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TWSBI FP Review
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Twsbi Diamond 530 Review (Pronounced Twizbee!)

I purchased the very popular Twsbi FP at the NYC Pen show over the weekend. I was looking for several pens at the show, not really having this in mind at all. I was told by a known/friendly pen repair person to take a look at this pen! Boy, was I in for a pleasant surprise!

Design- This is a jewel-like quality demo pen made with crystal type etching in the acrylic body. This pen looks like a piece of fine crystal at first glance. It is well made, and has a very solid feel. I was carrying a Pelikan M205 Demo with me to the show, and the quality of this Twsbi really became obvious. It is a medium to large size pen (length of a Pilot VP) that feels as solid as a Sailor 1911 Demo (pic for comparison). This pen can be completely disassembled for cleaning, as a wrench and silicone grease are included (along with instructions). The pen case itself is also something to be admired for its design and practicality.

Filling System- This is a piston-fill FP that filled the first time I put it in the bottle. It did not require any priming, and filled full that first time. The materials are plastic, with a metal collar around the barrel where the knob shaft threads. The piston filling process is very smooth, and did not stiffen, nor hesitate to push through the barrel.

Nib- A stainless steel, iridium tip nib that has that familiar Schmidt type look/feel to it. The nib is a medium, and I would call it an Asian medium. It lays a nice line, and it is very smooth. The nib is marked TWSBI along with their logo, and an M on the side of the left tine that reminds you of other Asian made pens.

Price- The price paid for this pen was $40. I cannot state enough the value for the price paid on this pen! Imagine a quality piston-fill pen for less than $50! This pen feels like a pen costing twice and/or three times as much! The performance for the money also is something to be amazed at!

Conclusion- This pen is made by a company based in Taiwan. It has the quality of a Japanese pen costing two/three times as much. There is no need to leave a score, since I can find very little (nothing) to complain about with this pen. I was also told at the point of sale that any problems would be addressed as the pen is guaranteed against any defects. Early problems with prior models have been fixed as these new models have better seals. Bravo for a well-made, low price-point pen!



-- Edited by Frank on Thursday 14th of June 2012 02:52:59 PM

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DWL


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So how has it performed since you've settled in to it for a while? How hard is the material? Whats the scratch/scuff rate like. Is the seal holding up? Ink in the cap/threads a problem? How is the nib?

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DWL wrote:

So how has it performed since you've settled in to it for a while? How hard is the material? Whats the scratch/scuff rate like. Is the seal holding up? Ink in the cap/threads a problem? How is the nib?



It's been a little more than a week, and so far, so good! The seals look OK- I did see some discussion about this over at FPN, but this is the new edition, so those problems have been solved. No ink anywhere it should not be; I still have Parker Black in it.
I will test staining a little later with green or red next!

The pen is heavy, with an ABS plastic type that is of the same "feel" as a Lamy Vista/Sailor Demo. The material is better than Pelikan M2xx Demos, and is faceted to give it a thick, crystal feel. The nib is decent as well. I have read that it could be a Bock nib; I know it reminds of that type (schmidt, etc..). The nib flow to me looks like an Asian medium, so maybe they have not switched to Bock yet.

Thanks Dennis! I'm pretty happy with it, and recommend it to anyone looking for a piston filler in this price range!

smile.gif Frank



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Seasoned

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I've got one of these and so far it has been a treat to write with. Only little issue is some ink getting into the piston head. Not an issue as it has only made it through one. I guess I could take it apart and clean it out...maybe after the next fill of ink.


As I can't see FPN has there been any talk there about the vac filler version?


Thanks,

K

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titivillus wrote:

I've got one of these and so far it has been a treat to write with. Only little issue is some ink getting into the piston head. Not an issue as it has only made it through one. I guess I could take it apart and clean it out...maybe after the next fill of ink.


As I can't see FPN has there been any talk there about the vac filler version?


Thanks,

K



No Kurt, no info on the Vac version. You are the first to mention it as far as I know!

Frank



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I wanted to update that I have wrote out this pen since filling it in mid-Oct
(After the NYC show).

It has flushed clean- no staining nor leaking issues!

Regards,
Frank

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Newbie

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Great pen Frank, very sweet, and the filling system is very clean

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I filled this pen with the pilot super duper Japanese named ink and found that it didn't rinse out. But when I took the whole thing apart ( very very easy) it turned out to be a film that wiped off with a tissue. some silicone on the piston and it's back together no problems.


I have seen mention on the TWBSI twitter feed but since I can't see FPN was wondering if it had been mentioned there.

K

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titivillus wrote:

I filled this pen with the pilot super duper Japanese named ink and found that it didn't rinse out. But when I took the whole thing apart ( very very easy) it turned out to be a film that wiped off with a tissue. some silicone on the piston and it's back together no problems.


I have seen mention on the TWBSI twitter feed but since I can't see FPN was wondering if it had been mentioned there.

K



I'm glad to hear that you got all the ink out!

Yeah, the Vac sounds like a nice idea for this pen!
Keep us posted Kurt!

smile.gif Frank



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Newbie

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I've got a 540 on order with a spare 1.5 nib.
I've read a lot about them so looking forward to trying it out.
I'll put my thoughts on www.penclassics.com
Rodger

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Vintage

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I have a 530 which I bought secondhand and it writes fantastic. I've since purchased a 1.1 nib for it and the 1.1 has some springiness. I tweaked it just a wee bit to get more flow. Other than that, I've encountered no problems. I like the 530 a lot and if anything happens to it, I'm willing to invest in a 540. :)

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Newbie

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I have the clear demonstrator 540 (fine nib) and it has been a flawless writer since I got it. I have it filled with Diamine Grey and letters and addressed envelopes look beautiful.

I have also purchased an amber Vac 700 but am having the nib ground so really haven't had a chance to play with it yet. Soon. wink



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Focus!!



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Hi Frank

Were the Buds flowing while you were taking the photos ?



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It's been over six months, and the pen is great!

Most of the TWSBI dealers sell loose feed/nib untis as well if you want to try different nib widths!
(Also good if you feel your nib needs "tweaking"!)



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Newbie

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I have a couple of 530s and a couple of 540s. So far only one had ink get behind the seal. I took it apart and cleaned out the ink, then applied some silicone gel to the seal. It still gets ink behind the seal sometimes, but only if I leave it standing nib up for any length of time. Otherwise the pens are amazingly good, especially considering the price point. Have held off on getting the Vac as I read on FPN about some problem with ink flow, and it's a bit more expensive than the piston fillers.

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Adding to an old thread, I have had zero issues with my 540, but the 700 Vac I bought last year has been plagued with ink flow issues, something I gather has been pretty common to these pens. Today, in a sudden burst of nothing-better-to-do, I pulled the nib and feed out of the pen for closer inspection. I found first that the nib's tines were, as Tyler Dahl and others have mentioned, far too tight near the tips. Easily corrected with thumbnails (and tongue held "just so").

Visual inspection of the feed was inconclusive, but I ran a piece of 0.002" brass shim stock gently along the feed channel, and was amazed to find that it extracted three or four long, thin strands of the same plastic from which the feed was made! I followed up with the corner of a piece of index card stock, and brought out a few more small bits of the plastic, after which the feel of the stock through the groove became quite smooth, where it had felt rough on the first pass.

After reassembly, the pen is now quite juicy, possibly an 8 out of 10, so I may tighten the tines back up just a tad.

I'm a rather happier camper.

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I should add, as well, that I did have a small issue with this 530 Pen of mine recently. There was a crack starting in the plastic section up front (probably from cleaning the pen/etc..), and it was getting worse. I contacted Speedy last month, and he saw that I got a new section! Great service from TWSBI, and Speedy! It just shows that even though these are older models, replacement parts are still available!

Kudos again to Speedy from TWSBI!

Regards,
Frank

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