Thursday, April 5, 2018

Review: @TWSBI Eco Clear Fountain Pen - 1.1 mm stub @GouletPens @BrianGoulet_

Thank you to Goulet Pens for sending the TWSBI Eco fountain pen for a review! I have had my eye on the clear because I wanted to see how much clearness there really was! Plenty, as it turns out.
Review @TWSBI Eco Clear Fountain Pen - 1.1 mm stub @GouletPens @BrianGoulet_ 2
Review @TWSBI Eco Clear Fountain Pen - 1.1 mm stub @GouletPens @BrianGoulet_ 15

Body material: Plastic
Trim: Metal
Cap: Screw on
Posts: Yes, friction
Nib material: Steel
Filling system: Piston-filling
Ink capacity: 1.76 ml
Length (capped): 138.8 mm/5.46''
Length (uncapped nib-end): 131.0 mm/5.15''
Length (posted): 166.0 mm/6.53''
Length (section): 26.50 mm/1.04"
Barrel Diameter: 12.5 mm/0.49''
Section Diameter: 8.8 - 11.0 mm/0.34'' - 0.43''
Weight (all): 21 g
Weight (cap): 8 g
Weight (body): 13 g
Price: $ 28.99USD
Where to buy: Goulet Pens


I generally like TWSBI's packaging - it's pretty compact but it's also useful. The Eco arrived in a translucent plastic clip box. Inside, the pen, a plastic wrench, and some grease all sit on a foam bed. There is a little tag on the pen that warns against the use of rubbing alcohol to clean the pen - this clouds the plastic. I appreciate this warning because more expensive clear pens don't really offer this warning and surely plastics have been clouded by alcohol as a result. There is also a paper guide for the pen, which is really useful, especially for newbies or those who are unsure of what to do with their fountain pen. Decent packaging, not completely wasteful.
Review @TWSBI Eco Clear Fountain Pen - 1.1 mm stub @GouletPens @BrianGoulet_ 6
Review @TWSBI Eco Clear Fountain Pen - 1.1 mm stub @GouletPens @BrianGoulet_ 7
Review @TWSBI Eco Clear Fountain Pen - 1.1 mm stub @GouletPens @BrianGoulet_ 8
Review @TWSBI Eco Clear Fountain Pen - 1.1 mm stub @GouletPens @BrianGoulet_ 9


The Eco has been out for a few years now so I've come to remember the Eco is not the 580 and I shouldn't expect the same thing. When it first came out, it was a new model and I just couldn't stop comparing it to the 580, which I like a little more. The Eco is a pretty little thing though. It has a blocky shape because the cap is thick, round, and has flat facets around it. The finial is blunt and flat, with the TWSBI logo in red plastic, flush in the center of the cap. The clip is attached internally and mimics the shape of the cap - blocky and straight. It's not my favorite clip design, but I'm bearing the low cost of the pen in mind again. The cap on the clear model has a slightly translucent inner sleeve around the nib, which disrupts the total clear look but I find I ignore it most of the time.
Review @TWSBI Eco Clear Fountain Pen - 1.1 mm stub @GouletPens @BrianGoulet_ 10
Review @TWSBI Eco Clear Fountain Pen - 1.1 mm stub @GouletPens @BrianGoulet_ 14
The center band is on the end of the cap and is marked with TWSBI, Eco, and Taiwan. The barrel is round and completely clear. It was well-polished and looks nice. There's a thin, black rubber O-ring at the end of the piston-turning knob (for posting). The piston-turning knob is a little thinner than the barrel, and has the same blocky, blunt shape as the cap. The section is connected to the barrel in an all-in-one design, and is completely clear, just like the barrel. It is fairly thin and tapers towards the nib, ending in three flared ridges, forming a triangular shape (but it's not as triangular as that on a Lamy).

Overall, it looks decent. I don't like the blocky shape of the cap and the piston-turning knob, and I really miss those pretty diamond facets of the 580 barrel, but the Eco has grown on me. I think the finial is a little plain as flat plastic - it takes away some detail. It is an economical model, after all, so overall, it's not too bad. 


This 1.1 mm stub steel nib has a single slit and a breather hole. The nib alone can swap with the Mini and Classic (but it's not an intact unit). It is engraved with the TWSBI logo, TWSBI, some simple flourishes, and the nib grade. As the section is clear, it's easy to see that the feed is quite long. After flushing, the nib wrote very well and was a lot of fun. It is fairly smooth with slightly sharper edges, wet ink flow, pretty fast drying times, and decent line variation from the shape of the nib alone. Works well for faster writing so long as you keep the nib aligned with the page and it's also fine in longer sessions but does feel a little dry after awhile. It never ran completely dry on me.
Review @TWSBI Eco Clear Fountain Pen - 1.1 mm stub @GouletPens @BrianGoulet_ 12
Review @TWSBI Eco Clear Fountain Pen - 1.1 mm stub @GouletPens @BrianGoulet_ 13
Review @TWSBI Eco Clear Fountain Pen - 1.1 mm stub @GouletPens @BrianGoulet_ 16
The piston-filling system is one of the highlights of the pen and this one arrives smooth and worked well. TWSBI includes necessary materials for maintenance at home, which I really appreciate. 


TWSBI suggests that after inking, or after removing the nib and feed, to blot the nib and feed to remove excess ink. I usually just expel a few drops after inking up any pen.

The clip is snug but springy, so it's usable. I don't like it though. The section feels thin to me during longer writing sessions. The ridges at the end of it (before the nib) are hard and I usually grip right on them. I also felt the section was a little slippery, but not to the point that I struggled to use it.
Review @TWSBI Eco Clear Fountain Pen - 1.1 mm stub @GouletPens @BrianGoulet_ 11
Review @TWSBI Eco Clear Fountain Pen - 1.1 mm stub @GouletPens @BrianGoulet_ 18
Unposted, the pen is light and more comfortable for me than when it was posted. The problem for me is the section diameter. Weight and balance-wise though, it was quite comfortable. Unlike the 580, the cap posted comfortable and securely. An O-ring holds it in place so it won't fly off. I used to think it felt comfortable posted but the more I used it, the more it felt too long and unbalanced for me.
Review @TWSBI Eco Clear Fountain Pen - 1.1 mm stub @GouletPens @BrianGoulet_ 3
Review @TWSBI Eco Clear Fountain Pen - 1.1 mm stub @GouletPens @BrianGoulet_ 4
Review @TWSBI Eco Clear Fountain Pen - 1.1 mm stub @GouletPens @BrianGoulet_ 5


Review @TWSBI Eco Clear Fountain Pen - 1.1 mm stub @GouletPens @BrianGoulet_ 17


This is a very interesting pen, especially given the price. You get a clear pen (for those of you who like to watch your ink slosh around), it's a high capacity piston-filler, it posts if you want, it comes with a wrench and grease, it's pretty affordable, and it's robust - so far. I have not had any cracking issues with the Eco and I have my fingers crossed that is a long-gone issue. No tinkering, no messing around. It writes. Great for getting friends hooked, great as a gift. I really enjoy the nib!

If I had to pick between this and the 580, I'd pick the 580 because I think it's more attractive, but if you're on a budget and can't hit the price of the 580, the Eco is really not too shabby.

I received this item free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion.


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