Ti2 TechLiner Prototype Pen by Mike Bond - Kickstarter

Back again and off to a great start is Mike Bond of Ti2 Design with his newest offering to the pen world, the Ti2 TechLiner.  Mike was kind enough to send me a sample prototype of the TechLiner and, I must admit, I'm definitely a fan.

You may recall Mike's previous and successful Ti2 Pen, which was launched and funded back in 2012.  Has it been that long?  If you are familiar with the experience of the original Ti2, you'll be in for a treat with the TechLiner.

The TechLiner I can best describe as an industrial, yet minimal pen that looks sleek but a bit tough.  Refined, but a bit rugged.  There are obvious design cues that connect the new offering with its predecessor, but it definitely holds it's own.

One of the main shifts for the pen is the movement away from the Pilot Hi-Tec-C as the refill of choice to a more readily and easily available gel pen, the Uni-ball Signo 207.  Mike has made mention that they may also consider making the Pilot G2 a possibility, but it isn't certain.  The 207 is a fantastic refill that touts Uni's unique "Super Ink" that is fadeproof/waterproof and is one that I use almost daily in my writing arsenal.  I think this is a wise choice by Mike as the Hi-Tec-C is not for everyone.

The all titanium barrel has an excellent heft to it that feels fantastic.  Mike sent me the tumbled version which I really enjoy the look of, but if you're wanting something a bit different he is also offering a special "Gonzodized" version in conjunction with Brad Martin (creator of the TiPen)and also a "Black Edition" that looks pretty slick.  For added grip, the design also incorporates some unique machined grooves.  Not traditional knurling, but subtle and cool looking.

For the sake of simplicity and more efficient manufacturing, Mike opted to design the pen with only three machined parts: the cap, barrel, and end sections (which are identical parts).  This is down from five machined parts for the original Ti2 Pen.  

The geek factor that sets this pen apart from others is its use of magnets to hold the cap on either the tip or tail.  Honestly, this feature is pretty killer and works incredibly well.  The magnets are strong enough to pull the cap tightly in place, but not too strong where it takes effort to get it on or off.  I assure you, if people see you using this pen they will want to play with it...

Now, referencing back to the limited number of unique parts, this seems to put a small dilemma in the aesthetic, or more so, people's perception of the aesthetic.  With both ends being identical parts and there not being a conical "tip", Mike engineered the magnets themselves to hold the refill in place.

The results is a more sharp looking writing tip that seems to spear out of the pen which is very different than people are used to.  In showing it around, there have been a few people that said they didn't enjoy it, but others weren't bothered by it in the least.  In Mike's initial email introducing me to the pen and project, he even made mention of this that the design may not be for all.  Personally, I think it kind of adds to the industrial look of the pen and does make it unique.  I haven't found that the writing experience is hindered in the least because of how snuggly the refill is housed in barrel.   

Both the Ti2 Pen and TechLiner don't come standard with a clip, but the option is there to get one for an extra $10.  The clip is actually the exact same one as the Ti2 Pen and is held into place by the threaded tail section.   It actually is a super solid clip, and no worries about bending it or it not performing well.  Against the tumbled barrel, the clip fits right in and the overall matching color is appealing.

One small thing that could become an annoyance (under the right circumstances) is that on the tail of the pen the magnet is exposed and attracts small shavings of metal.  The magnet is held in place by a slight lip which creates a recess that could collect little shavings.  Have you ever drug a magnet through the dirt?  Small bits of iron will stick to it like little prickly hairs.  I could definitely see this happening as mine had a few small shavings (not sure where they came from?) collecting at the end.  I wouldn't say it is a design flaw, but an observation.

Overall, I'm stoked about the Ti2 TechLiner.  The issue of the tip aesthetic might throw some people off, but give his campaign a look if it may be up your alley.

Thanks, Mike! 

Also, Mike has a cool line of other products under the Ti2 umbrella that are available.