TWSBI 1.1mm stub, wow.

Just inked up the TWSBI 1.1mm italic (stub) nib for the first time. Wow. I’m a big fan of italics, and this might be one of the best I’ve ever used. It’s incredibly smooth, wet flow, and it writes soft as if it was 18k gold (but it’s steel!). It even has some flex with some line variation, that doesn’t take a whole lot of effort. For $20, it is a no-brainer.

We sold out of ours at hours after we got them in, and I saw that TWSBI on ebay and Amazon is out of them too, I’d be surprised if anyone has them left. The TWSBI italics are in short supply right now as they’re brand new and TWSBI totally underestimated the demand, but in a few weeks they should be coming to the US in higher numbers.  I suspect once word starts to get out about how great these are, everyone will want one….at least 😉

Videos and more in depth reviews are forthcoming, this is just to wet your palate.

2017-10-11T03:22:36+00:00 January 30th, 2012|Pen Reviews|25 Comments
  • kondro

    I really wanted one but ended up getting the 1.5mm instead because they had run out. I look forward to seeing whether I can use something *that* broad for everyday work.

  • Ordered a 1.5mm Stub and cant wait to get it. I bet you guys a beyond swamped with shipping this weekend ! Itching to see your video review of these nibs.

  • Oh the temptation!

    Brian it would be awesome if you could do a comparo between TWSBI 1.1 & 1.5 vs Lamy 1.1 & 1.5. I have all the Lamy italic nibs (1.1, 1.5, 1.9) and would be curious to know what the difference between them is. At least I know now that the TWSBI has a little flex in it which is awesome.

  • Susan_T_meowmda

    Looks nice!  You just had to use the F word (flex) didn't you? LOL!

    +1 on a comparison with the Lamy ones.

  • Gasface77

    There is no comparison in my opinion but maybe Brian can elaborate.  To me the TWSBI 1.1 blows the Lamy away.  The smoothness is akin to a gold nib like previosuly stated.  It's just perfect.  

  • 1.5mm is about the upper limit of a typically 'usable' italic for everyday writing. Since these nibs are really stubs, they are more rounded than true italics and you're sacrificing a little crispness and line variation in exchange for smoother writing. The nice thing about the 1.5 as opposed to the 1.1 is that you will see a little more dramatic line variation. 

  • We would be swamped, but we didn't get many of the nibs. I wish we could have gotten more, then they might have lasted more than a few hours! Perhaps we'll be a little busier for the next batch, supposedly there are a lot more on the way. 

  • Well, I found the Lamy very smooth but then again, I didn't have anything better to compare it against. I'm gonna keep an eye out for more reviews but this is very tempting.

  • Hey, I don't throw the "f" word around lightly! But this nib surprised me, and I stand behind my statement. This is really an incredible italic nib. 

  • I think a comparison is inevitable, though honestly, there is hardly a comparison if you know what I mean! I'm a big Lamy italic fan, and have been for a while. But these TWSBI italics have really blown me away. I tried to keep my expectations low, and I was really surprised in a good way. 

  • I concur. I think a video comparison is in order between the two brands. What amazes me the most about these TWSBI italics is that they're stainless steel, but act the most like gold nibs of any steel nib I've ever used. They're really something else!

  • David

    Hi Brian, I sent you guys an Email on Saturday 28 January 0250AM your time regarding these new TWSBI 540 nib units. But I have yet to see a reply. I reiterate my questions here:

    I see you are (trying) to stock new TWSBI 540 colors and new TWSBI 1.1mm and 1.5mm nib units. I have some questions:

    1. I saw a post by Speedy on
    where he said that the clear demonstrator 540 is available with a 1.1mm
    or 1.5mm nib installed out of the box, but that the colored 540's will
    not come with the 1.1mm and 1.5mm nibs installed (something about too
    many SKU numbers). So it seems that if you buy a colored 540, you will
    have to buy a 1.1mm or 1.5mm nib in addition So why can't I find a clear
    demonstrator with 1.1mm or 1.5mm nib on your site?

    2. The 1.5mm
    and 1.1mm TWSBI 540 nib units on your site seem to all have a clear
    section. So am I correct to assume if I buy one of these new nib units,
    the clear section will not match the barrel on on the colored version
    540 pen? If the colors do not match, is it possible to swap the new nib
    into the old (colored) screw-in section?

    3. When will you have more TWSBI pens and nibs in-stock? If I order now am I in-line for delivery when they do come in?

    Thanks, David

  • kondro

    I saw that Speedy (on Facebook) said that the nib can be swapped into the coloured section.

  • David,

    I'm incredibly sorry we missed your email, we've been shorthanded this week due to one of our employee's relatives passing, I will go back and make sure we address any emails that we have delayed from over the weekend. Please forgive me for this oversight. 

    1) Regarding the clear 540's with italic nibs, I think Phillip (from TWSBI) was saying that when the 540 clears come back in stock, they will be available with italic nibs. This batch of pens that just came in this week was only colored demo pens and individual italic nibs (with clear grip sections), we did not receive any clear 540's at all. In fact, we weren't even told that the 540's would be available with italic nibs already installed on them, we had to learn about that (like you) from Phillip's interview. The reason we don't have it on the site yet is because we're working on getting confirmation from TWSBI that they will actually be available to us like this, and then we will list them on our site. We don't want to list them as products on our site until we know that we will be able to get some.

    2) Yes, the (very few) TWSBI italic nibs that we did receive had clear grip sections, but the nibs themselves are actually removable from the pens. You can swap the nibs with the ones in the colored demo 540's if you want to have a matching section. I've been meaning to shoot a video on how to do this, but this past weekend we had a lot of family in town for my two-year old son't birthday, my whole family is recovering from a rather serious bout of illnesses last week, and (as previously mentioned) we're short-staffed because of a death in one of our employee's family (plus, we're in the middle of Ink Drop preparation). I will do a video on this as soon as I'm able.

    3) We've been told by TWSBI that delivery of more italic nibs, along with the clear 540's will be a few more weeks, we don't have an exact date. We don't allow pre-orders through our website for many reasons, mainly because with items like this we don't know what quantity we're going to receive and we don't want to overcommit. We do have an email notification feature on our website where we will notify you as soon as we receive an out-of-stock item, and it's first-come-first-serve to purchase it when it does come in. This is the fairest way for us to do it.  We had over 5 times as many people on our email notification list for these italic nibs last week, and when there is such an incredibly short supply there is just no way for us to keep everyone happy. Until TWSBI is able to restock all of their pens and nibs, it's going to be a land rush at every retailer who carries TWSBI. I wish it weren't this way, but my hands are tied. 

    I really wish we could do more to get these TWSBI pens and nibs in stock, we pester Phillip constantly about getting as much as we can, but he's limited by his own stock and production. Until they are able to ramp up production and approach the demand that there is for these new products, it's going to be hard to find them. It will be worth the wait though, the reason these nibs sell fast is because they are really amazing for the money. 

  • It can, yes, and it's actually pretty easy to do. I'll have a video coming soon.

  • Got my 1.5 today and WOW !!! Love it. So easy to swap its silly.
    Dumb question of the day is:
    Whats the extra cap insert for?
    Whats the small black piece under the red cap for?
    Thanks !

  • I need to do a video on these SO bad! The wings on the italic nib are just a little wider than the other nibs, so the insert is to replace the ones from 'older' 540's. You can still use the italic nib without this new insert, it'll just fit a tad snug into the old insert.

    The small black piece under the red cap is actually removable, it is intended to screw into the body of the 540 when the nib section is removed. So if you're swapping nib sections, you unscrew the old one, screw that black cap onto the pen body, and it keeps your ink from coming out of the pen while you're fiddling with your nib section apart from the pen. Make sense?

  • Eric P.

    Writes just as it should. I would point out that at least for my unit, the nib is slightly wider than the interior diameter of the cap, so screwing the cap onto the pen with this nib makes small spiralling scratches as the pen is capped. It closes without problem and the scratching seems unlikely to get too deep over time as the fit is only slightly overly snug. This is with a demonstrator 540 originally purchase with a standard EF nib.

  • Eric P.

    My apologies, I posted the above message before finishing it.
    The nib ships with a new inner sleeve for the cap which appears to be of a slightly larger interior diameter, so to avoid the scratching, you should remove the older inner cap sleeve and replace it with the one which ships with the italic nib. I don't know whether one should switch back to the narrower inner sleeve when going back to a narrower nib. It might provide a better seal or be completely irrelevant. It's not too difficult to remove the sleeve by inserting a wood pencil with an eraser into the cap and working it loose with that until it just falls out. There is no need to disassemble the cap. The new sleeve just slides in and is positioned by capping the pen.

    A quick comment on the flex: it certainly will flex (like many nibs) with heavy pressure and that's great fun to play with. But it really does take a lot of pressure, so don't expect flexy lines with normal writing (you already have italic type lines anyway!). The 1.1 width is perfect for regular writing (putting down a medium to bold line). I didn't order the 1.5, but that seems like it would only really be used in calligraphy rather than daily use.

    Since the nibs are trivial to change out (you don't need to empty the pen of ink, just hold upright and unscrew), the only reason to not get alternative nibs would be because you are getting additional entire pens with different nibs instead. Or maybe because only one nib will always be enough for you — but then if you were that kind of person, you wouldn't be reading this page…. 🙂

    Enjoy all and thanks again to Goulet Pens for their ever exemplary service!!!

  • Yes you do need to do a video. I know its time consuming but we all love them & you always show us what we want to know.
    I got it now. Thanks for the explination. Great to see that TWSBI has thought this out so well.

  • Arthur Y.

    I have the 1.1mm and the flow seemed heavy with most of the inks I have except for Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black. Does yours flow heavily even with Pelikan 4001 Royal Blue?

  • I haven't used Pelikan in it yet, but yes, I would say the ink flows heavily in the TWSBI stubs.

  • Yes, the replacement insert is for the italic nibs, which appear to be a little wider than the regular TWSBI nibs. The flexibility of the TWSBI stub takes less pressure than others I've used like the Pelikan Script and certainly the Lamy italics. I wouldn't suggest flexing it a lot, but it's capable of it. Thank you for your compliments 🙂 

  • Cengiz

    What can I do for this situation? İs there a problem.

  • Michael Marcal

    Completely agree. It has become my favorite journal pen. I use J Herbin Lierre Sauvage in a Quo Vadis Journal–matisse-journal-icarus.html
    I got this pen on Amazon (Sorry, Goulet!)