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Twsbi Micarta V2 Review



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First of some context to this review.

I am fairly new to the whole fountain pen thing, about 6 months in and a ton of reading on this site. Apart from the Micarta i have the following pens: Lamy safari, Lamy next M88, Jinhao x750, Jinhao x189, Parker 45, Twsbi 580, FPR Dilli. This is my first review. I don’t like the standard black snoozefest pens.

So, to the review!

The looks:

I knew as soon as i saw this pen that i had to have it. It is a stunning pen. Really, whoever designed this pen new what they were doing.

From the color, to the small black TWSBI-logo, model number and TSBI logo on top of the cap it all fits with the overall design.

It is, in lack of a better word, a manly pen. When it is capped i feel like taking it with me to woods to chop some wood, or live with the wolves. When you uncap it, you want to write.

The rough looking pen gives a stark contrast to the delicate gold colored nib and puts it firmly at the center of your attention. I have the clip less version, this contrast is not as great with the clip i think.

I really wished i had the ability to take photos to really show of this effect, and i tried, but no.

Anyway it would not be the same as when you hold the pen your hand and can really admire it like it should be admired.

My particular pen has an even color. That is, the barrel, section and cap is the same earthly brown tone. I have read reviews were some have, particularly the v1, slightly different coloration on the barrel compared to the cap. Not on mine.

There is however some darker lines in it. There is a photo of it further down in this post.

Those add to the charms of the pen and gives some…well i guess structure is the wrong word since you can’t really feel them, but maybe layered effect is more fitting?

People i have shown the pen often think it is wooden. Ravantra wrote a review of the Micarta and wrote the following about it:

«…After all the reviews I have read I was expecting a very rough and ragged pen. Well the pen appears slightly rustic but feels pretty smooth to the touch and warms quickly once in hand. To me it feels like a lightly urethane finished wood. Tapping on the pen with my fingernail it feels and sounds like wood…»

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/218911-another-micarta-review/

I would have to agree. It is really comfortable and fits my hand perfectly.

http://bildr.no/thumb/cVIzeCts.jpeg

This photo does not do the pen justice, but at least it shows the darker lines i was talking bout.

Threads:

For me it takes 3-4 turns to remove the cap. This is something i like. My very first FP, the safari, dropped to the ground the very first day i had it due to the loose fitting cap. This makes me secure in the knowledge that the cap is on tight. Also, it has a certain zen-feeling to me. Writing should not be rushed.

I can see how some might find it annoying and would prefer it to come off easier, but to me its just another layer that fits in to the overall theme of the pen.

At first uncapping it was a sort of rough feeling, like there were some fine gravel there. This is due to the «fuss» on the threads. I have owned the pen for a little over a month now and capping/uncapping is really smooth. The fussing has mostly been worn away. There will be a photo a little later to show this.

The writing:

Ah yes, the writing. As you probably can tell i really like this pen. So when it came to buying it i discovered there was a nibmeister who sells these. Which is really convenient for me since sending a pen to a nibmeister from were i am is not really an option. I had never tried a nib from such a person before, so i decided to just go for it.

This pen then, comes from Pendleton Brown himself.

It has a Butter line stub F nib and writes like nothing else i own.

So what we have here is a perfect storm of a pen. The pen itself is of an astounding beauty, and with a nib from Pendleton Brown the writing is perfect.

I have my perfect pen! In fact i liked it so much that i wanted another one in due time. That time came a whole lot quicker once i learned that the Micarta is discontinued. So i went ahead and ordered another one from PB.

The second Micarta:

I got it yesterday. This pen as slightly lighter brown color, just slightly, and some different structures in it. But still as beautiful as the first one.

The nib is also different. This one is a medium nib with the flex option.

First of PB made the nib crisper. It is just one the edge of not being suitable for regular writing, but writing with really light pressure works well. Line variation without pressure is on the other hand much better than on my F BLS. This makes it fun to play around with and i have done quite a bit of writing already.

The semi-flex works as shown in the writing sample. Though the pressure needed to flex it makes me uncomfortable. I have a FPR Dilli with a flexible nib that works better for flexing, but on that one i really have to prime the feed to keep it from railroading. On the PB semi-flex nib i have not managed to make it railroad.

http://bildr.no/thumb/N3NNUFdr.jpeg

Comparison of the threads.

Final thoughts:

Get the Micarta while you can. It is a stunning pen and if you are at all interested in it you will regret it if you don't once it disappeares. If you can, get it from Pendleton Brown while he has it in stock. He does some incredible work and is a really nice guy. I can fully recommend his nibs!

I will certainly order from him again, and when i do i going to get a smooth BLS from him which was the nib option i liked the most.

Disclaimer:

I am just a regular fountain pen user and does not have any connection with TWSBI or Pendleton Brown, just a happy customer.

Oh yeah, here is the writing sample:

http://bildr.no/thumb/NUZxM0ZB.jpeg

Yes i know. My writing does not do the nibs justice. But i will not apologize for my horrible handwriting. I´m working on it, leave me alone :)

EDIT:

Fixed a small error.

Edited by 23Larsen
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Great review! Looks like the added flex is very much worth it!

Franklin-Christoph, Italix, and Pilot pens are the best!
Iroshizuku, Diamine, and Waterman inks are my favorites!

Apica, Rhodia, and Clairefontaine make great paper!

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grahamtillotson

Totally agree. I have two and I've sealed them with boiled linseed oil. Did not like the staining that results when you fill the pen from a bottle.

 

Graham

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Yep, I also have two (a medium clipped and a broad clipless) and I really love them!

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Totally agree. I have two and I've sealed them with boiled linseed oil. Did not like the staining that results when you fill the pen from a bottle.

 

Graham

 

Interesting.

So now it will not take color? Is there any smell or other changes due to the oil?

 

For me i just fill with the converter. One time i accidentally filled it the regular way, my heart sank as i realized what i was doing. But it was brown ink, which would not really make any difference luckily.

I don't normally mach ink color and pen color, but this pen i do for some reason.

 

Anyways, its good to see others with love for the Micarta. :)

 

It seems to be a polarizing pen, you either love it or hate it. Wish more pens had that effect!

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I love Pendleton Brown, got my micarta v2 from him too! mine has a butterline stub in medium, and the nib is frosted as well as torched to look like what Pendleton called a rainbow! I agree hahahah. I like the pen a lot but I barely use it, my handwriting is not suited to stubs. I washed my Micarta (just for fun) in rubbing alcohol, and now its a lighter brown. I really like the color to be honest with you. My only gripe with the pen is that dipping it into the ink for filling, usually stains the section pretty badly. I usually use a syringe and fill the converter directly. Here's a pic of some writing and my nib: :-)IMG_3580.JPG

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EclecticCollector

I have two and I've sealed them with boiled linseed oil.

Graham

Hi Graham, can you explain this process or point me to some more details? I'd be very interested in doing this with mine. Does it change the color at all?
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I found some information about the use of linseed oil on Micarta:

 

"...Effectively the very surface of canvas and linen micarta may absorb a very small amount of fluids in the exposed fibers; so I put some multiple layers of boiled linseed oil on the micarta to seal it and to reveal the color, and I polish with woolsteel if necessary again. Boiled linseed oil will darken the micarta, but it will make it water-resistant. Apply the oil, wait 15 minutes, then wipe it all off (or as much as will come off) with a dry cloth. If you don't it will dry and will be the hell to remove…

"Linseed oil is a "drying oil" as it can polymerize into a solid form. The reaction is exothermic, and rags soaked in it can ignite spontaneously. Due to its polymer-like properties linseed oil is used on its own or blended with other oils, resins and solvents as an impregnator and varnish in wood finishing, as a pigment binder in oil paints, as a plasticizer and hardener in putty and in the manufacture of linoleum. The use of linseed oil has declined over the past several decades with the increased use of alkyd resins, which are similar but partially synthetic materials that resist yellowing."

..."

 

Link:

http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php/770426-Oiled-Tiger-Hide-micarta

 

 

Note that this is used on Micarta made of resin and canvas which is supposed to be the strongest version. I´m not sure what is used on the TWSBI Micarta but i seem to remember that its resin and cotton?

 

Since nojanv used it seemingly successful i assume the difference in material did not matter, and that the material would darken a bit when the linseed oil was applied.

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I like the same things about the TWSBI Micarta that you do - the rugged look, the long threading, and the lack of a clip. The long threading and the lack of a clip gives me confidence that it can go in a pocket without the cap accidentally slipping off.

 

It's such a great looking pen it's a shame that TWSBI discontinued it, but I'm glad I got mine before that happened.

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I just got my first Micarta as well. I had held off since I was not sure if I liked the looks.

 

I love this pen, and can't believe how natural it feels in my hand. I only wish I had paid the premium and gotten one of the PB versions. Mine writes great, but I love the look of the frosted nib.

the Danitrio Fellowship

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I just got my first Micarta as well. I had held off since I was not sure if I liked the looks.

 

I love this pen, and can't believe how natural it feels in my hand. I only wish I had paid the premium and gotten one of the PB versions. Mine writes great, but I love the look of the frosted nib.

My second Micarta from PB was supposed to be frosted, but i just wrote it in my paypal payment instead of emailing him about it. I guess he didn't notice that i wanted it frosted. But it was not a big deal for me so i haven´t bothered mentioning it. I had a hard time deciding if i wanted frosted anyway so when it came with the regular look i wasn't upset :)

 

I snapped a shot of the pens with a better camera and i thought i would include it here:

 

http://i.imgur.com/Kml9yrY.jpg

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Very nice!

Franklin-Christoph, Italix, and Pilot pens are the best!
Iroshizuku, Diamine, and Waterman inks are my favorites!

Apica, Rhodia, and Clairefontaine make great paper!

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I haven't filled mine yet and didn't realize that there may be an issue with staining the barrel. If that's the case, perhaps it would be better to fill the converter directly, rather than through the nib.

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I love Pendleton Brown, got my micarta v2 from him too! mine has a butterline stub in medium, and the nib is frosted as well as torched to look like what Pendleton called a rainbow! I agree hahahah. I like the pen a lot but I barely use it, my handwriting is not suited to stubs. I washed my Micarta (just for fun) in rubbing alcohol, and now its a lighter brown. I really like the color to be honest with you. My only gripe with the pen is that dipping it into the ink for filling, usually stains the section pretty badly. I usually use a syringe and fill the converter directly. Here's a pic of some writing and my nib: :-)IMG_3580.JPG

So, after hitting the nib with a torch it comes out like that? That looks awesome.

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EclecticCollector

perhaps it would be better to fill the converter directly, rather than through the nib.

I usually do this anyway to avoid the mess of dipping the nib and section, plus I like to think that it introduces fewer contaminants into the bottle. I use a syringe to draw ink from the bottle and then fill the converter.

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Like many of you, I pulled the trigger on a v2 when they announced the discontinuation. I love the material, nib, flow, etc. I have had major problems with the nib stopping flow after about a page and a half of notes. I have to prime the converter and then go another page and a half. I know this was an issue with v1, but thought it was resolved in v2. I've already cleaned the nib and feed with flush, but the problem persists. Any other ideas??

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Thanks for the excellent review. And thanks everyone for your comments.

 

Does the odor of the pen diminish? BlakeNote, was the flow problem resolvable? Has anyone else had that problem?

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EclecticCollector

I disassembled my pen after receiving it and left it on a shelf for two weeks to air out. When I first opened the plastic sleeve it arrived in the odor was overwhelming, but now it's just a faint hint unless I hold it to my nose. I find it to be strangely pleasant.

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Like many of you, I pulled the trigger on a v2 when they announced the discontinuation. I love the material, nib, flow, etc. I have had major problems with the nib stopping flow after about a page and a half of notes. I have to prime the converter and then go another page and a half. I know this was an issue with v1, but thought it was resolved in v2. I've already cleaned the nib and feed with flush, but the problem persists. Any other ideas??

 

I have not heard of any flow problems with the v2 versions, so i really don´t have any specific tips on how to solve your issues. Might try a different converter if you have one extra or tweaking the nib for flow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I disassembled my pen after receiving it and left it on a shelf for two weeks to air out. When I first opened the plastic sleeve it arrived in the odor was overwhelming, but now it's just a faint hint unless I hold it to my nose. I find it to be strangely pleasant.

 

I used it straight away. The smell did not bother me at all and i also found it strangely pleasant. Have gotten less and less as time goes by.

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