I know I am late to the party, but I finally bought a TWSBI Eco fountain pen, made in Taiwan. Due to its amazing popularity, the Eco has been a difficult pen for me to score. Every time I was ready to pull the trigger, it was on backorder. Now I see why.
To their credit, TWSBI is company that puts a lot of thought into the design of their pens. They are always experimenting with new and innovative designs, building prototypes and getting feedback from the fountain pen community. You can always see what they are working on by checking out their Facebook page. A pen like the Eco is the result.
"Eco" is short for "economical", and at less than $30, this pen is pretty amazing. Aside from some cheap fountain pens from India, this is the least expensive piston filler you can buy. The main advantages of piston filler pens are their large ink capacity and ease of use and cleaning.
In the case of the Eco, it is easy to disassemble and clean using the handy plastic wrench provided with the pen. (The only caveat is that you need to be careful not to completely disassemble the piston assembly when you remove it because it can be a bear to reassemble correctly.)
Speaking of plastic, TWSBI reduced the price of this pen by reducing the number of metal parts of the pen to just three: the nib, the clip and the metal band at the base of the clip. The rest of the pen is made of plastic, although I do not think that this fact diminishes its quality in any way.
I find the pen to be very attractive. The Eco I selected has a black hexagonal cap, red finial with TWSBI logo at the top of the cap, silver-colored clip and matching ring at the base of the cap, transparent body for monitoring the ink level, and black filling knob at the base of the pen. It sports a 1.1 mm italic nib that writes a bit thinner than other identically-sized italic nibs in my collection.
I found the nib to be very smooth and well adjusted right out of the box. This is unusual, as I find that many stub nibs need a bit of work on a micro mesh pad to write as smoothly as I would like.
Bottom line: I think the Eco is one of the best low-cost fountain pens that you can buy. This pen will be in my EDC arsenal for the foreseeable future.
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