I was a little hesitant to get another TWSBI simply because I already own a Mini and a couple of 580 models so I saw no real reason to purchase to budget-priced Eco model, until they released the lime green model and then my urge was entirely based on aesthetics.
When looking at the Eco, the only thing I can tell that happened to bring the price down was to remove some of the metal hardware on the higher priced 580 line. The clip is simple and the only metal components are the clip and the band on the cap with the branding.
The logo on the end cap is inset red plastic which actually looks quite nice. And both ends terminate in a hexagonal shape. The pen seems similarly weighted and balanced to the 580. In actuality, the Eco is 23gms, filled and capped and the 580 weighs 30gms. The Mini weighs 20gms comparatively. The Eco is the same length as the 580 but the barrel is a smooth, round tube where the 580’s is faceted. The Eco cap is a straight hex tube to the 580’s tapered cap and end. Also the ink capacity looks a little bit smaller but its still considerably larger than most cartridges or converters.
The cap posts with a click which seems pretty secure but I wonder if, for newbies, might lead to twisting to remove it leading to releasing the piston a bit? The hex grip on the end was the first thing my husband grabbed and started to hold as he attempted to remove the cap leading to releasing the piston and the cap simultaneously. Awkward.
The nib is the same design and material used in all the other TSBI pens so its the one area that is consistent. I had a scratchy nib in a previous TWSBI so I was a little gun shy to get another EF nib but this one is sharp and hard as nails but not scratchy.
In writing, the pen performs without any false starts and stops and the EF writes fine enough to be a good gateway for someone transitioning from a rollerball or gel pen in a fine diameter. Liquid fountain pen inks will still present new challenges in regards to paper choices but overall, the TWSBI is one of the best options for someone who is looking to move into fountain pens for the first time, especially if the lure is bottled ink.
Being able to get a piston-filling pen for $28.99 and a full-sized pen is a great option for folks just starting out. Being able to swap out nibs makes it extra appealing for folks who are still trying to find their way in fountain pens. My only complaint would be about how hard the nibs are but I’ve been writing with a lot of gold nibs lately so I may be to a point in my fountain pen life where I’ve moved past these pens. That said, I really like it and have already recommended it to folks who are starting out in fountain pens. If you’re coming from rollerballs and ballpoints, you’re not as likely to notice quite how hard the nib is. The clear ink reservoir is conversation starter wherever I go too.
Of course, the Eco is available with other cap color options, I chose the lime green for obvious reasons. Do you own one? If so, which color and nib combination did you pick?
DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Anderson Pens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.
16 comments / Add your comment below
I’ve got white with 1.1mm stub and I love it. I pretty much only get to use it for letter writing though– I use an EF for most everyday stuff. I don’t think I realized it could post.
Hello! I got an Eco 1.1 Stub as my first ever fountain pen. My main draw was bottle inks, like you mention above. I went with J. Herbin Emerald of Chivor, and I love it. I am like a fountain pen cliche of the trends of 2016.
I do quite a bit of note taking and even more drawing, so I wanted something with range. I love the dynamic range of the stub. Being mindful with the nib can get you fine detail lines or thick bold ones. I write rather large so the thick width doesn’t bother me, but I can see how some might dislike it.
For my first fountain pen (save for a few cheap drug store purchases decades ago in high school) I love it, but also feel like another fountain pen may be a let down. All of these features work so well for me I can’t see wanting to try out a cartridge based fountain pen any time soon. I love the demonstrator look, love the piston mechanism, love the ink and the nib.
Admittedly I don’t have much to compare the experience to, but the fact that my first foray into this type of pen as been so seamless says a lot about the quality of this model.
I don’t know how old you are but they getting your first fountain pen must have been exciting I’m 83 years old and when I was in high school and everybody was changing over 2 ballpoint pens I refused. I hated them I’ve used fountain pens all my life and have a nice collection they’re not all very expensive because I don’t have the money I did you know 30 years ago but I love them and I use them everyday and I’m so glad to hear that someone has just discovered the wonders of the phone so good luck to you and by many more because you’ll see did you just have to have but really don’t need at least I do you take care now
I got the white one since the lime green was announced just after I bought mine (slightly bitter about this, that green looks good).
@Nick there’s a certain charm to c/c pens. They’re designed to be practical, no fiddling with ink bottles making a mess, just slap in a cart and you’re good to go. Though part of the charm to me of this hobby is the ink bottle mess, so I always use a converter if possible.
Another good point though is the converters barely hold any ink, so you always have an excuse to try more ink.
I’ve ended up with 3 TWSBI Ecos – a black pen with B nib, a white with M, and a clear with F. They’re amaaazing pens, especially for the price – so easy to use, and so straightforward to disassemble and clean that they’ve become my “go-to” pens for shimmer inks. I prefer the styling on my TWSBI Diamonds (580 and Mini), but have no regrets about my Ecos. Congratulations on your purchase – I hear the Lime version is a Limited Edition (on TWSBI’s Instagram feed I think?), so I’m glad they gave you an excuse to jump on board!
Oops, forgot to say: if you want to swap nibs, you can buy replacements from fpnibs.com (based in Spain), same manufacturer (JoWo) and same shape, very inexpensively. For a modest additional price, they’ll grind the nib to XXF, cursive italic, architect grind or whatever – I especially recommend their architect grind as probably the cheapest way of getting your hands on one! I think I’ve bought about 8 steel nibs from them (Eco or standard #6), plus a gold nib for a Diamond 580, and thus far am happy with each one of them!
Got a black one when they first came out. And it rarely gets used because, like you, I’ve moved past that stiff nib. Nothing wrong with it but why would I not grab gold nibs when I can. A great starter pen, but now? Not in the daily rotation.
Also I find mine (a fine?) is rather dry for my taste.
I have the Black in EF. I totally love it. The EF gives you just a hint of feedback, but allows you to use it on any paper w/o problem.
Point apart: there was a molecular <?> study conducted which showed the Eco to be much more solid than other offerings in the line. Sorry I cannot find the link at this moment.
While we’re talking TWSBI, I want to pipe up to recommend the Diamond Mini, mentioned once above. For my tastes, it is the most elegant TWSBI, and a great way to show off ink!
You did now. I’ve been trying to figure out which TWSBI to get first for a while, then saw the lime. My pen hoard grows.
I’ve got the white and love it. Debating getting the lime for my husband for Christmas, maybe with a purple ink?
P.S. Dumb question: looking at mine now trying to figure out what size nib this is. Any idea if it’s marked somehow? I am seeing nothing.
I think she mentioned it being an EF, Extra Fine, above.
Hope that helps!
Thanks for helping out, Nick!
I’ve just traded in my EF for the 1.1 stub, and it is so great! Better line variation than my two stub nibs on fancier pens, and smooth too!