Ti2 TechLiner Shorty Review

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If you’ve been following along with our Carry Smarter features, you should be familiar with the value of carrying a pen and the allure of titanium. In this review, we’ll give Ti2 Design’s TechLiner titanium pen a closer look. As a writer, I’m particular about my pens. As an EDCer, there’s no other metal I want my gear made from than titanium. So when Mike Bond and the masters of titanium at Ti2 Design sent over their take on the machined titanium EDC pen, I was intrigued. Maybe skeptical is a better word. The pen certainly didn’t look like other pens on the market. No clicky, but a cap instead? A short barrel? An exposed needle tip? Nonetheless, I slipped it into my pocket to begin “testing.” What started as a trial run turned into months of daily use. In this review, I’ll touch on what qualities kept the TechLiner in my rotation, and what I feel could be improved.

The Specs

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  • Full CP2 grade 2 titanium construction

  • 5” Length (Shorty Version) / .375” Body Diameter, .4375” Cap Diameter

  • 0.97 g

  • Takes Uni-ball Signo 207 Refills

  • Neodymium N42 magnets in cap and tail

Design, Fit & Finish

The TechLiner’s unique design takes inspiration from the pens that engineers, designers, and architects used for technical work. The exposed “needle point” writing tip lends a high level of precision to meet the standards of engineers and artists alike. The pen’s machined grip portion adds even more control with its distinct grooves. The other end of the pen looks identical, simplifying the design and allowing the cap to feel the same when posted on the other side.  I found its pocket clip to look disproportionately small compared to the rest of the pen, even on this shorter version. True to its technical roots, it has that industrial feel without looking too sterile. The attention to detail is there. I dig it.

Operation and Performance

HOW DO THEY WORK
HOW DO THEY WORK

Uncapping the TechLiner was one of those magical moments for me. It reminded me why I love well-designed gear so much. When you think of how a pen with a cap should work, chances are it's something like what Ti2 Design managed to achieve on the TechLiner. You pull the cap with a deliberate amount of force and it pops right off — without the hassle of twisting, rattling, clicking, and so on. But then you’d think, “Oh, so I’m responsible for this cap now?” until you post the cap, seemingly through telekinesis, without lifting a finger. “Yoooooo…” That was the first time a pen ever got me audibly hyped in the office. I let everyone I meet who’s remotely into gear experience this. Having to uncap a pen isn't the most convenient, but Ti2 Design took every measure to make the process as close to perfect as possible with the TechLiner.

"Dear Diary, yo this pen is sick."

With the cap posted, the slight heft of its titanium construction offers this pleasant balance that I was surprised to feel in a shorter pen (the regular TechLiner felt a little unwieldy to me). The grip is sized just right and patterned for adequate control. You might run into problems if you’re used to really choking up on your pens. The grip stops short and the nose is truncated to create the exposed tip. And while this body only takes Signo 207 refills, it still glides on paper with the precision you’d expect from a technical instrument. It’s so smooth that you can fly through sentences before the ink has a chance to dry. That could be problematic for lefties or anyone prone to smudging during scribble sessions.

Carry Options

Unfortunately, its pocket clip isn’t as good as the rest of the pen. It looks small and insubstantial, but it actually feels too strong. On rare occasions when I didn’t have it angled just right, the clip would snag on my pocket. It could be because it’s a narrow clip to begin with, or the clearance is a bit tight. It definitely got better over time but the clip rides too high in the pocket — for my tastes anyway. For most of my testing period, I just took the clip off and loose-pocketed it. The tumbled Ti finish is resistant enough to handle that and the Shorty design lends better to deep pocket carry. It’s also important to note that the exposed tip makes the pen more prone to damage if dropped. Without a clip, there’s no anti-roll mechanism. One roll off the desk was all it took to make my refill stop writing. A quick e-mail to Ti2 and their customer service took care of me promptly.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Best cap and post mechanism on an everyday pen I’ve handled

  • Compact size with nice weight

  • Smooth, balanced, precise writing experience

  • Plenty of customization options

Cons:

  • Only accepts 1 line of refills, dries slowly

  • Exposed tip makes it prone to damage

  • Pocket clip rides slightly high

The end of the pen extends past the clip.

The end of the pen extends quite far past the clip.

Conclusion

All the ways this pen is different from the rest are reason alone to pick one up for yourself. I respect that Ti2 Design decided to let other machined pens do what they do best (refill compatibility, silent knock clickies or precision threaded caps) and instead fulfilled a niche with beautiful execution. It’s not perfect in an everyday carry context — a cap to lose, magnets in your pocket, a high-riding clip, and exposed tip are not “ideal” for longevity. Given its competitive price and truly unique experience, however, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them in more people’s pockets. It definitely has a place in mine.

BUY ($70+)

Disclosure: Ti2 Design sent this product at no charge to be considered for review. This does not affect my opinion of the product.

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Discussion (5 total)

Guess I'm buying this pen now...
Great write-up! I already got the regular, amazing pen, didn't realize a shorter version is out, tempted to get that too now, lol.
Love this pen, magnets are cool, simple as that :)
Will the cap stay on when carried in the front pocket of jeans?
I think 5" might be a touch long for pants pockets.
The cap requires deliberate pulling force to take off, and with its high-riding clip + shorter overall length, it does fine in the front pocket. Note that the cap is carried pointing down, unlike some pens where the clip attaches to the cap. I carried mine for months and still have the cap. You can also buy extra caps should you lose one, which I don't see happening with normal/careful EDC use.

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