Pen Review: TWSBI Mini AL, broad nib

Discussion in 'The Nib' started by Shave_Rat, Jan 17, 2019.

  1. Shave_Rat

    Shave_Rat Moderator

    We'll start out with the elephant in the room on this one. The TWSBI brand is very polarizing, mainly due to some build quality issues they had in the past. The most recent reviews and reports generally all indicate the company has listened to the feedback, and taken positive steps to resolve those issues, as well as doing a great job with their customer service department, making it as painless as possible to get replacement parts and service done when needed. They also outsourced their nib manufacturing to a well regarded nib maker a while back now, since they weren't able to maintain the quality on the nibs they wanted. So, my take is that over all they are a company willing to own up to it's mistakes, do what it needs to in order to resolve them and prevent them as they go forward.

    The pen comes very well packaged, especially for a pen in this price range. Nice modern stylish display type case with the pen looking almost like it's free floating inside, and includes a tool for easier disassembly to clean the pen, plus a small bit of silicon grease to keep the piston action maintained. Also included are complete disassembly/re-assembly instructions. Some pretty unique items to include in the packaging, again even more so for a pen in this price range.

    Piston filler pen, so a very generous ink capacity right out of the box, no conversions to eyedropper (and none of the sometimes issues those eyedropper conversions have) to worry about.

    The pen itself has a very nice solid feel to it, with just enough weight to help with that impression when you hold it and write with it. It easily feels more solid and nicer in the hand than a couple pens I have which cost significantly more. The fit and finish on the pen is very well done, I couldn't find any issues with it at all. For me it has the best aesthetics out of any of the pocket pens out there, until you are up to a much much higher price point.

    I have written a good number of pages with this pen now, since I enjoyed the writing experience with it so much I ended up using it to draft several letters while sitting at the desk. It didn't get regulated to travel note taking only. The broad nib lays down a substantially wet line, as one would figure from a broad, and it's a smooth feel on the paper. Just a small bit of feedback so you realize it's writing. The cap screws onto the back for posting, so it is as solid of a posting as you can find, and also prevents the cap from turning the piston mechanism when posted, or unscrewing the cap that protects the piston knob (an issue I have had with Noodler's Konrad pens).

    Good ink capacity in a travel pen right out of the box, great writing experience from the Jowo nib, easily obtained swappable nib/feed units to change up the nib size, and the cap screws on for posting.

    The screw on for posting can also be a con, since it takes a bit more time to post than the friction fit style as well as the clip may not line up great when posted until you get used to the thread position of the pen for posting the cap. There could be some pens still out in the wild from the old stock that had quality issues with the plastic cracking under the band on the cap, tho I suspect most of those have been turned over through most everyone's inventory by now.

    Bottom line for me is that it's a great styled pocket pen with a solid feel and good build quality, and for pocket pens in this price range it's at the top of pile.

    Stock Photo:
  2. ajkel64

    ajkel64 Ambassador

    Thanks for the review, I enjoyed reading it.
  3. Claudel Xerxes

    Claudel Xerxes Moderator

    Nice write up, Dustin!
  4. Good job on the review. The only TWSBI I have is an Eco and I have had it over two years now. They are good piston pens for the money.

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