the turtle logo on them, nice touch. I’m pretty sure that you can stick Parker refill carts into the pens down the road, but no guarantees.

The pen is heavy in the hand, but thankfully most of the weight is at the bottom of the pen. Pens that are too top-heavy can be tiring to write with. This one seems not too bad.

I enjoyed this review of Turtle Pens (don’t miss it, the pics are fantastic), and I can confirm that my pen has the newer glossy finish on the metal clip. The “turtle head” is the business-end of the pen, which projects the tip/nib through a telescoping section.

As you can see the actual writing is nothing out of the ordinary, just the usual ballpoint or rollerball experience, the gimick is in the pen itself, not the refill. Here’s a snippet my daughter copied from the back of a Lemony Snicket’s book.

It’s just kind of a cool, clever, fun pen. A bit off the beaten-path. If this looks like something that would interest you, get in touch with Turtle Pens and get your hands on one.

Misc. Reviews:
Review of the Turtle Pens ‘Play’ pen
A New Take On Big Pens: The Turtle Pen
Turtle Pens are for the Gadget Lover in You
The Turtle Pen Is Possibly the Only Interesting Pen
Turtle Pens With ‘Turtle Head’ Technology

Additional links:
Turtle Pens Refilling Guide
Turtle-Pictures-and-Technical-Specifications.pdf