Fountain Pen Review: Ensso XS Minimalist Pocket Fountain Pen

Review by Laura Cameron

Being of small hands, I’m always up for trying cute pocket pens. So when Ana sent over the Ensso XS Minimalist Pocket Fountain Pen in Silver Aluminum ($59) that she backed on Kickstarter, I was excited to give it a try!

Ensso is committed to building “Sleek, minimal, and modern pens made in aluminum, brass, and titanium.” I’d say the XS fits the bill!


The XS is a machined pen made out of aluminum (available in silver or black) or a limited edition Titanium version. The site makes mention of a brass version, and I see that in the Kickstarter, but it doesn’t appear to be available currently on the site. It is a 12-sided pen, designed that way so it doesn’t roll away from you! It is embellished with black rubber rings on the finials and near the section and two extras are included with the pen in case you need replacements.

The XS sports Bock steel nibs (available in F, M and B) and there is a titanium nib available if you’re interested in an upgrade (available in M, $40 extra).

The XS is comparable to other EDC pens. I took a few shots for comparison with my Kaweco Liliput in Fireblue and the Kaweco Sport. As you can see, it’s closest to the size of the Liliput in length and girth, but when posted it also compares to the Sport in length. The actual length is 95mm/3.75″ capped and 115mm/4.5″ posted.


The most interesting factor on this pen, at least for me, is the weight. It weighs in at just 9.7g because of the aluminum body. If you’re into lightweight pens, this one’s for you! (Titanium weighs in at 15g.)

pen weight comparison chart

The XS takes standard international cartridges or will use a small aerometric (bulb) converter. However, based on my experience with the little Kaweco converters, I’ll be sticking with cartridges for this one.

When I loaded up a cartridge in the pen, it only took a few seconds for the ink to get flowing. It flowed smoothly and the nib wrote well on the first try. I think what I love most about this pen is that the facets keep it from rolling, but the section is left smooth so it’s not uncomfortable to hold (I’m looking at you Lamy Safari!).

Honestly my only complaint about the pen is that it’s SO lightweight. I prefer a slightly more substantial pen and the Kaweco Liliput just feels better in my hand. Even though the machining on the pen is great and the nib writes well, I guess I just wanted MORE pen out of the XS. But again, if you’re looking for a super lightweight carry, then you should give this one a try!

DISCLAIMER: Some of the items included in this review were provided to us free of charge for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

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2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I don’t see threads, so is this a snap cap pen?

    I love pocket pens. I also like metal pens, faceted pens, pens without clips, and stub nibs, so the XS is checking a lot of boxes for me (even if not available with a stub nib). And yet, inexplicably, my first thought on seeing this pen was “meh.” I want to like it. I wish it were available with a stub nib option. The convenience of a snap cap would tilt my opinion in a more favorable direction.

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