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Spoiler alert; my search for the ideal beginner's pen is over. Well at least for now 😅 This was a pen I got from the proprietor of one of UAE's two pen shops, Pens Corner, at the Pelikan Hub 2019 in Abu Dhabi. Though people consider this as an insanely inexpensive pen, I had to think over it for a while since my pen budget is pretty low and I am not accustomed to pens this size. People who know me well would know that I love oversized pens the most as majority of my pens are Indian oversizes in ebonite. So this pen was really a gamble, but I totally hit the jackpot with this one. Design and Appearance: The Kaweco Sport debuted in 1911 as a pocket pen. The modern iteration has an octagonally faceted cap and a round barrel that ends in a slight conical shape. Both of these are almost equal in length, however, the cap is much wider in diameter. This allows for the cap to post, rendering an otherwise puny pen totally usable. The cap tapers slightly towards the top and has a conical insert on it. It also bears 'Kaweco Sport' on one of its facets. The barrel ends with an edge is ridged. Mine has an aged appearance and I feel adds a nice vintage charm. The section is designed to be concave and is proportionally aesthetic to the body. This pen is not going to win any beauty contest, but that's not the point. This pen is meant to be functional. And functional, it highly is. The pen doesn't come with a clip but you can buy them separately. They are available in two designs, and I got the vintage styled curved clip. This clip is IMHO one of the best looking clips out there. The end is diamond shaped and has a few engravings. The clip attaches with a ring like thing that is also faceted to match the facets on the barrel. The facets on the clip has 'since 1883', the Kaweco logo, and GERMANY engraved on them. I'll be entirely honest here and say that I got the clip only for the looks. The functionality is somewhat limited as the clip tends to come off the cap when you apply more force to clip the pen. I avoid this problem by putting my index finger against the top of the clip and then it clips with no issues. Construction and Quality: This pen is made of a sturdy plastic that I recall reading as ABS. At this price point, you shouldn't really expect any remarkable finishing and this pen certainly shows it was made to fit a price point. The polishing isn't the best, as there were a few visible micro scratches on the barrel that has accumulated even more scratches where the cap posts. I baby all my pens so this hasn't scratched up as heavily as a friend's Ice Sport that he carries around in his pencil pouch along with other things. Filling System: The pen is designed to take both cartridges and converters. But the size means that it can only take some of the mini converters out there and I'm not sure it'll even take a long International cartridge. You can eyedropper fill this pen but it dose have a caveat, that ink seeps in through the section and friction fit nib collar and leaks out through the end of the section. But this does have a fix. Using the cartridge that came along or any empty cartridge as a knockout rod, you can knock out the nib collar and grease it with silicone grease. Now you can safely ED your pen and enjoy the high ink capacity and increased ink flow Nib and Writing Comfort: Here's where the pen doesn't kid you. The nibs on these are stainless steel, from Bock and are engraved with all the things as on the clip, and also the nib width. The feed is plastic. My medium nib came perfectly writing with average wetness and a light feedback. While totally usable as it was, I smoother it a bit and increased the ink flow since I prefer uber smooth nibs with a really wet, almost gushing ink flow. The writing sample is with Camlin Blue. Since it is a pocket pen, the section on it is a bit small for me and feels a bit thin but I also have bear paws for hands 🤷♂️ Final Thoughts: This pen is appropriately priced but I really cannot understand why the clip isn't provided and costs as much as it does. I mean there are pens much cheaper that come with sturdy clips. I wouldn't consider this a fair argument though since the pen is meant to be tossed around and not clipped to your pocket, so I'm not complaining. I also get that some people have had terrible experiences with their nibs with dryness and baby's bottom being the most common. But I cannot deny that I love this pen. Much more than the Pilot Metropolitan, Lamy Safari and family, or the TWSBI Eco. In fact, I've got a second one, the Goldspot exclusive turquoise demonstrator that is currently with a friend. Just waiting for this coronashit to die down and normalcy return to this world.
Kaweco ICE Sport Black FP Review Source Kaweco sent me this pen in return for an honest review. The Smokey Grey ink cartridges were included in the box. I’ve been using this pen for over 3 months now, so I think I have given myself plenty of time to get to know it. History (reproduced from the Kaweco web-site) Kaweco - In 1883 the manufacturer of high-quality writing instruments was founded in Heidelberg Germany. Kaweco has been producing a wide range of fine writing pens and has been setting a great value on classy design and high standard manufacturing. The first Kaweco Sport was founded in 1912 as a pocket fountain pen for ladies, officers and sportsmen. In 1930 the brands and models of Kaweco and Aurumia fused and the Ka We Co three part circle emerged. This circle is still used today on nearly all of it’s pens. Even Sepp Herberger already appreciated these characteristics. It was with a Kaweco Sport that the former coach of the German national soccer team wrote on a piece of paper his winning tactics which brought the Germans to the world cup in 1954. In 1993 H & M Gutberlet GmbH made it’s first prototypes for a relaunch of the Kaweco Sport under the name Trekking, but gained and registered the rights to rename as Kaweco in 1994. The Kaweco Sport was newly produced as a cartridge holder in 1995, but the design remained the same as the 1935 model. In 2000 the first Limited Sport edition was produced in green celluloid, and the AL Sport as well as the Art Sport were launched in 2003. Kaweco's product range is perfectly described by the keywords "tradition" and “innovation" Appearance and Design The Kaweco ICE Sport starts off as a small and compact pen until you remove it’s octagonal shaped cap, and replace it on the end of the barrel to make a decent sized fountain pen in your hand. It's one of the very few fountain pens that I use with a posted cap. The ICE Sport range differs from the Skyline and Classic range in having a transparent barrel. It has platinised accents like the Skyline Sport, and comes with a steel nib. I love the very attractive milled edge on the end of the barrel. Kaweco supply a standard steel nib unit, with iridium tip, with this pen, that matches it’s Kaweco platinised plated metal cap emblem as well as the silver coloured ‘Kaweco Sport’ script on the barrel. This pen has a black grip, a transparent barrel and a transparent black cap. You can buy this pen with or without a matching clip that costs extra. It comes in a standard sized Kaweco Sport cardboard box. Construction and quality Although this pen is made from plastic, it feels quite well made and fairly substantial in your hand and performs as well as many full sized pens. It’s lightweight, but doesn’t feel flimsy, and it has a nice size, well shaped grip. The cap is intended to be posted on the barrel for all Sport pens and the pen feels nicely balanced in your hand when the cap is posted on the barrel. As always with Kaweco Sport pens, the cap and the barrel screw together very well for a close fit, on smoothly machined screw threads. Weight and Dimensions Weight: 10grams. Measurements: Closed; 105mm, Posted; 135mm, Nib; 17mm. Nib and Performance The steel nib units for this pen come as a complete front part section, as opposed to the screw in nib and feed units that Kaweco make for their metal Sport pens. So you can swap in any Kaweco ‘Front Part with nib’ into this pen. You can usually buy them from Kaweco stockists. They are available in nib sizes EF /F / M / B / BB. An octagonal clip in chrome to match can be purchased separately. Unusually, I found this pen to be difficult to start and a dry writer when I first fitted the Smokey Grey cartridge. I had to remove the cartridge again, and clean out the pen before reinserting the cartridge and trying again. it performed much better after I had cleaned it out. Maybe there were some remains of machine oil that stopped the flow of ink before I cleaned it out. On my second attempt, I was impressed with the smoothness of the nib, that needed no tip adjustment at all. It gave me a smooth writing experience that rivalled that of some gold nibs in more expensive pens. There is no flex with these steel nibs, but I don’t really mind that. I don’t particularly buy fountain pens because I want a flexible nib. Filling system and Maintenance Kaweco sent me a couple of pens to review, and in with them are two packs of cartridges in two brand new colours. These are Sunrise Orange and Smokey Grey. I selected a Smokey Grey cartridge for the Black ICE Sport. The cartridges are standard International Short cartridge size. If you’re looking for a pen with a sophisticated piston filling system, then you might be disappointed with this pocket-sized pen. Kaweco make two different converters that would fit this pen, the Kaweco Squeeze Converter “Sport” and the Kaweco Mini Converter. However, I only used the Smokey Grey cartridge with it for the purposes of this review. I find that both types of Sport converters generally contain less ink than a cartridge, but either one is useful if you want to use bottled ink. It isn’t a difficult pen to clean out. I just used an ear bulb and pushed some lukewarm water through it to clean out the ink after I had used it. The ink was non staining and it is an attractive addition to the Kaweco range of ink colours for people who like grey inks. I’m not a great fan of grey inks, and found this one a little light for my usual tastes, but I had no performance issues with it. Cost and Value I found the Kaweco ICE Sport pen for sale at Hamilton Pen Company for £17.95 in the UK, but black wasn’t one of the colour options in stock. In the US they are available from JetPens for $25 and Pen Chalet for $27. Seitz-Kreuznach, Germany also sells Kaweco pens at reasonable prices via their web-site, Amazon or ebay Overall Opinion Kaweco Sport pens have a really good screw cap that prevents their cartridges from drying out, and I have always liked that in these pens. I also like the way they are compact pocket sized pens that extend into good size pens that are easy to write with. I'm quite a fan of Kaweco Sport pens and have a small collection of them. So, all in all, I really like this pen and I would recommend it especially if you like ICE transparent pens so that you can see the ink colour through the barrel. Writing sample: Kaweco Smokey Grey ink cartridge From the Kaweco web-site: Pocket fountain pen with steel nib and iridium tip for ink cartridges. Closed version has a length of only 10.5 cm and open version 13.5 cm. Available in the nib sizes EF / F / M / B / BB - with and without clip.
When I first saw the Kaweco Sport my inital impression was something along the lines of, 'who would pay so much for something so cheap looking?' I disliked everything about the design and could not see myself paying $25 for a half pint pen made of plastic that doesn't even come with a clip. There was no way that the Kaweco Sport cost much to make, so the $25 price tag struck me as extremely unreasonable. Eventually I began to see the need for a smaller, more portable pen...and of course the Kaweco Sport was one of my few options. That was when I discovered the Ice Sport. The Ice Sport may look less substantial than the Classic or the Skyline, but something about the design really attracted me. The readily available italic nibs made it difficult for me to completely discount the Kaweco as an option, but the design still bugged me. While searching for other viable options the Ice Sport kept creeping into my mind, growing in my brain like a virus. Eventually I broke down and purchased an Ice Sport in green with a 1.1 nib, "nostalgia" clip, and squeeze converter...total cost $44.50 (with free shipping). I had just spent nearly $50 on a pen that a few months ago I wouldn't have thought twice about, all because I needed a small, reliable pen that looked nice and had an italic nib. When the pen arrived I was a little underwhelmed, but I already knew that I was not crazy about the design, the real test would be performance. I switched out the fine nib for the italic, cleaned and dried the pen, popped in the provided Kaweco blue cartridge, and gave it a go. After a week of use I decided that I had made a huge mistake. The pen was a lot lighter than I was used to, the ink flow was inconsistent at best, and even though the squeeze converter worked its performance was less than desirable. I switched feeds (which helped a bit), adjusted the tines, tried various inks...and still ended up with less than desirable results. Eventually something clicked. I don't know if it was an adjustment, letting the pen sit and dry out for a while, or something else, but the pen just began to work properly. After having my Kaweco Ice Sport for more than three months it is now writing like a champ, I have figured out how to best use the squeeze converter, and I have become used to the light weight. Had this been a less expensive pen I might have shelved it and moved on, but thanks to a determination to give this pen as much of a chance as possible I eventually pulled through. Here are my thoughts now that my pen actually works as it should: DESIGN (2/5): I like the compactness and octagonal cap. I love the Nostalgia clip (which I had to buy separately) and chrome cap button, the chrome accents lend a little bit of class to the pen. The screw on cap and slip on posting are excellent design choices. These are all good design points, but they are also where my good feelings toward the design of this pen end. I still think that the pen is ugly (albeit so ugly that it's kind of cool). When capped the pen has more play than I find acceptable, I can easily rock it from side to side in spite of being screwed down. I also really dislike how lightweight the pen is, it just does not feel substantial. The inconsistent ink flow is a big issue that I attribute to poor feed design (after much research I have discovered that I am far from the only person to come to this conclusion). With a slightly longer barrel this pen could have used a better converter, but as it stands the only options are a less than stellar converter, short cartridges, or a less than perfect eyedropper conversion (and I do not trust eyedropper pens). Overall the design flaws just can not be canceled out by the positives. NIB (4/5): Kaweco nibs are made by Bock, they look great and perform beautifully. The nib and feed are friction fit and is easy to change out, which is always a plus in my book. I really like the fine nib, but the italic nib is the one that I use most often. The italic nib is nice and smooth and provides a very crisp line without any issues (when the ink flow is not spotty). My only issue with the nib is that the line tends to be a bit thick and is probably the thickest "1.1" nib that I own. PERFORMANCE (4/5): In spite of the less than stellar design and issues with ink flow, when this pen works properly it works really well. The compact design, crisp nib, and sturdy clip makes this my pen of choice when I am out and about. It does what I need it to do and does not take up much space. Once I got used to the weight I found the pen comfortable to use, even when using it for longer passages. VALUE (2/5): $25 for a half sized plastic pen, really? A converter that is not provided with the pen and normally holds less ink than a short cartridge? AND THE CLIP IS EXTRA? I may have come around to this pen, but I can't say that it is a good value with a straight face. A pen is worth whatever you are willing to pay for it, but just because you are willing to pay the price does not mean that it is a good value. I think that the Sport (even without considering the extra cost of the relatively well priced italic nib) is overpriced. I think that the aluminum version is even more of a price gouge. It took me months of debating and researching before I was willing to shell out for the Ice Sport, and even then I was still pretty hesitant. This is not a value pen, but that is not why most folks buy it and as long as you know what you're getting into then you will not be disappointed. OVERALL (3/5): This is a pen that was hard for me to love. It took quite a lot of adjustment, experimentation, and the pen growing on me in a slow fungus-like manner before I was happy about owning a Kaweco Ice Sport. Had the pen worked well from the get go, I would probably have a higher overall opinion of this pen, but it didn't. I am currently happy with the pen, but the long road that I had to travel to get here was too much for me to be able to give the Kaweco Ice Sport a higher rating. I am certain that this pen cost only a small fraction of its retail price to make and the fact that the clip and converter are extra just adds to this manufacturing cost/profit formula. In the end, I am happy with the pen and gladly to use it on a regular basis, but I am not certain that I would have bought this pen had I known how much it would take for me to like it.
by Tony Thomas The Kaweco Ice Sport is a bit overpriced (about $27). That said, it is a handy little fountain pen. Don't let its small size fool you. It writes great and feels pretty good in the hand when capped.... More at: http://thefrugalfountainpen.blogspot.com/2015/01/kaweco-ice-sport.html