A few new pens

August 22, 2022 | 27 Comments

On Thursday last week I visited Larrypost… which is always a little dangerous.:-)

I had two gold nibs that needed adjusting and I knew that Jen wanted me to have a play with the new Kakimori dip pen with reservoir. I’ve recently seen a number of my friends  playing with one (Paul, Suhita, Shari, Paul and others?) and I kept telling myself that I didn’t need it… but guess what I ended up buying? 🙂

I also returned home with a new TWSBI Eco with a 1.1 stub nib (in Mint) and a Pilot Brush pen

Kakimori Brass Dip

It was really great to be able to test drive both the stainless steel and the brass nibs. There wasn’t a huge difference but the brass felt slightly more comfortable so that is what I ended up buying.

Both nibs hold a lot of ink and produce a variety of thick and thin lines by changing the angle of the pen.


So this nib functions in a similar way to a fude nib (my Sailor Fude De Mannen is my favourite drawing tool) and it felt really good to use while doing some tests at the store.

BTW the Kakimori site is here. As I’m in Australia I don’t know of any retailer (apart from Larrypost here in Sydney) that stocks it. If you have any more info to share about this pen please let us know in the comment section below.

Back home I started playing with it and more seriously comparing it to my fude pen. It certainly creates beautiful crisp thin to wide lines but it will take me a little while to get the most out of it. I also realised that one of the reasons I love the Fude de Mannen pen so much is the variation it creates within a single line (often leaving a thick bead at the end of each line). The Kakimori nib creates a more even line.

Here is another sketch where I was playing with varying the lines. These first two sketches are a little tame so I’m looking forward to doing some more interesting sketches with this pen soon. Lots to explore further for sure!

TWSBI ECO with 1.1 Stub nib

At one point during my visit Jen showed me her Coral Eco because of how much she loves the colour. But I was more interested in the nib!

I’ve always thought that stub nibs = italic = square edge = not that great for drawing (see this article for more). However, I never realised that stub nibs can be more rounded and therefore can work really well for drawing. The TSWBI Eco stub 1.1 nib is lovely to write and draw with and actually only produces a maximum 0.7mm thick line.

I often hear feedback inside my SketchingNow courses that people really struggle to use a fude pen. That is because you have to rotate the pen and change the angle to get the desired line. Using a stub nib like the one in the Eco is much easier to use as you only need to rotate the pen and in fact, you don’t even need to do that to get some variation in your line. 


It is also fun to write with!

This is the first on location sketch I did with the pen – without thinking about it too much.


The next day, I was a little more intentional about varying my grip and rotating the pen so I got more variation in the thickness of the lines.

So if you are wanting to start exploring pens with varying line thicknesses, the TWSBI Eco 1.1 stub nib is a good option.

BTW I’m a massive Eco fan! They are such a reliable pen with massive ink capacity and lots of lovely colours! Whilst personally the body of the Lamy Joy pen feels better in my hand for sketching, the Eco is my writing pen (and backup sketching pen). If someone wants to buy their first fountain pen, the Eco is the one I recommend these days.

And if you are in Australia, Larrypost now offers a pre-filled option for this pen. BTW I’m not paid to say this! 🙂

The third pen was given to me to test out. It’s a Pilot Brush Pen with a felt tip – so in essence a re-fillable marker brush pen. Ah! this makes me happy.

I’m having a hard time finding its exact name but found it on Jetpens as a Spare Sign Pen.

I put some De Atramentis Mouse Grey ink in it (water-soluble not Document ink) and I’m exploring whether this can be a permanent solution for value studies. I would like a slightly larger brush tip, but there is something super nice about using a fountain pen with a felt tip.

More to explore with all of these three pens in the coming weeks and months.


  • Maria Bergman says:

    Hi Liz! Was wondering if/when you would try out the Kakimori! I’ve thought about getting one but now I’m going to see how you like it.
    One of the special things about the fude nib is that inflection at the end of a line which I love. The Kakimori seems a bit more predictable.
    I’m waiting for a Duke 501 Confucius I bought which is due to be delivered today! I’ve heard pros and cons but it looks fun and worth exploring… We’ll see.
    Looking forward to your reporting!

    • Liz Steel says:

      HI Maria – yes the line of the Sailorfude is the best! I’m not really interested in the Duke Confucius – it’s too big and bulky as a pen for me and I’ve been told that it can leak a lot. So hope that your one doesn’t do that.
      The Karimori line is consistent but getting the angle right is much harder at this stage than the Fude – it’s all about getting the right angle on the curved tip

  • Victoria Aitken says:

    Hi Liz – the kakimori pens are available in Australia from Bookbinders Design at https://www.bookbindersdesign.com.au/ . I’m waiting for one i have on order. I want something for testing and writing with all my fountain pen inks 🙂 Good to know that Twsbi stub jobs are nice to use – they are great pens.

  • Cindy Cali says:

    Hi Liz …
    Kakimori Nibs / Products are available in the United States at St. Louis Arts Supply.

  • Susan Andrinopoulos says:

    Hi Liz. I’d love to hear more about how you are thinking of using the Pilot brush/felt tip pen for value studies. Are you using a few pens filled with different “value” ink?

    • Liz Steel says:

      Just the one pen. As per the photo in this article. What I want to achieve is…. 1 is white of paper, 2 is grey from the pen moved around with water, 3 is one layer from pen, 4 is three layers, 5 is black from fude

  • Terri Foster says:

    Hi Liz – I just got my brass Kakimori pen about a month ago. I do like it especially that I can dip it into some juicy watercolor and draw with it! How fun is that?!!

    • Liz Steel says:

      Hi Terri – yes using it for watercolour is what I expect I will use it most for! Keeping that for the next article on the pen 🙂

  • Alexandra sirugue macleod says:

    Thank you for this great article Liz.
    I was able to find the brass Kakimori at St Louis Art Supply and the Eco at JetPens (both are located in the USA)

  • Kerstin says:

    Hi Liz, great timing for the review on the Kanimori nib, I am thinking about getting one as well ?. Curious to hear more about your experience with it. I saw in one post that the variation of line width seems to be much bigger than with the fude pen. How are you getting along with bringing an ink bottle on location? I imagine that dipping the pen in ink adds a little extra difficulty, especially when sketching standing up.

    • Liz Steel says:

      Hi Kerstin – I only just got it so you will have to wait until I use it for a few weeks for more. 🙂 I don’t intend to use it with ink out on location – although I have a plastic ink bottle with cotton gauze inside it so the ink can’t spill. Fude creates my favourite kind of line so I doubt this pen will replace it. But will be great for watercolour lines (I’m keeping that for another article when I’m back using watercolour again!)

  • Tina Gartlan says:

    Great sharing as always, thank you. How do you find filling the TWSBI? I feel very out of my depth and could not get the space to ink ratio correct. I do love the Mint colour!

  • Francois says:

    The best pen for me should be a TWSI Eco with a Fude Nib!

  • Your art supply reviews are dangerous to my budget! ?

  • Bee says:

    Howdy Liz, just an FYI: Kaweco makes a wonderful rounded stub nib as well. I purchased mine from JetPens for $12 and I switch it out between my brass and my AL sport as I feel fit. Opus 88 makes one as well, but I’m not much into it. The latter has a sweet spot I’m just not feeling.

  • Angela Hallinan says:

    I too was loving my TWSBI Eco until today when it started burping out blobs of ink onto my sketch with no warning. Now I’m very wary of it!
    Any suggestions as to why and how I might fix it? I emptied the ink out and refilled it but that didn’t help.

    • Liz Steel says:

      Hi Angela – always best to ask the retailer or TWSBI themselves about an issue like that.

    • Sophie Vancaillie says:

      Hi Angela, mine leaked as well and I used the little spanner that it comes with to tighten at the top of the pen and that solved the issue (hope I make sense)

  • David says:

    Caption: “TWSBI ECO with 11.1 Stub nib” I think 11.1 should read 1.1.

  • Chas says:

    The Kakimori Nibs are available in Canada from Wonder Pens in Toronto, though the brass nib seems to be out of stock at the moment.

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