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Kaweco Sport Classic


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#1 stevo

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 01:51

4.0
First Impressions - The Kaweco intrigued me from the first I saw it. The practicality of it's design was obvious. And why not try one? They're only about $15 if you can find them. It's a simple plastic pen with a very compact design that truly fits into a pocket or purse. Yet, posted it's a full-sized pen in your hand. I opted for a pair of clear ones with the idea of creating eyedroppers pens. However, I don't fully trust it not to leak as an ED and frankly, I barely get through a converter full before I'm ready to switch inks. So no need to fill the thing full of ink.

Kaweco_Closed.jpg

3.0
Appearance & Finish - Overall, for a cheap pen, the fit and finish is fine. However, don't assume it will hold up to sporty treatment. While not quite as fragile feeling as the Itoya Blade or Platinum Preppy, it's still not something I would trust completely. It is still a molded plastic pen with mold marks and somewhat of a cheap feel. Don't expect it to feel or act like a Taccia Staccato! Why the 3.0? It's very homely. So the finish is fine, but it's certainly an ugly duckling.

Kaweco_whole_Pen.jpg

4.0
Design/ Size/Weight - Somewhere, I read that it's made of makrolon. Whatever the composition, it's not the cheap, brittle styrene of the Platinum Preppy. Instead, it resembles Lucite or Lexan. As you can see, mine is clear. I had thought to make it an eyedroppper pen, but I'm not real comfortable with carrying that in my pocket. So I will wait for the Monteverde converter to arrive. In the mean time, I'm syringe filling the cartridges that came with the pens. Also, notice the clip. That's $1.50 extra. I'm not sure I'll use the clips, but I got them any way. If I get a blue or black one, it won't have clips.

Notice that it has a threaded cap - not typical of pens in this price range. But that's part of the appeal - very practical features in a cheap pen. Also, the number of threads is just right - about a 3/4 turn to remove the cap. When you screw that cap on, it's very secure and any leaks of the nib are caught. Sorry for not posting a picture of it posted, but you can imagine that it's pretty substantial when you do. Closed, it's a mere 4" long. Posted, it's 5 1/4" long. Barrel diameter is 7/16" but the cap is 9/16" in diameter. And the cap is hexagonal - designed to not roll around on your table. Everything about this pen says "practicality"!

4.0
Nib Design & Performance - I got the fine nibs and I really like the way these write. Very smooth writers with little to no tooth. Instead, there is a slight amount of feedback typical of even the best fines. I think these are steel nibs with gold plating. I'm not even sure if the tip is rhodium or what. I don't really care, they are very smooth and have a slight bit of flex. Originally, they both wrote smooth and semi-wet. Now, one of them is skipping a bit, so I will clean and re-fill. One is loaded with Noodler's Red-Black while the other has Noodler's Zhivago. Zhivago is skipping.

Just look at that wonderful pool of Zhivago clinging to that nib!

Kaweco_Nib_Close.jpg Nib_Back2.jpg


4.0
The Filling System - Being compact, this pen doesn't have much room for ink. I hesitate to give it a bad mark because it doesn't try to be more than that. It takes international short cartridges and I'm syringe filling mine as I wait for Monteverde converters from Swisher.

Kaweco_Barrel_Off.jpg

5.0
Cost/Value - Let's face it. Any time you can find a truly compact pen that writes well, takes a converter, has a threaded cap and costs $15, you've found a pen that belongs in your collection. This is a backpacking pen - with Noodler's ink and Write-In-The-Rain notepads, it's hardley noticed until you need it. It's a ball game pen - cahiers and Kaweco and you can keep score while not feeling any burden in your pocket. It's a shopping pen - take that cahiers and Kaweco to the chain saw store and write down all the prices and specs. Wherever you need to go, it's easy to take with you. It writes well but doesn't feel like a purse pen. It's substantial enough to write for extended periods. Get the idea?

5.0
Overall Opinion/Conclusion - Great little pen for $15. I take one often when I'm going to the store or whatever. A Field Notes and a Kaweco in the pocket and I'm ready to go! There is a similar pen out there called the Kaweco Art Sport that is made of turned resin and even comes in 14kt gold nib if you want to pay for it. However, it's cost kind of ruins the utilitarian spirit that sprang up in me when I saw this pen. (I've seen them in the $100+ range with 14kt nibs.) I also plan to get a non-transparent one as I think it looks better aesthetically.

So why such high marks on such a cheap pen? It's really hard to find a fault with this homely little fellow. It's cheap but substantial enough to carry anywhere and writes well.

Edited by stevo, 16 September 2008 - 01:54.


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#2 andromedia226

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 02:36

Beauty's in the eye of the writer! It's a cute looking pen, and for the price, looks pretty cool.

#3 Possum Hill

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 04:09

If you want an eye dropper fill version, buy it from Swisher Pens. The barrel slides past the O-ring on the section, rather than compressing the O-ring between the a shoulder on the section and the end of the barrel like the converted Platinum Preppy's. So, even if the barrel starts to unscrew from the section, it can't leak until it unscrews entirely and slides off. That's unlikely, because the cap screws to the barrel, trapping section between inner cap and barrel.
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#4 RevAaron

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 19:53

Great job on the review- good details and photos!

I've seen a little variance with the nib/feed on these- I haven't come across your combo before. I just got a Sport from Swisher (not an ED), one of the 'classic' ones. The nib has no breather hole, but the same feed; the other two Sport Ices I've had both had breather holes and a feed that looked more like that on a modern Pelikan, no Death Star ventilation shaft.

The plastic in the translucent/transparent Sport Ices are sort of brittle, less durable than the solid colors, so if you're worried about being overly Sporty with yours it's an option.

/me is talking to a distributor in Germany to get some spare Sport nibs sent to him- Fine and Broad. Broads for making into cursive italics. smile.gif
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#5 Pengrump

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 20:02

QUOTE (Possum Hill @ Sep 16 2008, 12:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If you want an eye dropper fill version, buy it from Swisher Pens. The barrel slides past the O-ring on the section, rather than compressing the O-ring between the a shoulder on the section and the end of the barrel like the converted Platinum Preppy's. So, even if the barrel starts to unscrew from the section, it can't leak until it unscrews entirely and slides off. That's unlikely, because the cap screws to the barrel, trapping section between inner cap and barrel.



I second this suggestion. I have three of these retrofitted as ED fillers, and they are great. I had bad luck with my Preppies; they all leaked or cracked or wouldn't write. But I've one of these for over two years and never a problem. So at the D.C. Supershow, I bought two more.

#6 stevo

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 00:23

QUOTE (Pengrump @ Sep 16 2008, 09:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Possum Hill @ Sep 16 2008, 12:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If you want an eye dropper fill version, buy it from Swisher Pens. The barrel slides past the O-ring on the section, rather than compressing the O-ring between the a shoulder on the section and the end of the barrel like the converted Platinum Preppy's. So, even if the barrel starts to unscrew from the section, it can't leak until it unscrews entirely and slides off. That's unlikely, because the cap screws to the barrel, trapping section between inner cap and barrel.



I second this suggestion. I have three of these retrofitted as ED fillers, and they are great. I had bad luck with my Preppies; they all leaked or cracked or wouldn't write. But I've one of these for over two years and never a problem. So at the D.C. Supershow, I bought two more.



Now why on earth would you want to encourage me to buy yet another pen?

#7 stevo

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 00:25

QUOTE (RevAaron @ Sep 16 2008, 08:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Great job on the review- good details and photos!

I've seen a little variance with the nib/feed on these- I haven't come across your combo before. I just got a Sport from Swisher (not an ED), one of the 'classic' ones. The nib has no breather hole, but the same feed; the other two Sport Ices I've had both had breather holes and a feed that looked more like that on a modern Pelikan, no Death Star ventilation shaft.

The plastic in the translucent/transparent Sport Ices are sort of brittle, less durable than the solid colors, so if you're worried about being overly Sporty with yours it's an option.

/me is talking to a distributor in Germany to get some spare Sport nibs sent to him- Fine and Broad. Broads for making into cursive italics. smile.gif


I'm just wondering if the feed issues are related to the Zhivago ink. It worked well in my Safari, so I'm wondering if it's just the pen. It tends to be a hard starter. I flossed the nib and it didn't help. I may flush it out once.

Thanks

#8 RevAaron

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 02:01

QUOTE (stevo @ Sep 16 2008, 07:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm just wondering if the feed issues are related to the Zhivago ink. It worked well in my Safari, so I'm wondering if it's just the pen. It tends to be a hard starter. I flossed the nib and it didn't help. I may flush it out once.


It could be the nib- the tines look a bit far apart in the photo. I can try it out in my Sports- one w/ your feed and one with plain horizontal fins. Different feeling nibs on my two, so it might not say much. From where I am sitting it looks like it could be the nib anyway.
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#9 Ondina

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 05:54

The Kawecos are one of those brands in general that get surprisingly little coverage in this forum, and that are far superior to others. They are great pens at certainly good prices. The only drawback I find is the unavailability of a converter right off the box. Is a compact pen, I know, but we want it all!
Thanks for the review.

#10 RevAaron

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 06:00

Ondina- if only they came out with a modern Sport that mimiced the original! Posted, the pen is as long as a "51," and IMHO more comfortable to use. The original Sport posted right onto the piston knob, whereas the modern version has a couple inches of overlap, going in until the bottom of the barrel hits the threads in the cap.

I had some problems with the converters people suggest around here, specifically the Bantam (didn't fit, cracked a section) and the Monteverde (leaked) so I ended up just making a "converter" out of the sheared off top of a cartridge and a sac glued onto the bottom. Works just fine, and in a clear Sport you could see how much ink was left.

I agree about the Sport being superior to a lot of others- the nibs on the Sports I've used were all smoother than any steel nibbed Pelikan I've used. I think perhaps my experience with the steel Pelikan nibs has been uncommonly bad, but in the end, the nib on the Sport is hard to beat. Especially if you have Pendemonium do a CI grind for you. biggrin.gif
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#11 stevo

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 14:29

Man, it looks like we've pulled the Kaweco Sport users out of the shadows. I'm glad to hear that my experience isn't unique and that these are generally great little pens. Underrated for sure.

RevAaron - I'm surprised you can tell that much about the tines from the image. One of these afternoons I'll flush it and compare to the other pen. Could it be the ink?

I too have not had a good experience with Pelikan. My M200 came with a terribly scratchy nib that I had replaced. The replacement was almost as bad. The only reason I went for a third is because my wife's M150 is very smooth. I knew the potential was there. After the third scratchy nib, I finally broke out the optical fiber polishing kit. That didn't help initially until I went to a course grit (think 800) first then the polish grades. Now it's very smooth. But I really resent having to go through all that for an $80 pen when my $15 Kaweco is smooth out of the box as was my Lamy as was my Romet etc. etc.

#12 simonrob

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 15:14

QUOTE (stevo @ Sep 17 2008, 03:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Man, it looks like we've pulled the Kaweco Sport users out of the shadows. I'm glad to hear that my experience isn't unique and that these are generally great little pens. Underrated for sure.


I like my cheap modern Sport so much that I've also bought a vintage one - a black piston filler with an ink window, a couple of narrow decorative gold bands, and a flexible OM 14K nib that writes about as well as any nib I've met. Too bad it didn't cost $15....

Simon

#13 edbollix

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 16:22

Does anyone know where one of these fine pans can be had? Seems that most places don't have the transparent in stock.

#14 RevAaron

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 17:13

QUOTE (edbollix @ Sep 17 2008, 11:22 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Does anyone know where one of these fine pans can be had? Seems that most places don't have the transparent in stock.


I think Swisher does, possibly in the eyedropper ($5 more) as well.

not sure if this link works, but give it a whack:
http://store.nextern...o...wisher&All=

Unless you mean fine in the sense of "Fine" - like almost everyone, they only have the medium nib.
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#15 edbollix

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 01:20

good point (pun). I was looking for a fine point in transparent. No luck. I'll search a bit and perhaps one will turn up on ebay. Thank you for the tip (???).

#16 edbollix

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 01:31

Found a fine point in blue at writers block. I know Todd at I Sell Pens has the clips and PR in the carts. I am actually looking forward to have a cartridge pen; I think it will be handy for on the road. I looked and you can get the carts with a lot of the nice PR colors.

#17 jimhughes

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 03:20

QUOTE (edbollix @ Sep 17 2008, 07:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
good point (pun). I was looking for a fine point in transparent. No luck. I'll search a bit and perhaps one will turn up on ebay. Thank you for the tip (???).


Edbollix:
Writers Block sold me a transparent one in Fahn yesterday. I gotta quit looking at this sit it's causing me to buy too many pens and bust my budget. Swisher Pens has a load of them but few left in Fine in any colour. Check it out, Jim

#18 Juan in Andalucia

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 18:13

I have 2 Kaweco Sport (one plain black, one gilloche black; both with clips), and I "made" a converter for them. It's a parker slide type converter. I shortened it with a pocket knife (you have to cut both the end of the plunger and the black part of the barrel in the converter). Obviously it holds less ink but as a plus, once the converter is filled, you have a "safety lock" as you twist the slide part.

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#19 edbollix

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 03:37

Jim, Waiting to hear back on the transparent fines... I received my blue fine and like the look and design of this pen a lot. I didn't like the way it wrote at first but I emptied the cartridges that came with it and put some PR Lake Placid blue in there... Much nicer though I will be happy to get my PR American blue cartridges from I Sell Pens... This funny little pen is really growing on me.

#20 sharpclaw

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 04:39

QUOTE (stevo @ Sep 15 2008, 06:51 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It's very homely. So the finish is fine, but it's certainly an ugly duckling.
{laugh} The Kaweco Sport was the first fountain pen that I bought and tried, specifically because I thought it was adorable! It is still my favorite pen; I have a collection of Kaweco Sport fountain pens, in fact.

Good review of a good pen.






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