Charles Daly

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Tag: kaweco

Pen Review: Kaweco AL Sport

Kaweco is the Swatch of fountain pens.

This week, I’m breaking away from budget pens to bring you a splurge option: the Kaweco AL Sport.

“Al” stands for aluminum–as you may remember from the periodic table–and that’s what it’s made of. Other than the material, everything abut it is identical to the plastic Kaweco Classic Sport. But the metal  makes a difference in terms of writing experience, looks, and price. At $65, this is an entry into the world of so-called “fine” pens or pens that would make you say “who the fuck would pay that much for a pen?” depending on how you look at it.

The Nib 

See my review of the Classic Sport and my thoughts on paper fickleness. The two pens have the same nib in different colors.

Kaweco-sport

The Writing Experience 

This is a hefty pen. It’s not overweight. It’s not unbalanced. It’s just substantial. A light touch is all you need because the AL writes under its own weight. This saves your hand over long writing sessions.

So far this has been a smooth, reliable, no nonsense writer.

The medium nib feels a little bit too much like a magic marker sometimes, and the extra weight makes for a bold line. If had known that, I would have gone with an extra fine–which, in Kaweco’s case, isn’t all that fine.

Looks & Design

It’s gorgeous. Kaweco over-delivers in the looks department. Even their cheaper pens have an attention to detail way beyond their price point.

The Nibs are gorgeous. The parts you never look at, like the back of the feed, are stamped with the logo.

The AL improves upon one  minor aesthetic issues with the Classic. there are no cheap-looking seams on the body where it unscrews from the section.

There are more affordable aluminum metal-bodied pens out there–like the Pilot Metropolitan–but what sets this one apart is the matte finish. It feels amazing in the hand–closer to the Lammy 2000 than its plastic counterpart.

kaweco-al-sport-fountain-pen

From what I’ve seen so far, this is a durable little writing tool. It reminds me of those tactical pens that are popular at the moment.

It comes in a delightful, and useful tin box.

kaweco-al-sport

Also Available in Denim…

I love what Kaweco has done with the Sport line. They’re fun, they’re collectable, they give the impression that the company wants to innovate and delight rather than just cash in on their legacy. Kaweco is like the Swatch of fountain pens.

The AL Sport Stonewashed is the color of faded blue jeans, with the paint strategically worn and chipped away. This makes me excited to see how my AL weathers from years of abuse. The AL Raw Aluminum looks how they may have pictured pens of the future back in 1925.

The Bottom line

This is my pick for the best EDC (everyday carry) pen. Period. It’s unbreakable, reliable, and the design lives up to the Kaweco Sport slogan: “small in your pocket, big in your hand.”

Whether the advantages over the Classic Sport are worth the significant price difference is a personal thing. But if you’re ready for a more expensive pen, I can’t think of a better option in the $50-100 range.

 

DISCLAIMER: This post contains affiliate links. All Amazon prices and availability are subject to change, and only current as of the time of publication of this review.

Kaweco Sport Followup: one Issue

My fountain pen reviews have found an audience on Reddit where they’ve prompted a discussion that has been extremely educational for me. It blows my mind how much there is to know about pens and how civil pen people are talking about them online.

In response to my review of the Kaweco Sport, one Redditor (/U/oyogen) pointed out an issue I forgot to mention about the pen.

“Kaweco nibs are often over-polished, leading to hard starts on smoother papers. I’ve tried on copier paper, it starts easier, but still skips a part of the stroke.”

I had read about this in some negative reviews of the Sport. When I got mine home and inked it, I noticed that it was skipping on a glossy legal pad. When I switched to my Leuchturm notebook, it wrote fine. I was so stoked about my new pen that I forgot about the false start and attributed it to the paper. Having tested it on glossy paper again, I can say this is an issue with the Sport.

So, should this scare you off the Kaweco? It depends. If you’re attached to one particular brand of paper, then you might want to test it and see if the nib agrees with your paper first. But if you’re not picky, this shouldn’t be a problem. You can always write on something different. As luck would have it, the paper that does work with this pen tends to be cheaper and more abundant.

 

DISCLAIMER: This post contains affiliate links. All Amazon prices and availability are subject to change, and only current as of the time of publication of this review.

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