A while back, I reviewed the BNdot Retractable Pen from BN WORKS and I gave it a pretty favorable rating minus a few small quibbles. All-in-all, though, I found it to be a great pen. So when they reached out about reviewing their newest pen, the Twiist 2-in-1, I was definitely intrigued. Does it reach the bar set by its older brother? Read on...
For the purposes of this review, we'll be looking at the Rose + Black version, but the pen also comes in a Silver + Black (top / bottom respectively), a Black + Silver (again, top / bottom respectively) and a Black + Copper. I don't care for copper pens because of the smell they leave on my hands and copper is extremely heavy so I opted for one of the other versions and they sent over the Rose + Black, which is beautiful in person. It's a deep rose gold, but really leans more towards copper than pink. with the black clip and black front section, it's a really sharp look.
It's a weighty pen at 1.3oz (about 36g) and the balance point is right where the two parts of the pen meet, which makes it quite comfortable to use as the weight is supported by the web of your hand rather than your fingers. Further back and it would be back-heavy. They did a great job on getting the balance right. The matte texture of the pen further enhances the in-hand experience as it provides a bit of grip without being aggressive or overbearing and lends itself to an array of grip styles. Add to that the cool-to-the-touch metal build and it's a pleasure to pick up and use.
So what makes this pen special other than build quality and materials? It's a 2-in-1. The Twiist accepts either the Schmidt P8126 or a Parker G2 refill — a P8126 comes in the box and a Schmidt P900 comes installed in the pen — and it has a stylus tip at the back end of the pen. Both the pen tip and the stylus tip are extended / retracted with a pair of twist mechanisms. This is definitely clever and I like that BN Works found a way to "hide" the stylus inside the back end of the pen until it's needed. A lot of times, stylus tips are just sort of hanging out in the open, picking up lint or getting messed up, but the Twiist protects the stylus nicely. Well done! The stylus mechanism has some subtle knurling as well, which ads to the user experience and also presents well as it adds a nice visual element to the back of the pen. BN Works was thoughtful enough to include a replacement tip, which just threads on to the back of the pen which was thoughtful.
Overall, I found the stylus tip to be okay to use. I had to apply a little more pressure than I'd like, but I do have screen protectors on my devices so it could be caused by that, although using my fingers doesn't seem to be an issue. I also found the stylus tip to be a little broad for my use. Companies like Adonit and Bamboo offer firm(er) fine-point stylus tips that lend themselves to a little more precision than the standard squishy type. BN Dot sourced a narrower tip than I've seen offered by most other companies, but I'd like to see them offer a little more premium stylus experience given the price point and the fact that people's expectations of what a stylus can do are increasing with the introduction of fine point styli from Apple, Samsung and Adonit, among others.
All-in-all, I think this pen is great. I've been using it for a couple of weeks and it's a beautiful pen that handles well and offers great refill compatibility. I'd like to see a version 2 with a higher-end stylus tip that isn't the standard rubber type seen on this version. But for casual users or those looking to mark-up a PDF on a touch-device on-the-go, I think this pen makes a compelling choice.
Thanks to BN Works for sending this over to me. Check out their products at BNWorks.com!
Thanks for reading,