Great Affordable Fountain Pen – TWSBI Mini

In a previous blogpost, I wrote about a great affordable fountain pen priced between $10 – $19 (read more about it here). For those looking to ‘step up’ their fountain pen game while still keeping it relatively affordable and portable enough to travel in anything from a small passport size Midori up to a full size planner, should check out the TWSBI Mini fountain pen. What makes this such a great mid-level choice?

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I first learned about the TWSBI Mini from one of my favorite YouTubers, MissVickyBee (she starts talking about it at the 7:45 minute mark and ending at the 12:15 minute mark). She described it as a great, portable fountain pen that works well for journaling and sketching in a variety of notebooks and with different types of paper. Enough said! I had to check it out for myself. 🙂
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TWSBI Minis (L-R: Classic, Diamond White Rose Gold, Diamond Clear)

 

TWSBI Mini Details

As of the time of this writing, the price point is between $50-70 depending on the model. I own 3 different models:

  • Classic Mini – black and clear with silver accents
  • Diamond Mini Clear – demonstrator with silver accents (demonstrator fountain pens are transparent allowing you to see the ink reservoir and inner workings of the pen)
  • Diamond Mini White Rose Gold – white with rose gold accents which I received as a gift (it was a limited edition pen and no longer available but sometimes they show up on eBay)
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TWSBI Diamond Mini Clear

The pen is 4 5/8″ long when capped (closed), 4 1/4″ long without the cap, 5 5/8″ inches posted (cap at the end of the pen) and 1/2″ wide. It weighs 0.7 ounces capped and 0.4 ounces uncapped making it a medium weight pen which feels good in the hand and doesn’t feel ‘back heavy’ when posted. Because it’s relatively small—small in terms of length not width, the girth is comparable to a full-size fountain pen—those with very large hands will find it too short to hold unposted otherwise it should be fine for most. TWSBI does have other full-size models but I prefer the Mini so I can use it with planners and travelers notebooks of various sizes—everything from a passport Midori, to a personal size planner, to a standard Midori, up to an A5 size notebook.

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Passport Midori and TWSBI Diamond Mini Clear

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Van der Spek Standard (personal size) and TWSBI Diamond Mini White Rose Gold and Classic Mini

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Standard Midori and TWSBI Classic Mini

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Chic Sparrow Gemini Deluxe in A5 size and TWSBI Diamond Mini Clear

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All planners and travelers notebooks lined up by size from smallest to largest

The TWSBI Mini has a piston filling system which holds more ink than most fountain pen cartridges and converters and disassembles to clean (screwdriver and a tiny vial of oil are included!). The pen cap screws on to the body when both capping (closing) and posting (attaching to the end) so you don’t have to worry about losing it.

The nib section also screws on and off making it easy to completely fill the ink reservoir (if you use a an ink syringe) and clean. As a result, you can buy additional nib sizes—e.g. EF (extra fine), F (fine), M (medium), 1.1mm (1.1 italic nib), just make sure to buy the nib section made specifically for the TWSBI Mini because the nib sections are not interchangeable between models. It’s a great way to ‘expand’ your fountain pen collection by having one pen and multiple nibs.

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Additional TWSBI Mini 1.1mm italic steel nib (the red section is not part of the nib; it’s just the storage container cap)

 

TWSBI Mini Performance

I own 3 TWSBI models and one extra nib for a total of 4 nib options: EF, F, M, and 1.1mm italic. They are all made of steel (the nib on the rose gold model is rose-gold plated), write very smooth with no hard starts, and have a consistent ink flow—that is until the ink reservoir starts running low then it starts skipping. To avoid this problem, just turn the piston to reduce the space in the ink chamber as the ink levels go down (this is also my reminder that it’s time to re-ink!).

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TWSBI pens and extra nib (red section not part of the nib, it’s the storage container cap)

Depending on usage, the generous ink reservoir will last you for quite a few, long writing sessions before having to re-ink again. It’s also been my experience that the ink doesn’t evaporate when some time passes between writing sessions. When I first inked up the Classic model in April of 2015, the next time I picked it up to write was that September and the ink supply was still intact and it started to write immediately with no problem—amazing! As a result, I always have a TWSBI Mini in my daily rotation as my designated ‘work horse’.

Summary

All in all, this is a great, quality, reliable pen at a manageable price point. TWSBI has gained a reputation of making great, affordable fountain pens so whether you decide to try one of the Minis or one of their full size pens, you can’t go wrong.

Have you tried TWSBI Mini or any of the other models? Do you have a favorite mid-range priced fountain pen? If so, please share in the comments below!

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Until next time,

♥ LilD ♥

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