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Posts in the TWSBI category

TWSBI_Micarta_01

 

The TWSBI Micarta Version 2 is a beautiful fountain pen constructed out of a sturdy layered material known as Micarta. This material is used in a wide variety of roles from industrial applications to knife handles. The insulating properties of Micarta gives this pen a very unique feel and look to it that I find completely enthralling. The pen comes in both clipped and non-clipped versions, of which I chose the latter. Although it is lightweight, the pen does not feel cheap or “plasticky.” Rather, the Micarta gives the pen an incredibly sturdy feel beyond that of the typical plastic/resin pen. The texture is smooth and it seems to even absorb moisture to a degree, so if you have sweaty hands you need not worry about your grip slipping at all. The cap screws off in two and a half revolutions with a fibrous sound and feel that is a bit difficult to describe, but I find it incredibly satisfying. The threads themselves have little fibers sticking out every which way when the pen is brand new, but they will wear off with use. I find this to be part of the charm of the pen– being able to see it evolve as you use it.

TWSBI Micarta cap threads

Detail of cap threads. Note the tiny fibers from the Micarta.

The nib is gold colored steel and is an incredibly smooth writer right out of the box. I had zero issues with start up or flow. The cap can be posted, but I find it feels a bit too long and heavy on the back-end if I do so. Version 2 of this pen has slight changes to the material as well as the updated nib and inner cap to prevent the nib from drying out.  The pen uses a cartridge/converter fill system which has given me no problems. However, I have noted that some inks may cause staining to the grip section if you dip your pen to fill from an inkwell. Some people have complained about the smell of the material, but I found the scent to be rather faint and it continues to fade as I continue to use the pen. Even so, the initial smell of the Micarta was nowhere near as powerful as the initial smell of the Noodler’s Ahab when I first got it.

Included with the pen is one of TWSBI’s notebooks with a storage slot for the pen within the book itself. I will not be discussing the notebook in this review, but I have included pictures to give you an idea of how it looks below.

TWSBI Micarta posted

TWSBI Micarta with cap posted

I find this pen to be a joy to write with.  The Micarta material gives this pen a very unique look and feel that I have not experienced with any other fountain pen so far. The size and weight of this pen has ensured that I can write for long periods of time with no discomfort. I adore the Micarta material so much I may consider purchasing a second one.

Unfortunately, due to poor sales and high-manufacturing costs, TWSBI discontinued this pen at the end of 2013. Any remaining stock from TWSBI is the last of them before it is gone forever. I know that I will continue to cherish mine well into the future. Highly recommended if you like unique pens!

 

Nib material: Steel

Cap: Screw

Filling mechanism: Cartridge/Converter

Overall Length: 136 mm

Weight: ~24 g

 

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TWSBI_580_01

After much deliberation, I decided to purchase the TWSBI 580 Diamond with a 1.1mm stub nib. TWSBI is known for having good quality pens at affordable prices, and despite the numerous reports of quality control issues and breaking parts (of which I have had none), I am really enjoying this pen. The body is a crystal clear plastic with a sort of angled diamond pattern to the barrel. This gives it an almost prismatic effect which becomes virtually invisible when filled with ink. The piston filling mechanism works well, and the pen can hold almost 2 ml of ink, which is very rare at this price range. TWSBI sells different nibs for this pen separately and they are easily swapped out with their modular nib/feed system. TWSBI even sells special ink bottles that allow you to fill the pen without getting the nib covered in ink.

The 1.1mm stub nib can be a bit finicky about the angle at which it is held to the paper, but when you get the hang of it the nib is a very smooth writer and lays down a fat wet line. If you’d like to see additional writing samples, see any of my reviews posted before (and probably after) this post. I am very happy with this purchase, and I was actually a bit surprised at how nice the build quality of the pen felt. I can see why this pen is so often recommended to people looking to move away from the baseline entry-level pens. Recommended!

Nib material: Steel

Cap: Screw

Filling mechanism: Piston

Overall length: 142mm

 

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