First Look: BIGiDESIGN Ti Arto

I finally have a pen barrel for the Uni-ball Signo DX refill.
I finally have a pen barrel for the Uni-ball Signo DX refill.

To say I’m excited about the BIGiDESIGN Ti Arto is a bit of an understatement. Ever since Kickstarter pens became a thing, the Uni-ball Signo DX (UM-151) has been left out in the cold, despite being the best gel ink pen on the market. It’s refill design isn’t compatible with many others, thereby leaving the market open to Parker and Pilot G2 compatible refills.

Sure, you could hack and slash the DX into other barrels, but few people want to go that route. They want a pen barrel that will fit their favorite refill easily, and the Ti Arto does just that. In fact, it fits over 200 refills, even the mini-sized D1. And it fits them all well.

How BIGiDESIGN accomplishes this is with an internal compression cone within the nose cone of the pen. You unscrew the barrel above the grip section, slide in your refill, then as you screw the section back on the internal nose cone compresses and tightens around the refill. As you can see in their project video, you can adjust the amount the refill is exposed, and it does require a little playing with it to get it just right. Well, for me it does, because I am super anal-retentive.

Did I mention it fits the Uni-ball Signo DX?

I tried a few different refills and they were all dead solid perfect. This is a fun pen to have in your arsenal for sure.

Titanium is BIGiDESIGN’s calling card, and that is your only option for this campaign. Which, for $65, is a great deal for a titanium barreled single cartridge pen. This one happens to fit more than 200.

I backed this pen the moment it went live - in fact I was backer #1. Getting this prototype in hand from Chadwick and Joe only solidified my thoughts on this pen. It’s really good and I can’t wait to get the final version in hand.

My thanks to BIGiDESIGN for sending me this pen at no charge for purposes of this review.

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Posted on September 19, 2016 and filed under BIGiDESIGN, Pen Reviews.