So, what is Delrin? My incredibly simplistic definition likely won't do it the full justice it deserves, but Delrin is a brand name of synthetic polymer thermoplastic material. It's incredibly lightweight while also being very durable and rigid. According to many machinists, it's a fantastic material for learning and practicing the art of turning pens due to being more cost effective and forgiving than other materials.
Aside from that, it's also a really cool material that has a unique aesthetic and great performance. If you ever hold a pen made from Delrin, you might catch yourself thinking that it feels a lot like a Lamy And, you wouldn't be entirely wrong. The Lamy is made of Makrolon — another name brand thermoplastic polymer.
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While they aren't chemically identical, they're similar enough to share the same benefits and general characteristics. Compared to metal, plastics are a lot lighter. The aluminum, copper, and brass versions of the Gist are a good deal heavier than the Delrin version, but that doesn't mean the Delrin version is brittle, cheap, or disposable.
We're not talking about the plastic material used in a Pilot G2 or Bic — Delrin and other similar materials are extremely durable, rigid, and strong. You can put this pen through a lot of abuse and it will just keep on working. Over time, it also develops a unique look. And, being a Tactile Turn pen, the Gist also has the characteristic grooves all along the cap, barrel, and grip section, adding extra grip that I really appreciate. The Gist isn't a new pen by any means, but this new material and color combination is phenomenal.
The creamy white matched up with the black trim is enticing, and it reminds me of a stormtrooper uniform.
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The cap and barrel are both slightly transparent, allowing some of the light to pass through if there's nothing inside the pen. In the cap, you can see where the grip section ends and the nib begins. In the body, you can see where the converter or the cartridge ends. I think it's great - something between a solid and demonstrator.
On the color combination I have, the grip section, the clip, and the finial are all black. The clip is metal, but everything is made of the same Delrin material. The contrast is great, but I recognize that not everyone will agree. And that's fine because there are other options.
In Delrin, you can also choose a completely white model or a completely black model. With any Gist you purchase, you have the option of picking a black or silver clip. If you're not into the Delrin material, you can also choose from titanium, copper, or brass.
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And, if you're not a fountain pen fan, you can also pick any of these up in the rollerball configuration. You can browse all the different materials and colors on their website. After uncapping the pen, you're greeted with a really well-balanced pen. The black section marries perfectly to the body, and the long 6 nib has just the right length to compliment the other components.
The section accepts either short international cartridges or an international converter. Keep in mind that longer or wider converters will not fit in this body, so just stick with the converter that comes with the pen. After inking up the pen, I was excited to try out this titanium nib.
I've used titanium nibs before, but never in a pen that I've been able to use for more than a few minutes. While I will say that the writing experience has been great, it was a bit disappointing that this nib writes like a medium instead of extra fine imprinted on the nib.
I have nothing against medium nibs, but it's not what was advertised. That being said, I really like this nib and I've also decided that I'll probably go for a titanium nib any time I have the option. It's a lightweight and flexible material and has a great amount of tactile feedback that is similar to a steel nib.
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To me, this titanium nib is the perfect marriage of what I love about steel and gold nibs. Gold nibs are soft and flexible, while steel nibs have a more rigid stance and provide greater feedback from the page. The soft tactility of the titanium nib is fantastic. The nib is fairly wet, but that's how I prefer wider nibs. And, given the soft nature of the material, it's also fairly easy to create some line variation if you apply a small amount of pressure on the down-strokes.
Writing with the pen is extremely comfortable.
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