It’s certainly been quite a while since I last published a review on this site, and that’s mainly due to focusing my efforts on growing the YouTube channel. That being said, there’s no doubt that written reviews have their merit, and I look forward to bringing more content to my readers.
In a nutshell: If you can stomach the price then you’d be hard-pressed to find a more functional, balanced EDC mini pen.
The object of this review comes from a company that I’ve already had on the site; this company is none other than Nottingham Tactical. A few weeks ago, and much to my pleasant surprise, I was contacted by the president Lee Nottingham Jr. who asked if I’d like to take a look at one of their newer offerings. I think we all know I couldn’t possibly pass up such an offer.
The pen arrived in the sturdy, clamshell packaging that I’ve come to expect and love.
Also included was a plastic baggy with assorted goodies. I counted a business card, three (very cool) stickers, and a receipt.
I’m not sure if these extras have always been standard with Nottingham Tactical products; however, they are indeed a nice touch and add flare to the presentation. To this effect, it seems that the Nottingham Tactical website has also been re-worked for a cleaner user experience.
Moving on to the pen itself, I decided to go with the TiClicker G2 Mini. Additionally, I requested the “straight flute” design. It’s worth noting that there is a myriad of other cuts possible for this pen and the standard Nottingham pens. I believe that any design from the standard TiClicker is applicable to the G2 Mini version.
A closer-up image of the pen outside of its clamshell packaging.
Comparison between standard TiClicker (top) and TiClicker G2 Mini (bottom). The Mini is just slightly – 0.705” – shorter.
My first impressions of the TiClicker Mini pen were very favorable. Ask anyone, and I think we can all agree that the overall design of the pen just looks stunning. It’s clean and doesn’t scream tacti-cool. On the other hand, and literally when in my hand, the build-quality and machining exudes perfection.
Much of this review will use the Fellhoelter TiNy Bolt pen as a basis of comparison. This is the pen that the Nottingham G2 Mini will no doubt be compared to and for good reason: Build quality-wise, Nottingham and Fellhoelter unequivocally make some of the best pens in the EDC world. It also helps that the TiNy Bolt is one of the few “mini” pens I own.
TiNy Bolt (left) and TiClicker G2 Mini (right). Dimensions of the Nottingham pen are as follows: Diameter: 7/16″ Length: 4-13/64″ Weight: 25 Grams
At the base of the TiClicker’s body is Nottingham Tactical’s signature grip, the dimples. These dimples are reminiscent of the rubber grip you might find on a cheaper, plastic pen. Personally, I think a real rubber grip is more comfortable, but I do like what Nottingham Tactical has done here. Unlike a rubber grip, titanium will neither conceivably wear, nor get discolored with the gunk that is often attracted to rubber.
You can see that “Nottingham” has been laser engraved into the titanium.
At the tail of the pen is their logo as well.
Most of the stuff I’ve picture above are more aesthetic than anything. This in mind, functionally, the fluted lines don’t add much to the pen. I guess you could make the argument that they cut down a tiny bit of weight, but they’re more eye-candy than anything. I do think they add a good deal of character to the pen nonetheless. The engravings for the logo and company are clear and legible. This is a good indication of quality, and something small I like to look out for.
You can see that relative to the Fellhoelter TiNy Bolt, the clip on the Nottingham TiClicker Mini is quite long. The longer length of the TiClicker Mini’s clip is preferable to me; a pen this size has a tendency to get bumped if you pull something else out of your pocket like a wallet. An issue that I had with my other Nottingham Tactical pen was that the clip was slightly askew. This does not appear to be the case with the TiClicker Mini, and it was well-centered.
The TiClicker Mini uses the same unique, clicky mechanism found on their full-size pens. Unlike the Fellhoelter pens, which have a loud and fidget-friendly bolt-action, the TiClicker’s mechanism is almost silent. This feature goes along the lines of it being predominantly a “tactical” pen. Presumably, you’d be using the pen in a scenario where stealth is critical. This won’t be a feature that most users will need; however, it will definitely appeal to some.
While the mechanism and action are undoubtedly of high quality, they can also be a bit finicky at first. I’ve found that the mechanism has a tendency to “stick” or even “miss” if not depressed evenly at 90 degrees. In practice, this is almost never an issue because most people use their thumb, but you can forget using your palm or awkward angles to actuate the clicker. The mechanism will break in over time and mostly mitigate this issue if what I’ve seen on my standard TiClicker is any indication.
There’s a whole lot of threads on this little guy! Titanium is a galling metal which means friction tends to lead to inconsistency between parts when they are rubbed together. You’ll often find lower-quality pen’s threads that uses titanium to be “gritty”. The threads on the TiClicker Mini were relatively smooth (similar to the Fellhoelter TiNy Bolt) which is another good indication of quality. They were much smoother than the USG TiScribe, another bolt-action pen I own.
Lamy M22 used in TiNy Bolt (left) and Pilot G2 Mini in TiClicker Mini (right).
With “Mini” pens, you’re often limited in terms of good refills. The Fellhoelter is a good example of this; it uses the Lamy M22 ballpoint refill. While this refill is definitely better writing-wise than say, the Fisher Space refill, it still leaves a lot to be desired. Conversely, the TiClicker Mini uses the G2 Mini refill; this refill is essentially a cut-down, standard G2 refill. You don’t lose any of the greatness of the standard G2 refill while retaining much more ink capacity than the Lamy M22 to boot.
So how does this all play out in practice for the TiClicker Mini?
Mini pens are inherently difficult to write with for a number of reasons, and it seems like the TiClicker Mini is trying address these issues. To this effect, I think it does so very well. For starters, the pen is easy to grip in every orientation unlike the TiNy Bolt. With the TiNy Bolt, there’s literally only one possible grip orientation because of the way the bolt-action mechanism protrudes from the side of the pen. The slightly longer length of the TiClicker Mini also aids in its multi-grip orientation. Second, the difference between the G2 Mini cartridge and Lamy M22 cartridge is night and day. Anyone who has written with a Pilot G2 knows just how smooth the pen is, and this extends to the TiClicker Mini.
USG TiScribe (top) and Nottingham Tactical TiClicker Mini (bottom).
Despite these features, the pen still falls short – when writing – relative to something like the standard TiClicker or USG TiScribe. Because of the TiSCribe’s svelte design, writing for extended periods is more comfortable. This is more so a limitation of mini pens in general than it is a fault of the TiClicker Mini’s design. And I will say that I found it quite pleasurable, nonetheless, to write with the TiClicker Mini for medium durations of time.
Writing an entire essay with the TiClicker Mini would be out of the question, but the pen is more than ample enough to take notes during lecture.
Build-quality aside, the TiClicker Mini also utterly destroys the USG TiScribe in portability. A big issue with the TiScribe and pocket carry is the length; you don’t run nearly the same risk of stabbing your leg with the TiClicker Mini. And while the pen doesn’t carry as deeply as the TiNy Bolt and TiScribe, having the clicker exposed helps to grab it quickly out of a pocket.
TiClicker Mini pictured alongside Dango D01 wallet and modified Benchmade Bugout.
Something unique to my usage scenario, but relevant to the TiClicker Mini, is that I carry a front pocket wallet alongside the TiClicker Mini. My wallet of choice, the Dango D01, utilizes aluminum for its outer frame. Bare aluminum, especially when its jagged like on the Dango wallet, will scrape the crap out of whatever EDC gear is alongside it. I learned this the hard way.
Fortunately, the TiClicker Mini I was sent has a tumbled finish. With this in mind, Nottingham Tactical offers two finishes: Satin and Tumbled. Satin is going to be similar to a brushed finish, and generally has more aesthetic appeal. On the other hand, a tumbled finish makes it very hard to visibly mar the pen’s titanium construction. Because of this my pen has been none the worse for wear, despite being constantly rubbed against the wallet. I also suspect that the titanium used is Grade 5 (6AL-4V) which probably helps some.
In the couple weeks that I’ve carried the TiClicker, I’d say that it’s found quite the spot in my collection. It’s certainly not my favorite to use, but I think it’s a gem. The TiClicker Mini is the idea EDC pen in that it combines true portability with exceptional (for a mini pen) writing function. You lose the cool “fidget” factor that the bolt-action mechanism on some other pens offer, but at least you won’t be disrupting your co-workers or fellow peers.
You can purchase this pen on the Nottingham Tactical website here. All thoughts and published text in this review are my sole own. I was not paid to write this review.