The Twsbi Micarta is a fountain pen that is currently out of a production but is highly coveted by some fountain pen enthusiasts despite known issues.
The Twsbi Micarta was first released in 2012 and is no longer made. There was a second edition of the pen, known as the Twsbi Micarta v2, which was released in 2014 and is also out of production.
The pen used a steel #6 JoWo nib that was gold-plated, not a gold nib. Because the nib was a standard size it was easy to change out, which some people did in order to customize what they knew to be a rare and special fountain pen.
The Micarta was sold both in a clip (Model 805) and clipless (Model 803) versions, the latter of which is what you generally see for sale secondhand. Based on recent online sales the clip-less version seems to have been much more popular, but it’s not clear if that’s a fact or just anecdote.
The Twsbi Micarta was able to have a posted cap, despite the use of Micarta. This didn’t have any negative effect on the body material.
The Twsbi Micarta wasn’t shipped in a box, but rather in a Twsbi-branded notebook that had a special cut-out for a pen.
Twsbi Micarta Issues
The original Micarta had issues with the cap not fully sealing, which caused the nib to dry out and frequent hard starts. The follow-up, Micarta v2, had similar issues despite changes to the nib and the interior of the cap in order to prevent nib drying and subsequent hard starts.
Another issue with the Micarta was that the body material could be stained by ink. For this reason Micarta users have recommended filling a converter and then inserting it in the pen, not dipping the pen in an ink bottle as you normally would.
What is Micarta?
Micarta, which is a popular material used in knife handles but hasn’t really taken off in pens, is a plastic that is strengthened with another material being placed inside. This secondary material is usually a linen, paper, or canvas which gives the Micarta a very nice texture and looks quite good. The method of impregnating a material is similar to how fiberglass and carbon fiber composites are made.
Micarta is generally used in applications where a strong component is needed and the texture of the materials is helpful, such as in a tool’s handle. Micarta is also very moldable so complex 3D shapes, like a fan blade, are possible.
Micarta is plastic-based so it’s not a natural material, but because of the fiber (or paper, etc.) inside there is more of a natural feel to it. Additional Micarta does break in and wear over time as the fiber in the exposed internal material that sticks out of the plastic wears out. This means the Micarta can go from looking a bit fuzzy to completely smooth as the object is used. (This was most apparent in the threading of the Twsbi Micarta pen.)
Twsbi Micarta Fountain Pen Information
|Street Price||Check Price|
|Pen Type||Fountain Pen | Cartridge/Converter|
|Body Diameter (mm)||14.0|
|Grip Diameter (mm)||12.0|
|Country of Origin||Taiwan|
|Capped? Retractable?||Capped - Screw On|
|Length Capped / Retracted (cm)||13.5|
|Length Posted (cm)||16.8|
|Nib Sizes||Extra Fine, Fine, Medium|