TWSBI Fountain Pens Overview

In 2009, Ta Shin precision utilized 50 years of manufacturing experience to produce fountain pens under their own brand name TWSBI. Working closely with the avid fountain pen community online, TWSBI addressed the needs of modern writers. TWSBI quickly became a household name among pen aficionados, bringing many new fountain pen enthusiasts into the hobby. Let's check out the current lineup of TWSBI writing instruments and accessories just added to the Goldspot store, shall we?

TWSBI is an acronym of sorts. For the "TWS" - they reversed the initials of the Chinese phrase San Wen Tong, which translates to the Hall of Three Cultures. "Bi" has the literal meaning of writing instruments.

In 2009, TWSBI introduced the Diamond 530 and effectively disrupted the fountain pen market with an affordable, piston-fill demonstrator engineered for avid fountain pen users.

As with any first attempt, the design of the 530 wasn't perfect. However, what separates TWSBI from most pen manufacturers is their insatiable drive to improve. They show a deep commitment to the fountain pen community by soliciting feedback and addressing concerns, leading to new designs.

In 2011, TWSBI introduced the next version in the Diamond 540 with great success. Two years later, the Diamond 580 became the model we now offer today. For a more substantial look and feel, the 580AL has an aluminum front grip section and the piston mechanism.

In 2012, TWSBI introduced the Mini - the little sibling of the Diamond 580. Take all the parts you love about the Diamond 580 - the modern, industrial design, the transparent barrel, the piston mechanism, the smooth-writing stainless steel nib - then make it more compact for writers who prefer a postable, pocket fountain pen.

The Mini is a pocket-worthy fountain pen - perfect for smaller hands and those who need an on-the-go pen with high ink capacity. The internal piston mechanism can draw over 1ml of ink into the barrel. The mesmerizing visual of ink sloshing inside the pen is a signature feature of the Diamond 580 passed on to the Mini.

If a Mini is not your style, double-down on size and filling capacity with the TWSBI Vac700R. Introduced in the same year as the Mini, the Vac700 featured a one-handed vacuum-filling system with a larger, number 6 nib and a shut-off valve to prevent any ink burping while traveling.

The Vac700R is the largest and heaviest pen in the TWSBI lineup. It has a modern, industrial design with accents of luxury. The smooth, clear resin barrel gently tapers down toward the faceted end cap. The metal vacuum piston rod and mechanism are visible inside the barrel.

In 2015, TWSBI scaled-down the vacuum-filling system to fit a compact, postable pen design in the Vac Mini.

By the sound of the name, one might think the Vac Mini is a miniaturized version of the TWSBI Vac700R. Rather, the Vac Mini is only about 15% smaller than the Vac700R and shares more design similarities with the TWSBI Mini. Like the Mini, the Vac Mini has a clear, facet-shaped barrel, a tapered, rounded end cap, and screw cap design.

Speaking of downsizing, the TWSBI Eco was also introduced in 2015 at a lower price than all TWSBI pens at that time. The piston-filling Eco provides all the enjoyment of owning a modern fountain pen at a fraction of the cost.

To make this starter pen even more "beginner-friendly," TWSBI introduced the Eco-T in 2016. The grip section has a more pronounced, triangular (that's where the "T" comes from) shape to help beginners properly grip their pen. The cap and piston-knob are also shaped in a rotary triangular design.

In 2018, TWSBI continued to push their design capabilities with the GO fountain pen. Their most affordable pen in the lineup, the Go provides a simple, one-handed filling operation using a spring-loaded piston mechanism.

As the name implies, the TWSBI GO is a quick-draw, ink-up-and-write fountain pen. The body and snap cap consist of lightweight, transparent resin.

Filling the TWSBI GO is quick and satisfying. Instead of turning the barrel end cap to move the piston, the spring-loaded plunger draws up ink in one stroke. Using the amount of effort it takes to click a mouse, the TWSBI go fills with over one-and-a-half ML of ink.

How do the TWSBI fountain pens size up? TWSBI's lineup is varied in size and shape. There's something here for people who like larger pens as well as pocket-sized pens.

*Measurement* Go Eco Vac Mini Vac700R Mini Diamond 580

Length Closed/Capped

5.28 in. / 134mm

5.45 in. / 138.8mm

4.91 in. / 125mm

5.79 in. / 147mm

4.64 in. / 118mm

5.59 in. / 142mm

Length Uncapped

4.92 in. / 125mm

5.18 in. / 131.5mm

4.50 in. / 114.5mm

5.28 in. / 134mm

4.24 in. / 107.5mm

5.12 in. / 130mm

Length Cap Posted

6.77 in. / 172mm

6.60 in. / 167.5mm

6 in. / 151.7mm

Cannot be posted

5.5 in. / 140mm

Cannot be posted

Barrel Max Diameter

0.58 in. / 14.5mm

0.5 in. / 12.8mm

0.52 in. / 13.3mm

0.59 in. / 15mm

0.51 in. / 13mm

0.52 in. / 13.3mm

Section Grip Diameter

0.39 in. / 10mm

0.36 in. / 9mm

0.39 in. / 10mm

0.39 in. / 10mm

0.38 in. / 9.5mm

0.4 in. / 10mm

Pen Weight

0.60 oz. / 17g

0.74 oz. / 21g

0.85 oz. / 24g

1.23 oz. / 35g

0.67 oz. / 19g

1oz / 28g

Aside from the GO, all other TWSBI pens are designed to be disassembled and reassembled for thorough cleaning and maintenance. Instructions, a wrench, and silicone grease are included to aid in the maintenance of the pen.

TWSBI fountain pens write with German-made, iridium-tipped stainless steel nibs. They are available in an array of nib sizes to suit your handwriting style. Extra fine is ideal for small, careful handwriting. Fine works well if you like a thinner line and still want an adequate flow with less feedback. Medium will show more ink on the page and feel smoother. Broad is ideal for quick writers with large, gestural handwriting. Last but not least, the 1.1mm stub nib provides calligraphic flair a thick vertical downstroke and a thin horizontal line.

In the event you would like to get a spare nib or your TWSBI pen takes a swan dive off the table, replacement nib units are available for the Diamond 580, Mini, Vac700R, and Vac Mini Fountain Pens.

To make filling your TWSBI pens easier, cleaner, and more enjoyable, TWSBI designed the Diamond 50 ink bottle. A two-stage cap design provides an adapter to connect directly with the barrel of the Diamond 580, Classic, Mini or Precision fountain pen. The adapter also works with international converters. Inky fingers no more! Unscrew the bottom part of the cap so you can fill all other pens as you would a traditional ink bottle.

Sometimes your pens get thirsty while traveling. So, TWSBI introduced the Vac 20 ink bottle to help fill your Vac700R or Vac Mini fountain pen. The multi-stage cap design allows the user to screw in the pen directly to the inkwell and fill it without any mess. The cap can be completely removed to fill with other non-TWSBI fountain pens as well. The 20ml capacity and plastic construction make it easy to stash this bottle away on a trip so your pens will never run dry.

In the span of a decade, TWSBI rose to become a household name within the pen community, enjoyed by pen newbs and addicts alike. If you already own a TWSBI, give us your feedback in the comments below. If you don't have one, check them out at our Goldspot Pens TWSBI Shop.