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Pen Pit Stop : Kaweco Liliput Fireblue

pen pit stop kaweco liliput fireblue

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6 replies to this topic

#1 namrehsnoom

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 11:04

Pen Pit Stop : Kaweco Liliput Fireblue
 
Welcome to the Pen Pit Stop. Here you will find reviews of pens that already have some mileage on them. More specifically, these reviews are of pens that are in my personal collection, and that have been in use for at least a year. I thought it would be fun to do it this way - no new & shiny pens here, but battered vehicles that have been put to work for at least a year. Let's find out how they have withstood the ravages of time.
 
 
fpn_1582973394__kaweco_liliput_fireblue_
 
The fountain pen that enters the pit stop today is the "Kaweco Liliput Fireblue". Kaweco is a well-known German pen company, whose history dates back to 1883 with the foundation of the Heidelberger Federhalterfabrik (Heidelberg dip pen company). The brand is best known for its pocket pens of the Sport and Liliput range. 
 
As early as 1905 Kaweco had already manufactured the first writing instruments made out of metal. This tiny pocket pen is made from hardened steel with a hand-torched finish. I bought th Fireblue in November 2015, and it has been in rotation as an EDC (Every Day Carry) pen since that time. This is one of my older pens, which has been in use for over 4 years now. Let's have a closer look at it.
 
 
fpn_1582973412__kaweco_liliput_fireblue_
 
fpn_1582973431__kaweco_liliput_fireblue_
 
Pen Look & Feel
The Liliput is a great EDC pen with a truly minimalistic look: no ornaments for this pen except for the Kaweco logo on the cap's finial. Etched on the side of the cap is the pen's designation "Kaweco Liliput Germany". The pen is truly tiny - I typically carry the Liliput in my pocket along with my keys. The Fireblue is basically a steel pen, and can take a beating. You don't have to worry about damaging it. 
 
The Liliput Fireblue is so named because the finish is literally born out of fire. The pen is hand-torched, and in the process gets a unique pattern with steel, blue, purple, orange and brown hues. Unfortunately, you have to pay a hefty surplus for this special look (149 vs 79 EUR for the regular steel pen). When the pen was new and shiny, the torched material looked wonderful with a rainbow of fairly bright colours. After four years of use though, the colours have faded substantially and the pen now looks quite dull and unattractive. This one doesn't age gracefully - a world of difference with the Liliput Copper.
 
 
fpn_1582973450__kaweco_liliput_fireblue_
 
When you're ready to use the pen, just unscrew the cap and screw it on the back of the barrel. You then get an almost full-sized fountain pen that is comfortable in the hand. Unposted, the pen is too small for real writing, but can still be used for jotting down a few short sentences. This screw-on posting takes some time... before you can start writing, you have to unscrew the cap and screw it on the back of the barrel. Personally I don't mind this delay. Getting the pen ready to write gives me a few moments to order my thoughts before putting text on paper.
 
The Liliput is basically a tiny metal cylinder, which means that it has a tendency to roll away. This is something to be aware of. Kaweco does sell separate pen clips if you absolutely want one, but I never used them - in my opinion they don't match with the minimalistic look of this pen. I've gotten into the habit of putting the pen in places where it can't roll away. 
 
The steel nib on this pen is the same as that of the Sport model - a small nib that looks right at home on this tiny pen. 
 
 
fpn_1582973483__kaweco_liliput_fireblue_
 
fpn_1582973497__kaweco_liliput_fireblue_
 
fpn_1582973508__kaweco_liliput_fireblue_
 
 
The pictures above illustrate the size of the Liliput Fireblue in comparison with a standard Lamy Safari. Capped and uncapped, the Liliput lives up to its name. It truly is a tiny pen. The pen is meant to be posted, and then gets almost as big as an unposted Lamy Safari - a comfortable size to write with. 
 
Pen Characteristics
  • Build Quality :  a very sturdy pen, that can really take a beating. I typically carry it around in my pocket together with my keys. The torched fireblue finish with its rainbow of colours is totally beautiful when new, but doesn't age well with time. The colours fade away, and scratches don't look so good on the rainbow finish. After four years of use, I am left with a rather dull-looking steel pen. My guess is that the plain stainless steel Liliput will age more gracefully.
  • Weight & Dimensions : about 9cm when capped - and as such a small pen to carry around, perfect for an EDC pen. It's basically a small steel cylinder, the size of a sigaret. Being made of steel, the pen has some heft to it even despite its tiny size. Posted - the pen becomes a 12cm long fountain pen, that is comfortable to use even for longer writing sessions.
  • Filling System : this is a cartridge convertor pen, that fits small-size international cartridges. Kaweco sells a mini-convertor, but I have never used it. I find it much more convenient to just syringe-fill small cartridges. 
  • Nib & Performance : I find the steel nib perfectly sized for this tiny pen. A big plus is that the nib units are user-changeable. Kaweco sells nib units in the sizes EF-F-M-B-BB. I really appreciate that you can easily replace the nib unit. You don't have to fear damaging your nib, since you can easily replace it. You can also experiment with different nib sizes. Nib units cost about 10 EUR - not expensive. The F nib on my Liliput Fireblue wrote well out-of-the-box. From user experiences on this forum, Kaweco nibs seem to be hit and miss. I got lucky with mine: they never needed tuning. 
  • Price : about 149 EUR, including taxes. Quite expensive for such a tiny pen, especially when compared with the 79 EUR for the plain steel version. 

fpn_1582973527__kaweco_liliput_fireblue_
 
 
Conclusion
The Kaweco Liliput is a great pocket pen, with a really nice minimalistic look. This Fireblue steel variant of the Liliput is special only because of its hand-torched finish. For this you have to pay almost double the price of the regular steel version - that is quite a hefty surplus. The rainbow finish of the Fireble looks extraordinary beautiful when the pen is brand-new, but fades away with time, leaving you with a rather dull-looking pen. In my opinion, this hand-torched finish does not age well with time, and is certainly not worth the extra money.
 
The big question is: would I buy this pen again? To this, my answer is clear: NO. I like the Liliput form-factor, but not the Fireblue finish. It doesn't stand the test of time. In my opinion, you're better of with the plain steel version. Or better: get the Liliput Copper, which is definitely a winner that just gets more beautiful with each passing year.
 
 
 


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#2 Tseg

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 11:19

Fantastic review.  The first I’ve seen relative to durability of the torched metal look.  I have a Brass Sport that I really like... but after much use I find it slightly heavier than I would prefer during actual writing, which I think is more related to its thin section than overall weight.  The Lilliput version or different metal version may address this experience I have.  I regularly carry a Fisher bullet space pen which I suppose may be like the feel of the Lilliput.

 

Any experience with it in a plane?  Would the nib leak in pocket?  I fly a lot.



#3 Mannyonpil

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 16:28

Fantastic review.  The first I’ve seen relative to durability of the torched metal look.  I have a Brass Sport that I really like... but after much use I find it slightly heavier than I would prefer during actual writing, which I think is more related to its thin section than overall weight.  The Lilliput version or different metal version may address this experience I have.  I regularly carry a Fisher bullet space pen which I suppose may be like the feel of the Lilliput.

 

Any experience with it in a plane?  Would the nib leak in pocket?  I fly a lot.

All you need to do with any fountain pen in a plane is keep the nib up during take-off and ascent to cruising altitude. After that you should be fine, even to write in-flight. I have rarely had any problem observing this simple rule whenever I fly with fountain pens.



#4 Tseg

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 17:11

All you need to do with any fountain pen in a plane is keep the nib up during take-off and ascent to cruising altitude. After that you should be fine, even to write in-flight. I have rarely had any problem observing this simple rule whenever I fly with fountain pens.

 

All good if one remembers to take their EDC fountain pen out of their pants pocket.  I've heard rumor that the Sheaffer Pen For Men design has resulted in so issues flying with it resting at any angle, for instance.  My concern with a smaller pen, smaller feed and nib is it may be more prone to pressure changes if not positioned at the correct angle.  Just trying to verify actual experiences with this pen.



#5 Honeybadgers

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 19:07

All pens are a gamble on planes. I would just chuck the cartridge and put a new one in at my destination. You're wasting what, 20 cents for peace of mind?


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#6 timotheap

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 22:32

thanks for the review - I love having your feedback after a few years.

 

Personally I find the pen beautiful as it is in the pictures. But it's just too expensive for a pen that, after all, is only meant as a pocket pen. And for that I have a Kaweco sport that is more than enough (though I wish I'd chosen an EF nib for it).



#7 txomsy

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 22:59

I concur, I think I like more the aged look than the new look It is still expensive, though I can understand the extra price for the hand torching.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: pen pit stop, kaweco, liliput, fireblue



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