Talk me into it! ... out of it ... into a 78g ... I'm so confused!!

Discussion in 'The Nib' started by Chadtheguru, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. I've been thinking about trimming the shave den and getting a TWSBI 540. I really, really want one.

    The trouble is, they're $50. I grew up broke and I'm pretty much still there. So I'm really having a hard time wrapping my mind around spending that much money for a writing implement. I have a Lamy Vista and love it. But I've been daydreaming and night-dreaming (true story :blush:) about the sexy, sexy TWSBI for months. Man, I'm torn! What do I do??
  2. I don't think mine writes significantly better than my Lamy Al-Star. I'm afraid it wouldn't live up to your dreams. It's neat and all, and honestly there's very little direct competition, but don't get the impression you're getting a pen that writes twice as good as you $25 Lamy.
  3. brianw

    brianw Moderator Emeritus

    Not worth it, but then again I just picked up 4 "51"s for a C note, so I guess I'm a bit jaded
  4. Recently used one and, your money. It's neat and the plastic barrel has some nice touches, but get yourself a Baoer or Duke pen for a fraction of the price. Or stick with your Lamy.

    Don't like the wider than normal nibs, either.
  5. nemo

    nemo Moderator Emeritus

    I don't think I've ever heard of a newly released pen that has so many people immediately scrambling to get repair parts and replacing cracked pieces.
  6. Yeah, there's that too.
  7. I like my TWSBI ROC 100 ( a 540 variant) but can't say it's my actual favorite. Posting the cap works okay, but you can twist the piston accidentally when removing it if you aren't careful. On the other hand, it doesn't feel quite right to me unposted, and I don't like using a pen that way. So it mostly stays at home, and gets used only in rotation.

    At the moment, if I had to pick one favorite pen, it would probably be my Esterbrook LJ, which cost me about $21 including a different nib and shipping cost. I have others that I like somewhat better than the ROC 100, and which cost less.

    Unfortunately, $50-60 doesn't count as being all that much for a fountain pen, but as you've discovered with your Vista, you don't even have to pay that much to get something that writes very well. It does seem that a lot of people have had problems with TWSBIs breaking, too, although I haven't, and they have an excellent reputation for at least making things right if there is a problem.
  8. Honestly, the my TWSBI 540 is probably my favorite pen. For me, the nib and writing experience are head and neck above the Lamy I own (partly because I'm left handed and the Lamy grip just doesn't work for me). That being said, it is an expensive pen, and if you are getting everything you need out of your Lamy, why spend the extra money?
  9. You guys are going to ruin your reputations as enablers. I appreciate your candid comments. I guess maybe it isn't for me. I was also thinking about a Safari and another couple of nib options to play with, or maybe try a 78g. I guess I'm looking for another couple of toys to play with. :)
  10. Dave258

    Dave258 Moderator Emeritus

    I say buy one to try it out. If you don't like it I am sure you will be able to sell it with no problem. I have owned 4, sold 1, pif'ed 1 and I still have 2. I like them plenty! Out of the 4 I have had, I have had 1 grip section crack on me but a quick email to Speedy, and I had a new grip section in 2 days.
    The 540s hold a lot of ink, and are a good size if you like bigger pens. I don't like to post my pens, so I never worry about twisting the piston when I remove the cap. They also now have 1.1 and 1.5 stub nibs that are nicer then I would have expected. I don't think there is any other piston fill pen in that price range. Sure, you can save for a Pelikan 200 series, but if you like bigger pens, you may not be happy with it. But, as with everything YMMV!
  11. This thread demonstrates remarkable restraint; I think we've sensed that if $50 is expensive to you, the $100-$200 pens we'd recommend would be ignored.

    Like I said before, there isn't much competition to the 540 directly - find another $50, large-bodied, nib-swappable piston-filler (demonstrator, to boot). However, if you'll "settle" for a cartridge/converter pen, you're in business. Lamy has several pens with different grips. Sheaffer has a handful of pens around your price rang, too. You could get one of several vintage pens in and around that price. If an eyedropper doesn't bother you, big, Indian ebonite pens come to mind (I have a Ratnamson 302 I love). I even love my Noodler's Ahab.
  12. i have 2 safari pens and 1 al-star and they write just fine and have never failed me. the 5410 is heavier than they are and to writing with it feels good too. i've only had the 540 about 3 weeks but almost daily use hasn't been a problem for me. i never let it leave the house but wouldn't hesitate to do so given a travel option. the money was an issue for me but i'm glad i busted out on this one. i haven't tore into it yet but i'm sure it'll happen before too long as i like to clean things. good luck with your decision
  13. Jut

    Jut Contributor

    its hard for me to try and talk you into buying a pen that i feel is a bit overpriced for what it is. i would suggest you just stick with the lamy and wait a little longer and save a little more and get a lamy 2000 if you enjoy your current lamy and are looking for a piston filler imho.
  14. IMO, you can pick up a Lamy Studio for just a bit more at isellpens. The Studio is metal, and has a great heft. That being said, it writes just like my Al-Star (which is good) because they share nibs. I do like the weight of it, though.
  15. Doc4

    Doc4 Moderator Emeritus Contributor

    ... and this man knows his pens ...

    At least it's not an Ahab ... :turned:

    Well, as much as we enjoy being enablers, sometimes discretion is the better part of valour. IF you spend $50 you don't have on a twisbi, you won't be as pleased with it as you are in your daydreaming, and then you'll be eyeing up the next "greatest pen ever" that costs $100 ... and so on and so on.

    If you need another pen or two, stay within your comfort zone. I have a $10 78g and a Sailor that costs almost 20x as much ... and while I prefer the sailor, I can't say it's anywhere near twenty times as good a writer. You already have 90% of the total enjoyment of fountain pen writing with one inexpensive pen ... you can spend hundreds or thousands trying to get the last 10% ... lots of us do and enjoy it ... but that may not be cost effective for you.
  16. strop

    strop Moderator Emeritus

    I don't have a Lamy because I just don't care for the "modern" look. Wouldn't buy a 540 because I don't like demonstrators. I did get a Preppy with a bottle of Noodler's ink. I have been amazed at that pen. It is one of 3 on my desk at present. I don't carry it because I am gunshy about eyedroppers, but it has not leaked. I'm doing an experiement to see if I can run it dry without problems, and so far it has only one minor burp. I have no idea how it compares to the 540, but if you're on a budget, you can get several for the price of a 540 and have a pretty decent writing experience.
  17. I turned a Parker Reflex into an eyedropper by epoxying the end cap. Not one drop of leakage out of that or the freebie pen that comes with large bottles of Noodlers. I used a pocket protector (with the flap cut off) for a bit, but I stopped.
  18. I l love my TWSBIs. Speedy does fix the cracking problem by sending no questions asked replacements speedily but I understand those who don't like the hassle. I had a cap break and also received a replacement no questions asked and right away. I believe the TWSBI to be a good buy for the price and if you are willing to put up with the quality control problems due to great customer service they are well worth it to own. The new grips supposedly fix the cracking problem. I have one of the new grips on one of my TWSBIs and so far no problems at all. I do not suggest anyone spending above their budget for anything whether pens or shaving supplies. Lamys are good pens and serve well. I like piston-fillers and think the TWSBIs are great for the money but do not put yourself in financial difficulty for one. Of course, I am a bang for the buck kind of guy. I could afford more expensive piston-filler pens but buy the TWSBI as a good value.
  19. I am eyeballing a TWSBI as well, so I am interested in the comments here. Someone else mentioned his Esterbrook, and I must say that out of the pens I have, including an Ahab and a few Platinum Preppy pens, the smoothness and feel of the Esterbrook (which at the time it was made was a cheaper economy pen) blows me away. You can find them in restored condition for around 30-40 on eBay pretty easy and for a bit less if you don't mind doing a bit of work on it. Fixing up an esterbrook isn't too hard, they are pretty easy to work on. I would recommend checking them out and seeing if they strike your fancy at all.
  20. If I could change the thread title, I would change it to "Talked me out of it." I really appreciate your candid remarks. I knew I could count on you guys. :) I've pretty much decided to go for a couple more affordable pens ala 78G, Esterbrook J, or maybe another Lamy. Thanks, guys, for saving me. Now to take pictures and visit the ole BST. :D

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