The BaliYo

Joined
Feb 28, 2002
Messages
7,636
Spyderco has introduced the BaliYo as a nod to all those pen-flippers out there who might or might not share interesecting demographics, Venn-diagram style, with balisong flippers. While I've never been much of a pen flipper, I've always wanted to be; I have a manager who regular spins a large pen around his hand when he's in meetings and I find it hypnotic. I am, of course, a balisong owner and flipper, and so when I saw the chance to flip my way through some boring meetings myself, I got more excited than I've ever goten about a pen.

baliyo01.jpg


The BaliYo is meant to be used for writting in the closed position. The tip of the center pen module is twisted to reveal the ballpoint. There's a Fisher Space Pen cartridge inside, which writes (in blue ink from the factory) smoothly at any angle. It doesn't have the same tactile joy to it that my liquid ink pens have, but it's a decent pen nonetheless.

There are metal weights in the tips of the flipper arms that give the BaliYo just enough weight to operate, though the whole thing is really very light. This light weight means that, while you can use the BaliYo to practice balisong-style openings and closings, you can also perform tricks that (at least for me) would not be possible with a heavier metal balisong). I've already taught myself to spin the thing over the top of my hand, which is a new move for me.

baliyo02.jpg


The fit and finish of the BaliYo itself are quite nice, though of course it's a plastic, hinged pen, so there's plenty of play. The wire pocket clips can be removed and the individual pen segments mixed and matched if you buy different colored BaliYos (the pen is assembled with Torx screws). The Fisher Space Pen module is replaceable. You may prefer to remove the clips for ease of flipping; I left mine in place. Use caution when carrying your BaliYo, however. I was carrying mine clipped to my pants pocket, not my shirt pocket, and nearly lost the little guy when I got up from eating lunch and the pen was left lying on the chair.

baliyo03.jpg


Flipping the BaliYo is remarkably addictive. I found myself wandering around at work, idly flipping the pen -- and then being forced to explain to several managerial types that the item in question was, in fact, a pen, and nothing else. Sales on the Spyderco website have been brisk, so as of this writing the BaliYo is hard to come by, but I imagine it will be available for a long time to come. This is easily the coolest pen I have ever owned.
 
Joined
Jul 20, 2007
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3,121
Thanks for the review. Flipping aside, would you comfortably write with this all day?
 
Joined
Dec 2, 2005
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I've been walking the halls of my work place for a few days now flipping my Baliyo. I really enjoy these things. I've recieved the all sorts of comments, and its a bit suprising that most people have no idea what it is. One thing it does do is instantly identify who the knife people are. They know exactly what it is. One co worker said, "dude, you can't bring that in here." I said, "dude, its a pen, relax." He said, "OMG that is sooo cool." That was a nice moment lol.
 
Joined
Mar 23, 2008
Messages
2,269
I have been having a lot of fun flipping mine :)

As for the "comfort" factor when writing. I find it relatively comfortable, but I would not use it for extended writing.

In addition, it has helped my balisong game :) You can really push yourself without fear with the baliyo and then translate any new moves to your balisong skills :)

Good work Spyderco!
 

Esav Benyamin

MidniteSuperMod
Joined
Apr 6, 2000
Messages
90,915
www.baliyo.com

I'm going to try to describe this without pictures, but I find one of my alternate pen grips works real well with the Bali-Yo. Hold the pen between index and middle finger, all the way down, with index finger resting on the ends of the clips. Place thumb against pen at the bottom of the clips against the flipping rings. Touch pen tip to paper, and rest your ring fingertip on the paper as well, and write.

I use this grip for drawing and also for writing in hot weather, since my hand won't blot sweat all over the paper. It is a light grip which does not tire the hand. I originally developed it for brushstrokes with brush markers.
 

Robert H

Premium Sheathmaker
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Mar 24, 2001
Messages
8,326
I'm getting one for my daughter. She loves my Bali's, especially the Szabofly. She can flip this at school and annoy all her friends. Excellent!
 
Joined
Mar 5, 2007
Messages
516
I'm getting one for my daughter. She loves my Bali's, especially the Szabofly. She can flip this at school and annoy all her friends. Excellent!

You realize, of course, that you'll be getting a phone call abut your daughter's 'threatening gestures' towards other students and faculty?
 
Joined
May 16, 2006
Messages
244
Nice review Phil. Also, nice grab on the gray one. I ordered mine launch day but all I could get was the red, white and blue one. I like the Balisong too- I had one waaay back, when the good ones were affordable. I don't consider myself clumsy, but I'm having a tough time adopting my techniques to the BaliYo. I wish the handles had more substance to them- I think the way they are cut out is what throws me off. I think the idea is great, but I just wish it felt as good as a nice Balisong does-and yes I know that Spyderco is emphatic that this is not supposed to be a Bali trainer, but an altogether unique product, and I totally see their point of veiw with this.
Funny that I ran across this post; earlier today I was just looking at Bali trainers and wondering if they were legislated the same as the real knives. It seems that Spyderco is voluntarily doing so with theirs, through corporate policy. Filpping this BaliYo makes me yearn for a quality trainer, about as close to the real thing as I dare get in the age of Draconian laws.
 

Esav Benyamin

MidniteSuperMod
Joined
Apr 6, 2000
Messages
90,915
I wondered what they would feel like, too, if they weren't cut outs, maybe even flat on the inside instead, with a flat sided pen component to match. But they are so light, they still would flip quite like real balis.
 
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