The Ti-Ballpoint is my second pen from the folks at BigiDesign. I also have the Ti-Click Classic. While the Classic was designed with the Uniball Signo 207 in mind, it takes a whole host of refills. It may be the most refill-flexible pen ever made. I recall carrying both the snooty Montblanc fineliner refill (Is it me or are those things a giant rip off?) and the pedestrian workhorse Pentel Energel refills at some point in my Ti-Click Classic. At $89, the Classic isn’t cheap but it’s incredibly well made and the wide-range of refill options makes it worth investigating. The Ti-Ballpoint is a bit more purpose built in that it takes just Parker-type refills. That said, there are so many variations on the Parker refill that there is a good chance that any picky pen person can be satisfied. Personally, I’m going to grab the Ti-Ballpoint more frequently than the Ti-Click. Why? Well, I’ve discovered that I enjoy shorter pens with a bit of heft to them and the Ti-Ballpoint is exactly that – a shorter pen (at least when unposted) that still feels substantial in your hand.
The Ti-Ballpoint ships with a Fisher medium black refill which is a good choice because the pen feels like it has an EDC sort of vibe so a refill that writes in most any situation makes sense. (Tangent/Rant…Why is the default color for ballpoint refills black? Anyone know? Did someone do the market study and determine that more people prefer black ballpoint ink over blue?) What I really like about the pen, other than the obvious build quality, is how the refill tip does not wiggle one tiny bit when you write. With some pens that take a refill, there is often a bit of wiggle in the tip. 99% of the time it’s a minute amount of wiggle so it doesn’t much matter. But with the Ti-Ballpoint there is zero, zilch, nada wiggle thanks to a tight, spring reinforced, fit. You know how most refills just slide into a pen body and you screw it shut easily enough. Not so with the Ti-Ballpoint. It certainly isn’t hard to replace the refill, but you do need to apply a bit force as you screw the grip section into the body. It’s like the pen is saying, “This refill is mine now!”
The pen is actually called the Ti-Ballpoint + Stylus. So, it comes with a rubber stylus on the end of the pen that can be replaced with a flat end cap (see my picture) that you’ll want to use a flat head screwdriver to attach securely. The stylus works fine, but that bit of rubber doesn’t seem to jive with the whole sturdy, EDC thing the rest of the pen has going for it. Thankfully, the folks at BigiDesign were smart enough to include that end cap option.
At $75, the Ti-Ballpoint is not a casual purchase. The $59 I paid during the Kickstarter campaign made the choice a lot easier. Should you buy one? Well, you need to have a Parker-type refill you like. I like Fisher refills and Parker’s newer Quink refills, so I’m all set. You should also like slightly thinner pens that have a bit of heft to them. All in all, it’s a winner for me. Great job BigiDesign.