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Stuck Between A Twsbi 580 And A Lamy Al Star



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All in the title, but a few more details. Tight on budget, but I do want a pen and a 580 is around the ballpark on the maximum I want to spend this moment. I've seen some glowing reviews for the 580 and the Al Star, so I really can't decide myself. I'm leaning more to the Al Star but the major factor is smoothness. I've had a Safari and I know the nib was smooth, but can the 580 bring something different and enjoyable too?

 

Edit: Nib preference would F or M. Also the writing angle would be a bit low, but pretty sure both pens are lax on the angle.

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What size nib do you like?

For smoothness, general guideline is the larger the nib the smoother the writing, the finer the nib, the more likely it will be scratchy.

 

BUT, writing experience, including smoothness is affected by 4 variables that interact with each other; pen/nib, ink, paper and the writer. Change any one variable and you can go from smooth to scratchy, or scratchy to smooth.

 

I have a 530 with a M nib and I tried a 580 with a M nib. They are both smooth.

The 580 will be fun to watch the ink inside the pen. Although that could also be a distraction.

I think the TWSBI has a larger ink capacity, but capacity has never been a concern for me. When I wrote a LOT in college, I just carried 2 or 3 pens and spare ink cartridges.

 

My Safari nibs, some are smooth some needed work to be smooth. The Safari nibs are inexpensive and easy to change. Sizes are EF,F,M,B and 1.1, 1.5, 1.9 CI nibs. I really like the 1.1 nib.

San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California

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If you have the opportunity, hold them both. The Lamy Safari is an excellent pen and is one of the top recommendations for first fountain pens. The biggest complaint is the built-in triangular grip in the section. I find this grip a small reminder or relaxing my grip in a comfortable tripod grip.

 

I have a TWSBI Vac 700, and, although it's not truly compatible to the 580 you are considering, the feel of a TWSBI is very different.

 

It's fun to try out different pens from around the world, but if budget is tight, only you can answer the "why" you'd like to add on another pen.

 

Buzz

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The Safari and the Al-Star are very similar. Unless you are very, very happy with the Safari and just want a slightly heavier pen, I'd suggest you try the TWSBI 580. For me, the filling system and ink capacity, and a better writing experience (superior nib) would be the reasons. Plus it looks good. But YMMV and I suggest you hold in your hand first, if possible.

The only down-side for me is that it doesn't post.

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Yeah the problem is I've lost my Safari. You can burn me later for sinning D:

 

I've had a Nemosine Fission for some time now and want something new. That's why my eyes were on a 580 and an Al-Star (this one because the Safari was so good on me, and the triangular grip fit like a glove). I just wanted to know which is smoother. Based on your post, I might just go with a 580. The extra ink capacity is also spectacular for me as a heavy writer!

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My first fp was an Al Star. Still have it, still use it. Also have a 580. Use them differently at different times. My Al Star currently has a 1.1 mm nib and my 580 now has a B with a Art's Nibs Tomahawk grind on it. I go back and forth with the triangular grip on the Safari/Al Star really quite easily. Some people don't.

Brad

"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling
"None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain

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I also have both these pens, and I prefer my Al-Star. I really like that you can change nibs around so easily. It it also an easily recognisable pen, and so you see other people who know nothing about pens, but know about the Safari and the Al-Star.

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I have both the Safari and the Diamond 580, the nib on the Twsbi is quite smooth but it seems there's bit of QC issues with the dry feed a quite common problem with 580.

 

If you are handy with the nib and tuning then the 580 should be a better choice but if you need something "hit the ground running" the Lamy will be a better choice.

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If you're not choosy about color, or giving out a mailing address, I might have an All-Star you can have. My husband had a ton of them and I'm sure at least one of them is a fine or medium nib. I'm not interested in selling it, just getting it in the hands of someone who might use it.

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I have never had a TWSBI so cannot comment on that, but for just less than a TWSBI you can get a Lamy Studio which is a superb pen and built to last.

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I've had both pens. In fact, I still have my Al-star and sold my Twsbi 580. Not that the 580 is a bad pen, I just would recommend the Al-star over it. With my 580, I always felt like I had to force ink into the feed to get it to write. I have never had to do this with my Al-Star or the Safari that I also have owned for that matter.

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See if you can try the pen before you buy.
I'd go for the Lamy. Less QC issues. Besides, I still hear stories of cracks.

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If you are handy with the nib and tuning then the 580 should be a better choice but if you need something "hit the ground running" the Lamy will be a better choice.

 

I love that subtle pun you did there.

 

If you're not choosy about color, or giving out a mailing address, I might have an All-Star you can have. My husband had a ton of them and I'm sure at least one of them is a fine or medium nib. I'm not interested in selling it, just getting it in the hands of someone who might use it.

 

Ehh maybe not. I don't really want to just trust anyone unless I know I can trust them. Sorry :/ Thanks a whole bunch for the offer though! Also I am a bit choosy with the color, so yeah.

 

And thanks for all the feedback, guys! I guess I'll go with the Al Star. I don't want to risk a defective pen or just something that could break often. Maybe later when I do actually start a sizable fountain pen collection I'll get the 580 but for now the Lamy would do. Also I can't do a writing sample because I don't have a shop related to fountain pens anywhere near me, so the forum would be my best bet.

 

Again, thanks all!

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I've really enjoyed my 580 AL. Really quite a massive ink capacity, and I find it very comfortable.

"Oh deer."

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Just picked up my 580 which was sitting in my drawer for the last 3 months 1/2 filled with Akkermans #13. It wrote perfectly without any coaxing. dug up one of my lamy's from my pencase and dry as a bone. Go for the twisbi. I have a few all EF and all very smooth writers. Also I find the twisbi's grip much more comfortable than the lamy's triangular grip. spend $5 bucks extra and get the Diamond AL you wont regret.

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tinkerteacher

I've got a Mini, and a dangerously expanding Lamy Safari/Al-Star/Vista collection, and wouldn't really compare them as equals.

 

Lamys are more my beater pens, like work pants or jearns. While my Mini is more my dress up, going out clothes. If that makes sense.

Semper Faciens, Semper Discens

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