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Thursday, August 18, 2011

The ultimate TWSBI review! Part 6!

Well, this is the last part of my ultimate TWSBI review. Half of this part is going to be an in-depth re-cap of previous parts. The rest of it will finally conclude this mega-review. Once part 6 is done, it'll be time to move on and start reviewing other stuff! :)

As I will continue to do - Here's a quick re-cap  with links to the 5 previous parts of the review:

Recap of Part 1:
  • How did the TWSBI come about?
  • What is the TWSBI is all about?
  • What exactly is the TWSBI Diamond 530?

  • Packaging
  • Presentation
  • Appearance and design
Recap of Part 4:
  • The nib
  • How does it write?
  • Writing samples
  • Filling mechanism
  • Mechanics/functionality

Today's part of the review is:

Part 6:
  • Overview/re-cap of previous parts
  • A conclusion/thoughts on the TWSBI Diamond 530
  • What's next? - TWSBI continues on...
First of all, I'm going to do a more "in-depth" recap of the previous parts. I'll begin with:

Part 1 - This part was all about how the TWSBI came about. About how speedy decided to make a pen according to the likes of the community of FP users. I also covered the original 530, and it's design flaws, which were quickly corrected by the company. We talked about what the TWSBI 530 is:

  • A Pelikan M800-sized fountain pen
  • A piston-filler
  • A demonstrator (a pen of which the internal components can be seen)
  • An inexpensive pen
  • A well-built pen
  • A pen made specifically for the FP enthusiast

Part 2 - We began diving into the packaging and presentation of this amazing pen. The TWSBI far exceeds the standards of packaging/presentation for its price-range. The TWSBI packaging is on par, if not better than most $150.00 fountain pens.

Part 3 - Was spent discussing the appearance of the pen. The TWSBI 530, to my eyes is a gorgeously designed pen. It won a red dot design award award for its innovative, beautiful, and extremely functional appearance. Everything, from the nib to the piston-filling mechanism, looks like it belongs on a pen twice the price.

Part 4 - We talked about the most important part of any pen - the nib. In my experience, the 530 nibs were fabulous! Some others had a few minor problems with them, but I had none with mine. They were smooth, reliable, and easily interchangeable (a feature I always love).

Part 5 - We began wrapping things up here by talking about the filling system, and the mechanics/functionality of the pen. The pen is a piston filler, which in my eyes is the best filling system. It combines the massive ink capacity of an eyedropper, with the reliability of a c/c filler. The functionality of the pen is excellent as well. This pen is made to be used - not looked at, though it still is beautiful. Everything about this pen makes it a true workhorse.

Now we're at part 6. I'm going to finish up this review with a few (hundred) final words on the TWSBI Diamond 530.

Overall, through the course of this review my thoughts have still not changed on the TWSBI. I will always love this pen! It has set a new standard for what is possible in pen manufacturing. Never before has such quality, functionality, customer service, and beauty been packed into a $40.00 price range. This pen was made to be affordable, so that anyone could buy one - and I sincerely hope everyone gets to try out a TWSBI Diamond eventually. It's not worth missing!

This pen has become an icon for the FP community. Never before have I seen such excitement about a pen, and for such good reason either! This pen has attracted dozens of people, and has not let 99% of them down. I can't say enough about how great it is. For all it's miniature flaws, I am truly impressed with it in every aspect.

I think that the company has started with a bang, and they show signs of continuing on with their amazing products. This brings to me the final part of the ultimate TWSBI review. I'm going to talk about "what's next?".

I am happy to report that TWSBI is planning on continuing to produce high-quality pens, for as long as they can. They are currently working on quite a few projects including inkwells, new pen models, and new versions of current pen models! The latest thing from the TWSBI workshop is the all-new Diamond 540. This is the new version of the 530, the pen that I have reviewed. This pen is almost the exact same, with just a few changes. I'm going to list all the changes right here in a semi-definitive list:

1) The clip is now made out of brass instead of stamped steel.
2) The cap threads are smoother than on the 530.
3) The pen holds approx. 30% more ink!
4) The piston seals have been enlarged to further prevent leakage.
5) The nibs will be changed over to being manufactured by Bock Germany. These new nibs will not be installed though until all the old nibs are used up.

That's all the changes as far as I know. Here is a picture of the two pens compared:

The pen on the left (filled with Diamine Sunshine) is the 540. The pen on the right (filled with Diamine Golden Brown) is the original 530.

As you can see, the 540's piston capacity is noticeable larger than that of the 530. This is really the only visual difference between the two.

This pretty much concludes my ultimate TWSBI

I think that TWSBI is a fabulous company, and deserves a huge amount of credit for making such an amazing pen. They have listened to the voice of the FP community and they have built a pen that we can all enjoy! I am greatly looking forward to all the future pens that TWSBI will come out with. I have no doubt that they will exhibit the same amount of quality as the 530.

If you have not yet been convinced of how great the TWSBI 530 is, then there's not much hope for you now. ;)

Since the 540 has succeeded the 530, the original pen is no longer available. However, the 540 is literally the exact same pen as the 530, with only a few better changes! I recommend you go and buy one right now if you haven't yet. It's an amazing pen, and priced at a level that nearly anyone can afford. For now they are only sold on TWSBI's retail store, Amazon, and a few other select retailers. But word has reached my ears that they are soon to be widely available from your favorite retailers! Keep watch, and be sure you pick one up - you can't go wrong with this incredible pen!

Best Regards,
777 - Tyler Dahl


  1. Thanks, Tyler. Nice wrap-up. You've done a great job. I've already talked to Tom about his ETA for these beauties, and if necessary he'll set one aside for me.  I also wanted to let you know.....(fanfare).....thanks to your video, I successfully took my pen apart, cleaned it, and put it back together again!!! (Not on the first try, of course, but I got it eventually...and without pulling my hair out.)  I am so pleased with myself, and it's all thanks to you and your video.  Bravo!  Take a bow, teacher.

  2. Thanks so much Karen! I'm glad you enjoyed part 6. :) I was afraid it would be boring...

    I'm glad to hear my video helped you get your pen working! That's great. How many tries was it? :)


  3. As always, Tyler, a fine review with great photos.  I'm waiting for the Goulets to get it in.  I notice that TWSBI's own e-Bay site isn't offering the 540 at all, just the nibs.  What's with that, I wonder?

  4. I've really enjoyed your series on the TWSBI. Thanks for doing this. I'll probably pick up a 540 when the Goulet's get them in.

  5. Yea, I can't wait to see the Goulets start carrying them!

    All of them are sold out - that's why they're not on the ebay store. :) They sold out FAST!

    I was lucky enough to grab more than one. :P

  6. You're most welcome for the review. I think this pen deserves it. :)

    Hopefully next week - that's what heard for the Goulets TWSBI status.

  7. I have to agree that this pen is pretty great!  My next adventure will be looking into a customized nib such as the stub I saw you listed on FPN.  Looks sweet!

  8. Yes, a customized nib can really "up" the experience of a less-expensive pen. Keep your eyes open, as I'm going to be putting up two customized TWSBI nibs for sale! Both are broads, and one is a stub - the other a cursive italic. I have a feeling they'll go fast. :)

  9. WoW I wasn't expecting a part 6. Great job!

    I had no idea the 540 was out. Took me by surprise. I won't be getting one, it's too similar to the 530. I might get the mini-TWSBI that I saw on FPN in the project stage.

    I recently ordered a B nib unit which complements my EF nib nicely. The B nib is surprisingly springy, while the EF is a nail.

  10. I lost count.  But here's the important thing: because of the info you gave, I had the confidence, calmness, and peace of mind I needed to not panic.  I simply observed the process: I start with the piston here and it ends up there, now I go this way and it ends up there.....and then I made adjustments as needed! tada!

  11. Well, my TWSBI 540 arrived today and, Tyler, I must say that so far I can see why you are so enthused about this series of pen.  I was just amazed at how smoothly my fine point nib wrote, right out of the box!  Also, while I wouldn't exactly call it "flex", there seems to be the slightest bit of give in the nib to give my penmanship a bit of character.  I'm still disappointed that the cap cannot be posted but have decided that that is a minor quibble with what is otherwise a fountain pen that is a delight to use.

    Thanks for a great six part review on a fine product.