When I started this blog I was pretty sure I would only be reviewing and talking about pencils. I mean that’s how I came up with the name The Weekly Pencil after all. As time progressed, other stationery goods piqued my interest and I began to include notebooks, erasers, highlighters, and a multitude of other related goods. This review in the “so much more” category as we say on the RSVP podcast— it’s a review of a fountain pen. Let me preface this review by saying that I am in NO WAY a fountain pen expert, I am not a devoted fountain pen user, and this is the only fountain pen I have ever owned and used. As with all niche communities, I know how passionate the fountain pen community can be and I am preemptively defending my possible ignorance on the topic. With that being said, I have decided to review a fountain pen because I think it is important for newbies out there like myself to have an opinion that is not informed by rich, deep history of fountain pen use. I have big thoughts and feels about the pen I reviewed and about fountain pens in general, so let’s get started!
I was turned on to the idea of a fountain pen by my best stationery bud and RSVP co-host Less. Less runs the Comfortable Shoes Studio blog that some of you may already be familiar with. When I was in the market for my first ever fountain pen she first suggested the Platinum Preppy— it was super cheap and I would be able to get a good sense of what a fountain pen would write like. After playing around with a Preppy for a bit, I decided I wanted something a bit more— that’s where the TWSBI Eco comes in. The Eco has been billed as a great starter fountain pen and as a pen that is not only user-friendly, but has an affordable price tag. At right around $30, the Eco offers a clear, see-through plastic barrel with a piston-filling mechanism and a screw on cap. The nibs on these pens are steel and come in a variety of sizes: extra fine, fine, medium, broad, and italic. For this review, I used a medium.
I think one of the reasons I have largely stayed away from fountain pens has been the issue of maintenance. The Eco is a breeze to fill and clean out— I did so without even looking at instructions. The piston-filling mechanism is pretty intuitive and besides the silly mistake I made by twisting it while the cap of the pen was still on (ink spewed everywhere into the cap), I had no issues with cleaning or replacing the ink. I will say that it is near impossible to get every little drop of water out of the barrel after cleaning. After cleaning, I left the pen in multiple pieces for a few days to dry out and there was STILL a bead of water in the barrel. This really isn’t an issue, but annoying nonetheless. Writing with the Eco has been a pleasure. There have not been any issues with skips or scratchiness and the grip of the pen is comfy enough. My only complaint is that the pen cap is a tad bulky and when posted on the back of the pen it does make it feel a bit top heavy. Even though this pen is not perfect, I’d recommend it to anyone looking to get into fountain pens. It writes beautifully and lays down silky smooth lines and performs great on a variety of papers. I also enjoy the clear barrel as it is not only aesthetically pleasing, but makes it useful for me to see how much ink I have left. While I won’t be using this pen on the daily, it is a fixture in my pencil/pen roll and glad I took the risk and purchased it.