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  1. Behike54

    A Month With My Twsbi 580~Al

    I decided to write this mini-review and initial impressions because the reviews for this pen have been polarizing, to say the least. Initially, 2 things scared me. One shortly after I got it and one today. 1) When I first got the pen, the piston mechanism was so tight, I couldn't unscrewed it with the wrench without the pen turning in my hand, despite my best efforts. Despite the posts about the 580s tendencies to crack, I just told myself I wasn't going to worry about it. When I was done flushing the piston clean, I separated the nib ferule from the barrel and used the wrench to ever so slowly and gently turn the piston mechanism while holding the barrel with one of those rubbery jar opening gloves and VOILA! No cracking, no drama (yet), and the piston cap and rod still had the faintest coating of lube still on it. 2) When cleaning my pen today, I turned the nib mechanism upside down over the sink, like the green newb I am, and I was treated to the horror of watching it free fall into the garbage disposal! Bun of a sitch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Needless to say, my hands aren't made for such spaces, especially where it landed. I grabbed a flashlight and pair of tongs and ever so cautiously airlifted the whole thing out INTACT. As luck would have it, my wife cooked while i was working late last night and she never hit the SPIN CYCLE for the veggy remains. In other words, I think the fall was cushioned by onion skin, romaine, and who knows what else instead of clanking in metal. Finished cleaning the pen, shook-dry, then let all the parts air dry on paper towels. Hours later, I reassembled said pen and filled with Diamine "marine," I got from a PIF and the pen didn't skip a beat. Since the first day I got it and filled it, it has NEVER started slow, become blocked, obstructed, or dried out, and has consistently laid down a lovely medium wet+ line, while writing quite smoothly. Now, I know I have not had this pen a long time and I am new to FPs in general, so YMMV. But my time with the 580AL has been a consistent and reliable pleasure in every way, and has helped deepen my appreciation and enjoyment of FPs and I find myself using it for just about everything. I am not sure you can ask more than that from your first pen? The other things are specific to my experience and what works for me, but I will mention them anyway. The pen feels good in the hand, is balanced well for where I hold it, and has a wide window of usability. I never felt like the pen made demands of me, which is the way it should be, IMHO. Did I mention how good it looks? I don't know whether I will buy another TWSBI or just other nibs, but this pen has treated me well and my enjoyment continues every day I use it. Like everybody else who gets their first pen and enjoys it, I think I have a pretty good idea of what my next 8 out of 10 pens will be. Cheers!
  2. I was wondering if anyone has tried one of the new Goulet #6 nibs in a TWSBI Micarta. I am thinking of ordering a new 1.1 stub for my quite dry M nib on my Micarta. Anyone have any issues with this combination. Thanks all.
  3. So, for my 100th post on this fine forum, I decided that I'd do something special and submit a quick review of my brand new Pendleton Brown TWSBI 580 with a medium point ground to his "Elegant Butter-line Stub". I received this pen last Friday and I've had a hard time putting it down ever since! Please excuse the poor handwriting. It's a work in progress. Text, for those who cannot read my chicken scratch: TWSBI 580AL Pendleton Brown Butter-Line Stub (M) Ink: J. Herbin Lie de The Nib: Smooth, wet and some line variation possible. Given this is a medium nib to start with, I didn't expect too much. Overall, very nice nib work from a good nib-meister. Pen: This is my first TWSBI so I wasn't sure what to expect. I love the piston fill and the large ink capacity. No issues with flow, hard starts or skipping. The section is a comfortable diameter for my larger hands and the size of the pen is very comfortable in my hand. Will make a very nice every day writer which is what I was looking for. Overall: For my intended uses, this is a great pen, especially at the price point (<$100). It doesn't post well, but I knew that going into the purchase and I'm fine with that. I'll try to get some better photos of the actual nib, but here's a preview!
  4. Are there any companies that make a leather pen sleeve to fit the TWSBI Mini? Thamks.
  5. yogalarva

    New Twsbi Mini

    Eek! Not sure if everyone who cares has seen this yet, but according the TWSBI facebook and instagram page, the white+rose gold mini is launching Wednesday! :-) Unfortunately, this just further complicates my search for my next pen... Anyone else as excited as I am? PS - pic is courtesy of their fb page.
  6. ArbInv

    Twsbi 580 At Best Price?

    Hi All Does anyone know where to source a Twsbi 580 below the costs shown on Amazon? Are there any coupon codes or other discounts out there right now. I want to buy a few as gifts but want the lowest price. Best Arb
  7. CJ_ung

    Twsbi 580 1.1 Stub?

    Hello all, I am thinking of purchasing a TWSBI 580 soon. I've finally been able to choose this model over the Vac700, yet another question remains. Do I purchase the 1.1 stub, or a regular medium nib? If anyone has experience with the TWSBI stub nibs or stub nibs in general compared to normal nibs, any advice would be greatly appreciated, Much thanks, CJ
  8. Hi guys, I just got my first TWSBI yesterday, a classic mini with a 1.5 mm stub nib. Inked it up with Shaeffer Skrip blue black. After writing a few pages with it with no issues, I notice the ink color lightening in saturation. This goes on until I force a bit of ink to the feed. The pen lays down a dark line again, but after a few pages, lays down a diluted looking ink color line! Frustrating, indeed. Add to that the occasional skipping I get, but as of now, I'm even willing to attribute that to the fact that I'm still getting used to the stub nib (my first). I've read many good reviews about this pen, so I'm still hopeful. I would appreciate to hear your input on what I can do to improve its performance. Can it still be improved? Has anyone ever experienced getting a brand new, but defective TWSBI pen? Thanks in advance!
  9. Hi all, I'm still kinda new, but can't help but notice that lots of people love TWSBI products for their value and coolness. There's a huge buzz about the "return" of the 580RB, and I'm excited myself. I always liked the look of the 540ROC and thought I "missed it" based on when I came into pens. Now there's talk and drawings on the TWSBI facebook page about an Amercian end-jewel, which I like. The tradition star is cool-looking too. Based on TWSBI history, how "safe" is it to wait on the American model. I think I would only like it slightly better and don't want to miss out on getting a pen of this model/coloring. Thanks for the help/advice! Brody
  10. Two demonstrators in roughly the same price range. Clearly, the 580 has the larger ink capacity, but how do they compare in terms of build, QC, and nib performance? Thanks!
  11. I don't own any of the TWSBi pens, but just based on the number entries I see here at FPN, I get the impression that a lot of TWSBi owners look to customize their pens with various changes of nibs etc. So this is directed to TWSBi owners: is my perception correct or am I just deluded? Just curious.
  12. Maximumbob

    Twsbi Mini Adjustment Tips

    Hi all, I am a fan of twsbi, and have had good use out of my 540 for a long time now. I switched to the TWSBI mini when it was released, as this is perfect for me to carry in my pocket at work. I have the standard fine nib. Over the past few months I have had an increasing problem with ink gushing out of the pen at random moments. This is happening more and more frequently. I initially assumed it was because I am keeping it in my pocket, but the problem is increasing in frequency. My ink is Noodlers Heart of Darkness. I need a 'bulletproof' (or archival standard) black ink for my work. Can anyone recommend any tips of tweaks I can do to minimise or fix this gushing. Cheers Max
  13. Ok.... so a couple months ago i was torn between buying a diamond 580 and a vac 700.... so i did what any normal addict would do.... i bought both. Now, although they both have the newer jowo nib i believe, they are different sizes... 6 on vac and 5 on 580 respectfully. My issue has been with the 580. I got them both in medium. It is a veeeery wet writer. Like to the point of almost bleedthrough on rhodia. Im not sure if this is normal... I know that many have said they had flow issues with theirs in the past, but mine is the opposite.... Is this normal for the 580? Is it the medium nib? (Ive ordered a fine for it which should come in soon) I love the look of the pen but the flow makes it difficult to use for practicality reasons. Can i slow it a bit? Or is it just how the medium nib writes? Fyi my 700 is great. And i have tried a few inks and lastly nkw i have apache sunset in it which normally behaves drier, but is stikk gushing. Ti.es are alligned, perfectly touching at the tip of the nib.... i just dont get it. Please, if u have any advice or reassurances let me know. Thanks
  14. I'm not really sure where exactly this post belongs because it is not strictly a review of a product you can buy off the shelf, but I think this sub forum is probably the best. As far as the TWSBI 580 is concerned, I have no complaints. I think it's a fun looking pen that is also very functional. I originally had concerns that the clear plastic would become scratched and scuffed and lose its nice shininess, but this hasn't happened after almost a year. It's comfortable in the hand, holds a good amount of ink, smooth operating piston and easily user serviceable. The only thing I wasn't crazy about was the fine nib. While it wasn't scratchy or dry, I just didn't find myself using it very often, choosing something more expressive over it. When I found a Waterman's No 2 Ideal semi flex extra fine nib for sale that seemed to be about the same dimensions as the factory fine nib, I went ahead and ordered it. Below are the (poorly photographed) results. http://i.imgur.com/6wuLsuhl.jpg http://i.imgur.com/ELthhqkl.jpg http://i.imgur.com/JFpQJkQl.jpg As far as modifications to the TWSBI go, I first needed to enlarge the upper half the black plastic piece of the section (near 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock) to allow for the shoulders of the new nib. I did this with a round file followed up by sand paper. The feed was a little too long so it was cut and then sanded down. The feed did not lay flat against the nib so, I formed it to the nib by heating it in hot water and pressing it in place. This was a little tricky since I was really only able to mold the very tip of the feed with my hands. I suspect that this produced a small reservoir between the nib and feed which initially resulted in a very heavy flow. I reheated the section and used a metal dental tool I have for pen work to help me press the feed to the nib by putting pressure along the flat track on the underside of the feed. All in all, it took and hour or so to get things how I wanted them. The Waterman nib has some nice spring to it. It really helps induce a rhythm into my (somewhat sloppy) writing and I'm happy with the flex it has.
  15. So ive decided i want to add a twsbi to my collection. Ive done all the research i can on the models but still undecided... I like the diamond 580 in rose gold and the vac 700, so its between those two... What are your thoughts? They are both the dame price. I havent been able to find a dealer that sells the rose gold nib units though... I dont have any vac fillers and the only piston fillers i have are noodlers.
  16. JorgeC

    Greetings From Texas

    Hey! After a few months lolly-gagging on the forums, I finally took the time (and initiative) to introduce myself. I'm currently a postgraduate and a reborn FP-user (from my early teens, where I actually acquired a bit of $$ buying and selling pens on the Bay) who realized that if I'm going to spend the next 10 years studying and scribbling down notes, I might as well enjoy every minute of it! I just wanted to say hello and show you a few pics of one of my favorite pens so far - a TWSBI Micarta One of things I love most about this pen, is that its unique material allows for some 'customization' to be done to it. A few months ago, I bought and sold another Micarta that had some 'gold' work done to the characters and numbers on the cap. (I thank the first owner of that Micarta for giving me the idea!) On this Micarta, I wanted something a little more subtle, yet still eye-catching, so I colored in the etchings with J. Herbin's 1670 RH. Reason? to get that cool sheen of course! In normal light, the writings just look dark/black as normal. But in a specific light, they will shine that bright green that we are all familiar with in the Rouge Hematite ink. And thankfully, on the pen, the non-waterproof ink is pretty resistant when I tested it with water on the pen (so at least it stays on there and not my hands lol). I'm mostly glad that they are only green in certain light, though, because it would be a little obnoxious if they were constantly shining green IMO. So here are some links to the pictures, some in the light, and some out of light. Btw, I also applied Noodler's Dragon's Napalm to the entire pen, to give it a little darker/redder hue. So far, the ink has not gotten on my hands at all. Let me know what you think! http://www.flickr.com/photos/119945136@N08/13039588253/in/photostream/lightbox/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/119945136@N08/13039589103/in/photostream/lightbox/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/119945136@N08/13039441555/in/photostream/lightbox/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/119945136@N08/13039442545/in/photostream/lightbox/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/119945136@N08/13039803714/in/photostream/lightbox/
  17. Hey y'all! After a few months lolly-gagging on the forums, I finally took the time (and initiative) to introduce myself. I'm currently a postgraduate and a reborn FP-user (from my early teens, where I actually acquired a bit of $$ buying and selling pens on the Bay) who realized that if I'm going to spend the next 10 years studying and scribbling down notes, I might as well enjoy every minute of it! I just wanted to say hello and start off by showing you a few pics of one of my favorite pens so far - a TWSBI Micarta One of things I love most about this pen, is that its unique material allows for some 'customization' to be done to it. A few months ago, I bought and sold another Micarta that had some 'gold' work done to the characters and numbers on the cap. (I thank the first owner of that Micarta for giving me the idea!) On this Micarta, I wanted something a little more subtle, yet still eye-catching, so I colored in the etchings with J. Herbin's 1670 RH. Reason? to get that cool sheen of course! In normal light, the writings just look dark/black as normal. But in a specific light, they will shine that bright green that we are all familiar with in the Rouge Hematite ink. And thankfully, on the pen, the non-waterproof ink is pretty resistant when I tested it with water on the pen (so at least it stays on there and not my hands lol). I'm mostly glad that they are only green in certain light, though, because it would be a little obnoxious if they were constantly shining green IMO. So here are some links to the pictures, some in the light, and some out of light. Btw, I also applied Noodler's Dragon's Napalm to the entire pen, to give it a little darker/redder hue. So far, the ink has not gotten on my hands at all. http://www.flickr.com/photos/119945136@N08/13039588253/in/photostream/lightbox/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/119945136@N08/13039589103/in/photostream/lightbox/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/119945136@N08/13039441555/in/photostream/lightbox/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/119945136@N08/13039442545/in/photostream/lightbox/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/119945136@N08/13039803714/in/photostream/lightbox/ The nib, by the way, is a steel Nemosine 0.6mm stub (Of course I would prefer a gold nib, but who can argue with the cost-effectiveness of a 7$ nib?). It was a bit scratchy at first, but after some light nib hacking, it writes super smooth for a little stub. Let me know what you think!
  18. wnclee

    Twsbi Overload

    Hello. Hope your well. I recently purchased my first Japanese made pen: Pilot Prera, demo "M" nib. I believe I'm now hooked. All of my other pens are American, German & French made. I'm now looking into TWSBI as my next but, but my research on this brand is a bit more difficult & confusing than the Prera hunt. I just need some simple answers. It seems the 500 series ( Diamond ?) and the VAC 700 series are the most popular. Are their size differences in the 500's and what is the difference between them and the VAC 700? I have seen that the 530 & 540 are being phased-out. Not sure. Does the VAC 700 offer any other options? Also, are their nibs in line w/ other Japanese makers: on the finer side? My Prera was bought w/ M nib = a US F nib. Is this so w/ TWSBI nibs? Sorry about so many questions. If there is a link that may help me, I would be happy to follow...If I've stated any facts that are false, please correct me. Also, I've spent quite a bit lately on all things writing related, so am looking for a good starter TWSBI at a reasonable price just to kick-the-tires so to speak. But, one that is as good a writer than the Prera. The nib is akin to mercury: liquid metal. That smooth...Again, thanks for your help and my best, LeRoy
  19. Greetings everyone, this is my first review, so any feedback would be appreciated! Apologies in advance for the not-so-great photos.. It’s all I can do with an iPhone and powerpoint.. I thought this would be a wonderful forum to place this in, since there are so many TWSBI fans here, and hopefully some of you may also be very interested in high quality mechanical pencils. Probably like many of you, I’ve been fascinated by mechanical pencils since grade school. I still remember when my elementary school friend Kurt brought a Pentel Quicker-Clicker to 4th grade and I was, of course, impressed. And extremely jealous. Since then, I’ve gone through a fair number of mechanical pencils, using them primarily for high school / college / grad school problem sets (math, physics, then primarily organic chemistry), which as many of you probably know, requires a sh*t ton of writing, drawing , erasing, re-writing, re-drawing, re-erasing, coffee, falling asleep in the library, waking up disoriented and realizing you’re still in the library, and then continuing on with the problem sets. Please note, I am not an architect, engineer, or artist, so although I do have an affinity for drafting mechanical pencils, this review is more geared towards the generalist, non-professional, pencil user. Pre-First Impressions: Let’s start with why I chose the TWSBI pencil. I’d actually never heard of the brand until I started getting into fountain pens and started checking out FPN and all of Brian Goulet’s videos. Most other mechanical pencil brands I’m familiar with, but once I started looking at TWSBI for fountain pens, I was just curious about whether they are as consistent and successful with their pencils as they are with their pens, i.e., make a high quality product that is of excellent value for the price. Other than Brian’s excellent video reviews and introductions and the fairly sparse descriptions seen on the TWSBI website, I couldn’t find anything substantial about this pencil using Google. I looked at the wonderful and informative Dave’s mechanical pencil site and still couldn’t find anything. SO I thought it looks cool, TWSBI has apparently been in the business of making pencils for other companies for years (per their website), so let me check it out. Lastly, I didn’t just want to just become another Rotring 600 fanboy. I wanted something that none of the other nerds in the library have seen before. This time I was going to be Kurt from fourth grade. The pencil I purchased from Gouletpens was the TWSBI Precision Mechanical Pencil (version 2.0) – Matte Silver, 0.5mm, Fixed Pipe. TWSBI also offers this pencil in matte black, in 0.7mm lead size, and in retractable sleeve. For some reason I prefer fixed sleeve pencils (TWSBI calls them fixed pipe). TWSBI does offer one in a more pocket-friendly retractable sleeve (err, retractable pipe), but I prefer fixed. I use a pencil case, so I’m immune from pencil point jabbing. Fixed sleeve is also required for drafting I guess (to put the pencil against a ruler?) but that’s not why I like them better. I like fixed sleeve better because I find there’s usually less perceptible wobble when writing with fixed compared to retractable sleeves, so my accuracy and my handwriting tend to be improved. Now I’m not sure what Version 1.0 looked like at all, but according to Gouletpens, I ordered the version 2.0 First Impressions: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3767/10631742563_6efda2477e_z.jpg http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7419/10631489384_0644815715_z.jpg http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5497/10631742123_80e5dfc3da_c.jpg Right out of the box, I was very impressed. As you can see, pretty standard TWSBI cardboard box (although a bit thinner profile than the TWSBI fountain pen boxes), and inset into foam inside the box is the pencil, a lead container containing 12 extra leads, and 3 extra super-long erasers. 3 leads are loaded within the pencil itself, so I received a total of 15 leads. No other paperwork. Picking up the pencil I found that although it wasn’t very big, it was substantial in weight and evenly balanced. Not point-heavy, and not rear heavy, and center of gravity is somewhere around the middle of the pencil. Some people would give extra points to TWSBI for all the extras included in the box. Some would not, because if you’re willing to spend $25 for a pencil, you are likely already a mechanical pencil connoisseur, and therefore also have purchased a high quality eraser and high quality lead. I personally would give points here if I could, because it makes for a wonderful gift box to introduce someone to high quality mechanical pencils and their cool accessories. I think this is a wonderful, affordable, and fairly unique gift for a graduating high school senior that’s interested in math/science/art/engineering, for as I know personally, they would be getting a lot of use out of this pencil in the upcoming few years. Appearance and Design: 9/10 http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2849/10631971524_ee7a9f1a49_c.jpg http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7368/10631468685_372633eb6c_c.jpg http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3803/10631501056_80fd4d6198_c.jpg http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5540/10631501256_b31210407e_c.jpg http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2889/10631741573_b13d36a687_c.jpg http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7323/10631487144_600bdc08eb_c.jpg http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2876/10631468835_37d3a67654_c.jpg http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2863/10631502216_b98ed6155d_c.jpg Just take a look at it. Matte Silver aluminum, this pencil exudes high quality precision craftsmanship, The TWSBI name is not too big or garish on the barrel, 0.5 is legible, and there are enough unique design touches on this pencil (the TWSBI laser-engraved logo on the clip, the little vestibule on the top of the cap that shows off the eraser), so that when the pencil is in a pencil case with lots of other pencils/pens it is easily found. The brushed case also guarantees that this pencil will remain scratch-free for a long time and also look great. The grip is knurled in a rectangular pattern, and tapers into a what appears to be a slightly larger hexagonal body, which is great for preventing it from rolling off angled surfaces like drafting tables. Knurled grips always look cool in my opinion. I didn’t know this before I read more on dave’s mechanical pencil site, but apparently knurled grips are traditional for drafting pencils, because they help allow one to constantly rotate the pencil while drafting in order to maintain a fixed lead point / constant width on paper. That’s not why I bought it. It just looks cool, and feels great. I take 1 point off because if anything I just wish the grip were just a tad bit larger for my big hands (I may actually prefer the Uni Kuro-Toga Roulette grip size). I take 0.5 points off because I would have loved a lead hardness indicator (HB vs B vs 2B etc), although that’s really more for the artists / pros than for me. I add 0.5 points on because the design of the ridiculously super extra long eraser, which is kind of awesome for all the fine erasing one may do (that my standard go to Staedtler Mars Plastic eraser cannot get to) Construction and Quality: 10/10 It just feels solid. Solid like a Rotring. No wobble, no wiggle. All metal construction (including all inner tubing). For $25, that’s a lot of pencil, as most pencils, even in that price range, have plastic insides these days. This pencil is built to last, and I think should last me many, many years. I love reading people gush in forums about their 25 yr lovefest with the Koh-i-noor Rapidomatic 5635 that has since been discontinued… When I'm old, I want to be like them, talking about this TWSBI. This pencil was engineered to last 25 years. Weight and Dimensions: 9/10 Weight: 26g (0.92 oz), it is by far my heaviest pencil. Length: 141mm total, the sleeve is 4mm (Gouletpens says the sleeve is 3.88mm, I bet they have fancy calipers so I’m sure they’re right) Thickness: 9mm (the hexagonal barrel), 8mm diameter for the grip. (Goulet says 8.8mm and 7.9mm, respectively). http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7378/10631468015_e35827ed12_c.jpg http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2871/10631467575_0ec3f791b3_c.jpg I attached some comparison photos from the rest of my mechanical pencil family. From top to bottom, there is 1) Uni Kuru Toga Roulette in 0.5mm 2) Pilot "The Shaker" H-305 0.5mm 3) Muji polycarbonate 0.5mm 4) Pentel P209 0.9mm 5) TWSBI Precision v2.0 0.5mm 6) Pentel Sharp Kerry - Blue P1037 0.7mm 7) Kaweco Ice Sport - Green 07mm And also note, that for comparison to Rotring 600 (I don't have one), the dimensions of the TWSBI are fairly close. Per jetpens website, the Rotring 600 length is 141mm, max diameter is 9.1mm, grip is 8.1mm, although weight is 18g, which makes it a far lighter pencil than the TWSBI. The TWSBI, despite its heavier weight, still feels like a fine writing instrument, i.e., nimble enough to make quick writing strokes without your hand getting tired. I have yet to have any lead break (many say that is an issue with heavier pens and thinner leads like 0.5s—I think those people just don’t have enough finesse with their pencil handwriting). My initial concern of all-metal construction and the weight of the TWSBI was that the pencil would become too heavy and therefore quite burdensome when writing for prolonged stretches. After two weeks of heavy writing, I haven’t noticed any such issues. What I’ve been pleasantly surprised at is that the weight allows me to significantly lighten the pressure that I’m used to applying when using pencils, and still generate a wonderful dark perfect line. I’ve also noted that relaxing my normally tight pencil grip makes the writing experience even more comfortable and pleasurable (and also leaves no knurled imprints on my fingers anymore!), as the weight and the knurled grip still prevents the pencil from slipping out of my hand. That means I’m just coaxing the lead left and right and around rather than really having to exert any effort pushing it down onto the paper. Writing with this pencil is so fluid, it becomes much more like a fountain pen experience, so I think it is actually one of the most attractive and unique features of this heavier pencil that is superbly well-balanced. Lastly one of the best things about a well-balanced pencil (rather than a point-heavy one) is that when you drop it (as I tend to do), the pencil is less likely to land on the nib sleeve and bend the sleeve. I take one point off just because I wonder if a slightly thicker grip would improve my handwriting even more for my slightly larger-than-average hands. I guess I already took one point off for that in the Design section, but since I continue to wonder about it, I will continue to subtract points for it. Nib and Performance: 10/10 http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3756/10631503746_4552ec6163_c.jpg http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7309/10631471685_1b1d8360ee_c.jpg http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7388/10631504096_843fe35b22_c.jpg http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2841/10631504306_ea24b7e2cd_c.jpg Fixed sleeve (pipe) vs retracting sleeve (pipe). Have your pick, they’re both available in this pencil. I attached some photos of a black retractable sleeve version of this same pencil. Some people love retractable sleeves as it makes these pencils pocket-friendly and therefore more convenient. Some people don’t love them because of possible increased sleeve wobble, which leads to less precise writing. Also harder/impossible to use for drafting as you'll damage the retractable sleeve against a ruler I guess. One thing to note is that the retractable sleeve length version of the TWSBI is slightly shorter than the fixed sleeve length. Per Gouletpens website, it is 2.75mm vs 3.88mm, as seen in these pics. I ordered and kept the fixed sleeve length, because I like how it keeps my hand and fingers at a certain distance from the paper and from the point of the pencil. It allows for great visibility of the lead on the paper, and for my size hands, I like it more. The most interesting note to make here is comparing this “nib” to one of my other pencils, the unique Uni Kuro Toga Roulette, which auto-rotates its lead in-between applying pressure on paper. The Kuro Toga therefore keeps a consistent lead point, and is wonderful, but there is a very slight perceptible give on the nib when applying pressure in order to make nib mechanism rotate the lead. I never even noticed this until I started writing with the TWSBI and found what a solid heavy-weighted pencil should feel like, and how wonderful writing with light pressure can be. In order to take advantage of the Uni Kuro Toga rotating nib, I have to use just a tad more downward force to generate the same thickness of line (because it’s a lighter pen) as I do the TWSBI, so in my opinion, the TWSBI is a superior writing pencil for long periods of time, as it requires far less energy and less downward force to be applied to generate a similar line darkness/thickness. If you allow the TWSBI a week of writing in order to slightly change the way you write with a pencil (less firm grip, less downward pressure), you won’t go back to any other pencil. Things I will not really comment on that hopefully someone will chime in on: 1) the included eraser. I use Staedtler Mars Plastic or Uni Boxy almost exclusively, so rarely use the back eraser on mechanical pencils, and therefore don’t want to write about it. I think it’s nice that they have a huge one, which will especially be helpful to students and crossword puzzlers 2) the included lead (graphite). I replaced the included lead with Uni NanoDia 0.5 HB— my all-time favorite lead for hardness, smoothness, and that gives me a more accurate baseline lead to compare it to my other pencils. Filling System: 10/10 The mechanism is a standard push top ratchet advance. When I push, I hear a very positive fairly loud “click”, which I like. Very consistent. When depressing the top, consistent pressure is required and the top will depress about 3mm before a click and lead advances. There is no “free” travel before getting to the actuation point for the lead to advance (which I find slightly annoying, and is often seen on other mechanical pencils). Ten clicks will give you around 6 mm of lead. No plastic components that I can see. Gouletpens shows a nice inside view of the pencil. I haven’t figured out how to take this thing apart, as I’m afraid to twist too hard, and I don’t want to use pliers—yes, the inside tubing is screwed on that tightly to the outside case. Cost and Value: 8/10 OK so here is the interesting question and probably the biggest debate—I purchased this for $25 (plus shipping) from Gouletpens. It’s $25 with free shipping on Amazon (when filled directly by TWSBI). But I like Gouletpens and ordered from them because they’re so informative and have great customer service, and I wanted a few other things from them, so I find their shipping cost negligible. On Amazon right now, you can get a Rotring 600 for $24.99 (with free shipping if you’re prime). On Amazon, you can also get a Uni Kuru Toga Roulette for $12.49 - $12.87 (with free shipping if you’re prime). A Rotring 800, however, costs $54.77, which is essentially a 600 with a retractable sleeve (and slightly larger). I think the TWSBI with retractable sleeve, which also sells for exactly the same price as fixed sleeve of $25, is a great deal when compared to other high quality retractable sleeve pencils, aka Rotring 800, which is more than twice the price. I think the TWSBI with fixed sleeve isn’t as well-priced, and should be priced lower. At $20, they would definitely clean up the market and hit that sweet spot of awesome value for quality that the TWSBI fountain pens are known for. At $25, it’s hard to not turn down the Rotring 600 as your first stop to high end mechanical pencils, then try the Uni Kuru Toga Roulette for $13, and then, finally, try out the TWSBI and never return to the others. Then again, these prices are modest compared to FP prices, so I don’t really know why I’m subtracting two points on this section. I will, because I’m comparing the TWSBI fixed sleeve to other fixed sleeve mechanical pencils. Conclusion 56/60 = 9.3/10 This is an oustanding mechanical pencil, and should make the top 5 for general mechanical pencils (and probably top 5 for technical/drafting mechanical pencils as well). Go out and get one. $25 is not a lot for a fountain pen, but it is a lot for a mechanical pencil. But you get a lot for your money. And for fountain pen enthusiasts who need a pencil every once in a while, you will really enjoy the writing experience this pencil will offer. But be forewarned, after a week with the TWSBI, you may not enjoy writing with any other mechanical pencil again. Pros: Perfectly balanced for long-writing: notes / drawing / drafting. Gorgeous top-notch construction- will last 25 years. Heavy weight allows you to become more efficient with your hand-writing. Unique—no one else on the block will have one. Cons: 1. Really hard pressed to comment on any substantive cons—maybe the grip could be a bit thicker, but I’m wary to really push for that, as a thicker grip may interrupt the precision feeling with the current weight. Maybe thicken the grip and simultaneously drop the weight a bit would be my suggestion for version 3.0? But I don’t know and would have to test it to see if I’d prefer it to the current.
  20. heldercgrande

    Twsbi 580 Problems - I Need Some Opinions

    Hello guys,I came here to share some experience and problems with my TWSBI 580. I would like to hear some opinions about it.I received my TWSBI two weeks ago. I bought two nibs, a fine (F) and a medium (M). I found problems with both nibs, it is very dissapointed.The F nib writes more like an EF, and it is very scratch, unusable for me. It is much worse than my EF lamy nib.The M nib is kind smooth, but it skips sometimes. It depends on the ink I use, with Noodlers Bad Blue Heron it skips a lot, with Noodlers Black not so much.I bought the pen at thewritingdesk.co.uk. They told me I could change the F nib. I asked to change only for the F because I think I can fix the M skipping issue by opening the "tines" of the nib. But I didnt try yet. The other complication is sending the nib to England (I live in Brasil), and wait to receive it back. I think it will take two months, and there is the possibility to receive another scratch nib.I also ordered a polishing kit from US (Ebay). It will take more two or three weeks to arrive. So, I think my options are:1) Send the nib to change at thewritingdesk.co.uk. (Should I change only the F, or also the M nib)2) Wait for the polishing kit, and try to fix it by myself.3) Demand TWSBI itself to fix this problems.What would you guys do? Another question, if I try to open the M nib to make it wetter, will I lose the warranty for this nib?Does someone else have F TWSBI nib that writes like an EF? I want to know if this is commom. Thanks in advance for the help.
  21. I apologise for posting a new thread on this subject which I know several already exist. I am new to the forum and was unable to search for the other threads once I signed on. Are any of the gold Nakaya or Omas nibs listed on nibs.com compatible for the Diamonds (540 and 580) or the VAC700? Please move this to an older thread if possible - sorry about that.
  22. I do hope "Frequently Discussed Topics" is the right forum for this post. I am rather new to fountain pens. I'm wondering is TWSBI 580 EF suppposed to be scratchier than Pilot 78G F out of the box? Seems weird because Pilot's nib seems finer than TWSBI's. I have not tried to use brown paper bag or other smoothing methods on either pen. Received 20x loupe a few days ago and the tines on both pens seem to be aligned nicely. If anyone has both pens i would very much like to hear your opinion.
  23. So the TWSBI notebooks been out for a while now, and I was waiting for others to chime in before picking one or two up for myself. I like their general style very similar to some other great notebook brands. I also like the products they produce, and I think that logo on a notebook is pretty cool. How has the paper done with fp and fp inks? Seeing how they are a FP manufacturer I'm sure it does well with fp ink, but how well compared to say Rhodia, or Clairefontaine?
  24. Gump

    Vac 700 Cleaning Issue

    Hello all, Shortly after receiving my amber Vac 700 I noticed that ink had worked its way into the section as shown in the attached. I've removed the nib and unscrewed the section from the barrel, but none of the videos or threads I've found show how to progress from this point. Advice? This has not been an issue in my clear demonstrator, so perhaps it is just a faulty section?
  25. Kevinbehringer

    Does This Look Right For A Twsbi 580?

    I'm fairly new to fountain pens and very new to the TWSBI 580. Having just got it, I'm not sure if what I'm seeing is the way it or any fountain pen should write. If it's not, I'm not sure if it's the pen or the ink that's causing (what seems to me) to be inconsistency. It seems that some part of a letter will be full and dark, while other parts will be very thin and nearly nonexistent. It seems that vertical lines generally are darker than horizontal. I'm using the 580 EF with Noodler's 54th Massachusetts. I've attached a picture, albeit a lower quality one. I'm just wondering if this is how it writes and I need to get used to it or if I should have the nib looked at. Thanks! Kevin

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