Friday, 5 September 2014

Troika Construction Pen

I'm a sucker for multi-functional pens so when I heard about the Troika Construction pen with its ruler, stylus, screwdrivers and spirit level it went straight onto my wish list. It's good to be prepared for every eventuality right?

Troika Construction - Not just for men
From looking at the packaging you would be forgiven for thinking this is a mans pen, for builders, engineers, hard hat wearers and the like. It certainly looks like it belongs on a building site, clipped to a tool belt or nestled behind an ear. I don't do any DIY and I haven't a clue what half the tools in the shed are for but I'm pretty sure I can still make good use of this pen.

The ruler with its 4 different metric ratios (1:20, 1:25, 1:50, 1:100) is the pens most obvious feature. I may not be the one with the DIY skills in my house but now when I'm asked to fetch a 40mm screw I no longer need to fetch the whole tub. I'll get it right first time and maybe even do a victory dance while I'm at it.

Troika Construction - ruler
The stylus was the next thing to grab my attention. Conveniently positioned at the end of the pen it's handy to use at any given moment. I don't know about you but I don't find texting on a touch screen as easy as the teenagers make it look. I'm forever catching the wrong letter, adding the wrong contacts and pressing send before I've even finished composing. Using a stylus prevents any more embarrasing text typos. The stylus on this pen works perfectly on both my phone and tablet. I love how the colour of the stylus blends in with the pen. I can see it's there but it doesn't look out of place or stand out too much. It's a stylish stylus. The pens comes in a few different colours and the stylus on each pen matches it's colour. 

Troika Construction - Stylus
Neatly tucked away under the stylus is another of the tools cleverly incorporated into this pen, the double ended screwdriver which is revealed when the stylus is unscrewed.
Once I'd chosen which end I needed (Slotted or Phillips) I found it slotted easily and firmly in place. The screwdrivers are really only suitable for small screws but I managed to find many more unconventional ways to use them. The slotted side made a great letter opener and the TV remote that is usually a pain in the backside to prise open is now a piece of cake. It's also good for slicing modelling putty.
The Phillips is handy for those pesky toys that require you to unscrew several tiny screws in order to access the battery compartment. The RC car for example, the one that sends the dog into a barking frenzy and then runs over your toes painfully removing three layers of skin resulting in you  confiscating the stupid thing for the rest of the week.

Troika Construction - Screwdriver
Next up is the spirit level. Now occasionally I'm known to hang a picture or two and usually the stand back and admire from afar method works for me when judging if it has been hung straight or not. Now I can be absolutely sure that my handy work is spot on thanks to the spirit level very cleverly installed in this pen.

Troika Construction - Spirit Level
My boyfriend tried the spare bubble trick on me which I didn't fall for much to his disappointment. I think he's hoping I lose interest in finding clever and unusual ways to use my Troika tool pen and end up handing it over to him. Hmm, I think not. Nice try though.

The Troika Construction pen has already been useful to me in so many ways and that's before we've even been near a piece of paper. It is after all a pen, to be used to write with, a fact that can easily slip your mind when you're busy tinkering with household items.

Troika Construction
The body of pen is a hexagonal shape and is made from lacquered brass and is retractable using the twist mechanism. It's a hard wearing pen that will withstand quite a few drops and knocks. Weighing in at 40g it's one of the heavier pens in my collection. There is no real grip on this pen but if there was a grip where would it go without obstructing the ruler? On this occasion I'm willing to sacrifice comfort for novelty factor. I don't have any other pens that can be used in as many ways as the Troika Construction so that definitely counts for something.
The pen itself feels ok to hold in terms of finger positioning but the lack of grip combined with its weight and bulk forces me to tighten my grip causing aching hands and makes writing feel clumsy at times.

The ink inside this refill strikes me as a little weak. It appears more grey on the page than black and on closer inspection my lines are not as solid and sharp as I'd like them to be. The ballpoint is however smooth on the paper and the refills reluctance to give me any more ink than is necessary means my writing has been blob and smudge free.

Troika Construction - Writing sample
Changing the refill is quick and easy. The pen pulls apart as pictured below and the refill can be unscrewed.

Troika Construction - Refillable
The Troika Construction takes D-1 refills which are smaller than the average refill but the alternative would be no spirit level so again I'm happy to compromise this time. Frequent refilling gives me more opportunities to experiment with a few different refill brands and colours until I find my perfect match. Every cloud had it's silver lining!

Silver was my colour of choice. I thought it looked the most sophisticated but for those of you who love your pens to stand out from the crowd and reflect your personality the Troika Construction pen is also available to buy in yellow, black, blue and red.

As a pen collector I somehow manage to find something interesting about each and every pen I own but this pen is definitely one of my most interesting ones. It may not be the right pen for long letters or essays but when it comes to general note taking or list making it's more than capable. If I had to choose one pen to keep with me at all times it would be the Troika Construction. Half the fun is finding weird and wonderful new ways to make use of this pens fun features. I can't wait for that moment when someone asks "Anyone got a spirit level?" so I can whip my Troika out of my bag and go Tah Dah!

I kind of wish I'd kept this pen a secret from my family because the yellow or black version would have made an amazing novelty stocking filler for my boyfriend next Christmas or birthday but he's seen it now so maybe I can find it in me to let him borrow mine from time to time.

Thanks to Executive Pens Direct  for providing me with this fun pen to review.

All opinions in this review are my own. 


  1. Looks a lot like the Monteverde One Touch Tool.

  2. I really love the troika pens they're highly reliable pens and actually very handy!