With the recent explosion of custom machined pens in the last few years, the pen community has had such a rich pool of pen bodies to choose from to fit their favorite refills. This is convenient because one pen design can usually fit a couple of more different refills as long as they are similarly sized. Some really popular refill defaults are the Pilot G2 and Parker designs. The ability to buy a pen that can fit any G2 refill has been amazing, and the same goes for pens that are a little shorter to fit the Parker style. But what if you could have one pen that does both, plus more?
The Ti Click EDC Titanium Pen from BIGiDESIGN promises just that, and it delivers with elegance. This isn't the first time they've produced a pen that fits dozens of different refills (See the Ti Arto EDC). They've been at it for a while, iterating on their design every step of the way. The Ti Click is the most elegant and well-designed implementation of that idea that I've seen yet, and it's been a joy to use with my favorite refills. With the Ti Click, they claim it is compatible with 100+ refills, "with no hacks, mods, or fuss." In my experience, this isn't just shiny marketing.
If you've never played with a BIGiDESIGN pen before, you're probably really curious how they manage to work with so many different refills. With all the different lengths and diameters of the refills out there, that has to be difficult, right? Yep. In previous models, the installation of a refill could be a little fussy, but that's not the case with the Ti Click. Simply unscrew the grip section from the body, insert a compatible refill, and screw the grip section back onto the pen. Now, there's a little more to it than that, so let's take a closer look.
The threads on the grip section aren't normal threads you've seen on most pens. They're larger and have a higher angle of attack, which makes it easy to adjust the refill to the proper length so that it extends and retracts properly once installed. On the body, there are two small O-rings that provide enough friction on the grip section to keep it from loosening or tightening as you use and transport the pen. It doesn't take a lot of effort to unscrew/screw the grip section from the body, but there's enough friction there to keep it secure unless you want to swap out the refill. I've never had any problem with the pen losing its "calibration" over time.
The other thing you have to do after inserting the refill into the grip section is to ensure the pen is clicked to the extended position. Then, just screw the grip section onto the body, effectively shortening the length of the pen, and stop once the refill tip pokes out enough for comfortable writing. Just make sure it also has enough space to fully retract! It really is a simple process to swap out refills in this pen.
Once the refill is installed, the pen works just like you'd expect. Click it to extend the refill, and click again to retract. The click mechanism is incredibly smooth and quiet. It's fun to use as a fidget toy on its own.
Aside from the unique system that allows the dozens and dozens of refills to work smoothly with this pen, there's also a well-designed clip. Also made of titanium, it's broad and strong and has not problem hanging on to whatever you clip it to. There's a small Ti logo on the top of the clip, but you really have to look for it. I love the design of the clip, and I've had no problems with it being too weak or getting bent out of shape.
But, if you do happen to bend the clip and want to fix it, BIGiDESIGN include a keychain tool that allows you to unscrew the top finial so that you can remove the clip and straighten it out. You could also remove the clip entirely if that's your aesthetic, but there will be a small opening under the finial where the clip is meant to rest. The special keychain tool is really a round wrench with a proprietary set of prongs to match the tiny sockets on the finial. It's a nice touch, but one that I don't think I'll ever have to use given the strength of the clip!
Custom designed and machined pens definitely look cool, but looks can be deceiving when it comes to actually writing with these instruments. With the Ti Click, comfort is about as high as it can get when comparing with other metal pens. The light weight makes it comfortable to use and handle for long periods of writing, and the textured grip feels great in the hand. Depending on the length of the refill, the body length will vary, which means the overall balance of the pen will shift slightly. In my experience, it doesn't shift enough to change the writing feel. No matter what kind of refill you put in this pen, it still feels like the same pen when you're writing and holding it. That's important to me, and I feel like BIGiDESIGN did a fantastic job on this.
Aside from the mechanic comfort and feel of the pen, it's only as good as the refill you choose to put inside! My current favorite is a 0.7mm Pentel Energel in Turquoise Blue.
When it comes down to color options, you have three with the Ti Click. The color featured in this review is the raw titanium, but you can also get Stonewashed and Black. I really love the look and feel of plain titanium, but the other two options look really attractive as well. You really can't go wrong with any of the colors, so good luck picking one.
The Ti Click comes at $100 even, which seems like a fair price considering the design and engineering that went into this pen along with the premium materials and finish. It's slightly high compared to other metal machined pens, but those pens can't fit hundreds of different refills. It's a great value that matches a fantastic body and pen mechanism with your favorite refills. There's no better way to dress up a boring plastic pen than by slipping a new metal body around the refill to improve the aesthetic and writing feel.
I can't recommend the Ti Click enough. If you have several different refills that you'd like to improve with a custom machined pen body, this is an easy answer that can easily switch between all the most common refill sizes. And, the added convenience of a click style makes this pen even more attractive. Throw all the practical points into a streamlined and attractive little package, and you have a real winner that delivers a lot of value at $100. The hardest part is going to be picking a color!
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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