Tactile Turn Draws Up New Bolt Action Knife

Tactile Turn, the Texas-based shop best known for its popular EDC pen designs, is crowdfunding its first-ever knife, the BAK. The knife takes advantage of a pen-style body tube and a patent pending bolt action opening mechanism.

According to Tactile Turns founder Will Hodges, although he’s known for pens he has been a knife fan since he was a kid. “I’ve always loved knives. When I was in Boy Scouts I had a Gerber knife that was my pride and joy.” As his shop grew, Hodges talked to and learned from a bevy of makers; among others he cites Jerry Moen, Tony Baker, and the sadly passed Ram Maramba as an endless supply of knowledge and inspiration. “The knife community loves people doing cool stuff, and as a pen maker I’ve mostly watched from the sidelines,” Hodges tells us. “Now we get to make some knives and so far the community has embraced my knife in an amazing way.”

Visually the BAK’s closest ancestor in the knife world would be the good old X-Acto knife, but the comparison is skin deep. The BAK packs in plenty of knife nerd-friendly features, with the most prominent being its bolt mechanism. Users manipulate a bolt across a channel to slide out the BAK’s 1 inch tanto blade from the body tube. This patent pending design echoes the mechanism seen on the Tactile Turn Slider and Glider bolt action pens, one of the shop’s most successful projects to date. Hodges says that Jerry Moen was the first to suggest the idea of combining the bolt with a blade, and that it grew on him over time. “Early this year I had one of those ‘ah-ha’ moments where it just clicked. It’s an all new way to deploy a knife.”

In terms of cutting performance, the blade itself is chisel ground and made from D2 tool steel, hardened to 60 on the Rockwell scale. Hodges also points out that the blade stock has been beefed up compared to your run-of-the-mill craft knife. Combined with the bolt mechanism, the blade makes BAK less of a craft knife and more of a true EDC knife with a one-of-a-kind form factor.

Hodges chose a body tube design similar to that on the Slider and Glider pens, right down to the clip. As with his other products, the BAK will be sporting Tactile Turn’s signature texturing on the body, a series of crisply cut lines that provide traction but no abrasion. Backers will have the choice between three different body tube materials: brass, copper, or titanium.

We asked Hodges if he sees the possibility for extensions of the BAK platform in the future. “There might be a couple other variants that have bigger blades and/or use hobby blades like X-Acto blades and possibly a replaceable scalpel blade version,” he shares, before going on to tell us that he would also like to realize a more conventional folder at some point in the future. “I’m working on a $200-300 flipper, but [the BAK] works really well with our style/ethos. It’s also a fun knife and one of the only new deployment methods in a while.”

The BAK has already blazed past its very modest funding goal on Kickstarter and is scheduled to be delivered by July.

Knife in Featured image: Tactile Turn BAK