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stephanos

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I originally posted the following review in a discussion thread on the TWSBI Eco. It was meant to be a very short review, but it turned out longer, and I now think it makes more sense to put it here. So I've copied and pasted the text from that post, subject to minor edits. No photos, but there are plenty available of this much-awaited pen.

 

Please note the inclusion of a Bonus category.

 

The TWSBI Eco comes in black and white. I got the white version, with EF nib. Thanks to The Writing Desk in the UK for an excellent service (no affiliation).

Design: 8/10
Simple, well thought out. For those, like me, who like to post their pens, the rubber ring at the end makes a lot of sense. Well thought-out. The plastic feels a little cheap, but at this price point, that is no problem at all.

Appearance: 6/10
Without the cap, the pen is quite pretty, with a clear demonstrator barrel and solid color at the back (white in my case). Not mad about the cap, though: my wife's blunt comment was that it is very ugly. To me, it seems disproportionately thick/massive, and it clearly marrs an otherwise pleasing appearance. That's why I gave a modest 6/10 score here.

Filling system: 10/10
A piston filler at this price point puts the tools you need to maintain it? Couldn't be better. The piston mechanism works beautifully.

Nib performanc: 9/10
The EF nib writes smoothly, with a hint of feedback. No scratchiness. Excellent flow. Nib is stiff, with no flexibility to speak of; you could get some line variation if you abuse the nib, but it's a pleasant writing experience without doing so. Wetness is about 6-7/10. It is by no means dry, but could hardly be called a gusher. (I've been using Diamond's Carnival, part of the anniversary collection.)

Writing experience: 9/10
I have been pleasantly surprised by this pen. It writes smoothly and pleasantly. The balance is excellent. It is large enough to use unposted, but is even more pleasant a size when posted. The cap is too light to affect the balance. I would have preferred a slightly girthier pen, but that's a small gripe and means it will suit a wider range of hands.

WOOTB? Bonus: 5
This pen gets a bonus for Writing Out Of The Box without any modifications or work needed to the nib or any other part of the pen. I have become very annoyed at the number of new pens that need some sort of adjustment before they can be used properly (including some high-end brands), so any review I do from now on will include this question.

 

Note: I have tentatively decided to award 5 bonus points to pens that just WOOTB, and zero to those that need work: this privileges writing experience over aesthetics, which not everyone will agree with. But to me, a pen is a writing instrument first and an item of beauty second, and if it doesn't work from the start then the final score should reflect that.

Overall: 42/50 + 5 Bonus = 47
This is an excellent pen and is well worth the money. It knocks the socks off several much more expensive pens in terms of performance (if not beauty). I think it has real potential to knock the Lamy Safari or the Pilot Metropolitan off their pedestal as go-to entry level pens. But it is also a good choice for someone with more experience looking for a good daily carry pen. If you're looking for a thoroughly beautiful pen, look elsewhere. If you're after a decent-looking pen with excellent performance, then you should definitely consider the Eco.

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Thank you for the nice review. I'm glad the Eco turned out to be a success, I will have to get one soon.

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My fine nib TWSBI ECO arrived a few days ago and when I first held it I thought it to be longer than I prefer. I almost returned it but am very glad I didn't. Risking the $29, I filled it with Waterman Audacious Red. What a sweet writing pen it is! I'll be glad to accommodate the extra 7/8" (posted, as compared with my favorite TWSBI: the Mini).

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After spending the day at a seminar writing with it, the thought dawned on me that this is TWSBI's version of the Pelikan M200. Doesn't post quite as well and the cap is chunkier but it feels like it will be a workhorse. And the transparent section is fun to look at.

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My only quibble is a tiny aesthetic issue. The logo embossed in red on the cap, which I think is a wonderful choice of color, might look a little less toy-like if it were more deeply embossed. Otherwise, I love the size, weight, and how securely the cap posts. I might be in a minority when it comes to the cap though. I love the hexagonal shape. It has a distinctly modern feeling.

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Been using mine for a week. Despite my very light touch, Noodler's Eel Blue flows well from the EF nib. It is a "spartan" , very basic piston filler, that reminds me of the "school" pens of old Germany.

Auf freiem Grund mit freiem Volke stehn.
Zum Augenblicke dürft ich sagen:
Verweile doch, du bist so schön !

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+1 on the Pelikan M200 comparison. I've had my Eco in constant use since the review and the performance remains excellent.

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I want one, but the DIFFICULT question now is white or black. argh :wacko:

 

I already figured out the nib after weeks of pondering between EF and F, it will be an EF. EF seems to be a more universal size for me. F will work on wide ruled paper, but not so good on college ruled paper.

San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California

www.SFPenShow.com

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  • 2 months later...

Update after further use, plus a response to Dhruv_Sood.

 

@ Dhruv_Sood: The pen is far too short for me to use unposted, but a very pleasant size when posted. And I have fairly large hands.

 

Update

The pen continues to write magnificently. However, I have noticed that if I push the nib too often, to try to squeeze out line variation, then the nib can become a little loose and needs to be pushed back into the rest of the pen. This doesn't hamper writing, but does mean I risk getting slightly inky fingers if I don't write with the pen as was intended. 'Standard' writing is entirely trouble-free.

And I'm not madly keen on the plastic wrench, so I'll be using the metal one that came with my 580 in future.

Despite these very minor niggles, I like the pen enough that I have bought another, again from The Writing Desk but this time in black: it's waiting for me for when I get back from my travels.

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Further update: I gave the Eco a bonus of 5 for writing out of the box. I'm now writing a review of a pen that I bought at a pen show, for which it would be inappropriate to give a bonus (they modified it to my specifications while I waited, so of course it wrote beautifully from the start).

 

So, although I like the idea of keeping a 0 or 5 for WOOTB, perhaps the better way to deal with this category is to add 5 to the potential maximum score. On that thinking, the TWSBI Eco would get 47/55.

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I bought a TWSBI Eco in black with a 1.1 CI nib. I haven't regretted it one bit; finally a TWSBI I like and use. The lightweight cap is a star in that I can post it without having the pen be pendulous. By varying pressure and angle I can write from very small/fine to medium italic. The Noodlers BSIUK Roses is a great match.

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