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Kaweco Allrounder Extra-Fine


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15 replies to this topic

#1 Colin68

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 13:18

Kaweco Allrounder, Extra-Fine Nib, Blue Finish

I bought the Allrounder because I’m going to be away from home for about a month and want a pen to take with me that is decent quality, but not too precious, has an extra-fine nib and uses international standard cartridges for convenience.  Kaweco wasn’t a brand that had blipped on my radar before, but after a bit of research the Allrounder seemed to tick the boxes so I decided to give it a go.  This review is based on my initial impressions, so I’ll come back with an update if anything new or different comes up when I’ve spent a bit more time with the pen.

 

Appearance & Design (7/10) - Funky Fusion of Fancy and Functional

 

The Allrounder arrives wrapped in the regulation white cardboard sleeve.  When you slip it off, instead of the normal textured plastic or faux leather presentation case, there is an illustrated retro-style hinged tin box.  It’s a nice touch, and could be genuinely useful for carrying your pen, pencil, cartridges etc. around in your bag.

 

IMG_0881.jpg?disposition=download

 

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Taking the pen out of its protective baggie, the initial impression is of smooth, satin, blue bodywork and shiny chrome fittings.  It reminds me a bit of a new car.

 

IMG_0885.jpg?disposition=download

 

Looking at the pen more closely the cap is really quite fancy.  There’s a shiny ring with a ‘...IOIOIOI...‘ pattern engraved in it, and a swoopingly curved clip which is again engraved with some swirly lines and the Kaweco name.  The cap also has ‘Kaweco Allrounder Germany‘ in discreet white writing on the opposite side to the clip. Topping it off there is a round, silver, metallic jewel emblazoned with the Kaweco logo.  Close up, this jewel is a shade cruder in its detail compared to the delicate engraving on the clip and band.

 

IMG_0887.jpg?disposition=download

 

In contrast to the cap, the pen itself is quite plain. The nib is polished to match the cap detail and has the Kaweco name engraved on it.  The Kaweco logo is also stamped on the underside of the feed in case you were in any doubt.  The section and barrel are plain, rounded, satin finish aluminium, and the end of the barrel has a slightly odd looking dimple in it.  You could almost be looking at two halves of different pens  - the fancy cap and the functional body.

 

IMG_0888.jpg?disposition=download

 

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Construction & Quality (8/10) - Feels Like It’s Made of Metal...


...which is just as well because it’s solid aluminium.  The whole thing feels strong and dependable.  The cap screws off with a quick three-quarter turn, and is lined with threaded plastic to soften the action.  The barrel and section are firmly screwed together, metal-to-metal this time, and easily unscrewed after considerably more than a three quarter turn (lost count, got bored).

 

The only thing that spoils the impression of solidity is that when you have it inked with a short cartridge, and another tucked into the end of the barrel, you can hear the spare rattling around a bit.  This isn’t evident when you’re writing, just when the pen is waved about a bit or moved from hand to hand.

 

Weight & Dimensions (7/10) - Suits Me Sir


Here are a few numbers, unverified but snaffled from a reputable vendor’s website:

136mm capped,

121mm uncapped,

164mm posted,

32g weight.

 

Consistent with its solid construction, the Allrounder has a bit of weight to it.  I’m a big fella and I like a pen that won’t blow away in a strong wind, so that’s fine with me.  About 40% of that weight is in the fancy cap, so when posted the package feels a bit top heavy.

I’d call this a medium sized pen.  If you line it up alongside a Pelikan M600 with their caps on the two are almost identically sized.  Take the caps off and the Allrounder is shorter in the nib, longer in the barrel. Post them and you’ll find that the cap sits much higher on the Allrounder, making it noticeably longer than the M600.

 

IMG_0890.jpg?disposition=download

 

IMG_0891.jpg?disposition=download

 

Nib & Performance (8/10) - Extra-Fine and No Mistake


All my observations are based on using the cartridge that came bundled with the pen, which is presumably Kaweco’s own brand.  You can see (but probably not read) my initial scribbles in the attached image.

 

The Allrounder started up immediately when the cartridge was inserted, and gives a reliable, well-defined line.  I can’t trick it into skipping, blotting or any other sort of misbehaviour.

 

There is a bit of springiness in the nib but no sign of any line variation, not that I’d expect any.  I do believe that there is a little bit of shading in evidence which comes as a pleasant surprise.

 

The writing experience is smooth, with just a bit of feedback to keep things interesting.  My test page was in a pad of fancy Rhodia 80gsm paper, so I also gave it a whirl on cheap-as-chips copier paper and the Allrounder still behaved well.

 

I’d say it’s a fairly dry writer.  I’ve provided a swift comparison to the M600 which is also extra-fine and inked with Herbin’s Sapphire Blue (Eclat de Saphir si vous parlez francais).

 

Kaweco%20notes%204.jpg?disposition=downl

 

Filling System (8/10) - Standard Stuff


The Allrounder is supplied with a dummy cartridge inserted into the section and a single short cartridge parked in the reserve position at the back of the barrel.  The live cartridge pushes easily and securely into place, and as mentioned above starts up immediately.

 

IMG_0889.jpg?disposition=download

 

I plan to use the pen with cartridges so haven’t tested the piston converter that’s part of the bundle.  It looks well made and the action is smooth enough so I expect it would be fine.  The only thing I’d point out is that it doesn’t have an agitator like you find in e.g. a Montblanc converter.  Personally I’m not convinced they achieve much, just thought I’d mention it.

 

IMG_0884.jpg?disposition=download

 

Cost & Value (7/10) - A Decent Pen for the Price


I paid 75 pounds sterling for the Allrounder, bought new from a UK-based online vendor with free delivery, and so far I’m happy that it represents decent value for this money.  I’m fortunate to be able to afford this without too much pain, and the pen sits mid-table in my collection in terms of price, poshness, snob-value etc. If I’d saved long and hard for it, I might get a bit picky about the slight crudeness of the Kaweco logo on the cap, and the comparative lack of embellishment on the barrel.

 

Conclusion (45/60 = 75%) - Does The Job Nicely


Checking back against what I was looking for, the Allrounder definitely ticks the boxes.  It’s solid, looks pretty good, writes well, and accepts standard cartridges.  I’m pleased to add it to my collection, and would encourage anyone who is after a similarly priced pen to give Kaweco some consideration.


Conway Stewart Wellington IF
Pilot Capless EF
Pelikan M800 F & M600 EF
Montblanc Classique M
Sailor 1911 MF
Kaweco Allrounder EF

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#2 The Blue Knight

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 15:13

Great review, well written!

 

Nice pen I do like the colour.



#3 Colin68

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 16:20

Great review, well written!

 

Nice pen I do like the colour.

 

Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated.

 

I agree about the colour.  I've found myself carrying the pen from room to room just to glance at it now and then, which is very odd behaviour!

 

C


Conway Stewart Wellington IF
Pilot Capless EF
Pelikan M800 F & M600 EF
Montblanc Classique M
Sailor 1911 MF
Kaweco Allrounder EF

#4 wastelanded

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 00:42

The pen looks much nicer in your photos than the company's photos.Thanks for a great review! I love Kawecos, and this one I hadn't paid much attention to. Until now.

 

One good thing about this converter is that it unscrews, so you can take it apart and clean it.


"I was cut off from the world. There was no one to confuse or torment me, and I was forced to become original." - Franz Joseph Haydn 1732 - 1809

#5 Colin68

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 10:29

The pen looks much nicer in your photos than the company's photos.Thanks for a great review! I love Kawecos, and this one I hadn't paid much attention to. Until now.

 

One good thing about this converter is that it unscrews, so you can take it apart and clean it.

 

Thanks for the kind words, and that's a very good point about the converter.

 

Apologies to your wallet if I've led you into temptation!

 

C


Conway Stewart Wellington IF
Pilot Capless EF
Pelikan M800 F & M600 EF
Montblanc Classique M
Sailor 1911 MF
Kaweco Allrounder EF

#6 wastelanded

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 23:10

 

Thanks for the kind words, and that's a very good point about the converter.

 

Apologies to your wallet if I've led you into temptation!

 

C

 

I'm done buying pens for a while, after I pay for my Esterbrook this weekend: time for more inks. But it's on the list for next year!


"I was cut off from the world. There was no one to confuse or torment me, and I was forced to become original." - Franz Joseph Haydn 1732 - 1809

#7 restlesscourage

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 02:55

I will never cease to be fascinated by what price points people consider to be "not too precious." It's a lovely pen, and one that I'd possibly consider looking into sometime, but I think I'll stick to my Lamy Safari or the Nemosine Singularity that's on its way to me now if I need a "travel" pen. Food for thought.


You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should've behaved better. ~ Anne Lamott (This is where I tell my stories.)

 

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#8 Colin68

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 09:30

 

I'm done buying pens for a while, after I pay for my Esterbrook this weekend: time for more inks. But it's on the list for next year!

 

Phew - guilt lifted!  Enjoy the Esterbrook  :)

C


Conway Stewart Wellington IF
Pilot Capless EF
Pelikan M800 F & M600 EF
Montblanc Classique M
Sailor 1911 MF
Kaweco Allrounder EF

#9 Colin68

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 09:53

I will never cease to be fascinated by what price points people consider to be "not too precious." It's a lovely pen, and one that I'd possibly consider looking into sometime, but I think I'll stick to my Lamy Safari or the Nemosine Singularity that's on its way to me now if I need a "travel" pen. Food for thought.

 

I admit I hadn't planned to spend quite this much.  I started out looking at Lamy, but sticking to my checklist I had to exclude them for the proprietary cartridges.  I had a long think about the Faber Castell Basic range, but there's something I really don't like about the design of the caps.  I then took a little detour onto eBay and had a look at some bargain Chinese imports, but the build quality looked a bit off and reviews suggested the nibs sometimes didn't flow too well. Back to the mainstream vendors and I had a glance at the Kaweco Sport range.  Nice pen, nice price, but not sure I'd get on with the 'short unless capped' concept.  That's when I glimpsed the traditionally styled Kaweco pens (Student, Allrounder and Dia2), eventually coughing up the extra for the Allrounder for its extra weight. So there you go - that's how someone with time on his hands talks himself into spending £75!

 

I haven't come across Nemosine before, and a quick Google suggests that they're not marketed in the UK.  Looks nice though, especially some of the marbled finishes.  Enjoy!

 

C


Conway Stewart Wellington IF
Pilot Capless EF
Pelikan M800 F & M600 EF
Montblanc Classique M
Sailor 1911 MF
Kaweco Allrounder EF

#10 Tsuki yo

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 13:31

I realize that this is thread necromancy, but. I went into Wonderpens in Toronto yesterday with the intention of buying a TWSBI classic, and then I beheld this pen. Which I had never seen, nor seen reviewed before. I always thought the Al Sport looked rather like a mascara so I never looked twice at the Kaweco brand. 

 

Despite the fact that it was twice what I originally intended to spend on a pen, once I held it and tried out the nib (I got an F instead of an EF) I was sold. Smooth loveliness, and yes, just a little bit of shading here and there when I find the sweet spot on the nib. 

 

Obviously I'm not going to do another review of the pen, Colin68 has, of course, nailed it perfectly.  I just wanted to give this review a little bump for a beautiful pen that writes wonderfully, looks fantastic, and feels very pleasant to hold. 

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#11 erpe

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 13:55

Nice review, KaWeCo makes great pens, I handle an AL-Sport for daily journaling. One thing that you may not realize as first time user is that the nib/feed section can easily be screwed out and replaced with a gold plated version and/or a different nibsize. These sections go for € 8.50 here, about 10 USD, so if you get bored with the steel xf, you can easily put in a golden broad  :lticaptd:



#12 Colin68

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 13:31

I realize that this is thread necromancy, but. I went into Wonderpens in Toronto yesterday with the intention of buying a TWSBI classic, and then I beheld this pen. Which I had never seen, nor seen reviewed before. I always thought the Al Sport looked rather like a mascara so I never looked twice at the Kaweco brand. 
 
Despite the fact that it was twice what I originally intended to spend on a pen, once I held it and tried out the nib (I got an F instead of an EF) I was sold. Smooth loveliness, and yes, just a little bit of shading here and there when I find the sweet spot on the nib. 
 
Obviously I'm not going to do another review of the pen, Colin68 has, of course, nailed it perfectly.  I just wanted to give this review a little bump for a beautiful pen that writes wonderfully, looks fantastic, and feels very pleasant to hold.


Many thanks for the kind words about the review. Thanks for the picture too - that satin finish looks just as good in red as it does in blue. Enjoy the pen!
Conway Stewart Wellington IF
Pilot Capless EF
Pelikan M800 F & M600 EF
Montblanc Classique M
Sailor 1911 MF
Kaweco Allrounder EF

#13 Colin68

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 13:33

Nice review, KaWeCo makes great pens, I handle an AL-Sport for daily journaling. One thing that you may not realize as first time user is that the nib/feed section can easily be screwed out and replaced with a gold plated version and/or a different nibsize. These sections go for € 8.50 here, about 10 USD, so if you get bored with the steel xf, you can easily put in a golden broad  :lticaptd:


That's a great tip, thanks. I'll see if I can find a UK supplier, or one with reasonable overseas postage rates.
Conway Stewart Wellington IF
Pilot Capless EF
Pelikan M800 F & M600 EF
Montblanc Classique M
Sailor 1911 MF
Kaweco Allrounder EF

#14 The Blue Knight

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 13:40

That's a great tip, thanks. I'll see if I can find a UK supplier, or one with reasonable overseas postage rates.

 

Thought I'd let you know Cultpens stock them for £8 a piece,

http://www.cultpens....Chrome-Nib.html



#15 Colin68

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 13:41

Thought I'd let you know Cultpens stock them for £8 a piece,
http://www.cultpens....Chrome-Nib.html


Bargain! Many thanks.
Conway Stewart Wellington IF
Pilot Capless EF
Pelikan M800 F & M600 EF
Montblanc Classique M
Sailor 1911 MF
Kaweco Allrounder EF

#16 Scribble Monboddo

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 12:48

I've had fun playing with the Student and All-rounder models side-by-side, and although I felt the plastic alternative actually wrote rather better, I have to agree about the looks of the All-rounder.  The red version is similarly quite gorgeous to behold!


Edited by Scribble Monboddo, 28 June 2015 - 12:49.







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