Posts Tagged ‘TWSBI Eco’

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Fountain Pens Are Cool

11/02/2018

Last week, HisNibs.com shared a link to a Bloomberg article about fountain pen ink that stated, “Worldwide, fountain pen sales are forecast to total $1.15 billion this year, up 3 percent from 2017 and almost 31 percent from a decade ago, according to market-research company Euromonitor International.” Yes, fountain pens are cool and so is ink.

An inkophile needs a stable of pens to test and compare several colors at the same time. A five-pen rotation works well for me and for a reasonable investment, these are some of my favorite models.

  • Pilot Metropolitan – My three are good writers, but might seem slender in a large hand.
  • Pilot Kakuno – Mine has a good nib and adds virtually no weight to my kit.
  • Platinum Plaisir – Good nibs and attractive colors. Slightly larger than the Metropolitan.
  • Kaweco Sport – Modern pocket pen works well in small spaces. Nibs can be swapped.
  • TWSBI Eco – Small nib and simple design, but folks swear by the Eco. The Diamond 580 is my preferred model.
  • Lamy Safari – Sturdy build, but the grip is awkward for some users. Nibs can be good if finicky about ink. The Studio is my preferred model for an everyday pen.
  • Nemosine Singularity – Good build for the price. My italics work best with well-lubricated inks.
  • Conklin Duragraph – The stub nibs are smooth and juicy. I liked the design and performance well enough to purchase two.

Although I have owned a few inexpensive Chinese pens that wrote well enough, most brands have been too inconsistent to recommend. However, for the modest investment, they could be worth the gamble. Amazon and eBay offer quite a few, but you might have better luck at His Nibs.

The Pilot Metropolitan has emerged as my favorite fountain pen for ink testing because it cleans easily and flows well with every ink. The Duragraph with its wide nib is good for general writing so it will often get filled with an ink I would use for a journal or correspondence. The Kakuno or the Singularity come out to play when aqua ink is on the menu. The Nova Orange Plaisir is happy with orange ink or sometimes a fill of Noodler’s Lexington Gray. Either way, it makes my desk look cheerful.

My current pen rotation for testing ink includes

  • Silver Pilot Metropolitan – green ink
  • Aqua Pilot Metropolitan, Kakuno, or Nemosine Singularity – blue/aqua ink
  • Plaisir – red/orange ink
  • TWSBI – purple/burgundy ink
  • Duragraph – black/brown ink

That makes five pens for under $150. Or a mix of Metropolitans and Plasirs could be put together for less than $75. Add a selection of ink samples and you are on your way to being a collector. Now wasn’t that easy!

Though I have never needed to make a return, do purchase where that would be easy. Low-end pens can be imperfect by some accounts though I suspect that is less common with the pens on my list.

Most of the links are to Amazon from which Inkophile receives a tiny commission when you buy within 24 hours of clicking the link. Thank you for your support.

 

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Sunday Reads: Pens, Inks, And A Pup In Pink

05/27/2018

The pup in pink won me over…

 

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Sunday Reads On A Saturday?

04/15/2017

Holiday tomorrow so links are posting a day early.

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A TWSBI Diamond 580 And The Eco

05/22/2016

After almost a year of use, it’s time to tell my TWSBI tale. Of the two on hand, the 580 beats the Eco easily. However, both are good value for money though with caveats.

Both models are piston-fillers so they start out even on that score. A visual comparison reveals no difference between the two fillers, so ink capacity will be identical. The pistons move smoothly and draw ink from a bottle easily. Filling them reminded me how well a piston in a long barrel can pull ink from a tall bottle like Noodler’s. It won’t get you to the bottom, but it will get you closer than other fillers.

The 580 comes in a variety of colors while the Eco comes in black or white. I will say the white Eco looks very appealing with a fill of aqua or turquoise ink. The black is rather common (Who doesn’t have a black fountain pen?), but looks more exciting with a fill of red or orange ink. Diamine Soft Mint is particularly attractive in it.

The Diamond 580 is a clear demonstrator model with enough metal to be a little heavy though balanced when writing without the cap. Tuck the cap on the end and it becomes overbalanced in a small to average hand. It has a very solid feel to its construction though I haven’t played darts with it to see if it is durable. It has either been in a case, on my desk or in my hand which is an easy life for a fountain pen.

The JoWo 1.1mm steel nib is smooth with decent though not copious flow. The sweet spot is a little undersized for the angle at which I write resulting in an occasional missed start to a stroke. This might be an issue peculiar to me and not a problem with the nibs since other users have not mentioned it. The line is slightly less crisp than a Lamy 1.1, so I would rate it a cursive italic. From a practical perspective, the JoWo is better for general use in part because the line is more narrow. Some italics have sharp corners that catch. Not so with this nib, which adds to its ease of use.

For months the 580 has been filled with Diamine Violet which is a very good match for the nib as well as the clear barrel. I like to twirl it in my fingers just to see the colorful ink slosh around. Sometimes it’s the little things, you know?

TWSBI pens can be a bit delicate. Before engaging in any activity other than filling, take a few minutes to read the included instructions or watch a video or two. My 580 arrived with a barrel and nib that would spin with little provocation and would not tighten. It took a day at FPN, several posts and some help from friends to figure out how to stabilize it without risking damage. The pen should have arrived ready to rock and roll. It didn’t. Since another FPNer had the same problem, you might, too.

The Eco does not write quite as smoothly as the 580. In fact the one I have is a dry writer that needs a somewhat upright hold and slight rotation to produce a consistent line. I often rotate a pen so that isn’t a disqualification for me. However, the upright angle is not comfortable so the Eco loses marks for that bit. Unfortunately, it isn’t good enough to get regular use. Perhaps a different ink will make it a better fit for my writing style.

The 580 has no flow or nib issue and has a more substantial build. It is slightly heftier in the hand and I think more attractive. The turning knob on the Eco is functional, but a bit clunky in proportion and design. That could be said of the cap as well. The 580 has a more balanced and sophisticated design. Go for that one if $60 fits your budget. If you want an inexpensive carry pen or one as a first foray into italic nibs, the Eco at under $30 might do.

So that’s my TWSBI tale of two pens.

The company has an excellent reputation for customer service, but hopefully you will never need it.

Amazon offers a variety of TWSBI models and nib sizes.

More on the 580 from The Pen Addict and a review of the Eco from Dan Smith.

 

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What Pen Cleaning Day Left Behind

03/08/2016

Clean pens, inky water, and a colorful paper towel…

My inked pens are down to three. It’s like going from long hair to a buzz cut, breezy and easy to maintain.

The skinny rotation won’t last long with a shipment due end of week, but it’s fine for now. A person could grow accustomed to living this way. For now, I am a lean, mean writing machine.

However, pen and paper tests require more variety. Though increasing the number of pens is not appealing, adding a red and a blue ink should be adequate for the next reviews. Noodler’s BERNing Red is en route which settles that color. For blue, should it be Sailor Sky High or Souten, Iroshizuku kon-peki, Noodler’s Ottoman Azure or Rohrer & Klinger Verdigris or Blau Permanent? As always, it’s hard to pick just one.

Two green inks of recent acquisition, Diamine Meadow and Noodler’s Gruene Cactus, deserve further exploration especially in clear barrels that show their inky colors to best advantage. The TWSBI Eco is almost empty and would look suitably, seasonally well-dressed in green. Well, at least that’s settled.

That limited rotation of red, blue, brown, violet and green always grows quickly to an unwieldy dozen with the addition of teal, turquoise, orange, burgundy, pink, and black or blue-black. That’s eleven with one slot open for a test ink. This is not promising. How do you inkophiles keep your rotation in check?

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Sunday Links From Paper To Inks To Pens

10/25/2015

Betcha can’t click just one…

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TWSBI Eco Review

07/23/2015

If you haven’t ordered a TWSBI Eco, this review might make your decision easier. Dan Smith does a great job of presenting the pen’s attributes along with his impressions. Would I be giving something away if I said the Lamy Safari finally has a true competitor?

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