Ti2 Design TechLiner Review

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.


Simply put, my initial thoughts on the TechLiner were about as wrong as they could get, the TechLiner is an excellent pen and one that I recommend picking up. 

My Fountain Pen Usage

 

Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed myself grabbing for and using my fountain pens less in general and especially at work. It’s not that I don’t enjoy them because I do, it’s that I am limited to when I can use them at work which where nearly all the writing I do is done. The only time I can use a fountain pen when I am in the aircraft is when I am copying down the data for landing (weather, what approach is in use, landing speeds, gate assignment, etc) onto the landing data card which, surprisingly, handles fountain pen ink better than I thought it would. All the paperwork I have to fill out before a flight is done on duplicate forms and isn’t suited to a fountain pen. I find myself solving crossword and sudoku puzzles with my fountain pens more than actually writing anything meaningful.

What little writing I do with my fountain pen at work, either one of my Pilot Metropolitans or my Karas Kustoms INK depending on which one I brought, is on cheap paper and doesn’t make for a writing experience which is any better than using a gel or rollerball pen. There are a lot of fountain pens and ink which I would like to try but my job which doesn’t require a lot of writing and what writing it does require isn’t fountain pen friendly. I’m not saying I’m not happy with fountain pens, because I am, or that I’m giving up on fountain pens, because I’m not, just that I’m finding myself using them less than when I first started getting into fountain pens.

Now for a little bit of follow up to an earlier post I did on Flying with Fountain Pens. I am happy to say that after a good two months of flying with a fountain pen and using it during flight that I still haven’t had any issues with any major leaks or exploding pens. The only problems I’ve had are some hard starts and a little bit more than normal nib creepage. 

CursiveLogic Kickstarter

I was recently contacted by Nathan Shrewsbury, one of the creators of CursiveLogic asking me to do a review but due to my work schedule I felt I wouldn’t be able to give it the attention it deserved. CursiveLogic is a new way to teach and learn cursive writing. Instead of learning how to write individual letters, CursiveLogic breaks down cursive writing into four categories which the creators call oval, loop, swing, and mound.  By focusing on the patterns of the letters in these categories CursiveLogic teaches cursive in way that is easy to learn.  Following one of the sample pages that is on the Kickstarter page, I can see the brilliance of the system.  After just a couple of minutes of practice, I could tell a difference in my oval letters (a c d g q o).  Even though I wasn’t able to do a full review of the system, I have backed the project. Patrick Rhone at The Cramped has also done a short post about CursiveLogic.

For more information about CursiveLogic visit the website or to back the project visit the Kickstarter page. You can also visit this page to help spread the word about the project.