Kaweco Al Sport
Posted by Lois Ho on
When I first got into fountain pens as an adult, I scoured the internet for pen recommendations. I had previously been familiar the standard Australian department store brands like Parker, Waterman, Cross and Sheaffer, but the range wasn’t fabulous in store and in the age of information and blogging, it was much easier to find information on this topic than it had been in the past. One of the pens that kept popping up was the Kaweco Sport which was touted as one of the best starter fountain pens at the time. The Al Sport model was the same pen but made in aluminium and hence weightier.
I had already owned a standard Sport pen in white and it was ok, but the plastic on the cap started to crack on me, so I was curious to see whether the aluminium version would hold up better and transform my writing experience like all the reviews said it would.
I was starting to get into wetter and wider nibs when I purchased this pen and based on my experience with the original Sport (a fine, dry medium), I upgraded my nib size to broad. When I inked it up, I realised, sadly, that Kaweco nibs are quite inconsistent in performance and the broad that I now owned was extremely wet and significantly wider than the medium I had previously tried. As a pocket sized pen, this meant that the pen was not super practical for a daily carry.
Being an aluminium bodied pen was a smaller size, it was refillable only by short international cartridge (the standard plastic bodied Sport can be converted into an eyedropper if you are thus inclined). So when Kaweco released a squeeze converter for the Sport series of pens, I immediately purchased one, along with a replacement nib (a medium this time) to improve my writing performance. Sadly, while the converter borrows is squeeze concept from the Pilot Con-20 converter, its execution is not quite as good as that in the pilot. After my first use, the metal bar (used to squeeze the cartridge) rotated under the metal casing of the converter and was unusable. I’ve since been able to move it back around, but its not super functional.
The new medium nib was still extremely wet and wide, compared to my original Kaweco sport, but much more usable than the broad that I had originally bought. So with the new nib, I was able to use the pen much more than before. In doing so, I realised that my hand seems to push up the posted pen cap as I write, especially over long sessions. I tried the push and twist trick that was suggested to stop the cap riding up, which has worked in the plastic Sport, but it didn’t seem to work with this pen. Maybe the pen body is too slippery for this to work? For short writing sessions and quick notes, I was able to avoid this by using the pen unposted, but its not too practical for me for longer sessions.
All in all, the pen isn’t quite for me, which is a real shame because the newer models have come out with some stunning colours (like rose gold, a Taiwanese purple edition and I love the metallic red!). In a way, its probably fortunate, because I think my wallet would be severely damaged by having to collect the different colours that are available! I have heard that the finer nibs are more consistent that the broader ones and no one else seems to have the issues I experienced with the cap constantly riding up. So if you like the look of it, chances are the pen will suit you. Unfortunately, I think I’m in the rare category where its just not quite worked out for me.
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