TWSBI just came out with their 580AL, and here at we’re already getting a lot of questions about them. The #1 question is “What’s the difference?” Understandable, given that the only pen that’s been released so far is the 580AL in silver, which is hard to tell apart from the regular chrome trim and stainless steel nib that’s on the regular 580.

TWSBI 580AL aluminum parts


There are basically 4 parts of the pen that are aluminum instead of plastic, and that’s the difference. The grip is one part, and that’s the only one that you can even touch on the pen. The others are all internal components, part of the piston mechanism: the screw, connector, and screw bolt. These 4 pieces add a little bit of durability, a little bit of weight (4g increase total making the whole pen 32g), and a little bit of bling. The bling will be more apparent when the other colors of the 580AL are released, which will feature aluminum components that are, well, colored. No ETA on these yet.

(Update 5/13/20) There have been multiple special edition releases of the 580AL since the original release, be sure to check our 580 Special Edition History blog post for previously released versions.

I don’t think you need to rush out and buy one of these if you already have a 580, unless you’re gathering up a collection (like me). And if you’re debating between the 580 and 580AL, the aesthetics are going to be your main determining factor. It’s really up to you, either pen is a solid choice. You’re getting the same nib, same body, same ink capacity with either pen. But at least now you have a little more information at your disposal.

Update 5/13/20: There has since been a new version added to the TWSBI 580 lineup, the 580ALR. The only difference being that the aluminum has been enhanced with a subtle matte finish, with circular engravings in the grip and cap area.

A drawing of a dragon featuring dragon quotes made with a TWSBI 580AL-R fountain pen and Robert Oster Smokescreen ink.

If you have any further questions about the 580AL, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below.

Write On,
Brian Goulet