Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the FPN Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies


Registration on the Fountain Pen Network

Dearest Visitor of the little Fountain Pen Nut house on the digital prairie,

Due to the enormous influx of spammers, it is no longer possible to handle valditions in the traditional way. For registrations we therefore kindly and respectfully request you to send an email with your request to our especially created email address. This email address is register at fountainpennetwork dot com. Please include your desired user name, and after validation we will send you a return email containing the validation key, normally wiithin a week.

Thank you very much in advance!
The FPN Admin Team






Photo

Twsbi Diamond 580 Review

twsbi clear demonstrator 580 diamond m805 transparent disassembly inner-cap ink-residue

  • Please log in to reply
39 replies to this topic

#1 sannidh

sannidh

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,020 posts
  • Location:The Milky Way
  • Flag:

Posted 02 August 2015 - 07:33

With the latest Twsbi Eco making news, I decided to give my old 580 another shot just to make sure whether I should go for another. Find one is good enough for me (personal opinion). Here is also a link to my blog:

 

TWSBI Diamond 580 Review

 

Here goes my review of the 580:

 

My sole motivation behind getting a TWSBI was to disassemble the pen and have all the fun, which I missed. And I got a clear demonstrator, packaged with a nice-looking wrench.

 

THE TWSBI STORY

 

TWSBI (called Twiz-Bee) refers to San Wen Tong, i.e when TWS is spelled backwards and it means ‘Hall of Three Cultures’ according to their website. BI at the end refers to writing instruments. Ta Shin Precision manufactured everything from toy lego parts to high-end writing instruments for several luxury brands (both American & Japanese) for well over 40 years. So that’s plastic, metal & precision, precisely what’s required to make and sell a nice writing instrument, under your own brand name. Which luxury brands? They don’t reveal those due to privacy agreements. I have reasonable doubt from various reviews that one of them is Levenger. And TWSBI Nibs are said to be sourced from JoWo (earlier it was Bock & Schimdt), Germany (same as for Faber-Castell Design Pens).

 

THE FPN CONNECTION

 

An FPN member by the name of speedy started a post with a prototype development for an inexpensive piston filling fountain pen somewhere around late October, 2009. He clarified that he was a pen-maker and shared pictures of TWSBI 530 prototypes in this post. It showed a metallic piston system. And it became a popular brand within a short period of time.

 

Prototype.jpg

 

PRESENTATION

 

That’s probably one of the great aspects of marketing. Inside a brown cardboard box, you will find the pen residing within a clear plastic case. You will instantly fall in love with the presentation part of it. For the lack of a better word, I call it The Apple packaging.

 

DSC_4802.jpg

 

There is an instruction sheet on disassembly of the pen, highlighting the pen parts. Below the white pen-holding shelf, you will find the 7mm TWSBI wrench and a vial of silicone grease in two slots.

 

box.jpg

 

DESIGN - THE GEOMETRICAL TRANSPARENCY (4/6)

 

The build looks sturdy without adding much weight. Plastic economizes both cost and weight of fittings. This pen endorses practical utility rather than art with which you will probably associate a Pelikan or a Visconti. I do find an element of industrial look with the pen.

 

DSC_4833.jpg

 

Most of it is visible engineering, while use of plastic is quite evident in its piston-system. The barrel and cap are made of thick polycarbonate, with a protective heat treated layer for increased resistance to scratches, along with the crystal transparence. The overall fitment is still an area of improvement. One of my experiences is with the piston knob, which does not tighten itself well, as the piston head is pulled back in.

 

DSC_4829.jpg

 

The cap feels substantial and unscrews with a single turn, revealing a rather dagger-like nib. There is a metallic insert for the nib unit, supplying necessary chrome accents for the aesthetics. The piston knob has a rather broad ring making the mark for disassembly. Multiple polygonal planes orchestrate light effectively within, dazzling both the pen and the ink inside the barrel. The decagonal geometry also prevents an open pen from rolling away.

 

DSC_4837.jpg

 

The cap has a wide chrome band carrying a laser engraved TWSBI on one side of it and DIAMOND 580 TAIWAN on the other, in three separate lines. Two concentric circles run on this band in the form of imprints. The finial carries a vibrant red & silver TWSBI logo of three pillars within a dome of transparent acrylic. The clip is spring-loaded within a visible system having a chrome tassie and it has a geometrical pyramid-like cut. The cap is heavy and has a smooth circular cross section which can roll the entire pen easily with its weight, until the clip restricts it. You can also observe the relatively greyish inner cap, which prevents the nib from drying out.

 

cap.jpg

 

FILLING SYSTEM (5/6)

 

As a piston filler, it does have a good ink capacity around 1.8~2mL. The knob unscrews with three complete turns and manages to draw ink quite efficiently from the bottle. The feeder hole is rather a channel to enable efficient ink suction. One of the improvements could be with the piston knob, which should increasingly tighten itself, as the piston head is pulled back in. Mine stays loosely fastened (after I applied some silicone grease on the piston head) and is directly proportional to the friction at the piston head.

 

Filler.jpg

 

DISASSEMBLY

 

For this phase, rather than learning from the manual, you can have a look at a 580 disassembly video. I like the one with gouletpens or srebrown. Make sure you thoroughly flush the pen with water before disassembling it.

 

1. Rotating the piston end-cap counter-clockwise, the piston seal is lowered to a hinged stop inside the barrel. 

 

2. Fit the wrench just below the piston-end-cap, which can unscrewed in a clockwise direction from the piston-knob.

 

DSC_4903.jpg

 

3. The piston mechanism has five different parts as you can see in the picture, though it’s not necessary to remove the rubber piston seal (or head) from the piston rod (spindle). The fittings of the mechanism can be made from higher grade material.

 

DSC_4913%2Bcopy.jpg

 

4. The nib unit can be easily removed by first unscrewing the grip section from the barrel.

 

5. Since, nib is friction fit, you may remove the nib and feed from the unit, in case there is some heavy cleaning required (in case of a bad flow, sometimes the feed is coated with grease which restricts ink-flow). 

 

6. Make sure you apply an adequate amount of silicone grease to the sides of the rubber piston seal (you may ignore the bottom surface) before reassembly.

 

NIB - ALL THAT MATTERS (4/6)

 

The nib/feed unit can be taken out or apart for cleaning purposes. The nib is stainless steel and has a rather small dagger-like design. It comes with four stock widths - EF, F, M, B and two special widths of Stub 1.1 & Stub 1.5. 

 

DSC_4877.jpg

 

The tail end specifies carries the nib width while the name TWSBI along with the logo rest above the tail. There are some curves adorning the inside symmetry of the tines. To be honest it’s kind of a plain design with limited nib leverage. A black plastic feed with a feed channel for ink suction and the thin fins on the other side ensures a good buffer capacity and prevents hard-starts.

 

DSC_4893.jpg

 

Earlier, TWSBI used to source its nibs from Schmidt and then Bock, which is incidentally the nib-supplier for Faber-Castell too. But it’s the alloys and then post-processing that can make a lot of difference even in steel-nibs.

 

 

 

PHYSICS OF IT (6/6) – RELATIVELY SPEAKING

 

The pen filled with ink, does have a good balance in terms of both weight and length. The pen is not meant to be posted. The grip is quite comfortable with a section around 1 cm thick. 

 

Uncapped Length ~ 13 cm

Capped Length ~ 14 cm

Nib Leverage ~ 2 cm

Overall Weight ~ 28 g (Cap Weight ~ 14 g)

 

Capped and  uncapped and posted with a pelikan m805 runs below for your reference. A capped 580 looks similar to a m805.

 

DSC_4929.jpg

 

Uncapped it obviously lacks the nib of a m805, although the lengths are well-matched.

 

DSC_4937.jpg

 

ECONOMIC VALUE (4/6)

 

It retails at around Rs 5,500 ($ 86) here and I got it from a local store at around $ 70. The problem with ordering it from TWSBI’s website directly is that apart from heavy shipping charges, there are unseen duties to be paid for. Given the fact that you could get one of the usual butter-smooth and more responsive steel-nibbed Faber-Castell pens at a similar or even lesser price, it’s rather a decision of piston vs converter. I hope that the retail prices will get evened out with demand.

 

OVERALL (4.6/6)

 

This nib is wet with a hint of feedback which is expected of fine nibs. I purposely used a less wet ink, since the pen runs smooth with wet inks. There is some line variation which is evident with thicker vertical lines. A complete absence of any perceptible softness in this nib, kills the responsiveness part. The fine nib lays a line which runs between Japanese Fines and European Fines.

 

Being a wet writer out of the box, the Fine nib puts a line which takes around 16-17 seconds to dry on MD Paper with Pelikan 4001 ink.

 

DSC_4943.jpg

 

INNER CAP - INK RESIDUE

 

In case you find any ink trapped between the inner cap and the cap, a wooden pencil fitted with attached eraser, can help clean it. I have experienced this kind of leakage during air-travel. 

1. Take the wooden pencil (Standard #2) and insert the eraser-end into the cap.

2. Bend the cap in one direction, while putting pressure on the eraser in the opposite direction.

3. Slowly use the friction created by the eraser to pull out the inner cap.

4. Wash the ink out (Plain water is fine).

5. Re-insert the inner cap, and screw the pen back in, and it should friction-fit back into its original position.

 

REFERENCES

 

FPN TWSBI

Bock Clientele

Ink Residue

Disassembly - gouletpens, srebrown

 

Thank you for going through the review.

 

You can find some more pen and paraphernalia reviews here.


Edited by soniknitr, 02 August 2015 - 07:34.

You have come to earth to entertain and to be entertained - P.Y

 

Some Pen & Paraphernalia Reviews


Sponsored Content

#2 canibanoglu

canibanoglu

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 596 posts
  • Location:Berlin
  • Flag:

Posted 02 August 2015 - 13:44

As always, an amzing review! Thank you very much.

#3 pyramus

pyramus

    Near Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPip
  • 41 posts

Posted 02 August 2015 - 13:50

Great review! I have the Rose Gold 580 with an EF nib and love it immoderately, in part because it holds SO MUCH INK, but mostly because it's just so beautiful. It's almost my favourite pen.



#4 J_MM

J_MM

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 476 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 02 August 2015 - 14:49

Nice review and good work on the background research.

#5 Chu0009

Chu0009

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 125 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 02 August 2015 - 15:27

Great review
I have a 580AL which has the aluminium piston components and it feels more substantial. Also if you have the diamond ink well, refilling the pen is a breeze. Would highly recommend getting the inkwell with your 580. They make great pair.


#6 SenZen

SenZen

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,916 posts

Posted 02 August 2015 - 19:18

Great review. There's a lot to like about this pen but I've held back because of durability concerns, would you rate it as reliable and hassle free as say a Lamy Safari (not the greatest pen of all time but in my experience reliable)?


"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

B. Russell

#7 Pen_Noob

Pen_Noob

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 110 posts

Posted 02 August 2015 - 19:37

Question - why buy the TWSBI when the Pilot Custom 98 with piston filler and gold nib is just about 30 USD more (if bought from Japan).

 

With my last pen purchase I was thinking between the 2, but the Custom 98 won clearly, it is a Pilot and it has gold nib, which only the nib should cost significantly more.



#8 sannidh

sannidh

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,020 posts
  • Location:The Milky Way
  • Flag:

Posted 03 August 2015 - 07:59

As always, an amzing review! Thank you very much.

 

Thank you so much Can!


You have come to earth to entertain and to be entertained - P.Y

 

Some Pen & Paraphernalia Reviews


#9 sannidh

sannidh

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,020 posts
  • Location:The Milky Way
  • Flag:

Posted 03 August 2015 - 08:02

Great review! I have the Rose Gold 580 with an EF nib and love it immoderately, in part because it holds SO MUCH INK, but mostly because it's just so beautiful. It's almost my favourite pen.

 

The rose gold 580 does look aesthetically nicer.

pyramus - how would you describe the EF nib?

I do kind of like the F nib only with wet inks. 

Thank you!


You have come to earth to entertain and to be entertained - P.Y

 

Some Pen & Paraphernalia Reviews


#10 sannidh

sannidh

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,020 posts
  • Location:The Milky Way
  • Flag:

Posted 03 August 2015 - 08:03

Nice review and good work on the background research.

 

Thank you, I discovered the FPN connection quite recently :)


You have come to earth to entertain and to be entertained - P.Y

 

Some Pen & Paraphernalia Reviews


#11 sannidh

sannidh

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,020 posts
  • Location:The Milky Way
  • Flag:

Posted 03 August 2015 - 08:06

Great review
I have a 580AL which has the aluminium piston components and it feels more substantial. Also if you have the diamond ink well, refilling the pen is a breeze. Would highly recommend getting the inkwell with your 580. They make great pair.

 

I totally agree with the metal components thing. I hate scratching and chipping off the plastic connector thread with the metal wrench every time. 

I searched the inkwell in India for quite sometime, thing is it's not available here. I like the converter suction valve in the diamond 50 inkwell :) Thanks for your kind comments and reminding me of the inkwell..


You have come to earth to entertain and to be entertained - P.Y

 

Some Pen & Paraphernalia Reviews


#12 sannidh

sannidh

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,020 posts
  • Location:The Milky Way
  • Flag:

Posted 03 August 2015 - 08:18

Great review. There's a lot to like about this pen but I've held back because of durability concerns, would you rate it as reliable and hassle free as say a Lamy Safari (not the greatest pen of all time but in my experience reliable)?

 

Thank you!! I find the body relatively scratch resistant & strong enough. Feel that the plastic connector can be replaced with a metal connector (for the clear version), since it chips off gradually with the metal wrench, provided the whole idea is to take the pen apart. Else it's no fun and the AL version makes more sense. On the fittings and engineering they have to catchup with established players. The custom heritage 92 is a magnificent piece of engineering :)


You have come to earth to entertain and to be entertained - P.Y

 

Some Pen & Paraphernalia Reviews


#13 sannidh

sannidh

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,020 posts
  • Location:The Milky Way
  • Flag:

Posted 03 August 2015 - 09:09

Question - why buy the TWSBI when the Pilot Custom 98 with piston filler and gold nib is just about 30 USD more (if bought from Japan).

 

With my last pen purchase I was thinking between the 2, but the Custom 98 won clearly, it is a Pilot and it has gold nib, which only the nib should cost significantly more.

 

Most certainly you will go for another, even more if you compare it with a custom heritage 92.  But given a comparison with similar $50 piston fillers (at least for the US market), this one packs a nice bit of engineering. I am happy with keeping one of them. 


You have come to earth to entertain and to be entertained - P.Y

 

Some Pen & Paraphernalia Reviews


#14 EBUCKTHORN

EBUCKTHORN

    Extremely Rare

  • FPN Supporter - Rhodium

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 354 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 04 August 2015 - 15:13

Soniknitr- Thank you for that thorough and thoughtful review. Can you please explain why you feel the pen is not intended to be posted? Would you have the same opinion regarding the ECO (assuming you've had a chance to examine one)? Thanks.



#15 alaskazimm

alaskazimm

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 216 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 04 August 2015 - 16:02

Soniknitr- Thank you for that thorough and thoughtful review. Can you please explain why you feel the pen is not intended to be posted? Would you have the same opinion regarding the ECO (assuming you've had a chance to examine one)? Thanks.


I don't own a 580 but from what I've read and seen, the 580 posts on the piston knob which can cause inadvertent ink ejection. Also, it doesn't post very deeply making the overall length quite unwieldy.

The Eco on the other hand, is designed to be posted, being a shorter pen.

#16 sannidh

sannidh

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,020 posts
  • Location:The Milky Way
  • Flag:

Posted 04 August 2015 - 16:41

Soniknitr- Thank you for that thorough and thoughtful review. Can you please explain why you feel the pen is not intended to be posted? Would you have the same opinion regarding the ECO (assuming you've had a chance to examine one)? Thanks.

 

I don't own a 580 but from what I've read and seen, the 580 posts on the piston knob which can cause inadvertent ink ejection. Also, it doesn't post very deeply making the overall length quite unwieldy.

The Eco on the other hand, is designed to be posted, being a shorter pen.

 

EBUCKTHORN, Agree with alaskazimm. 580 becomes quite unwieldy & imbalanced, since it posts around a 17 cm+  (on the piston knob) & the cap (14 g, weighing half the total) makes it top heavy. I don't post it while writing, so never came across the ink ejection problem. Found an old pic of with posted cap... 

 

From the pics/reviews + weight specs (13 + 8 g), I too feel (if you ask) that Eco can be used both ways comfortably & one might not feel a top heaviness like 580 here. 

DSC_1056.jpg

 

Regards,

Sonik


You have come to earth to entertain and to be entertained - P.Y

 

Some Pen & Paraphernalia Reviews


#17 Sasha Royale

Sasha Royale

    Ancient Artifact

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 14,444 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 04 August 2015 - 19:42

Very well done !   

I like the TWSBI, as a writing instrument.  Even with my light touch,  TWSBI's have good ink flow.  

I think users, with a light touch, don't have broken TWSBI's.   That said, the pen should not break under heavier writing.  I see weak areas of the design, where the plastic is thinner -- section/barrel,

cap/cap ring. all threaded parts seem to be "stepped down" to a thinner size.  These weak areas are locations, where the user is encourage to disassemble, re-assemble, poke, tinker, over-tighten, and apply "sheering" pressure.  I love writing with my Diamond 540.

 

In initial examination, the ECO has fewer of these weak points.  Time will reveal whether the ECO is durable.  


Auf freiem Grund mit freiem Volke stehn. 
Zum Augenblicke dürft ich sagen: 
Verweile doch, du bist so schön ! 


#18 ingolf

ingolf

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 157 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 05 August 2015 - 04:22

Soniknitr a great review for a great pen.

I like the clear version of the TWSBI. Although there is a rosegold version on my desk I prefer the clear version. It offers a "pure" view on the ink running through the pen.

Currently the 580 Diamond is equipped with a 1.5 stub nib. Great writing and fat ink flow. The 580 is offering a daily "wow" :D . 


https://schreibkultur.requirements.de ... my blog - currently in German only


#19 Dr. Saleem Ali

Dr. Saleem Ali

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 150 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 05 August 2015 - 07:31

Very nice review and informative,with refrences!.I really appreciate it .

#20 sannidh

sannidh

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,020 posts
  • Location:The Milky Way
  • Flag:

Posted 05 August 2015 - 10:52

Very well done !   

I like the TWSBI, as a writing instrument.  Even with my light touch,  TWSBI's have good ink flow.  

I think users, with a light touch, don't have broken TWSBI's.   That said, the pen should not break under heavier writing.  I see weak areas of the design, where the plastic is thinner -- section/barrel,

cap/cap ring. all threaded parts seem to be "stepped down" to a thinner size.  These weak areas are locations, where the user is encourage to disassemble, re-assemble, poke, tinker, over-tighten, and apply "sheering" pressure.  I love writing with my Diamond 540.

 

In initial examination, the ECO has fewer of these weak points.  Time will reveal whether the ECO is durable.  

 

Thanks a lot Sasha.. for your kind feedback and more so for sharing your experience with these twsbis.

I do feel the same thing about fragility of these plastic components, gets scratched pretty easily (even when I am very careful with my pens). Inclusion of a metal piston connector/nut instead, like a Pilot CH92 could be a good thing. The 580 plastic is fragile with this thin plastic connector, the wrench does make dents/marks on it easily. 

 

TWSBI_nut_zps3nvbzyta.jpg


You have come to earth to entertain and to be entertained - P.Y

 

Some Pen & Paraphernalia Reviews






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: twsbi, clear, demonstrator, 580, diamond, m805, transparent, disassembly, inner-cap, ink-residue



Sponsored Content




|