TWSBI Micarta Review

I'm feeling guilty about this review for many reasons.

One, this pen was loaned to me by the wonderful Ionsomnia many a moon ago. This is his pen in the review, we discussed it and the additional nibs he sent with it several times, and I sent it back in a timely fashion. But I never posted the review, because...

Two, the TWSBI Micarta was discontinued. Version 1 only came with a gold plated nib and clip, plus it had some feed problems that TWSBI wanted to correct. Version 2 corrected the feed issues and added a clipless version to go along with the gold furniture model. Now we are talking.

Three, I bought the clipless model, swapped in a silver steel crispy bold cursive italic nib, and fell in love. And you can't get one now, at least not easily through direct channels.

But this is a great pen and it deserves to be talked about, so here we go.

What the heck is Micarta? That is probably the most often question asked about this pen if I had to guess. I had no idea either, but learned from Wikipedia that it is "a brand name for composites of linen, canvas, paper, fiberglass, carbon fiber or other fabric in a thermosetting plastic". To me, that sounds like scrap repurposed to make a new material, and that is kind of neat.

You can see some of the material and texture in the Micarta pen body, and it has a feel that is warmer than that other acrylic pens. I found myself just holding it on more than one occasion because it felt so great. That is also partially because the barrel shape is fantastic, fitting my hand as good as any pen I own.

These partially natural materials do have some downside though, primarily the ability to be stained by ink. Kind of a problem in a pen, huh? Ionsomnia found that out by dipping the pen in an ink bottle to fill it. I found out by having a bad feed in mine. As you can see below, a crack caused the ink to spread, soaking the inside section threads and the front exterior edge of the grip section.

TWSBI replaced the feed for me, which works fine now, and I didn't ask them to replace the pen. Why? Wabi-sabi. Old me would have had a conniption and would have wanted a new, pristine pen as a replacement. New me has found the beauty in acceptance of imperfection. That acceptance is why I was finally able to purchase my first Nakaya and not worry if it might get dinged or scratched. It's my pen, and things happen, and it's ok because the pleasure of using a pen far outweighs being afraid to take it out of the pen case.

So my Micarta is not perfect, but it is mine, and I love it. That's why I'm guilty about this post, because I think a lot of you would love this pen too. Maybe TWSBI will surprise with a Version 3 one day.

Posted on December 15, 2014 and filed under Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews, TWSBI.