TWSBI Classic Review

TWSBI Classic Fountain Pen Review

UPDATE: MAY, 2015

My initial review of the TWSBI Classic was published back in January of 2014. Since then, TWSBI has addressed my chief complaint with the pen: not being able to post the cap. TWSBI has released a revised piston knob with the addition of two o-rings that allows the cap to post securely.

While the original design was only very slightly more aesthetically pleasing, I'm happy to make the trade for more functionality. Being able to post the cap has transformed how the pen feels, so much so that I actually use it now.

If you still have the original version and would like the new design, just drop TWSBI an email and they'll send you one for a few dollars.

The packaging for the Classic consists of a frosted plastic case with a parts diagram on the back, a molded in clasp on the front that seems more than capable of keeping the case closed, and instructional leaflets on the inside showing you how to operate and disassemble the pen. A dense foam interior has cutouts specifically for the silicon lube and piston wrench, and then, of course, the pen.

twsbi_classic_fountain_pen_review-5The Classic is available in three colors: black, burgundy, and the blue you see here. These rich colors are contrasted nicely by shiny chrome trim. The Classic features a simple design that’s different from any previous offerings from TWSBI. The pen has four flat sides with large radius edges, a rounding of the square, if you will. When the pen is capped, all the sides align perfectly and the cap and barrel are flush, creating a smooth, clean line.

Uncapping the pen, which requires only one revolution, reveals a thin section of uniform width and a feature we haven’t seen before on a TWSBI: an ink window. The #4, stainless steel nib is made by JoWo and comes in sizes extra fine, fine, medium, broad, or 1.1 stub.

twsbi model comparison

Lets take a look at how the Classic stacks up to the rest of TWSBI’s lineup. From top to bottom we have the Vac700, the Diamond 540, the Micarta, the Classic, and the Mini. It’s clearly visible that the Classic has a slimmer profile than the rest of these pens while maintaining a useable length. Let’s see how removing the caps affects the situation.

twsbi model comparison uncapped

Not much changed. The Classic is the same length as the Micarta, just a few millimeters shorter than the 540, and just a few more shorter than the Vac700.

Since the Classic is physically unable to post, it gets dwarfed by the others. Even the Mini ends up being longer. And this is what I think will really kill the appeal of this pen to a lot of people. It’s one thing for a company to say they don’t intend for users to post their pens, but it’s a whole other thing to completely remove the possibility.

Just for fun, let’s see what the Classic would look like in my hand if it could post. It’s length is very reasonable and given how light the pen is, actually makes for a very comfortable writer.

Even without the ability to post, the Classic still feels good in the hand. I won’t be reaching for it when I write my next novel, but it’s plenty comfortable taking notes and will appeal to users who prefer thin and light pens. That is, if they can get over the mild step in transition from the section to the barrel. Some users are fiercely critical of any step, and while I don’t prefer it, I really didn’t notice it on the Classic. If you look at my grip, you’ll notice my thumb rests directly on the transition and it never bothered me.

twsbi_classic_fountain_pen_review-12One of my favorite features of the Classic is its ability to be used with the Diamond ink bottle. This provides a clean way to fill your pen without having to worry about cleaning the nib when you’re done. The piston unit is made by TWSBI in-house, and has a silky smooth feel. At max capacity, the Classic will hold about 1.1mL of ink.

twsbi_classic_fountain_pen_review-8The steel nib in the Classic really surprised me. I went with a fine nib as that’s what I use in my daily writers and it was as smooth as any fine nib I’ve ever used. Yes, it was stiff, as all steel nibs are, but there was no hint of scratching or roughness. It was perfect. And the feed performed flawlessly, supplying a steady flow of ink that was neither wet nor dry. During all my writing I never experienced any skips or hard starts.

twsbi_classic_fountain_pen_review-9As far as I’m concerned, TWSBI has made another great fountain pen. I don’t believe it’s a must buy and it won’t be for everyone, mostly because it doesn’t post and it’s thinner and lighter than what most users prefer. But, it still offers more than other pens costing twice as much. The Classic is a good addition to the TWSBI lineup and gives new users, and those on a budget, another option.twsbi_classic_fountain_pen_review-disassembled

By |2016-10-15T17:22:17+00:00May 15th, 2015|Reviews|5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Vaibhav Mehandiratta July 22, 2016 at 6:14 am - Reply

    your review is awesome.
    thank you for sharing this in precise form.

  2. stuart elman June 1, 2017 at 6:07 pm - Reply

    Just reread the review. I’ve been having some issues on the nib. I just saw the chrome ring around the nib came off. I pulled it off and put it back on. It now feels tighter and it may have fixed the problem I was having, or at least reduced it.

  3. Yousaf Sarwar July 27, 2017 at 7:50 am - Reply

    Delivered within a day by Purepens in uk. Having read many reviews, I decided to go for the TWSBI Classic black with B nib. I have to say it doesn’t disappoint. Modern design. well made using good quality fittings and a smooth writer with a good moderate ink flow not too wet. Piston filler. Ink window. Postable. Light weight. Good balance. This pen is also quite user service friendly, it comes with a tool and grease for opening and cleaning. Overall I’m very pleased with it. It’s not too expensive to buy especially if you’re on a budget. I’d say it’s a lot of pen for the money and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a nice practical pen for every day use or as gift.

  4. Yousaf Sarwar August 4, 2017 at 7:55 am - Reply

    This is an addendum to my previous review of the TWSBI Classic fountain pen.
    If you’re not happy with the stock nib on this particular pen or you need to replace it for any reason, it is possible to swap out the nib. A Bock #5 nib unit will fit on to the existing feed perfectly. I wasn’t happy with the stock nib as it wasn’t smooth on the down strokes so I swapped it with a #6 bock nib. The pen writes much better and smoother than before.

  5. Georgia-Alice Bunge December 26, 2017 at 10:07 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this review, 🙂 I have a question though: what ink are you using in this video? I really like it and have been looking for something similar. I live in Australia, Tasmania. Where can I get it from? Thanks Georgia

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