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Twsbi 580 Or Italix Parsons Essential?


N2theBreach
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My next pen is going to cost around $50 and I'm considering the 580 and the Parsons. They may seem an odd pair to compare. I'm attracted to the Parsons because of the tuned nib and the classic look. I'm attracted to the 580 because of the piston fill and its extra capacity. I also like the ability to take it apart. As for the appearance, I go back and forth on the demonstrator look.

 

Background information:

 

* I'll be using whichever pen I get as an every day carry, which means an office environment on weekdays and "who knows what" on evenings and weekends.

 

* My current EDC is a Lamy Safari. My "good pen" is a Conklin Crescent Filler Mark Twain.

 

* I've been using FPs for a year,

 

* I prefer a smooth, wet, fine nib. Note the lowercase "f". That's a generality, not a specific nib designator because they are so variable. My handwriting has gotten a bit larger since I began using an FP, but it's still smallish.

 

I'd like to hear from people who have both pens and could tell me what I'd gain/be giving up if I chose one over the other. If I'm overlooking a pen that I should be considering, please let me know (and say why, of course).

 

Note to TWSBI owners: I know that asking most of you to compare the TWSBI to anything else is like asking an 8-year old whether they prefer a hot fudge sundae or steamed prunes. Please do your best to be objective. :)

 

Thanks.

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N2theBreach,

 

I have the Parson's Essential with 1.3 mm stub nib and a Twsbi Vac 700 with 1.5 mm Jo-Wo nib.

 

It is certainly the case that I have to re-fill the Parson's Essential far more often than the Twsbi, but have never found this to be much of a bind.

 

The nib of the Parson's is sooooo smooooooooooooooooth :)

 

Both pens are favourites of mine and I would be loath to choose between them.

 

So I would say get both the Twsbi 580 and the Parson's Essentials :)

 

Resistance is futile !

 

Have fun !

 

Best regards

 

Russ

Edited by PhatMan
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i would probably get the 580 because i can buy and exchange nibs. if the parsons can do it easily as well then id say go for that. aesthetics is nice and all, but if youre going to use it daily id say utility matters more.

Edited by DielsAlder

"We stand on a mountain pass in the midst of whirling snow and blinding mist, through which we get glimpses now and then of paths which may be deceptive. If we stand still we shall be frozen to death. If we take the wrong road we shall be dashed to pieces. We do not certainly know whether there is any right one. What must we do? 'Be strong and of a good courage.' Act for the best, hope for the best, and take what comes. ... If death ends all, we cannot meet death better."

~ James Fitzjames Stephen

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I have both, and the Parsons Essential is a much better writing instrument than the TWSBI, with a smooth and lovely nib. The TWSBI is a pretty average writer to be honest and you can't post the cap which is an annoyance to me.

 

For the record, the nib is easily changeable on the Parson's Essential. You simply screw out the nib and screw in another. Doesn't get any easier and all the stubs and cursive italics are available if thats the way you want to go.

 

Don't forget that with the Parson's, if you do run out of ink one day, you only need to carry a spare cartridge and you are back in the game.

 

There may be more TWSBI users out there but, as a proportion, there are more HAPPY Parson's Essential users.

Pens and paper everywhere, yet all our hearts did sink,

 

Pens and paper everywhere, but not a drop of ink.

 

"Cursive writing does not mean what I think it does"

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I don't have the 580, but I have a 540 (1.1) and a Mini (1.5) and the Parsons Essential (M italic).

I would clearly go for the 580.

IMHO the Italix can't compete with the TWSBI's.

But this opinion is very personal.

 

For me the Italix is too heavy and it is only a C/C pen.

Many people like the nibs, but they create italic nibs by cut of (very rude) the complete tipping (of cheap no name nibs). IMO not a good way to create a italic nib. So you have a untipped nib. Yes they write smooth, but how long until they need a regrinding?....

Also the Italix is a real nail, without any hint of springiness.

Overall I don't like the Italix very much.

 

So my vote for the 580.

 

And smoothness is no real purchasing argument as you can make any nib easily as smooth as you like.

Edited by Pterodactylus
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I don't have the 580, but I have a 540 (1.1) and a Mini (1.5) and the Parsons Essential (M italic).

I would clearly go for the 580.

IMHO the Italix can't compete with the TWSBI's.

But this opinion is very personal.

 

For me the Italix is too heavy and it is only a C/C pen.

Many people like the nibs, but they create italic nibs by cut of (very rude) the complete tipping (of cheap no name nibs). IMO not a good way to create a italic nib. So you have a untipped nib. Yes they write smooth, but how long until they need a regrinding?....

Also the Italix is a real nail, without any hint of springiness.

Overall I don't like the Italix very much.

 

So my vote for the 580.

 

And smoothness is no real purchasing argument as you can make any nib easily as smooth as you like.

 

I can't agree with your findings at all Pterodactylus and can only assume that you got a bad Parson's Essential and I had two bad TWSBIs. I don't have the medium italic however, only fine italic, broad italic and round medium. Or maybe it is these differences that keep so many pen companies going, catering for personal tastes.

 

The springiness of the Italix nibs is comparable with my 580s - ie virtually none. Maybe the current JoWo TWSBIs are harder than the older Bocks?

There is a slightly heavier weight to the Parsons - because it has a brass barrel - but then again it is never going to crack.

 

As for a clipped italic nib wearing out - not likely in our lifetime unless you write on silicon carbide paper.

 

In the end it IS down to personal taste I guess.

Pens and paper everywhere, yet all our hearts did sink,

 

Pens and paper everywhere, but not a drop of ink.

 

"Cursive writing does not mean what I think it does"

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Indeed it's a matter of personal taste.

 

Yes the new JoWo nibs are stiffer. (I liked the Bock nib more).

 

I would not be so sure about the durability of these untipped nibs.

Nobody knows how hard the steel alloy of these nibs is....

Only that the manufacturer for sure never intended to write with the steel.

For sure it is much weaker than a iridium alloy tipped nib.

 

Just as a side note, I have a pen in use (Pelikan pen I used in school) about more than 30 years and even the iridium point flattened over the years, so I had to regrind it (enough material left).

So also a iridium alloy tipped nib wears down over the years,... and an untipped nib will wear down much faster.

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If you are fascinated by the idea of taking a piston-filler pen apart and putting it together again, by all means get the TWSBI. You will probably have plenty of opportunity to explore its insides. If your joy comes from the writing experience, reviews here seem to suggest that the Parson's delivers that very well.

ron

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Thanks for the suggestions. I didn't realize the nibs were easy to change on the Italix. I could take advantage of that someday if I decide to try an italic nib. Right now, I lean towards a finer nib (unless I can get a stub in a fine, I really haven't paid attention to italics).

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't know if you've already made your decision on this, but I was on the phone to Mr Pen yesterday and was told that they will be getting fine nibs in for the Parson's in about a month's time.

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I have several TWSBIs an a couple of Italix, and am the only person on FPN who's apparently gotten into a spat with Mr Pen (nothing to do with his reliability as a purveyor of pen products, and maybe something which might have been avoided in face-to-face interactions, but that's the way it goes).

 

 

That being said, I'll recommend an Italix over a TWSBI if you want a no-fuss pen which you can use right away without too many problems - it is what I would recommend to a friend who is starting out in pens.

 

I like TWSBI pens more - the Italix is a nice writer, but the classic shape is precisely what I find boring these days (how many of these pens do I need - let's see: 1911, 149, 845, 743, 94, 3776, 159, etc). But I am also prepared to put up with the hassle of doing additional post-purchase follow-up to get the pen working, b/c I am a pen geek and I really dig the look of the 540/580s. However, people who are just starting out would be better served by a pen which is more likely to work consistently right out of the box. That would be the Italix or the Faber Castell.

True bliss: knowing that the guy next to you is suffering more than you are.

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I don't know if you've already made your decision on this, but I was on the phone to Mr Pen yesterday and was told that they will be getting fine nibs in for the Parson's in about a month's time.

 

I have made my decision, firmly and unequivocally. No wavering back and forth for me--I've decided to get both. I heard about the fine nibs, too, so I'll wait until they come in.

 

Now, I just need to decide whether to go with the black or blue. And, no, I'm not getting both. :)

Edited by N2theBreach
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I have several TWSBIs an a couple of Italix, and am the only person on FPN who's apparently gotten into a spat with Mr Pen (nothing to do with his reliability as a purveyor of pen products, and maybe something which might have been avoided in face-to-face interactions, but that's the way it goes).

 

 

That being said, I'll recommend an Italix over a TWSBI if you want a no-fuss pen which you can use right away without too many problems - it is what I would recommend to a friend who is starting out in pens.

 

I like TWSBI pens more - the Italix is a nice writer, but the classic shape is precisely what I find boring these days (how many of these pens do I need - let's see: 1911, 149, 845, 743, 94, 3776, 159, etc). But I am also prepared to put up with the hassle of doing additional post-purchase follow-up to get the pen working, b/c I am a pen geek and I really dig the look of the 540/580s. However, people who are just starting out would be better served by a pen which is more likely to work consistently right out of the box. That would be the Italix or the Faber Castell.

 

The reasons you give are in line with my thinking, thanks. The TWSBI is something that I can tinker with. The Italix is a good writer, classy looking, and won't break the bank.

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