TWSBI 540 Cracking Issues

Discussion in 'The Nib' started by Altair, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. Anyone have issues with their 540's cracking. At first it was the part that holds the nib in place (transparent plastic piece where you hold the pen) I called TWSBI and they sent me 2 more replacements. Then I noticed that the inside of the cap where the treads are now has cracks, Ive even seen like pieces come off. Again I contacted them and they sent me a replacement cap. All for free.

    I notice that the threads on the pen where the cap screws in is becoming damaged. I'm pretty careful with my things, I haven't dropped the pen or anything like that. I use it on a daily basis along with my Noodlers ahab ( I really love that pen) Let me know what you guys think?

    PS I really want that 700vac but I first have to make sure that the materials dont start cracking. :online2long:
  2. brianw

    brianw Moderator Emeritus

    Just one of the many reasons I don't own a TWSBI
  3. Yes, some of the 540s in particular seem to have cracking issues. Out of the 9 530s/540s I own, I have only had the section cracking on my original 540.

    Yes, TWSBI stands behinds its products and will replace things as you have seen.

    As far as the 700, my thought is that they delayed things 2 months in part to make sure these things are worked out because they do not intend the 700 to be user serviceable like the 540. We'll only know for sure once they're in the field for a while. No shame in being cautious, but as for me I ordered one. I'll let you folks know what I find.
  4. I had the 530. Leaked like crazy when I first got it. I fixed that. I just never could get into the way it writes. Too dry for me. I had the nib adjusted a couple of times, too. The Vac 700 looks stunning. However, it uses that same shoddy nib. I'll keep my $85 and put it towards the pen I've been after.... Pelikan Mxxx (who cares, so long as it has a M to B nib and green strips).
  5. The 700 in no way uses the same nib as the 530. The 530 used a Schmidt-sourced steel nib (which most would contend is a nib actually made by JoWo). Mid-way through the lifespan of the 540, TWSBI finally switched to Bock nibs and inhouse feeds. The Vac 700 uses a Bock nib, but it's not the same as the one in the 540. It's a larger size nib.

    I can't say how the 700 performs. My other TWSBIs are on the dry side, but that's easy enough to control with ink selection. My original 530 has always used Montblanc Racing Green, which runs dry. The others tend to get wet inks in them. Pilot pens among a few others also notoriously run dry. I'm in no way suggesting everybody has to love TWSBI (that mindset sort of plagues FPN), but I do think it important to make clear it isn't accurate to say the 700 has anything approaching the same nib as the 530.
  6. Sullybob

    Sullybob Contributor

    The cap on my 530 cracked after a year of heavy use. I sent TWSBI an email and they mailed a replacement part to me the next day. Now it's developed two more cracks, one near the piston knob and one on the grip. I haven't sent them an email yet because the pen is out on loan. I have two new 540's that I've been using for a couple of months with no issues. I love the size of the 540 for extended writing and I all three of my pens write very well, I just wish that they didn't have any problems with cracking.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  7. As I understand the cracking issues, they have something to do with the exact formulation of the anti-scratch coating on the pen and possibly something to do with the curing that has to happen in order for the pen to really be of age -- it seems plastics often aren't completely cured for weeks after manufacture. It is something I believe they addressed before introducing the colored (not Roc 100 but the orange, blue, and smoke) 540 pens.
  8. Is this a personal assumption or can you point in the direction of some proof? They look identical to me, however that can mean nothing. Has the 700 had any other issues?
  9. TWSBI released some videos on their facebook page showing the new plastics being hammered and squeezed in a vice. They claim that the new plastic is better than what was used in the 530/540. All new 540s will begin having the new plastic and that resin is what is in the 700s. The videos are in the timeline on the 20th and 24th of April.

    The nibs are different between the 540 and 700 because they are different sizes.

    The 700 is just arriving in the first buyers hands today, so I don't think there have been any problems noted yet. Here is a pic taken from someone who just received theirs.

    Yes the 530/540 wasn't perfect when it first came out. Yes, there are still issues popping up with those pens (cracking). However, TWSBI has been on top of the problems. First they worked on a better piston seal and sent those out free to the original purchasers. With the cracking they have been replacing parts for free as well. Yes, it is disapointing that we didn't have a perfect pen to start with, however, despite the earlier piston leaks and the later cracks my 540 have developed, their customer service has easily swung me to take a chance on the 700.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
  10. The 700 has no track record. As to the nib issue, I'd tell you that I'm the guy behind the nib units for the 540 being marked very clearly as being for the 540 on the Goulet Pens website. There's a thread over on FPN by dannzeman who got his 700 today. The difference in nib size is dramatic and well documented in a side by side shot he posted. This has been common knowledge among close watchers of TWSBI developments for some time now (so much so that I'd have trouble telling you how many times I have discussed it with various people).

    As far as the swap from Schmidt to Bock, that is also very well documented. It's slightly tricky to explain how to determine which nib unit is on a 540 clear. Color 540s have all Bock nibs. All italic nibs are Bock nibs. All 530 nibs are Schmidt-sourced (JoWo). There isn't really enough data on the ROC 100 pens to say anything about them. The clear 540s phased in Bock nibs, and the F and XF pens got them before the M and B pens. The feeds look very diferent, though.
  11. I had initial parts crack fairly soon under ordinary use. I haven't cracked the replacement parts under stress yet. I'm just selling mine to fund the 700.
  12. For $60, get a Lamy Studio with an italic nib. Made out of metal, pretty hard to crack, and swapping out nibs on Lamys is cheap and easy.
  13. I don't know where you are getting them for $60, I keep seeing $80 prices on the studio (OK, I guess there are some on eBay for that price). Unlike the TWSBI, there is no question on the studio about a postable cap. And like you said, it shouldn't crack and the nibs are easy to replace. However, for me the main drawbacks are A) C/C pen ((I know, so is the Edison...)) and B) the cap doesn't thread on. Lamy pens are great for sitting in a holder at home and at work. However, I can't carry them in my pocket as the caps aren't secure enough. I was very disapointed when I discovered my new 2012 apple green Safari the cap pops off with the slightest touch. Now, if the Kaweco sport was something other than a c/c..... now we would be talking!
  14. Dave258

    Dave258 Moderator Emeritus

    Todd at has the Stainless one (which I have and love) for $60 and other colors for $66. Throw in an Italic nib and get the order up to $75 and you even get free shipping.

    I have only had 1 section crack on a 530. No problems with my 540 or 540 smoke. I'm trying to have a little restraint, and wait on the 700, only because I have spent way too much on pens this month!
    As to the caps, my Al-Stars cap does remove easily, but I have never had it pop off. The cap on the Studio is much firmer- it takes a good tug to pop it off.
  16. maxman

    maxman Moderator Emeritus

    I had problems with my first 540.
    they replaced it with no hassles.

    However, there are better made pens out there.
  17. The Nid Hog

    The Nid Hog Moderator Emeritus

    I just can't get excited about a pen when I keep hearing about how good their customer service is.
  18. I was thinking about purchasing the 700 vac. But today I noticed that my 540 now has a crack in the back of the barrel. Ive had the part that holds the nib and cap crack now the barrel. I guess I will contact them tomorrow to see what they say.
  19. Sullybob

    Sullybob Contributor

    Having used their customer service several times I can attest that it is great. They usually get the parts out in the mail to me either the same day or the next day. That said, I really wish that the pens didn't fail and I didn't need to keep using their customer service

    I'm sure they will replace the parts very quickly. I've had a cap, the part that holds the nib, and the body all fail on my 530. I have two 540's and they have replaced one cap. I noticed that the bodies of both 540's are cracked I haven't sent them an email about the bodies yet.

    I'm getting tired of needing to replace parts on these pens.
  20. nemo

    nemo Moderator Emeritus

    What's going to happen 10-20 years down the road? Will Speedy be there for you? Most of my pens are at least 20 years old.

Share This Page