Talking Titanium with Tuff Writer Founder Jack Roman
TMS Titanium caught up with Jack Roman, founder of Tuff Writer, the best American made, CNC precision machined, tactical pens on the market. They specialize in taking great design ideas and making them into amazing products. They understand that people sometimes depend on their tools for their lives and that the best made gear simply never goes out of style, each and every one of their products is a reflection of that philosophy.
TMS – How did you come up with the idea to use Titanium in pens?
JR – “People kept asking me if I would make a Titanium version. I originally said that I wouldn’t, it would be overkill but people just kept asking for it. Finally, one customer offered to buy 15 of them if I would just make them. At that point I took it seriously and designed a Titanium version.”
TMS – How long have you been in this business and how did you get into this area?
JR – “I have been at it eleven years now. At the time nobody made a pen like this, I actually coined the term “tactical pen” as part of a marketing project during grad school. Since I wanted one I assumed other people might want them too. Finally, I just took my savings and got to work. It took about a year to get the first pen made and it snowballed from there.”
TMS – What are the advantages to having Titanium incorporated into your products?
JR – “It’s an amazing material. Light, strong and nearly corrosion proof. I tell people that these pens will probably outlast civilization, they’re that durable and long lived. Plus, Titanium can be finished in so many stunning ways, from polishing to flame coloring, coating, etc. It’s just an incredibly versatile material that has a very unique, special feel to it.”
TMS – Who is buying these pens?
JR – “People who want something that’s not just a disposable, commodity item. Our customers are pretty much anyone who wants something special, something that is made incredibly well out of the finest materials available. Not everyone can afford a Rolex or Porsche but almost anyone can afford one of our pens and they’re made with the same quality, the same attention to detail. These are heirloom quality items made to last a lifetime. Something someone can look at and enjoy for years every time they pull it out of their desk or pocket and enjoy the quality, the pride of ownership when they hold it in their hand.”
TMS – How much Titanium are you using?
JR – “We machine Grade 5/6AL4V like it’s going out of style. From machined pen clips to pen tips and bodies.”
TMS – Can you talk about how TMS Titanium is helping?
JR – “James Hostetler at TMS was incredibly helpful in working with us to dial in the machining process. In addition, when we decided to try making machined clips James sent us a few samples and worked with us to make sure the material we had performed as expected and the finished parts were excellent. He also gave us some good ideas for finishing.”
TMS – If you could make anything out of Titanium what would it be?
JR – “I have a built Jeep JK I use for rock-crawling and I have this incredible urge to be the first kid on the block with a Titanium long-arm suspension on that thing. I think it would be absolutely epic. I also made myself a custom machined buckle for my gun belt. It’s light, strong and looks awesome. That buckle will probably last me my entire life.”