TWSBI Swipe Fountain Pen Review

Imagine you're on a Tinder for fountain pens and this new TWSBI pen pops up on your potential matches. Would you swipe left or swipe right? If you're on the fence about this pen, I invite you to read (and watch) the following review of the new TWSBI Swipe fountain pen.

As a writing instrument manufacturer, TWSBI always sought to make modern fountain pens more accessible to a greater audience. It all started with the piston-fill demonstrator Diamond 540 and progressed with the more affordable ECO and GO designs. In 2021, TWSBI does it again with the SWIPE - the company's first cartridge/converter filling fountain pen.

The economical SWIPE consists of a plastic body in two color styles - translucent Smoke and Prussian Blue. The tapered barrel has five facets with the TWSBI logo embossed on one side. The round, cylindrical cap has a y-shaped clip reminiscent of the Tesla logo. Set into the top of the cap is a recessed, red TWSBI emblem medallion. Inside the cap is a white, plastic inner cap sleeve that prevents the nib from drying out between uses.

 

 

To get an idea of the SWIPE's size, here is the pen compared against other starter fountain pens like the Lamy Safari, Diplomat Magnum, TWSBI Eco, and Faber-Castell Hexo.

*Measurement* Lamy Safari Faber-Castell Hexo TWSBI Swipe TWSBI Eco Diplomat Magnum

Length Closed

5.5 in. / 139.5mm

5.3 in. / 135mm

5.45 in. / 138.5mm

5.45 in. / 138.8mm

5.25 in. / 133mm

Length Uncapped

5.1 in. /128.5mm

4.8 in. / 123mm

5.03 in. / 128mm

5.18 in. / 131.5mm

4.88 in. / 124mm

Length Cap Posted

6.5 in. / 164mm

6.0 in. / 152mm

6.50 in. / 165mm

6.60 in. / 167.5mm

6.0 in. / 152mm

Barrel Max Diameter

0.5 in. / 13.5mm

0.59 in. / 15mm

0.49 in. / 12.5mm

0.5 in. / 12.8mm

0.45 in. / 11.5mm

Section Grip Dia.

0.3 in. / 9mm

0.39 in. / 10mm

0.35 in. / 9mm

0.36 in. / 9mm

0.31 in. / 8mm

Pen Weight

0.6 oz / 17g

0.62oz / 18g

0.5 oz. / 14.17g

0.74 oz. / 21g

0.49 oz. / 14g

Pulling off the snap cap reveals a crystal clear plastic grip section that tapers down toward the nib, flaring slightly at the end. Looking through the clear grip, it's easy to see when the pen needs a refill.

The number 4 stainless steel nib manufactured by Jowo in Germany is the same nib outfitted on the TWSBI ECO. To best suit your writing preferences, the SWIPE is available in EF, F, M, B, and 1.1mm stub nib sizes.

Unlike the piston-filling Eco, the Swipe is a cartridge converter filling fountain pen. It's also unlike most international cartridge/converter type fountain pens in that it includes two different types of converters and an ink cartridge to start. While the TWSBI Swipe can fit a standard international cartridge/converter, the proprietary TWSBI converters and ink cartridges are much too large to fit in most other international compatible fountain pens.

When you receive the SWIPE fountain pen, the spring-loaded, piston pump converter is already attached. Those who are already familiar with the TWSBI GO will feel comfortable with using this pump converter to quickly, and one-handedly, draw up ink.

For a more conventional bottle-filling method, TWSBI includes a straightforward, screw-type piston converter. The third option is a large-capacity ink cartridge. As per TWSBI's instructions, they recommend installing the included spring behind the ink cartridge to ensure a steady fit.

For the writing sample, I filled up the SWIPE's spring-loaded converter with TWSBI Blue-Black ink. I picked out a broad nib because, at the time of this recording, this is one of the few nib sizes I could "swipe" for a review. But, don't worry, pen-pals, more are on the way.

I was glad to try out the broad nib on this Swipe because I usually do writing samples with a fine or medium nib. This change of pace allows me to get a fresh perspective on this starter fountain pen. The broad nib has a juicy, wet flow with a 0.7mm thick line. Despite being a bold nib, the feel on paper isn't glassy smooth. There is a slight degree of feedback.

The Swipe's injection-molded plastic construction feels lightweight in hand. The cap posts deeply on the barrel and feels well-balanced. While the SWIPE is an inexpensive pen, it doesn't feel cheap.

The tapered, clear grip section affords a large area to hold the pen. Since there are no barrel threads for a twist-off cap, the writer can hold this pen farther back from the nib without any threads or step to get in the way of a comfortable hold.

The TWSBI SWIPE is packaged in a white, plastic container with a snap closure that reminiscent of VHS Cassette tape boxes you would rent from the video store. It's a no-frills type of experience that is certainly reflected in the $26.99 price point of this fountain pen.

With the SWIPE fountain pen, TWSBI is successful yet again in appealing to a broader audience by offering an inexpensive and convenient cartridge converter-filling pen. Yet, the Swipe isn't just another ordinary cartridge converter. The large-capacity converters and proprietary cartridges enhance the utility of this pen - a hallmark that makes it distinctly TWSBI.