BigiDesign Ti Arto
The Ultimate Refill-Friendly Pen Review
- Description: A unique pen by the folks over at Bigidesign that takes so many refills, it’s borderline unbelievable
- Refills: Pretty much all them…over 200!
- Weight: 32.6g w/ cap
- Measurements: 5.37″ posted
- Color Options: Titanium
Today we’re looking at another (popular) Kickstarter pen – The Ti Arto by Bigidesign. Bigidesign is known for their slimline titanium pens that accommodate a whole bunch of refills. They’ve taken that compatibility a step further with their newest offering. The Ti Arto can use a whopping 200 refill types, with no tip wiggle. How does it work? Read on to find out about the mechanism that makes it all possible. Thanks to Chadwick and Joe over at Bigidesign for sending me this pre-production model to take a look at! Interested in picking one up? Better hurry, the campaign ends in 3 days and it’s got just under $200,000 in funding!
Appearance & Packaging:
The Ti Arto is my favorite looking pen that Bigidesign has released. It’s wider than the Pen + Stylus and has more going on than the PHX pen. The grip has some grooves machined into it for both tactile feedback and to disguise the gap between the grip and body. This gap is a necessary part of the design, as it allows the internal clutch mechanism to fluctuate in size. The tighter the grip, the smaller the hole for the refill to go through. The pen looks sleek, as it’s made from titanium. There’s an o-ring by where the cap screws on, which eliminates that metal-on-metal grinding that titanium so loves to do. The clip is a nice shape, and sits low in a pocket. Included with the pen is a felt sleeve with the brand’s logo.
Performance & Extension System:
The Ti Arto delivers on its promise. The clutch mechanism works really well. It’s kind of like on a drill when you’re changing bits. As the grip is screwed in, the “arms” close until they grab the refill. This mechanism allows you to use a multitude of refills without trimming or shimming. You can also control how far out you’d like the pen tip to be. Some pens write with the refill too far back into the body. The Ti Arto allows for a full range of customization. It simply works. The only thing I’m not wild about is the gap between the grip and the body when using a wider tipped refill. I’d like to see a squishy o-ring or something in there simply from an aesthetic point of view.
As you can see, this Pentel Energel refill is held on by the clutch mechanism. There’s no wiggle to be found. Since the refill is secured at the tip, a wide range of refill types can be used, even the slim D1. I’m really impressed with how it works. The tolerances throughout the rest of the pen are tight and precise. After 19 successful Kickstarter projects, it’s apparent that Bigidesign know what they’re doing when making a new product.
My favorite part about the Ti Arto as compared to the rest of the Bigidesign pens I’ve used is the feel in hand. The Pen+Stylus had a really slim grip that I never got used to using. The PHX pen was pretty much a steel bar with a refill and it was pretty heavy. The Ti Arto is wider, and I find it much more comfortable to use. The ridged grip is easy to hold on to, yet it doesn’t dig into your fingers. The cap posts onto the back of the pen with threads for a secure post that’s nicely balanced. The length of the pen is good whether capped or posted. I really don’t think I can find something about the feel of the pen that I don’t like. It’s got a nice heft without feeling cheap, a smooth surface, and great balance.
- SO. MANY. REFILLS.
- Most comfortable pen from Bigidesign yet
- Unique refill holder clutch mechanism
- Gap between body and grip when using wider refills (aesthetic only)
This pen is really well thought out, and works just as it’s supposed to. I can confidently say that it’s my favorite of the three pens I’ve tried from Bigidesign. At $65, the pen is reasonably priced, considered it’s made from titanium. There are currently over 2,700 backers (a total of $191,000+) at the time of publishing, and Bigidesign has always delivered in the past. Hurry over to the campaign page here and grab one for yourself, there are only 3 days left!