When I first saw the TechLiner, I wasn’t sure about the look of the refill sticking out of a blunt end on the pen. I also let my previous thoughts on the Uni-Ball Signo 207 cloud my judgement. These thoughts were from long ago when I wasn’t a fan of gel pens and wasn’t impressed with the Uni-ball Signo 207. Like the old saying on not judging a book by it’s cover, I shouldn’t have judged this pen solely on it’s looks or by old thoughts on the refill it was designed around.
One of the things I liked about the TechLiner from the beginning was the fact that it was made out of titanium. I have always liked pens made out of titanium, partially because it’s an interesting material and something different than aluminum but also because of it’s extensive use in aviation and turbine engines. Having a pen made out of the same material that my aircraft’s engines are made out of is an interesting way for me to bring two of my biggest passions together.
The build quality of the TechLiner is very solid, there’s no rattling parts or loose threads to be found. The tips of the pen have a machined grip that is comfortable to hold but does it’s job well. Probably the coolest, and definitely the most fun, feature of the TechLiner is the use of magnets to hold the cap in place. The magnets are strong enough to keep the cap in place, even if you try to shake the cap off, but aren’t so strong as to make it hard to remove the cap. The magnets do their job well and also make a cool sound when attracting the cap.
The shorty model of the TechLiner is very well balanced and makes the TechLiner comfortable to write with. There is a longer version available and while I haven’t used one of the longer models other reviews suggest it may be a little top-heavier than the shorty version, though not enough to make it uncomfortable. One of my concerns initially ,as mentioned earlier, was how the refill seemed to just stick out of the pen with nothing but a magnet to hold it in place. I didn’t like the look of it at first and also had concerns about how secure the tip would be when writing and whether the tip would bend any or worse break off given how much of it was exposed. After looking at many pictures and reading many reviews the look has grown on me and I really like it as it is something different. The magnet does an excellent job of keeping the tip secure when writing and after filling out duplicate forms at work and triplicate forms registering my daughter for kindergarten earlier this week, my fears of the tip bending or breaking were unfounded.
There is a tumbled finish that looks nice but is a very plain finish when compared to some of the other finishes that are available. The most well known of these other finishes is the gonzodized or gonzo finish which gives the TechLiner a unique blue and gold patina finish and looks awesome. An interesting take on the gonzo finish is the new Gonzoflage model which has a digital camouflage pattern lasered into the gonzo finish. The polished finish looks very nice and isn’t a fingerprint magnet like some polished finishes. The Urban Camo has a unique texture to it which gives the finish a little more grip than the other finishes I’ve used. I think this results from the top layer of the finish being lasered off to create the camo pattern. There are additional finishes and some brass and copper models available on Ti2 Design’s website.