Posts filed under Kickstarter

Ti2 TechLiner Pen Review

Ti2 TechLiner Grip.jpg

I first came across Mike Bond's pen designs when he sent me a prototype of the Ti2 Pen. It provided a strong, sleek housing for my favorite Pilot Hi-Tec-C refills and I found myself enjoying what he did with the pen. Mike reached back out again recently to show me his latest design - the Ti2 TechLiner Pen - and I was eager to give this pen a try, but not for the reasons you may think.

When Mike first sent me the pictures of the Ti2 TechLiner I expressed a concern to him: "What is up with the truncated nose cone? I don't think I like that." I went a little more in depth in my email and Mike explained his choices around the design. I still wasn't quite sure about it but agreed to look at a prototype. I got the pen in hand a couple of weeks ago and learned one thing very quickly. Never judge a book by its cover.

Ti2 TechLiner Tip.jpg

I am more than impressed by the Ti2 TechLiner. The build quality and design are top notch, making for a good looking, comfortable feeling product. And the nose cone design? I kind of like it. It's a feature, as they say. It gives off the look of a technical drafting pen, like various rOtrings or the Sakura Pigma Micron. I was concerned that visually and functionally it wouldn't work for me, but I was dead wrong.

Another item I was wrong about is the use of magnets to secure the cap on both ends of the pen. I've felt in the past that magnets are gimmicky, but these are strong and give off a great snap when capping and posting. They are very well done.

Mike has decided to use the Uni-ball Signo 207 as the refill model for the Ti2 TechLiner. I like this choice because one, I am a fan of the refill, and two, it is available in 0.38 mm tip sizes, my preferred ultra-fineness. Plus, there are other similar refills that should fit, like the Jetstream.

Ti2 TechLiner Grip.jpg

The best endorsement I can give a pen like the Ti2 TechLiner is to put my money where my mouth is. The Blackwash finish looks amazing but is a little out of my price range at $120. The Gonzodized, on the other hand, is a finish I don't own in any other pen and I was able to get in on the Early Bird for $75. I look forward to seeing this pen in person.

The Ti2 TechLiner has already met its funding goal with three weeks left in the campaign. If you are a fan of good design and the Uni-ball Signo 207 refill then this is a project you should check out.

Big thanks to Mike Bond for sending me this prototype for review.

Ti2 TechLiner Posted.jpg
Ti2 TechLiner Review.jpg
Posted on April 18, 2014 and filed under Kickstarter, Ti2 TechLiner, Pen Reviews.

Tactile Turn Mover Pen Review

Will Hodges and I have played email tag since he launched his first Kickstarter campaign for the EiMIM Pen in 2012. We have never been able to get in sync for a product review until now but the wait has been worth it. The Tactile Turn Mover is one of the best machined pens I have reviewed.

Will sent over a sample of the Dark Red Mover pen for me to check out and I was impressed right out of the envelope. First of all, the Dark Red finish is spotless. Admittedly, this would not have been my first color choice but I am glad I got to see how nice it is in person. Pictures don't do it justice.

Color aside, what really stands out with the Mover is the overall fit, feel, and finish of the pen. In the hand it feels outstanding. The weight is good, the balance is solid, the clip is tight, the knock is quiet, and the grip - wow - the grip is awesome. Will calls the grip a "custom lay pattern". The conical grooves start at the tip of the pen and run about an inch up the barrel. When gripping the pen it feels like your fingers lock into place, but it is comfortable at the same time. Much more so than a traditional knurled pattern which can get rough to hold over time if not done right.

Dat Grip.

Dat Grip.

The Mover ships with an 0.38 mm Pilot G-2 refill, and fits a wide variety of other refills as well. Will can add another to the list: The Pilot Juice. I recently bought a few 0.38 mm blue black pens to have on hand so I swapped in that refill and went to town. It fit perfectly with no modifications and no gap around the tip opening. The tolerances seem to be spot-on.

Along with the Mover, Will is offering up the Shaker which takes Fisher Space Pen and compatible refills. Both models come in the standard aluminum machined finish, as well as Black, Dark Red, Desert Sand, and Green anodized finishes.

While I received this review sample at no charge I am so happy with it I put my money where my mouth is and backed this project for an additional Mover. Well done Will, and for your next Kickstarter I would like you to manufacture that bitchin' jacket you are wearing in the video.

For more reviews of the Tactile Turn Mover and Shaker check out posts from Ed Jelley and The Clicky Post.

Posted on January 20, 2014 and filed under Kickstarter, Pen Reviews, Tactile Turn.

Ink

My friend Dan Bishop and the gang at Karas Kustoms are back at it again. Monday marked the launch of their latest Kickstarter campaign - simply called Ink - which features a machined aluminum rollerball or fountain pen in a rainbow of barrel colors. Finally, a fountain pen worth backing on Kickstarter!

Dan was nice enough to send me an aluminum prototype model to check out, and I am impressed. The barrel shape is a huge winner in my book, with the size and diameter of classics like the Nakaya Piccolo and Edison Pearl. Beauty in simplicity I say.

Despite the size, the Ink is far from too heavy to write with. It has some weight to it, but the aluminum barrel is balanced so well that writing is effortless with the cap unposted. When capped, the extra heft gives this pen an indestructible feel that works as well in your jeans pocket as it does in your suit pocket.

Ink

L to R: Karas Kustoms Ink, Edison Pearl, TWSBI 580

The choice of a medium Schmidt #5 nib was a good one, giving this pen a solid foundation to lay down ink, plus some choice for those who like to tinker and may want to swap it out for a different size or other compatible nib (Note: I tested my TWSBI and Kaweco nibs and neither fit.) It is a firm, smooth writer and I have had zero issues with ink flow in the few days I have had this pen inked with Noodler's 54th Massachusetts.

The coup de grace in parting me with my money is the ability to back different color barrels at launch. The orange Render K is still my single favorite Karas Kustom pen, and an orange Ink will be joining it soon. And maybe black. Or blue. Or grey. And maybe a rollerball model because it fits my favorite Retro 51 refill. The options on this campaign are fantastic and it was hard to limit myself to one. Addicts have budgets too, right?

Check out Ink on Kickstarter. It's a great pen by great people and would make an excellent addition to any writing arsenal. Thanks to Dan for giving me an early look at was is sure to be Karas Kustoms best pen yet.

(P.S. Video. Is. Amazing.)

Posted on December 17, 2013 and filed under Kickstarter, Karas Kustoms.

Solid Titanium Pen + Stylus Prototype Review

The PHX–1 was my first introduction to Chadwick Parker and Joe Huang, the team behind BIG i DESIGN. At the time, it was the second pen project I had backed on Kickstarter, and while the “design tool set” style of the PHX–1 wasn’t exactly up my alley, I was intrigued by the product. I was also very pleased with the results. The quality of construction and attention to detail were obvious.

It was around that time that I struck up regular email correspondence with Chadwick and Joe. They kept me in the loop on what they were working on, and I watched their success on Kickstarter grow. Success doesn’t begin to describe their latest project though. The Solid Titanium Pen + Stylus launched almost a month ago and recently crossed the 500% funded threshold with over $160,000 pledged. I jumped right in as an early backer - before I had even talked to Chadwick and Joe about it - and have watched as it continues to climb higher and higher.

Solid Titanium Pen + Stylus

So what is all the fuss about with this pen? Fortunately, the guys were able to send me a prototype of each available model and I am able to tell you about it first hand.

The main selling point of the Solid Titanium Pen + Stylus is the fact that the barrel is compatible with over 30 refills. The full list is on the product page and it is quite varied. It contains many popular refills such as the Pilot G2, Uni-ball Jetstream, and the Mont Blanc Rollerball as well as several lesser known but equally as nice refills like the Ohto Ceramic Rollerball.

Solid Titanium Pen + Stylus + Pilot Hi-Tec-C Cavalier Refill

My first order of business was to test as many as I had available. The Pilot Hi-Tec-C Cavalier refill was the first one I reached for and it fit like a glove. In fact, it is almost as this pen was made specifically for it. It fit in tightly and there was no gap around the tip opening. The Uni-ball Jetstream and Signo RT refills fit equally as well, as did the G2. The Signo 207 and Zebra Sarasa Clip fell a little short though - the tip did not protrude far enough out of the barrel for me to be comfortable using it to write with. These are prototypes after all, so I have reported my findings back to Joe and he confirmed that there are more tweaks currently in the works. I also verified that some of the refills not listed do in fact not work with the Solid Titanium Pen, mainly the standard Hi-Tec-C and Signo DX refills. Neither is a match, but similar replacements are available as stated above.

With the vast amount of refills eligible to use, the pen barrel almost gets lost in the shuffle. It shouldn’t because it is very well done. Like their previous products, the construction quality and attention to detail are top notch. The titanium barrel is a medium weight and features a threaded cap that also posts on the end of the pen. When posted it gets lengthy but the weight of the pen is such that it isn’t too unbalanced.

Solid Titanium Pen + Stylus Silver Matte

An additional feature is the stylus tip on the end of the pen, which can also be replaced with a threaded plug for $3 (or free to everyone if the project reaches 1000 Facebook Likes). I was impressed with how responsive the stylus actually was. I had a bad experience with a different pen/stylus combo recently but this one was a breeze to use.

The clip is strong, but not overly so to where it takes a large amount of force to lift it. It also has a sharp looking Ti logo on it, similar to what you would see on a periodic table of the elements. A felt pen sleeve to protect your pen when not is use? Yes, it comes with that too.

I was able to get in on the early backer rate of $59 when it first launched and even at the normal price of $65 it feels like a great buy compared to many other Kickstarter options. With its beautiful design and versatility, the Solid Titanium Pen + Stylus may just be the one pen to rule them all.

You still have about a month left to get in on this project, so head over to Kickstarter and check it out.

Solid Titanium Pen + Stylus 2

Posted on July 13, 2012 and filed under Kickstarter, Pen Reviews, Solid Titanium Pen.

Ti2 Pen Hands-On

Ti2 Titanium Pen

I mentioned in last week’s Kickstarter post that I had a Ti2 sample on the way, and now that it has arrived I wanted to share my first impressions. I do apologize for the poor lighting in the photos. Time constraints!

The very first thing that stood out when I unpackaged the Ti2 is how perfect the weight and balance felt. You feel like you are holding a strong and durable pen but it is not as heavy as you think it might be. With the cap posted it is a touch long and has a different balance point but is still very comfortable to write with. I have found myself using it mostly unposted so far.

I was curious to see how the o-rings would work on the barrel and they do surprisingly well. The ones in the grip area provide that little extra without getting in the way and both ends do a great job of holding the cap firmly in place. There is no play on the cap at all when it is on either end. We will see how they handle wear and tear over time but at least they are easily replaceable.

Kickstarter Pens

Kickstarter Family Photo: Render-K, P1, Ti2, Pen Type-A, PHX-1

Overall, I think the Ti2 is a great barrel option for the Pilot Hi-Tec-C refill. At $50 it is not cheap, but it is in line with other Kickstarter options. If you really want to step your game up take a look at the recently added Ti2 Black Edition. It is out of my budget at $125 but wow is it good looking.

Big thanks to the Ti2 team for sending me this sample!

Posted on June 6, 2012 and filed under Kickstarter, Ti2.