Today I have something a little different from my typical flashlight or electronic review in a writing pen from Astrolux the TP01. This is Astrolux’s first pen on the market and it’s available in titanium and aluminum, so let’s take a look and see how they did. Thanks to Banggood for sending this one to me to review. I will have a link with a discount available in the description below.
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The Astrolux TP01 pen is packaged much like recent flashlights from Astrolux, in a white cardboard box with silver foil on the front. On the side is a sticker showing which version you received. Inside the pen was nicely protected in foam. Included was a bag of accessories which included a T6 torx wrench for the clip screws, and a small Allen key for the interior set pin. You get a set of extra screws and an extra set screw, as well as an extra spring for the pen. You also get a little pouch which has faux leather on one side and then a wool/felt front side and a snap to keep it closed. I have been using this since the clip isn’t the best.
One quick note is that Astrolux does sell a holder for this pen to display it on your desk. But the price is quite high, only about $10 less then the aluminum version of this pen.
The Astrolux TP01 pen comes in 3 material choices. The one I have here in front of me is an anodized titanium in the wave pattern, but it’s also available in stainless steel, and anodized aluminum. The titanium comes in a raw, and then 2 colors as well. What I have here is the wave pattern which I just love. It looks like a heat anodized mokuti pattern but is indeed flat. It has blues, purples and a little bronze in it. It does a good job of breaking up finger prints pretty well.
The body is 8 sided, with the corners rounded in the center of the body, at the tip in the grip area it comes down into 4 flats that kind of pinch inwards and then back into 8 sides for the tip. This anodized pattern really does a good job of making that all blend in.
The bolt itself is a rectangle with 3 lines of jimping on it to provide some grip. I will talk more about how it functions later on.
The clip is the last area I want to talk about on this pen. It’s attached with 2 T6 screws, on mine it doesn’t make contact with the body. My big problem with the clip is how little area is milled out from the body. The result is a clip that has trouble attaching to anything but the absolute thinnest material. If you use a front pocket in a shirt this would work, but anything else thats thicker then it just doesn’t have the clearance. For me this is the biggest draw back of this pen and the ability to EDC it.
Disassembly on this pen requires tools but easy enough after you have done it. To disassemble you will need a T5 and T6 torx bits/wrench. Astrolux includes a pair of these in the box which is nice, or you can use your own like I am here. First step is to take the pen top off. Inside is the very small hex set pin which fits a T5 bit, which once unscrewed allows the bolt to come out of the side of the pen (Flat spot facing up), when then allows the carrier, cartridge, and spring to come out the rear.
Reassembly is the opposite, place the spring on the cartridge and into the body. Then place the bolt in taking care to orient the hole for the handle to face the milled slot. Place the handle in with the flat facing up, and then screw in the set pin tight.
The clip uses T6 screws, lucky a small T6 torx wrench is included with the pen. The clip is not required to be removed for the cartridge to be changed.
Size and Weight
Length I measured at 119mm, diameter at 11mm. Weight with the cartridge is 33.6g. This is a little shorter then your standard pen. A Pilot G2 is 143mm tip to tip. The shorter length doesn’t bother me on this one.
For comparison on weight, my Brass TiScribe Bolt with cartridge is 34.9g, and my Nitecore NTP30 also in titanium is 28.8g. So the Astrolux TP01 even being made of titanium is a heavy compared with the nicer bolt action pens I have.
Feel in the Hand
So how is the bolt action on this pen? At first I wasn’t super impressed with it but it’s grown on me. The tolerances on this isn’t as tight as either of my other bolt action pens, but the price here is a lot less as well. The result of that increase in tolerances is you get some more noise in the body. The downwards stroke takes a bit more resistance and when you release it, it’s a little more violent to slam to the shut position. As it’s broken in this has improved.
As for in the hand, the 4 flats on the grip area of the pen is a little weird for how I grip a pen with 3 fingers. It’s not uncomfortable but not as good as a round or triangle shape either. It’s perfectly fine for an hour or two meetings, but not something I would want to write with all day.
How it writes
The pen cartridge it comes with is a pretty generic medium tip ball point pen cartridge. It’s not bad, but not great either. I have been using it at work to take notes for a couple of weeks and it does the job just fine but isn’t special. The good news is that it does take Parker style refills so you can put in something better if you want to, and sourcing refills is easy as long as you don’t lose your torx drivers that are required to change it.
- Pretty affordable especially in aluminum.
- Uses a common Parker style refill
- Beautiful anodizing on the 2 anodized titanium models
- Pocket clip has basically no clearance for any material.
- Disassembly requires tools and is somewhat complex.
- 4 sided grip area isn’t as nice as a 3 sided or round grip.There isn’t any grip or texturing present.
If you were looking for an inexpensive bolt action pen to try out, and wanted something that took a standard cartridge that was easy to get your hands on this is a good choice of pens to get started. I love that Astrolux decided to make this pen in 3 different materials at 3 different price points. It allows everyone to try a nicer pen at any price standpoint. I am a big titanium fan so that’s what I went with on this one, and the anodizing is beautiful, but I think the best bang for the buck is one of the aluminum options. Definitely make sure you check the links below and check these out on Banggods website.
If you have enjoyed my first pen review, please let me know in the comments below. I have a couple of other pens that I could review in the future such as my Nitecore NTP30 or USG TiScribe in brass.
Save 24% on the Astrolux TP01 Titanium Bolt Pen at http://bit.ly/2yILZ1r with code: BGATTBA (24%off)