A friend of mine lent me a Lanbitou 3059 so that I can try it out.
This is a €3 cheap piston filler demonstrator with a transparent feed and hooded nib. The pen is “very heavily inspired” by TWSBI Eco however its piston mechanism seems less solid and the pen has more of a cheap feel to it. The dimensions are almost exactly the same as the Eco.
I really like that the feed is transparent and the hooded nib design. The nib is quite decent and rather smooth. It’s much better than those scratchy Platinum Preppys in the same price category. It seems that I’ve been lucky with this nib because according to other reviews the nib quality is not consistent and the tines may need adjusting. Though the nib is hooded, it does have a little give so you can make some thicker strokes (F --> M). The nib is medium-dry and the feed seem to keep up well. Reverse writing is not possible, the nib just doesn’t deliver ink to the paper upside down.
I’ve used Akkerman Delftsblauw for this test which is a very well-behaving ink that flows really well. I wrote an A5 page full and haven’t experienced any flow-issues or feed starvation.
The section is faceted which forces a certain grip. While I’m quite happy with our Safaris, I don’t like the section of the Lanbitou 3059. It’s thinner and my fingers get cramped. It’s really uncomfortable for me for longer writing sessions.
Pros & cons:
amazing value for money
piston filler, big ink capacity
hooded nib design
decent nib quality for its price
tines may need some adjustment which can be challenging with a hooded nib
this faceted section is too thin for me
TWSBI Eco knock-off
Cheap plastics and wobbly build quality could be considered a minus but for €3 it would be unfair to complain about it.