Some time ago I wrote that Kaweco Sport was my favorite beginners fountain pen, but now I think I have a new favorite, at least if design isn’t high on the list. The new favorite is the Twsbi ECO.
This pen is actually one of my overall favorite pens, even compared to my pens that are worth hundreds of dollars or even as much as a thousand dollars. The one thing that the Kaweco has on this is the classic, old school design and portability. Those things would still make me say that pen is perfect for those who favor a pen that really has a personality and makes people look. With that said, it’s not that the Twsbi has a bad design, in fact I like it as well. The design is however more modern and almost childish, the Kaweco Sport design is more refined and has more "class".
So what makes the Twsbi so great then?
First of all it has a decent size that probably is quite good for most people, small hands or big hands. Secondly it has an amazing smooth nib that writes like a dream, even if you go for a finer nib size (which I do as I love writing small). It is not very wet which means the line width actually stays quite fine and it is possible to use the pen on paper that isn’t super good. The one thing at least I would have loved was if the nib had some softness to it so you could get some flare and line variation when pressing a bit harder. That is however more of a personal taste thing and as a firm nib, it is amazing.
The other things that I love about the pen is that it is a piston filler. That means that you can’t use cartridges and need to fill the pen from a bottle and of course there are pros and cons for this. Cartridges can be a perfect way to start out using fountain pens as you just change cartridge when you run out of ink, but in the long run it’s expensive and you don’t have as many different colors to choose from. A piston filler is a pen with its own filling system where all you do is put the nib in a bottle of ink and turn the knob at the back of the pen to fill the pen. This means that you need to learn how to fill a pen from a bottle, which can be a bit messy until you get the hang of it. You do however get a pen that hold much more ink and compared to using a small converter (a sort of cartridge you can fill from bottles) it is much easier to clean and use. At least that is true for the Twsbi ECO as you can disassemble the pen quite easy and flush every part. As the ECO also is a so called demonstrator pen (a clear body that lets you see the inner workings of the pen) it’s also very easy to see what ink you have in it and when it is time to refill the pen.
Last but not least, the pen is very cheap at around 35€ and you can get it in many different colors. If you like it, why not buy three in different colors and match the ink in them?