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TWSBI Mini in Rose Gold Review

 

First Impression (10/10)

So, there are two reasons why I got this pen. First is that I really wanted a piston filler, the second being that I wanted a shiny white pen. The pen is nicely packaged as any other TWSBI pen, with the cardboard box and plastic shell, completed with wrench and silicon grease. This pen looked beautiful out of the box, it is a little smaller than I expected, but I do like smaller pens so it’s a plus for me.

 

Appearance and Design (8/10)

Again, the Mini is a really beautiful pen when empty. However, it does look somewhat worse when it is filled with dark black ink, but it still looks good nevertheless. I would warn you that it does give off a feminine feel, which may turn off those who prefer manly-man, black on black stealth pens. The design is excellent; I especially enjoy the ability to take it apart for cleaning and maintenance.

 

Weight and Dimensions (10/10)

The pen is small, and since I have smaller hands it is perfect for me. The pen does post pretty well with the screw on cap, so it’ll fit those with larger hands as well.

 

Nib and performance (6/10)

As a student, I always go with the fine nib for best performance on cheap paper. The nib is beautifully coated with rose gold. The nib did not start off being the smoothest, but got much better after a little bit of adjustments with my writing angle (small sweet spot). I do have a big complaint with how dry this pen is. This pen is beyond just causing a little bit of hard start: it completely stops working when kept in an upright position, causing a lot of frustration for me needing to prime it each time. Now I keep the pen flat on my desk and keep it half full to make sure it works every time when I pick it up. This is not best choice for use as a student pen.

 

Filling system & Maintenance (10/10)

The filling system is easy to use, and holds a lot of ink. Maintenance is superior because I can take apart the pen easily to clean out the pen really quickly.

 

Cost & Value (6/10)

Ok, this pen looks nice, but you can get an identical pen with just a different color (the regular TWSBI Mini) for $15 less. So if you’re not looking for a white and gold pen, getting this pen is low in value. Reliability wise it is disappointing for the dryness mentioned above, thus obviously lower in value than other pens like Lamy Safari as a work pen.

 

Conclusion (8/10)

This pen looks really nice and writes smoothly now, which is why I’m sure to be keeping it. I do have complaints of its dryness, but it is nothing that I can’t overlook easily, just problematic for taking notes. Overall I like this pen and accept its flaws.

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Edited by Wuofhz
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Perhaps you could use a wetter ink in it, Waterman, Diamine pops to mind.

 

And with regards to priming the pen, I would say give the pen a good wash with some soap water. By that, I mean circulating the soap water in and out of the pen, then clean the pen throughly. That should get rid of any residue oils.

 

 

~Epic

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A sincere man am I
From the land where palm trees grow,
And I want before I die
My soul's verses to bestow.
 
All those moments will be lost in time.
Like tears in rain.
Time to die.

 

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Hi Wuofhz :W2FPN:

 

I have the full-size 580 in black and rose gold. I have not experienced any flow problems. But out of habit I disassembled and cleaned the pen thoroughly before inking it for the first time. I suggest you clean your pen as well. I had the Rose Gold finish on my 580RG corrode. After reporting it to TWSBI they sent me a new nib, which seems to be holding up OK so far.

 

I use Pilot/Namiki blue ink quite a lot. Other ink brands I often use are Diamine and Noodler's, especially the Noodler's Eel (lubricated) inks. Try Pilot/Namiki blue or Noodler's Eel blue. They are work-horse inks that flow well. Avoid red-ish inks. Many of those don't seem to flow as well.

 

I really like the white and rose gold theme. I wish TWSBI would make a full size 580 white/rose-gold version.

 

Have Fun, David

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you for the review! I really like the way this pen looks, too - love my 'regular' TWSBI Mini but wouldn't mind getting one in this finish as well. I am sorry to hear that the nib needed some smoothing and still writes really dry, however. :( I wouldn't be getting a fine nib, but still.... I don't like dry writing pens!

 

In addition to trying a wetter ink, have you tried to increase the flow with the various nib tweaking methods available? Here is a great video from sbrebrown that shows a very easy way of doing this - no tools, disassembly or brass shim needed. It worked a treat on my dry writing Stipula Passaporto, I actually like writing with it now!

 

 

Holly

 

 

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Thanks for the nice review. Your review has caused this pen to be #1 on my future purchases list. In fact, I'm saving for one right now. Hope to have it before Christmas. I was thinking of going with the F nib but your review has me thinking M. Has the ink flow improved?

Edited by Art
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Thank you for the review! I really like the way this pen looks, too - love my 'regular' TWSBI Mini but wouldn't mind getting one in this finish as well. I am sorry to hear that the nib needed some smoothing and still writes really dry, however. :( I wouldn't be getting a fine nib, but still.... I don't like dry writing pens!

 

In addition to trying a wetter ink, have you tried to increase the flow with the various nib tweaking methods available? Here is a great video from sbrebrown that shows a very easy way of doing this - no tools, disassembly or brass shim needed. It worked a treat on my dry writing Stipula Passaporto, I actually like writing with it now!

 

 

Holly

 

 

 

Holly, I have used this method several time with great success. My sister sent me her F Safari because it was not filling in all her letters as she wrote. She has used fountain pens all her life and has a very light touch on the nib. I found her pen would not write under just the pen's weight on the nib (good fountain pens should), so I took the nib off, flossed it with brass shim, cleaned it out real well, flossed the feed groove, no improvement. Then I remembered this video from some months back and used it. Did it lightly at first, no change. Then with slight increases in pressure after the 3rd or 4th try, voila! Worked great. She was very pleased. At the same time I remembered my EF Al-Star had some issues, so I took it out and wrote with it and it needed a little heavier hand to keep it from being dry. So I treated my pen nib the same way and made it so it would draw a continuous line under only the pen's weight. So this really works. My TWSBI Mini is dryer writing than my TWSBI Vac-700's. But, I never have had hard starts. I have M, B, and 1.5 nibs for the Mini. I may try Brown's method on all of them too. Good review Wuofhz, I do love my Mini, its size, pison fill, and ability to disassemble and apply silicone grease to the right parts. I think this may solve your problem. By the way, the TWSBI Diamond 50 inkwell lets you fill your Mini or 580 without getting a drop of ink on the grip. I love them. They work as great inwells for all other fountain pens, just as a good ink bottle.

Edited by graystranger

Eschew Sesquipedalian Obfuscation

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Thank you for the review! I really like the way this pen looks, too - love my 'regular' TWSBI Mini but wouldn't mind getting one in this finish as well. I am sorry to hear that the nib needed some smoothing and still writes really dry, however. :( I wouldn't be getting a fine nib, but still.... I don't like dry writing pens!

 

In addition to trying a wetter ink, have you tried to increase the flow with the various nib tweaking methods available? Here is a great video from sbrebrown that shows a very easy way of doing this - no tools, disassembly or brass shim needed. It worked a treat on my dry writing Stipula Passaporto, I actually like writing with it now!

 

Holly

 

 

 

Hi Holly,

 

Be careful. The technique shown in Steven Brown's video to increase flow can cause the very problem it is trying to solve. When you push down on the nib to splay the tines by bending, you also risk bending the nib up and away from contacting the feed. This will reduce flow.

 

A better technique is to flip the pen over so the bottom of the feed faces you, grab the "wings" of the nib with your thumb nails, and splay the times by pulling them apart. This technique will not push the nib away from the feed.

 

I'm not saying Steven's approach won't work - obviously it does in many cases. I'm just saying there's an equally simple way to achieve the same result, but with far less risk of causing additional problems.

 

Best Regards, David

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Hi Holly,

 

Be careful. The technique shown in Steven Brown's video to increase flow can cause the very problem it is trying to solve. When you push down on the nib to splay the tines by bending, you also risk bending the nib up and away from contacting the feed. This will reduce flow.

 

A better technique is to flip the pen over so the bottom of the feed faces you, grab the "wings" of the nib with your thumb nails, and splay the times by pulling them apart. This technique will not push the nib away from the feed.

 

I'm not saying Steven's approach won't work - obviously it does in many cases. I'm just saying there's an equally simple way to achieve the same result, but with far less risk of causing additional problems.

 

Best Regards, David

Thank you for the warning, David; I hadn't thought of that. :blush: Part of the technique that Steven shows is that your thumb on top of the nib is pressing down on the tines to keep the nib and feed in contact even as you are pressing the nib against the thumb nail of your other hand; presumably, this would prevent the problem you note, but....

 

I think that either of these methods would work; as with all tweaks, use caution and some gentleness with whatever method you choose to use when working on a nib - don't go postal on it. :)

 

Holly

Edited by OakIris
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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for the nice review. Your review has caused this pen to be #1 on my future purchases list. In fact, I'm saving for one right now. Hope to have it before Christmas. I was thinking of going with the F nib but your review has me thinking M. Has the ink flow improved?

Sorry for the late reply, I actually did not expect this many people to read this and completely forgot about this post. :) And yes, the ink flow has significantly improved after several more refills and maintainence flushing, now it is almost free of hard starts (A break-in period type deal I suppose). My wording in the review may be a little harsh as it was still perfectly functional during the worst times (inexperienced first review here). It is a beautiful and great writing pen, and I would recommend it. Hope this helps and good luck with your purchase!

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Thanks everyone for the great suggestions and nice feedback. A little clarification and update on the nib & performance section. The nib was actually smooth since the begining, I did not have to smooth it. I actually just had a little bit of hard time finding the sweet point of the nib. The ink flow also got significantly better as I used, refilled, and flushed the pen more.

I would change my nib & performance score to a (8/10) and Cost & Value to (7/10), and Conclusion a (9/10).

Edited by Wuofhz
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