Here’s my first fountain pen review. I love reading other people’s reviews – hope you like this one! This pen is my own and I did not receive any compensation for this review.
Looks, description, build quality, dimensions
The Precision is a fairly recent launch from TWSBI, in April this year. It has a grey hexagonal aluminium body with chrome finial, clip, centre band and piston knob.
Grey is the only available colour so far – considering the wide variety of colours of the other TWSBI fountain pens (Eco, Classic and 580 series), and the wide variety of colours of say the Karas Kustoms aluminium pens, I’m surprised that they haven’t yet announced some alternatives.
The cap screws on and is about a 3/4 turn to get on and off and is cushioned by a rubber O-ring which gives a nice sensation when the cap is screwed shut. It also ensures that the facets of the cap and barrel align perfectly. It has a red domed TSWBI logo on the finial.
Unlike the majority of TWSBI’s other pens, the Precision is not a demonstrator so there is an ink window just above the threads so you can tell when you’re running low.
The section is completely straight (unusual) with a chrome ring at the end and matches the colour of the body. However the texture is subtly different, a kind of “wood grain” effect compared to the smooth body, perhaps to allow a slightly better grip.
The clip appears to float on the cap but is actually attached with a small screw. It’s not particularly stiff. [Personal note: I never use a clip, I always carry my pens in a case.]
There are 2 O-rings on the piston knob which allow the cap to post securely. [Personal note #2: I never post my pens unless they are particularly small.]
The nib is a number 5 Jowo steel nib. I chose fine for my pen. Other nib options are EF, M, B, or 1.1mm stub.
- Capped 137mm, 30g (Lamy Safari 139mm, 18g)
- Uncappped 126mm, 20g (Lamy Safari 128mm, 10g)
- Posted 168mm (Lamy Safari 164mm)
- Other: barrel width 12mm, section width 10mm, section length 26mm, nib length 19mm
Build quality is first class, it is beautifully made. The only minor niggle I can find is that the ink window has 2 manufacturing joins which you can feel with your fingertip. Otherwise it does feel extremely well engineered, free of blemishes and all joins are perfectly crisp.
Overall, I love the looks.
The story behind the pen
This was a birthday gift earlier this year from my wife. I generally tend to ask for pens/inks for birthdays & Christmas. I already had the Vac 700, Eco and Diamond 580 so this was a no brainer. In particular, I preferred the look of the pen to the Classic, which I don’t have (but may still yet buy).
The pen was purchased from The Writing Desk in Bury St Edmunds, which for me is the most local specialist pen shop. Always great service from Martin – he swapped out the nib when my wife mistakenly bought me the M nib rather than the F I had requested.
Feel in the hand
The aluminium is cool to the touch but warms up in the hand – it feels beautifully smooth, substantial, but not too heavy.
I mentioned the straight section which is unusual (no taper, flare, or lip) and is actually supremely comfortable, precisely because there are no specific areas you have to hold or avoid. Personally, I hold my pens right at the end of the section, as close to the nib as possible, so the lack of flare/lip is nice. The small chrome ring at the end of the section doesn’t adversely affect its grippiness.
At 20g uncapped, it’s an ideal weight for me. The benchmark Lamy Safari just feels too light. It’s extremely comfortable for long writing sessions.
Filling / refilling
As with most TWSBIs this is a piston filler and it works beautifully smoothly. The pen holds a generous 2ml of ink and in my experience rarely needs refilling. Since receiving the pen it has very often been my daily writer and I’ve probably only refilled it a couple of times – the F nib helps of course, with far less ink delivery than say the 1.1mm stub.
Nib feel on the paper / ink flow
Here’s where we get into real personal preference territory. Let me just say that I love TWSBI nibs. Every one has worked perfectly out of the box and this is no exception.
The number 5 nib is the perfect size for me – I hold the pen as close to the paper as I can get, for maximum control. The slightly smaller size of the nib therefore really suits me and gives a nice writing angle.
The nib is decently smooth. There is some feedback but it’s a nice balance between being sufficiently smooth without being “too” smooth.
Ink flow is good, certainly with my preferred Diamine Havasu Turquoise. Again it’s wet enough with good flow – no skipping or hard starts.
Line width / variation
The F nib gives a line which I would say is between the Lamy EF and F, as eastern nibs tend to be a fraction finer than their western counterparts:
Top: Lamy Safari EF; Middle: TWSBI Precision F; Bottom: Lamy Safari F
The steel nib has no spring or flex, so there’s no line variation on offer here.
How does it make your handwriting look?
This is an interesting question, because my writing does look subtly different according to which pen I’m using.
The slightly smaller size of the number 5 nib does contribute, I feel, to my writing looking at its best with this pen.
Value for money
I wondered whether to include this because value for money does differ from person to person. The cost online is mostly £71, although it’s £75 at The Writing Desk (such tiny differences do not particularly bother me as I am happy to support my local store).
Other aluminium pen prices:
- Lamy Al-Star – £25
- Lamy LX – £43
- Faber Castell Essentio – £40
- Caran D’Ache 849 – £45
- Lamy Aion – £48
- Kaweco AL Sport – £65
- Karas Kustoms Fountain K – £75
- Karas Kustoms Ink – £94
- Diplomat Aero – £160
The above list (source: Cult Pens) shows the Precision to be at the higher end of the spectrum with only the Karas Kustoms Ink and Diplomat Aero being more expensive. However, the Precision has the key advantage that it is a piston filler, whereas every pen listed above is a cartridge converter.
That, to me, makes it terrific value for money and well worth the premium over the lower priced rivals.
Conclusion / recommendation
I am a fan of the TWSBI brand generally and I genuinely love everything about the Precision: the material, shape, build quality, filling mechanism, nib size and ink flow. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone thinking about buying it.
My Precision is available to hire through pensharing.com!