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Kaweco Classic Sport: Personal Thoughts


c_b_fox
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Hey folks.

 

This is my first "review". Well, not really a review, more some personal thoughts after attempting to use a Kaweco Classic Sport for a very specific purpose.

 

First, let me state for the record I'm new to serious fountain pens. As a pre-teen some 30 years ago, I'd expressed early interest in calligraphy and written language, and my parents encouraged me with an inexpensive Speedball dip pen set. That's about all my experience until this year, when I decided to start getting into the fountain pen hobby seriously.

 

For my birthday, my wife gifted me a bottle of Diamine Shimmertastic "Purple Pazzazz" ink, something I didn't feel comfortable using in the either of the pens I already owned, both TWSBI 580s. So, since I confess a fascination with demonstrator pens, I started hunting for an inexpensive, eyedropper-capable demonstrator with a broad nib to use with this ink.

 

I saw the Kaweco Classic Sport Clear, watched a bunch of Youtube reviews which said it should be easily eyedropper-convertible, and then picked one up for ~$25 off eBay.

 

When the pen arrived, I was struck by how cheap and light the plastic felt, and how "unfinished" it appeared. This does not feel like a $25 pen to me. First impressions aside, I greased the threads where the section meets the barrel, shook the bottle of shimmery ink well, and then loaded the barrel with Purple Pazzazz.

 

The pen wrote well, but the gold shimmer in the ink would last only a few letters before requiring a good shake to the pen, which caused some ink to splatter from the nib. I took to recapping the pen every few words to shake it with the cap on, which ended up just getting ink into the cap. More on that later.

 

So, clearly not a combination for everyday writing. That's OK, as I wasn't expecting it to be. I wanted to use this pen and ink for envelopes, notes to my wife, etc. not writing a paper. However, eventually, the gold fleck stopped appearing in the ink on paper at all, no matter how much shaking to redistribute the particulate in the barrel of the pen. Eventually, I decided to go ahead and disassemble and thoroughly clean the pen.

 

What I found was that the gold fleck had effectively clogged the feed completely. Only the liquid portion of the ink could make it through to the nib and onto the paper.

 

Along the way I discovered two other items about the Kaweco Classic Sport that should give one pause when considering an eyedropper conversion. First, and most importantly, ink gets trapped between the nib unit or nib collar and the clear section. Since on this model there appears to be no way to completely remove the collar from the section, there's no way to easily flush out that trapped ink. It's unsightly, and I think could interfere with using different colored inks in this pen. Lastly, the ink that gets into the cap ends up trapped behind the white translucent plastic inner cap, and seems also nearly impossible to get out entirely.

 

Overall, a disappointing experience. I think the Kaweco Classic Sport is a decent pen, but not a $25 pen. I cannot recommend using it as an eyedropper, unless you plan to use the same ink all the time and don't mind the trapped ink in the section and cap. Lastly, it's not a good choice for inks with particulate. They clog the feed, and the particulate flow is neither good nor consistent when it does work.

 

On a more positive note, used with cartridges, the Classic Sport seems like a decent if overpriced pocket pen that will write consistently. The nib was OK. A touch "tactile" on smooth paper, but no skipping or hard starts.

 

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@c_b_fox, thanks for posting this 'review' - I think you've hit a few nails on the head with it!

 

I think it's worth pointing out, for starters, that though the plastic Kaweco Sports pens are a popular choice for eye-droppering, they're *not* designed for it - and you're not the only person I've heard of who found that the ink got caught between the grip section and the nib collar.

 

Secondly, my experience with the Kawecos is that they tend to write on the dry side, and need a fair bit of 'encouragement' to get a more generous ink flow - so it doesn't surprise me to hear that you had clogging issues with a sparkly ink.

 

I've got a few Kaweco Sports Classics in my collection (plus an AL Sport), and I'm pretty happy with them. In the grand scheme of things, $25 for a German-made pen is not a bad deal - but like most pens they're designed for a purpose (everyday writing, preferably with an ink cartridge), and they're not always as adaptable to other uses as you might want them to be.

 

One last thought: I have about 6 different sparkly inks (or is it 7? - 3 from J. Herbin, 4 from Diamine), and I find you have to be a bit choosy which pens you use them in. Definitely better in a broad nib, with (I suspect) a larger feed channel - and if it's a pen you can easily dismantle (my TWSBI Ecos for example), it's better all round.

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Thanks for the feedback, @jamerelbe!

 

I guess I knew that the Kaweco Sport Classic isn't advertised as an eyedropper, and that it's very likely not supported or warrantied should something go awry. The video reviews I watched seemed so confident it had worked for the reviewers, I decided to give it a go. Oh well, it's not a huge loss for me, and it was a good learning experience. The pen still works, and I may give it another go with ink cartridges once I get my hands on some. It would make a nice pocket pen.

 

Thanks for the tip about the TWSBI Eco. I love my 580s, and adding a broad-nib Eco to my collection just for shimmery inks is something I'll definitely consider.

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