A clear winner: A review of the TWSBI Diamond 580

IMGP1244A good friend of mine says that you should always share a blessing. So I will, at least in terms of reviewing a really lovely pen that I acquired some time ago and use a great deal. This is my first TWSBI, my only other experience of the brand is using a TWSBI mini a friend of mine owns and likes very much. I wanted to do a review of this pen for three reasons. First, it’s a great pen. A pen that is relatively inexpensive and yet is beautiful. Second, it’s a pen of great quality, and a piston filler that retails new for less than £50! Third, I wanted to review this because I bought this ‘pre-owned’ and in my judgement I got a real bargain!

IMGP1250Description: This is the clear demonstrator version which is nice. I got it with an F nib, which is my preference for general writing. This pen is great in the hand . It feels very solid indeed. The barrel is faceted and the whole pen is finished nicely. with chrome fittings The cap has a bright red TWSBI branded finial which adds a splash of colour. The cap has a substantial clip and a chrome ring which s branded  with the make and model of the pen.

Dimensions: The 580 is 142mm  (5.6″) long when capped, and 130mm (5.12″) uncapped. The barrel is 13mm wide at its widest point and the section is 25mm long. I didn’t measure the posted length as I consider this pen practically unpostable. It does post but in my opinion it’s not a workable way of using this pen.

IMGP1258On Test:  The first thing I did with this pen was to flush and then fill it. The piston filler worked perfectly. I filled the pen up with Rohrer & Klingner Solferino, because I thought that I would like seeing this very colourful ink sloshing around in the barrel, and indeed I did. There is a great deal of satisfaction using a clear demonstrator pen. Now I don’t think that all pens are the same here. I think to be a good demonstrator the pen needs to have that something extra, something that makes it stand out from the ordinary. This pen has that in its look, the faceted barrel and the piston filling system.

In use the F nib writes well. It writes very smoothly, although the line is not the finest I’ve ever seen. It writes consistently with no hard starts or missed letters at all. It promises to be a great every day pen.

IMGP1246Buying pre-owned: As I stated at the beginning, this was a pre-owned pen. I wanted to say a little about buying pre-owned. First, is that this is a great option, it can save you money for a start. The only note of caution I would add is that as with anything pre-owned, particularly stuff via places like Ebay, the usual ‘caveat emptor’ applies (buyer beware). I got this pen from a fellow pen enthusiast who I’ve got to know a little and it was in mint condition. If you don’t know the vendor, I would counsel you to ask as many questions about the pen before yo buy it especially if you’re spending serious money. Remember if a deal sounds too good to be true from someone yo don’t know then it probably is!

Summary: The virtues of this pen are well recorded in many other reviews that you can find on the web. so I won’t simply repeat what others have already said. I would add my own recommendation to prospective buyers of this pen. Even at full price in the UK I think this would be a bargain. It’s a clear winner!





14 thoughts on “A clear winner: A review of the TWSBI Diamond 580

  1. Great review Mr Fool. I bought my 580 with a fine nib and I too love to watch the ink swirl around. I recently bought a 1.1mm stub to swap with the fine nib and am loving that too. Not quite as convenient or cheap as a Lamy for swapping nibs but much better quality.

    1. The stub seems like a good idea! To be honest I’m not a great Lamy fan anyway. I have an Al-star but I don’t care for it much…

  2. My twsbi was a nail. Quite attractive but did not give much pleasure when writing. Did perform faithfully but no joy. So it went to the great bay in the sky and was swallowed no problem. Good though that you got a winner. Enjoy!

  3. The TWSBI 580 is probably one of the best value pens on the market. If you like to use fountain pens, but don’t collect them a 580 could easily be your sole pen. It’s really good looking, classy, writes well, and comes with a good choice of good quality nibs.

    That a, relatively, small company like TWSBI can make such a solid pen at a good price where big companies like Pilot, Parker, Sheaffer, etc. can’t come close is telling. I’m looking forward to their aluminium version that is supposedly in the works.

  4. I love my TWSBI 580! It was the first fountain pen I purchased and I think it’s always gonna be my go to pen most of the time. Only thing I would like for it is a finer stub italic nib, I find the 1.1 is far too broad.

    1. Thanks for the comment. I love the 580 also, I think a fine stub would be a great idea. I might have to look into it 🙂

    1. Thanks for the comment… For me this, but the mini is great too, if you have a small hand the mini might be better

  5. When you say you flushed it before inking it up, what exactly did you do and why? Did you let it dry thoroughly or what? I keep hearing of people flushing before their first use but I doubt people want to wait over night until it dries, right? 🙂

    1. Hi, thanks for commenting. Your question is a good one. Flushing a pen is simply to ensure that the pen, particularly the feed are clear. Some pen enthusiasts recommend using a very dilute detergent solution followed by water. I tend to simply use only water. In a new pen there can be oil from the manufacturing processes left in the feed along with micro particles of debris. Flushing takes these away. It also helps the feed in terms of capillary action, i.e. sucking the ink up through to the end of the nib.

      In a pre-owned pen it just reassures me that any old and dried ink is washed through and that the feed is clear.

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