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Kaweco AL Sport


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35 replies to this topic

#1 troglokev

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 07:53

The Kaweco AL Sport comes in a neat little plastic box, which opens to reveal a solid-looking chunk of aluminium, looking more like a screwdriver than a pen. Picking it up, you realise it's thickly anodised, and somewhat better made than its plastic brothers.

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The AL Sport looks more like something you'd find in a hardware store than a stationers, but it's a neat and simple design that looks good. There is a step in the barrel that fits an insert in the aluminium cap, and provides a stable and secure posting mechanism. I like these little pens with their unpretentious practicality.

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The AL Sport is rather more substantial in the hand than the plastic version, and accordingly less flimsy. The threads operate smoothly, though this is a point that will need watching in a pen made from aluminium. Aluminium has a tendency to corrode and seize, so it may need to be protected with silicone O-ring grease at some point.

With the pen posted, it is a well-sized pen that fits nicely in the hand. It really does need to be used that way, as the barrel of the pen is quite short.

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Popping in the cartridge revealed the pen to have good flow, and no nib issues. The nib is a steel one, that writes well: nothing fancy or elaborate, but it does the job. I wish my fancier and more elaborate nibs had performed this well straight out of the box!

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I should mention that the nib in my plastic Sport required a little tine alignment, but once that was done, it too was a good little writer.

The AL Sport is a cartridge filler only. You might be able to fit one of the smaller converters into it (such as the one made by Montegrappa). The pen is too short for a standard cartridge converter. A word of warning: don't even think of making an eyedropper pen out of anything made of aluminium. The plastic Sport is a great candidate for such things. This one isn't.

The AL Sport is more expensive than its plastic brethren, and it's clear that a good proportion of this has gone into better materials and build quality. As $60US, it remains a great value little pen.

The AL Sport is my ideal travel pen, being rugged and cheap, and a cartridge filler. Ink bottles are not great companions on an airplane. All in all, it's a nice little pen for the price.

A few words in praise of Swisher's service:
You learn more about a business when they are having problems getting something for you than when they just have to package a pen and send it off. That was the case with this pen, and Swisher's kept me informed of developments, and offered a refund when they were sent a batch of pens that had the wrong clips with them (which would scratch the aluminium). That this offer was unsolicited indicates a good business to deal with, in my view. I'd happily buy from Swisher's again.

(No affiliation apart from being a happy customer in difficult circumstances)

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#2 gary

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 01:57

I've always been interested in the aluminum version of this pen: thank you for a succinct and well done review.
gary

#3 adam11

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 03:08

I don't think it looks likes screwdriver :) I have black plastic version that I bought in Berlin. Vintage predecessors of the pen with piston filler mechanism are quite nice.

#4 troglokev

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 11:00

I also have a piston filler (a V16 with a very nice stubbish broad nib). The older pens, too, are well worth looking at.

Maybe screwdrivers look different in Europe... :D

#5 Yuki Onitsura

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 11:04

Screwdrivers must look different in Europe because this pen looks like a screwdriver to me too.

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#6 adam11

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 13:26

Well, it's true I didn't hold in my hands a real screwdriver for a long time, but my Kaweco sure doesn't look like one. Maybe our European tools are much sophisticated than tools in The New World :P

Edited by adam11, 23 August 2009 - 13:27.


#7 PaulK

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 14:09

I have the plastic version that I slip into my pockets on weekends. Wonderful lil' pen. Consistent writer, no start-up issues ever. I recall passing up a great deal on an AL version like yours with a kt. gold nib. Blast!!!! I figured they'd always come up on auction so decided to see if I liked the inexpensive model first.

Very nice review.

Paul
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~ Oscar Wilde, 1888

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#8 troglokev

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 18:06

Well, it's true I didn't hold in my hands a real screwdriver for a long time, but my Kaweco sure doesn't look like one. Maybe our European tools are much sophisticated than tools in The New World :P

Does Michel Audiard make screwdrivers, then? :blink:

#9 tmenyc

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 18:11

wow, you have nice screwdrivers!

Tim
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#10 adam11

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 20:02

[/quote]
Does Michel Audiard make screwdrivers, then? :blink:
[/quote]

Nooo, don't be ridiculous... He's dead :P

#11 lovemy51

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 21:29

nice! where d'you get it, at ACE hardware store? i have the plastic version in silver. i take around w/o the clip... very usefull, speacially when changing the screws on my sun glasses!

QUOTE
Well, it's true I didn't hold in my hands a real screwdriver for a long time, but my Kaweco sure doesn't look like one. Maybe our European tools are much sophisticated than tools in The New World

our tools here come from china!!! cool.gif

#12 Zaphod

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 10:22

To my eyes it looks like a screwdriver when it's posted.

But not the regular kind, but the ones that are electrically insulated with only a little metal showing. In that way it's safe for kids and people that don't read manuals to prod on things that possibly carry a current. Since we have a healthy 230 V in the wall sockets, such screwdrivers are fairly common here, though it's by no means the most common type.

edit: added "when it's posted".

Edited by Zaphod, 26 August 2009 - 10:24.


#13 stevlight

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 22:23

I Loved this pen--I say LOVED because i always had it in my pocket--then lost it!!!! I miss it.
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#14 troglokev

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 10:27

QUOTE (stevlight @ Aug 27 2009, 08:23 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I Loved this pen--I say LOVED because i always had it in my pocket--then lost it!!!! I miss it.

A terrible tragedy! These are such fun little pens, and you do feel an attachment to them.

#15 professionaldilettante

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 21:32

Hello everyone, I recently acquired an AL Sport, and was wondering what the proper way to post the pen without damaging it. I know that it's pretty durable as is, but I was wondering what the proper way to post the cap was. I either leave it loosely on the end of the pen, with it rotating around, but sometimes it gets annoying, so I gently push down on the cap, and it sticks. I don't know if it's because of the cap threads are running into the step at the end of the pen, or it's actually built that way. Either way, I just want to know that I'm not breaking the threads or messing up the finish by getting the cap to stick when posting.
The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of.
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#16 troglokev

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 23:10

Gently push it down so that it sticks. You'll only do damage if you try to push push it beyond that point.

#17 professionaldilettante

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Posted 27 September 2009 - 08:15

Thanks for the tip!
The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of.
Blaise Pascal

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#18 LisaG

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 12:08

Probably the most covertly beautiful pen I own. A very elegant design that is not obvious until you write with it.

#19 vero

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Posted 25 December 2009 - 21:20

Just received one of these in black anodized aluminum for Christmas. So cool.

#20 RitaCarbon

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Posted 25 December 2009 - 21:38

I Loved this pen--I say LOVED because i always had it in my pocket--then lost it!!!! I miss it.

I lost one in an airport in silver plastic. It was a tragedy. Kawecos are the best travel pens, they are designed for travel. They write well on high altitude too. Cartriges are also convinient to use.
I have now two plastic ones - a white and an orange - and love them dearly. The white one was accidentally laundered in a washing machine. It still writes great.

Thak you very much for such a nice review.






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