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Twsbi Diamond 580Al Inquiries


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Hi all,


I just purchased my first decent fountain pen, it's the TWSBI Diamond 580AL in silver with an extra fine nib.


I was reading around and noticed that there were a lot of mixed reviews on how scratchy the extra fine nib was, and I was wondering what everyones personal experience was?


Also, I read that the 580al is a huge improvement to the previous models as the ones made before the 580al had cracking issues. Is this still an issue with the 580al? How do I go about storing and taking care of the pen? I want to take this to class everyday and I'm wondering if you all could send me recommendations for a case or a holder of some sort?


Lastly, is there a big difference between the extra fine and fine nibs for this pen? I've seen written samples for both and I couldn't tell the difference whatsoever and I'm not sure if what I've seen is accurate or even for the right pen.


Thanks for your time everyone!

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EoC recently acquired a 580 AL in blue with an extra fine nib, and finds the nib to be pretty good. It has feedback much like a pencil, which may not be to everyone's taste of course. As regards scratchiness, well... there may be some variation between nibs, so it is hard to determine. As it is an extra fine nib it can be scratchy if you catch the paper at the wrong angle. EoC notices, in his hand at least, that finer nibs often require a little more attention to the task than broad nibs.

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The EF nib can be a great tool. If you write small characters, a larger nib will not work. Perhaps you are working with mathematical equations and need precise writing. Or if you use terrible paper at home or work and need/want to minimize feathering or bleed through, you'll want a nib that'll does not lay down a thick, wet line. I use f and EF nibs at work and home frequently.


Remember that a nib "floats" on a pool or ink as you write. A broader nib lays down a bigger pool and will likely be smoother. An EF can fell more scratchy as there is less ink being out down on the paper. I've found the Japanese inks to work very well with small nibs. Using a wet ink (if your paper allows it) also can help.


Remember to use a light touch with your pen, and you'll find the results you are looking for.



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I have one 580 in my collection, having owned it for a couple of years. I don't have an extra fine nib but the fine, medium and 1.1 are joys to write with.


Cracking seems to be an issue constantly discussed here abouts, but mine has beeen trouble free in this regard. I believe it is of good construction although mine does live on my desk or in a display box. There are plenty of pen cases available about the web and B&M stores and could be a good idea to give the pen some protection.





"may our fingers remain ink stained"

Handwriting - one of life's pure pleasures

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I have a recent 580AL in EF, and it is very fine, and somewhat scratchy. The tines are aligned and everything. I get the same sensation from my Preppy 0.2, which is only slightly finer than the TWSBI, so I just chalk it up to the tiny tipping material and my heavy hand.



Edited by J85909266

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I have the regular 580 (non AL) but a bigger nib so I can't speak to the nib. I have had it since November 2014, and used it if not everyday, pretty close. It has hit the ground (capped) more than once from desk height. And the office I work in while carpeted isn't much more than carpet tiles glued to concrete. No pad like you would in your home. Not a crack yet. Don't take it apart all the time and you could have similar results. Just because you can (and they provide a tool) doesn't mean you should.


It has been my observation, that most of the cracking (IMO) has been those people that take it apart every time they change inks/flush the pen rather than just using the piston to flush, and then they crank it down too tight.


I have used Iron Gall, Bulletproof, regular aniline dye inks and even inks that started life as powder in mine without issue.


"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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Also, I read that the 580al is a huge improvement to the previous models as the ones made before the 580al had cracking issues. Is this still an issue with the 580al?



Personally, I doubt I will ever buy another TWSBI after the series of cracked and broken parts I experienced on my two 530s and two Vac 700s. I've never seen that happen with any other brand of fountain pen.

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I just purchased the same model, TWSBI 580AL (clear), this past Friday (two days ago), and I have the fine nib. I especially love the feel of the "plastic." I am a word person, and I cringe to even say the word plastic (thinking of connotations of cheapness, and of chemical waste/environmental "fumes" created in production..... a negative imagination tendency). But, the pen almost feels glass-like, and the diamond cut of the body is very shimmery, and pleasing to me!


I am a bit bummed by the fact that the cap, when placed on the end of the pen, completely throws the entire pen out of balance. I think that the salesperson was a bit remiss in not pointing that out to me, as he was holding the cap while I was testing the pen. I have ADD, and I know that I am very susceptible to losing track of anything that is not attached to "the whole." I will have to be mindful of moving from room to room with my pen in hand so I don't waste a lot of time having to look for the cap again. This is the life of a person with ADD, strategies, and a lot of wasted time looking for stuff within a 3 ft. radius of myself.


I checked out the TWSBI website, and they have two Youtube videos about how to disassemble, etc.. I am not really a tinkerer, so it is in my nature to avoid taking anything apart if I can help it! If I hadn't watched the video, and carefully read the printed packaging enclosure, it never would have occurred to look underneath the plastic base of the pen box, where a tool and a small vial of lubricant is hidden from view. Good to know, for the rare tinkering.


I am very new to the pen-experience, so I apologize if the following question is naive, but might anyone be able to recommend an ink that looks especially attractive, colorful, luminescent in a clear pen?! I am currently using Diamine, Autumn Oak, and however much I love the color on paper, sometimes when I look at my pen, it strikes me as if I were looking at a blood sample in a syringe tube. Yah, my imagination needs to focus more so on other aspects of the pen that I love. But, it would be cool to fill it with ink that actually was radiant to look at! How gorgeous that could be!!!


Another newbie question: in a pen with a piston type converter or inking mechanism, is it a bad practice to give the piston a turn to achieve darker text? Are you ever supposed to turn the piston to get the ink flowing? Or, is the piston used just for filling? With the knob so readily accessible at the end of the pen, how could you resist giving it a little turn now and then?! Thanks for any insight you might be able to offer me on this.

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Hi Humanities, I understand how not being able to post the cap can be annoying, but I also think the pen would be much too big when posted. You could try their mini, I hear it's basically the same pen but smaller. However, I'm not sure if they have the mini in the AL version.


I actually made another post recently about inks that look good in the TWSBI, and a few people recommended the Kon Peki blue, and you should take a look at Noodler's blue and Noodler's baystate blue (however, I hear the baystate has had issues with demonstrators). I'll post the link for that thread below.


I don't think you need to push the piston down, if you want a darker ink I believe you just need a better flowing nib. Some nibs can be dry, and wet ones are just pens with a wider gap between the two tines of the nib that allows more ink to flow. OR, you could try looking into wetter inks, I'm not a pro and I'm a newbie just like you, but I've heard that some inks are wetter than others, which will give you a better flow and the dark color your looking for.


However, you could also continue doing what you are doing, just be careful not to shake the pen when you push the piston down, as you are pushing ink out of the pen when you do and ink could shake out of the pen, spilling everywhere.


Hope that helps, try googling some pictures of the TWSBI with kon peki ink, it looks gorgeous! My only rec for you is not to use any red inks, as it may stain the pen (from what I have learned from others).


Here's the link I mentioned earlier for one of my other threads for ink, specifically for the TWSBI 580AL



Edited by kma419
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Dear KMA, welcome again.


As for red inks in the TWSBI - don't be afraid, use them. USE THEM LOTS. The biggest trick is to keep the ink flowing. DO NOT LET INK DRY OUT IN YOUR pen.


If you want a schadenfreude moment, check out this thread with my Vac 700.



Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).

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Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 366 Inks in 2016

Check out inks sorted by color: Blue Purple Brown Red Green Dark Green Orange Black Pinks Yellows Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal MURKY

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  • 1 month later...

For a more saturated ink that looks great in clear TWSBIs and flows well from their sometimes dry-ish nibs, try Diamine Midnight (dark blue). I like it a lot in the TWSBI Mini (I have the fine and 1.1 nibs).

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  • 2 months later...

I'm new to the fountain pen world and recently purchased a 580 AL (green) and a Mini, both with F nibs. I find the 580 AL nib to write much finer than the Mini F nib. Is it normal to have variation of how the nib writes within the same brand even though the nib size is the same? On the same paper with the same ink the 580 nib almost feels scratchy.


Also, the 580 AL feels a bit top heavy to me (I do have smaller hands) and I was wondering if someone has ever compared or noticed a difference between the 580 and 580 AL? I'm not sure if the top heaviness feel is because of the material in the pen or I just prefer small pens.

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  • 6 months later...

An EF can fell more scratchy as there is less ink being out down on the paper. I've found the Japanese inks to work very well with small nibs.





I recently ordered 5 of the TWSBI Diamond 580AL in silver, each with an extra fine nib. I'll be using these with 5 different Pilot Iroshizuku bottled inks. You mentioned that the Japanese inks work well with small nibs. Have you had the opportunity to use any of the Iroshizuku inks with your EF nibs? If so, what are your thoughts on flow and scratchiness with this combination?


Has anyone else in this thread used the Iroshizuku inks with the EF nib that comes with the TWSBI 580? How have they worked for you? Any regrets on going with the EF instead of the F?





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Have the 580AL in purple, with an EF nib. Never had a problem with it being scratchy or with cracking. Never had a problem with the Eco EF, or the Vac-700 EF for either reputed problem, either.


As a college student EF is pretty much a necessity. That I'm a math/Japanese major makes EF (or at least a Japanese F nib) a downright requirement. Kanji in small spaces requires a very fine nib, and I need to be able to write it fast to boot. The TWSBI EF does the job wonderfully. Maybe not as well as my Platinum 3776, but plenty good enough, especially considering that the TWSBI was quite a bit cheaper.

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I have a 580AL with a fine nib. I found it to be hard starting and scratchy at first, but after a few flushes it now is my EDC, my favorite pen, and writes great. I guess maybe it had some manufacturing residue that needed to be washed out.


As I said, it's a fine. And it actually seems either wetter or broader than other fines I have. I have used a variety of inks in it, but currently it's filled with Iroshizuku Take-sumi. I find that the Iroshizuku inks work very well with the TWSBI pens I've got.

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I have a TWSBI 580 Mini with F nib and TWSBI VAC Mini with EF.


The section of 580AL made of aluminium, so it should be much more robust than the 580 which the section has cracking problem in the 530. However I used the 580 MIni for more than a year, there is no any problem at all.


The TWSBI EF nib, for me is a smooth nib with some feedback it also has large sweet sport too.


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