Thursday, December 4, 2008
Spyderco BaliYo Pen
Yes, I did it. I'm a die hard nerd. I got a Spyderco BaliYo. It's actually quite a bit of fun. I found them at knifecenter for about $25.00 USD. I didn't have the guts to order one of the fruitier color schemes, seeing as I'll actually use the pen part. I got plain old gray, or grey, if you're a Brit.
Seems every knife company is offering a pen now, Benchmade, Spyderco, Timberline, not to mention the supposedly excellent Mil-Tac Combat Pens. Diversifying I suppose. You'd think more companies would have gone this route previously, like post-911, in 2002, when the government's Citizen Disarmament Program, aka: The Patriot Act started to really kick in. Not that the BaliYo is a weapon in pen-clothing, like Benchmade's superb 1100 series pens. The BaliYo is clearly being marketed as a "motion toy". I watched the new X-Files movie last night, and couldn't put the damn thing down!
I was initially disappointed in the light weight of the thing, then grateful for it, as if it'd been made entirely from metal, it would be ridiculously heavy as a pen. Here's my review I posted on knifecenter.com, where I bought it from:
"by Aaron From WA USA on 12/03/2008
I just got my BaliYo from knifecenter. It's a really cool idea. It's a pen that flips like a balisong/butterfly knife. It comes with an instructional dvd that shows different tricks you can perform with it. When I took it out of the packaging I was a little bit disappointed with the lightweight polymer/plastic used in its construction. After I thought about it I realize now that it has to be lightweight, nobody wants a pen that weighs down their pocket. It is US made by Spyderco, a company I trust absolutely regarding the quality of their knives. The balance of the flipping-action is good, those knobs on either end are basically weights, another reason they must have chosen to make most of this thing out of the lightweight polymer, it'd just be too heavy and awkward if it was made entirely of steel or aluminum. The BaliYo writes surprisingly comfortably in its intended closed position, and the dual-wire pocket clip is secure and works well. Fisher Spacepen cartridges are great, and I can't see needing to buy a refill any time soon, but it's good to know I can get them here at knifecenter. My only real gripe is not with the BaliYo, it's with the size of my hands. If you have bigger hands and are used to flipping a full size balisong, the BaliYo may take some getting used to between the short handles and the light weight. All in all this is a cool, well made pen that would serve as a decent balisong trainer, and it's just plain fun."
You turn the tip clockwise to expose the pen, and like every Fisher Space Pen, or pen using that cartridge, it writes smoothly, and as I've mentioned regarding Benchmade's pens, the ink is as close to permanent as i've seen in a ballpoint. It's a hell of a lot more permanent than the pathetic water-based "ink" that comes in the "pen" that's inside of Cold Steel's Sharkie markers. The Sharkie only includes an actual marker inside so it can be marketed as "not just" a weapon. Jon got one and his kid colored with the Sharkie for about 3 minues before the tip crumbled into nothingness. I love Cold Steel products, but I take issue with them calling the Sharkie a "permanent marker". The ink IS water based and nowhere near permanent. But alas, this article is about the BaliYo, which comes with a dvd with 6 tricks you can learn with some practice. I skimmed it, content to try the 2 or 3 balisong flips I know, but I will sit down with the thing and the included dvd when i have some down-time [those of you who know me personally are laughing, because you know my mild weekly schedule and just how much spare time I have].
BaliYo even has a Myspace page, but, hey, everyone and their grandma has a Myspace page. If you want to see some BaliYo action, youtube delivers, but hey, youtube always delivers. Anyway, the BaliYo is a fun diversion from pens meant to poke out eyes and strike nerves and pressure points. I believe the BaliYo retails for around $35.00 USD, but can be found significantly cheaper from web retailers like Knifecenter
I'm willing to bet a pinkie finger that the BaliYo will cause controversy in schools. There's so much weapon paranoia in public schools today, understandably since "Columbine". If teachers and staff get past the fact it's a pen, they'll surely bitch about the incessant click-clacking of any number of students who forgot their Ritalin and reach for their BaliYo, it's not bad enough that the thing is made by a well-known company who's made its bread and butter from knives, especially those used as weapons by military and police personnel. Hell, maybe I'll order one for my nephew who's going into the 8th grade, as a test.