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Kaweco Al Sport Raw Review

kaweco al sport

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#1 benbot517

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Posted 10 December 2014 - 07:05

Before I start off, a bit of an intro. This is my first review posted on FPN. I have found the reviews here to be so helpful in learning about all sorts of different pens that I wanted to help out and contribute in the same manner. This is a review of my first "nice" fountain pen. I had a Varsity beforehand, and still do, but this is the pen that helped me to really explore the hobby. With that out of the way, on to the review!
 
First Impressions: 4/5
 
The pen came in a Kaweco tin, with sort of a vintage feel to it. Given the long history of the model it made sense, and is a fun way to present the pen. Getting to the pen... wow. When I first took it out of the box it was flawless. Not a scratch on it. With the super-polished aluminum it looked incredible. I remember being struck by how small the pen was. In pictures it somehow looked larger, even though I knew it was a pocket-sized pen. Altogether, a unique, great first impression.
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2. Appearance and Design: 5/5
The pen is made from solid, hyper-polished aluminum. While this is a small pen, in feels, if not heavy for it's weight, solid. After handling the pen, that's what people's impression is. Solid. It backs up that impression by being a durable little sucker; I can't count all the times this thing has been dropped, and, but for some ink in the cap and on the nib, it doesn't care what you do to it. I truly believe I couldn't hurt it if I ran over it. Oh sure, you would see marks from your efforts: This pen, being made from untreated, hyper-polished aluminum will show every scrape, every scratch, and every dent you put into it. And it will wear each mark with pride. I like the hypersensitivity to scratches. It removes the need to baby it to try and keep a more durable finish intact. This pen will scratch. There is nothing to be done about it. Get over it. Scratches tell a tale. "This pen has been places" and it shows! Like many pocket pens this one uses the short body/long cap design to be short capped, usable when posted. I like it. It fits in my jeans pocket without a problem. Getting back to the finish, the attention to detail is high. While this is a small, simple pen, everything fits together so tightly, the threads working so smoothly, that it feels high quality. It is high quality, without a doubt.

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3. Size and Weight: 4.5/5
 
As said before, this is a small pen. When posted it makes for a good enough size that it can be used comfortably, at least in my experience. The pen isn't too thin, and fits in my hand very nicely. I have used it for note sessions in college and it has held up well it terms of creating little hand fatigue. I don't know if I could write an essay with it, but for around an hour of notes it holds up well. Again, it is a descent weight for its size, and while it isn't heavy per-say, it is solid.
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4. Nib and Performance: 4.5/5
 
It is a fantastic nib. It wrote well right out of the box. When I first touched it to paper I knew it was a keeper. This pen really made me really love fountain pens, and it really comes down to the nib. Very smooth, with a hint of feedback. I use this on cheap spiral notebook paper, and writing is great. It handles it so well. It's maybe a tad wet, but then again I use spiral paper, and pretty much every fountain pen bleeds through on it. Mine is a medium, and it writes a nice line, with a width usable for writing with college-ruled paper. Being a steel nib it is very stiff, so no real variation, but it was never marketed as having any. Drawbacks? Well, if I'm to be picky it can sometimes hard start after long periods uncapped, but it's hard to find a pen that doesn't. Really, I love the nib. For me who was just getting into the hobby, it was amazing, and it still is.

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5. Filling System: 3/5
 
This is a cartridge/converter system, though a small one. It takes short international cartridges, or the Kaweco squeeze converter, which works like a pipette. It works, though getting a full fill is difficult to begin with and inky fingers may be inevitable. But hey! Using your own ink in a pen this small is a privilege! If Kaweco didn't make a converter especially for this pen it would be hard to find an alternate (as I hear mixed reports about the Monteverde mini converter).
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6. Cost and Value: 5/5
 
This is quite a bit more expensive than the standard sport, but from what I hear about it (great little writer, but feels cheap), this is worth the extra. This feels far from cheap. This feels like the opposite of cheap. It's solid, and the more durable has proved its worth many times, being dropped onto all sorts of unforgiving surfaces. The nib is fantastic, the material is great, the size rocks... what isn't to like?
 
7. Conclusion: 26.5/30-4.4/5
 
I love this pen. I've had it for six months, and it's been a small dependable little thing. I drop it and abuse it and it never stops working well. Though it's not perfect and shiny anymore the surface shows its travels, it shows that it's been places, and it shows its wear proudly. It is a pen I carry every day, without fail. If you are looking for a durable, small, pocket-sized pen you really can't go wrong with this one.
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Edited by benbot517, 10 December 2014 - 07:05.

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#2 elevennx

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Posted 10 December 2014 - 21:06

Really nice review, thanks!

Is there a difference in material between the section of this pen compared to the rest of the body? In your photos the grip section doesn't have that same shiny aluminum look as the rest of the pen.

#3 benbot517

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Posted 10 December 2014 - 22:38

Really nice review, thanks!

Is there a difference in material between the section of this pen compared to the rest of the body? In your photos the grip section doesn't have that same shiny aluminum look as the rest of the pen.

 

It is the same material as the rest of the pen, however for some reason it had worn differently. It may be due to this being the area where my fingers mainly grip, or it could be due to the section coming into contact with ink when being filled. I'm not exactly sure why it has worn differently, but I like the look!  :)


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#4 elevennx

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Posted 10 December 2014 - 22:50

It is the same material as the rest of the pen, however for some reason it had worn differently. It may be due to this being the area where my fingers mainly grip, or it could be due to the section coming into contact with ink when being filled. I'm not exactly sure why it has worn differently, but I like the look!  :)


Yeah, I agree, looks fine, just a little different. Made me curious. Thanks for answering!

#5 EBUCKTHORN

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Posted 11 December 2014 - 04:59

As the pen is aluminum without any anodized finish or other type of coating, does the aluminum oxidize and make dark marks on your hand where it holds the pen?



#6 benbot517

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Posted 11 December 2014 - 05:30

That could be. I haven't gotten into chemistry enough to say for certain, but it is possible. 


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#7 masterguns

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 23:29

Nice review. Thanks.

I have two Classic Sports (plastic) with in med and 1.1 nibs. I just got the black stonewash AL in F nib for Christmas, but have yet to ink it. The AL version absolutely does feel more substantial in hand. I like it a lot, and really enjoy these little pens. 







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