Review: TWSBI Eco — Alt. Haven

Alt. Haven::

The TWSBI Eco, Eco short for Economical, is a value for money piston filler fountain pen. If you are looking to dip your toes into the world of piston filling fountain pens, the TWSBI Eco is a great place to start. I wouldn’t recommend the TWSBI Eco to be a starter fountain pen. It might be a little overwhelming for a beginner to learn how to service a piston filler if they came from the world of disposable ballpoint pens.

The TWSBI Eco is very interesting product. I’m not sure if it is a hit or a miss. I wouldn’t recommend it as a beginners pen. I think the Pilot Metropolitan is a very good beginners pen because it is cheap and you just pop in cartridges and write.

You have a good pen you paid around $15 for, and you like fountain pens, and want to test out some more inks. You could either buy a converter for less than $2 or find another pen. You could either buy a pen in the same price range, or save a little bit more and get a much better pen for $60 dollars instead of the $29 the Eco costs.

The reason I’m not sure if it is a hit or a miss is that I don’t think a piston filler is for the beginner market. So the only places I can imagine that this pen has a market is for people on a tight budget, or if you want to just have some good and cheap pens. For example laying around at work where it wouldn’t be too bad if a few of them disappeared.

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Brad Dowdy:

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My review of the Hobonichi Planner.

I started using my new 2016 Hobonichi Planner almost a week ago, this review have been on the list for a while now. One month, at least.

The story of how I ended up with the Hobonichi Planner starts in the middle of January, when I realized that my digital calendar system didn’t work at all. So, I conducted a small experiment for the remaining two and half weeks of January where I used a Field Notes to emulate a planner. The experiment worked pretty well. So I spent the next week looking into various alternatives.

I had three requirements:

  • It had to work with fountain pens
  • It had to have a variety of layouts for different kinds of planning.
  • It had to be compact.

I looked at everything from Moleskine to Filofax to Hobonichi. The reason I went with the Hobonichi was mostly because I had it on good authority that it was fountain pen friendly and that it looked like a product designed by someone who uses a planner, and not just threw something together the last minute.

My opinion after using it for ten months is that this is the best planner out there for most people. It has what more or less everyone needs, and it does what it does very well.

The paper handles fountain pen ink very well, I have never seen any bleed through since I started using it. But the dry time is brutally slow. It isn’t a big problem for me, even though I write with my left hand. But paper that dried faster would be very welcome.

Let’s move on to the various pages you get in the book.

  • Yearly Calendar
  • Yearly Index
  • Monthly Calendar
  • Coming Up!
  • Daily Pages
  • Memo pages.

This means that you have places for more or less everything you need. I’m not going to get into how I use it, here, that will be a part of my larger Getting Things Done post, that I’m going to write soon. But you have a place for the large overview: Yearly Index. You have a place for the details: Daily Pages. And you have a place for your monthly goals: Coming Up.

The format of the Hobonichi Planner is very compact, while you at the same time have a lot of room. And it isn’t often I wish there was more room. But there is a larger version, it is, unfortunately only available in Japanese. I have three wishes for the 2017 version:

  • Shorter drying time.
  • Having all the versions available in English.
  • Different start dates, like the Japanese version have.

Review: Lamy 2000

This review have been in the making for a very long time. I got my Lamy 2000 January 5th 2015. It have been and continue to be my favourite pen to this day. I think it is more or less perfect.

I got my first fountain pen right before the easter of 2013. It all started when I ordered a Pilot Metropolitan from JetPens, when I ordered some notebooks. And then I got a Lamy Safari when I ordered some other stuff a few weeks later. That was the moment I got hooked on using fountain pens, and I have written countless pages with both of them. And fountain pens have been my primary writing instrument ever since.

My first impression was that the grip section on the Pilot Metropolitan was far superior to the moulded grip section of the Lamy Safari, but I found the nib of the Lamy to be much more enjoyable, and silky smooth.

I continued to use them both for around a year, before I started to look into getting something nicer. The process involved looking at more or less every single fountain pen up to $200 at both JetPens and GouletPens. One of the first pens I looked at was the Lamy 2000. And I knew when I first looked at it that this would be the pen.

The pen screams everything I like. It has a beautiful understated design that says: quality, great taste and brilliant design and engineering. It doesn’t look like any other pen I have seen before or after.

My Lamy 2000 was the only pen I used(except for when it runs out of ink), until I got my TWSBI 580AL a few weeks ago, and these days I either pick up the 580AL or the 2000. It always starts writing instantly, it holds a lot of ink it is very light, while it at the same time feels well built. The nib is very smooth, and comfortable to write with, when you learn to know the nib a little bit. I don’t think it took me more than a half hour, tops.

I love my 580, but the only pen where I look for stuff to write is the Lamy 2000. I just love writing with it.

There is one thing that I’m not so fund about, when it comes to the Lamy 2000 compared to for example my TWSBI 580AL, and that is that it seems like it always leaks a little bit ink into the cap. Not a big issue, but still annoying.

This is a pen that everyone that are into fountain pens should own. Most pen have a lot of if’s when it comes to if you should buy one or not. The only other pen I know about that is such a no brainer as the Lamy 2000 is the Retro 51. There is one if though: find out what kind of nib size you prefer before buying it. Because you are stuck with it.