If you are in the market for an entry-level to mid-range fountain pen then Twsbi is a great option. The company has a number of strong offerings in the sub-$100 range, including very competitive pricing bands, like $20-30, where big players like Pilot might seem like the obvious option.
Read on to learn about the best Twsbi pen for you.
The Best Twsbi For Beginners
If you are just getting started with fountain pens then chances are that you are in search of a pen that isn’t too expensive, is simple to operate, is downright reliable, and isn’t too delicate. While the majority of the pens Twsbi makes actually falls under that description, the obvious go-to for beginners is the Twsbi Eco.
The Twsbi Eco is a $30 piston-filling fountain pen with a steel nib. Piston-filling used to be a perk restricted to higher-end, gold nib pens, but with the Eco it’s fully attainable for a reasonable price. The Eco also has some of the other niceties of more expensive pens, like a screw-on cap, a top finial (a small-but-handsome design on the end of the cap), and the ability to completely take the pen apart for cleaning.
The nib on the Eco is small but it works great. It’s handsome thanks to nicely done etching and a large Twsbi logo. The nib is surprisingly smooth, a reliable writer, and is available in Extra Fine, Fine, Medium, Broad, and even a stub.
Twsbi’s other beginner-focused fountain pen is the Twsbi Go, which has the same nib as the Eco but falls short of the Eco in almost all other areas. The Go has no clip, uses a spring-loaded filling system, has a snap-on cap, and uses plastics that feel cheaper than the Eco. So while the Go is available for under $20, we highly recommend spending the extra $10 and getting the Eco, even if this is one of your first fountain pens. The Eco is a pen you’ll use throughout your fountain pen hobby, the Go likely isn’t.
The Best Twsbi “Upgrade” Pen
So you’ve been in the fountain pen game for a few years (or maybe a few months) and you want to upgrade. You might be looking to spend between $50 and $100 in order to upgrade your fountain pen to something with some nice extras — maybe a larger nib, more stylish appearance, a new filling system, etc. So that’s the upgrade Twsbi for you?
Twsbi Diamond 580
The Diamond 580 is mid-range, full-size Twsbi fountain pen that you want to get. It sells for about $52-$68 depending on the variation you get, with the standard one being the most affordable and the AL and ALR in the $60+ range.
We’d recommend getting the standard Diamond 580, not the AL or ALR, because you’ll save at least $10 which is a good 20% of the total price of the pen. The AL and ALR models add some aluminum to the grip area which can add a pop of color and prevent you from seeing the inky feed (which looks messy to some people). The aluminum models have aluminum grips, which some people prefer while others do not. The ALR model is a bit newer and has a slightly improved grip texture.
Why get the Diamond 580 over the Eco? The 580 has some nice perks! The main selling points are a larger nib, a faceted barrel, a nicer clip, and the option for the metal grip.
Another perk is that the nibs section on the 580 can be unscrewed from the pen entirely. This means you can put a different nib on the pen easily or you can easily give it a deep clean. A new nib section costs about $25, or around the same price of an Eco so unless you really love this pen body, it doesn’t entirely make sense.
The Best High-End Twsbi Fountain Pen
Twsbi is, at its heart, a value-brand so it doesn’t get too high-end. Sorry, no $500 21K hand-tuned nib, rare celluloid, limited edition of 100 unit pens here! If you want to blow it out with a Twsbi you are still spending under $100. The main models here are the vacuum ones and then metal-body Twsbi Precision. The pen you want is the Vac700R.
Twsbi Vac700R Fountain Pen
The Twsbi Vac700R is the company’s full-sized vacuum-filler fountain pen. It sells for about $60-70 and comes in a nice range of nib, from Extra Fine to 1.1 mm Stub. The pen is basically a vacuum-filling Diamond 580, with the nib that is larger than the Eco, the 580’s upgraded cap/clip, and a nicely faceted top area for opening and closing the vacuum. You lose the faceted barrel, but you gain a nicely shaped pen with a shape that is akin to that of any high-end vac filler.
The Vac700R is as nicely built pen that is fun to use. For a long time it was seen as the most affordable good vacuum-filling fountain pen, as it’s a fraction of the price of something like the Pilot Custom 823. With the explosion in popularity of even more affordable vac-fillers like the Wing Sung 699 and Penbbs 456 it has lost some of its popularity, but it’s still an exceptional pen.
While Twsbi’s tend not to be people’s dream pens or their grail pen, you really can’t go wrong with these affordably priced, nicely featured pens.
What does Twsbi stand for?
TWSBI is an abbreviation for “Hall of Three Cultures” which is “San Wen Tong” when it’s written in Chinese. The “SWT” from this phrase was reversed to be “TWS” and the “BI” was added on as it means “pen” in Chinese. It’s a roundabout way to get at the acronym, but there you have it!
Who makes Twsbi fountain pens?
Twsbi pens are made by Twsbi, which is not owned by a larger pen manufacturer or stationery company. Twsbi was started by Ta Shin Precision, a OEM manufacturing firm with over 50 years of experience. The first pen they was was the Twsbi 530, a predecessor to today’s Twsbi 580 fountain pen.
Who makes Twsbi nibs?
Twsbi currently uses nibs made by JoWo, a German nib and pen part manufacturer. The first Twsbi pens — the Twsbi 530 — had a nib made by Schmidt and later Twsbi uses nibs from Bock. Twsbi only sells nibs made of steel.
Does Twsbi make gold nib pens?
No, Twsbi doesn’t make a gold nib fountain pen. Currently Twsbi nibs are made by JoWo using stainless steel. JoWo does make gold and titanium nibs that are compatible with Twsbi pens but Tswbi does not sell any pens using 14K gold, 18k gold, or titanium.