Spyderco BaliYo Trick Pen Review

baliyobigButterfly knife or writing utensil? Actually it’s the Spyderco BaliYo Pen that is designed like a butterfly knife, but it’s a pen too.

I was truly looking forward to doing this review, because I am what you would call a GEEK when it comes to cool and different pens. So when I got this thing I did not hesitate to start using it right away. This pen is designed to be a “trick” pen and based on the design you are supposed to be able to spin, flip, and twirl this thing like it’s an extension of your fingers. Before I watched the included DVD, which I will get into a bit later, I decided to give this thing a shot on my own. I have always thought I had some very good hand-eye coordination. However this product sure did prove me wrong. Every time I tried anything with this pen I nearly took out an eye, and that eye wasn’t even mine, it was someone else’s from across the room, because this thing kept flying away from me. I started to think I was the wrong person to be reviewing this pen. But I am not one to give up. So before I did, I popped in the included DVD.

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The video basically goes over 6 different “tricks” that you can do with this pen. Each section of the video shows the trick at regular speed and in slow motion. Like I said, I have always thought I had exceptional coordination. I sat and practiced each one of these tricks for at least an hour a piece. No matter what I did, I just could not get this pen to do a single trick. They make it look so easy in the video. I think it may make the “tricks” easier to understand if there was a step by step tutorial. Unfortunately there is not. Regardless of the hard time I was having I still kept this pen with me non-stop for the last few days, and practiced and practiced some more. Now before I finally gave up on the tricks, I figured it was time to use it as an actual pen. The one positive thing about this product is the designers actually took the time to put in a Fisher Space Pen refill which can write underwater, in freezing cold, boiling heat, and even upside down.

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So overall, this pen is, if nothing else designed to look cool.

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However the two outer arms do not stay locked in place, so writing with this pen is actually quite uncomfortable. And that is due to the way you have to grip it when the outer arms are down. You cannot “twist” out the pen tip unless the sides are up. This pen is definitely geared toward kids. I just can’t see a business man busting out the BaliYo in the middle of a meeting or on a sales call. And even though I could possibly see a high school kid using one of these I really can NOT see anyone dishing out the whopping $34.95 it costs for this pen. Is it a conversation starter…YES! Is it practical…NO! Being nearly impossible to learn the tricks and a bit over priced this pen/toy is definitely cool looking but unfortunately you will not find one in my gear bag. I can buy a lot of dollar store pens for a lot less than this one. But if you are so inclined to learn more and check out all the different colors this product comes in just go to www.baliyo.com and you will see that there is definitely a color combo for anyone.

 

Product Information

Price:$34.95
Manufacturer:Spyderco
Pros:
  • Looks cool
Cons:
  • Too expensive
  • Hard to learn tricks
  • Uncomfortable to use as a pen
Posted in: Geek Toys

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Rob September 10, 2009, 9:43 pm

    Spyderco is now offering a $10 black version made in China, if price is a primary concern. I don’t know how it stacks up to the USA-made model, quality-wise.

  • Jim September 10, 2009, 11:08 pm

    I bought one a few months ago and actually its pretty cool. After ripping some of the tricks from the dvd to my ipod touch, I slowly learned two of the four tricks well. I can do one more, but not too well, so I’ll leave it at that.

    I does take a good while to practice. It took me a week to get one of the basic flips and from then on it was a little easier and then blend the two in order.

    As for the look, yes its a bit weird looking when working in an office environment, but it’s a great time waster.

    My one gripe is that the stupid thing slips out of my hands waaay to easily. It’s like I need to wrap the handles up on the grip.

  • Blacknimbus September 11, 2009, 7:32 am

    You could just go ahead and buy a proper balisong and a box of pens. ;)

  • A.J. Repp September 11, 2009, 10:44 am

    Jim,
    I must say you are apparently more patient than me… I spent a good amount of time with this thing and just could not get it! maybe you can teach me! :)

  • A.J. Repp September 11, 2009, 10:44 am

    Blacknimus
    I totally agree! ;)

  • Michael February 5, 2011, 10:13 pm

    lol it took me a day to master

  • funtuna mc June 12, 2013, 5:37 pm

    I have one that is 10$, and before I had practiced with an actual balisong. I knew how to use it, and to me, it is awesome.

  • bill May 4, 2014, 8:31 pm

    If You are having trouble with the tricks, you can simply look up beginner butterfly knife tricks and use those.

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