Ti Arto EDC Review

Ti Arto EDC

I am a pen nerd.  Usually, I buy fountain pens only, but when I spotted the Ti Arto EDC, I could not resist.  After all, why would I not buy the last gel/roller ball/ballpoint pen I’ll ever need in my life?

Summary: On balance, I recommend the Ti Arto EDC

PriceWorth the price if you ever in your life think you might want a nice pen, but stick with the Walmart Back to School Specials if you just want something disposable that puts down ink. 

Size and Fit and Finish: Size is adjustable, varying from a smaller to medium sized pen.  Generally excellent fit and finish, except for some minor points that are probably natural consequences ofchoice-of-design. 

Use: Heavier than some pens but not the heaviest.  Well balanced.  I like it, but I usually like a pen with some weight. 

Caveat: BIGiDESIGN makes a previous model called the Ti Arto, which also can take a large number of refills, but not as many as 750+.  This review is limited to the EDC version.  If you want to buy the pen, be sure to getthe right one.  The older model is lessexpensive.

Size: The Length of the Ti Arto EDC Can be Adjusted From a Small to a Medium Sized Pen, so It Can be Comfortably Held by Larger or Smaller Hands

The hard numbers of the Ti Arto EDC such as the length and weight can be found on the manufacturer’s website here, so I will not repeat them.  This is a metal pen that comes in black, gray, and raw metal and can take over 750 refills.  I picked the raw metal one for this review. 

One of the secrets of the Ti Arto EDC for being able to take so many refills is that the length of the barrel is adjustable.  Below are several photos of the pen, capped, uncapped, and posted to show the pen at approximately its minimum size and maximum size.  For comparison, I am using a Pilot Precise V5 RT, which is an average sized pen that I bought at Walmart.  (Note the refill in my Ti Arto EDC is actually from the Pilot Precise V5).

Size Comparison: minimized
Size Comparison: extended
Size Comparison: posted
Size comparison: extended and capped
Size comparison: minimized and capped

The Ti Arto EDC is a medium weight pen, at least when compared with the other pens in my collection.  Given that it is made of metal, this is not surprising.  I consider it well-balanced, and, when I hold it in my hand, it does not feel as if it will tip over as I write.

When writing with this pen, I do feel that something is being held in my hand.  This is not true for lighter pens, especially those less expensive ones that are not refillable.  I like the feel of a little weight of the pen I am holding when I write, but of course this is pure personal preference.

Fit and Finish: The Ti Arto EDC Has Excellent Fit and Finish Exceptfor Two Areas Where the Design Results in Gaps

The fit and finish of the Ti Arto EDC is generally excellent except for two spots where the initial design choices probably affected the outcome.

The Ti Arto EDC has a threaded cap, and, when capped, the cap fits snugly to the barrel without any gaps.  There is no wobble, which is a good thing.  The threaded cap can also be posted to the end of the pen when writing.  There is a thread near the end of the barrel to secure the cap through mechanical threading, and, again, when posted, there is no gap between the cap and the barrel and no wobble.

There is a gap, however, between the end cap and the barrel.  There is also a noticeable wobble between the end cap and the barrel if you wiggle the end cap from side to side, even though the cap has been threaded to the barrel following the installation instructions.  For me, the wobble is an acceptable trade off for a pen that can adjust its length to accommodate so many refills.

There is a second gap near the front of the pen, where the grip for the hand is located.  This is also the same place where the user adjusts a chuck (discussed below) inside the pen to accommodate refills of different circumferences.  When the grip is twisted to hold the widest refill, there is barely a noticeable gap, but when the grip is tightened to hold a thinner refill, the gap is noticeable.  The gap does not cause any wiggle between the two sections of the barrel.  Like the end cap wobbling, this gap is clearly a result of some initial design choices, and like the end cap, this does not bother me and seems like a reasonable tradeoff for the pen’s ability to accommodate so many refills.

Refill Mechanism: The Design of the Ti Arto EDC Allows It to beAdjusted to Fit 750+ Types of Refills

As already mentioned, the Ti Arto EDC can take over 750 refills, according to the manufacturer.  I have not personally tested 750 refills, but I have no reason to doubt the manufacturer’s claim.  As soon as I got my pen, I replaced the original cartridge with the Pilot Precise V5 RT refill, and the refill fits excellently.

I already mentioned above that the length of the Ti Arto EDC is adjustable to accommodate refills of different lengths.  The adjustment is made possible because the endcap of the pen is threaded so that it can be twisted into the barrel for a minimum size or be twisted and extended to a maximum size, where the thread on the cap just engages the thread inside the barrel.

Another key design feature that allows the Ti Arto EDC to be able to take 750+ refills is the mechanism at the front end of the barrel, where the writing point protrudes from the pen.  The mechanism is basically a chuck, like the ones found on a drill or Dremmel-like tool.  One twists the hand grip of the pen to loosen or tighten the chuck. 

Once the head of the writing point is secured by the chuck, the user can write without experiencing any wobbling when the pen tip is pressed to the paper.  The chuck also expands and tightens to secure refills of different circumference.  Lastly, the user can adjust the length the refill protrudes from the barrel, for aesthetics.

To install a refill, one takes the end cap off and turns the grip to loosen the chuck that secures the refill.  Once loose, the used cartridge can be slipped out and a new one inserted.  Then twist the grip so that the chuck grabs the refill securely, with the tip of the refill protruding from the barrel at a distance of the user’s liking.  Replace the end cap by twisting it back onto the barrel.  When the extendable end cap and the adjustable chuck work together, the Ti Arto EDC can take a large number of refills as if the refills were made specifically for the pen.

Ti Arto EDC Fully disassembled

Price: The Ti Arto EDC is Not the Least Expensive Writing Instrument On the Market, but Given Its Large Number of Refills, Can Give a User a Flexibility NotAvailable With Other Pens

As of this writing, the Ti Arto EDC is sold at $90 retail by its manufacturer BIGiDESIGN on its website.  It is also available through several boutique pen stores online, which a quick Web search can quickly reveal.  When compared with entry-level pens like Parker or Cross ballpoint or rollerball pens (either can be bought for less than $20 on Amazon), the Ti Arto EDC is pricy. 

It is possible to justify the price of the pen by comparing the price of refills over a lifetime, but one would have to write an enormous amount to be able to make up for the difference.  Given that a modern-day writer usually types instead of hand write, the odds of anyone being able to make up the price difference though savings on refills vs. buying a new pen at an office supply store is fairly small. 

If you insist on doing the rough math, here it is.  Refills can vary widely in price, depending on type.  Generally, ballpoint refills are the least expensive and ceramic rollerball refills are the most expensive.  Some refills for some name brands can cost close to $10.00 per refill.  However, generic refills can be had for about $0.20 for ballpoint pens, $0.50 for gel pens, and $0.80 for ceramic rollerballs.  This means that if you buy a Parker/Cross entry level pen for about $20 and thereafter use the cheapest generic refills, even if you use ceramic rollerballs, you can buy almost 90 refills before you reach the total spending price of $90, which is price of the Ti Arto EDC. I am not sure if these days, anyone will use 90 refills in their lifetime. 

If you are very particular about the line size of your pens, however, you might like the Ti Arto EDC’s flexibility.  In the U.S., a gel or rollerball pen usually lays a line of 0.5mm to 0.7mm thick, but one can buy a gel pen that lays down a line as thin as 0.28mm (from Uni) to as thick as 1.6mm (from BIC).  The Ti Arto EDC can take the sizes at each extreme end, so it gives a great deal of flexibility on refill choice, unlike the Parker or Cross, where you are basically limited to the line width of refills of their particular design style. Despite the higher price, the Ti Arto EDC can still be a good buy if you enjoy the pen’s aesthetics and like the cool factor of being able take any refill.  If you are like me and have a drawer full of refills of various types and sizes collected through the years, you can now use one pen without ever having to buy another refill in your lifetime.  However, if you are very price sensitive (or not a pen nerd) and just want something that puts down a line, you might be better served buying a plastic BIC ballpoint pen, which can be had for as little as $0.10 each and which can be thrown away once the ink runs out.

Conclusion: Recommended

If you are a pen enthusiast and have a drawer full of pen refills of various sizes and types, the Ti Arto EDC might be the pen for you because you will be able to use all those refills with this pen.  The pen itself is well balanced and well put together, and, despite the price, is worth being considered for purchase.  I have had this pen for a few months, and have been very happy with it.

DISCLOSURE: This article is about 1800 words and contains 14 photos.  I am not affiliated withBIGiDESIGN nor have I been paid to do this review of the Ti Arto EDC.  I am also not affiliated with Amazon—it’s just the fastest way for me to research a rough price.  You should be able to find less expensive pens and refills elsewhere on the Internet. This review is just my opinion and recommendation.  The writing piece is meant as a writing sample for my technical writing business. IF YOU WISH ME TO WRITE FOR YOU, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME!