Introduction: The TWSBI Eco fountain pen was a birthday gift from my day. There is quite an interesting story with this pen. I ordered this from The Goulet Pen Company and chose USPS First Class International because it was the cheapest option. But…. the package never reached Abu Dhabi. I informed GPC about this and they took care of me by shipping another one through FedEx- for free. They have great customer service. The pen reached me within a week and when I inked it up for the first time, I was…. disappointed. It wrote way too wet with Waterman Purple. I thought it must be the ink so I changed it to Pelikan 4001 Royal Blue but still no use. So, I thought that is the characteristic of the ECO so I let it be that way and filled it back with the Waterman. One fine day, I sat down to do a project for school and the pen dripped purple ink on the paper and of course, the project was ruined. Fast forward to a few months, the section cracked and the feed stem broke. I never reviewed the pen due to my experience. With some hesitation, I ordered replacement parts (feed and barrel) from TWSBI and now, I am as happy as I could be.
Packaging: The TWSBI Eco comes in a frosted plastic box which I just seem to love. It doesn’t take up much place but does what it needs to. It holds a vial of silicone grease, a TWSBI wrench, the pen and two manuals. It does its job perfectly. I wouldn’t be grading packaging from now because it doesn’t impact the usability of the pen in any way.
Construction and Looks (9/10): The TWSBI Eco is TWSBI’s most economical pen at around 30 dollars. They minimized costs by reducing the amount of metal in the pen but haven’t cut down on quality. It has a very minimalistic design with a nice geeky elegance. The only metal parts being the nib, clip and cap band are highly polished. The clip reads ‘TWSBI’ and ‘ECO TAIWAN’. The white of the plastic accents the clear smooth barrel well. The cap and piston knob are faceted. The nib is a small nib which is very brightly polished and has the TWSBI logo stamped on it. The only place of dislike for me is the cap insert of the TWSBI logo. It feels really cheap especially after trying the Diamond 580. But for 30, I can’t complain much.
Filling and Cleaning (8/10): The TWSBI Eco though economical, comes with a piston filler. It has a nice ink capacity and is really smooth to use with just a bit of resistance that makes you realize you’re turning a knob. Filling is a breeze and so is cleaning. You can take apart the pen completely with the exception of the clear section. But at times, in the small groves just before the section, ink can get stuck and is quite difficult to remove. Other than that, I have no problems.
Maintenance (9/10): As I said before, the pen can be taken apart which makes maintenance very easy. TWSBI provides with a wrench made of plastic to take the pen apart and a small vial of silicone grease which can be used to grease and smoothen the piston system. The only problem is that it is a liquid kind of silicone grease which can get into the section if you aren’t careful. Also, it doesn’t resist water as well as the thick one.
Writing (10/10): The TWSBI Eco is a workhorse of a pen with a beautiful medium nib and a perfect ink flow (with the new feed). The nib is on the finer side of western medium which writes very smooth with a whisper of feedback. I use the pen with Pelikan Edelstein Smoky Quartz that I received at the Pelikan Hub 2017 Abu Dhabi. This is my favorite nib in my collection with the ASA Nauka nib being a close second. I have no complaints here whatsoever.
Conclusion (9/10): The TWSBI Eco fountain pen is a serious pen for any beginner and I would recommend it to anyone. Yes, it can have some problems but TWSBI will take care of you if it does. I would place this pen leagues above the Lamy Al-star/Safari/Vista and Pilot Metropolitan. The pen is really a great value for the money. For something of an interesting nib, the 1.1 stub is awesome. I tried it at the Pelikan hub 2017 Abu Dhabi. I will also use a new way of describing a pen here-
Closer to my hand- Writes great, workhorse and comfortable.
Closer to my heart- Something special with an emotional story behind it.
Closer to my wallet- Economical and nice quality.
This pen is both closer to my hand and wallet. I give it a big yes. Thank you for reading my review of the TWSBI Eco and let me know your thoughts below.