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Pen Pit Stop : Kaweco Liliput Copper



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Pen Pit Stop : Kaweco Liliput Copper
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.
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The fountain pen that arrives at the pit stop today is the "Kaweco Liliput Copper." 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 untreated copper which quickly develops a beautiful patina.
I bought this pen in August 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 3 years now. Let's have a closer look at it.
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Pen Look & Feel
This 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 along the top of the cap is the pen's designation "Kaweco Liliput Germany." The pen is truly tiny - I typically carry this Liliput in my pocket along with my keys. Because it's a workhorse pen, you don’t have to worry about it getting scratched or dented. This pen is meant to take a beating, and gets its character from the patina and scratches it accumulates during its lifetime.
I never polished my pen, and in the three plus years I've been using it, the Liliput developed a really beautiful dark patina. One thing to note: the original branding of my pen on the cap's finial and the small engraving on the cap's side have completely been covered by the patina the pen has developed. On the picture below only a faint shadow of the original Kaweco logo remains on the top of the cap. Give it a few more months, and all branding will have disappeared. I couldn't care less - I totally like the weathered look of my pen.
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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 really 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 again on the back of the barrel. Personally I don't mind the few moments this takes. I've gone Zen about it... 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 tendeny 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 my 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.
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The pictures above illustrate the size of the Liliput Copper in comparison with a standard Lamy AL-star. 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 AL-star - 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. As such, the pen accumulates lots of scratches, but it is designed for this, and this abuse gives the pen its character. My pen also developed a really nice patina that looks simply beautiful. This copper pen aged 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 copper cylinder, the size of a sigaret. Being made of copper, the pen has some heft to it even despite its tiny size. Posted - the pen becomes a 12cm long fountain pen, that's 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 EF nib on my Liliput Copper 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 89 EUR, including taxes. Not cheap for such a tiny pen, but in my opinion still great value for money.

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Conclusion
The Kaweco Liliput Copper is a great pocket pen, with a really nice minimalistic look. This is a very sturdy pen, that's meant to take a beating. My pen has developed a really nice patina over the years, and manages to maintain its looks even with the many scratches it has accumulated in its lifetime. This truly is a pen that looks better with age.
The big question is: would I buy this pen again? To this, my answer is a resounding: YES. As an EDC pocket pen, you can't go wrong with this Liliput Copper. I certainly love my tiny writer!
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  • tinta

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  • namrehsnoom

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  • Barkingpig

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  • inkstainedruth

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Thank you for another look @ one of my favorite pens.

 

I bought mine a few years ago when the fire branded Liliput was introduced because I had enjoyed my Kaweco Sports & wanted to see the Liliput to compare. I always hoped Kaweco would make the Sport in a copper version, until I purchased the brass Al Sport & realised I didn't like the weight of it. The smaller size of this pen means the heavier metal is not a detriment & I think enhances the feel of the pen when in use. I also appreciate the ensuing patina of the copper, while I felt the brass Al Sport merely looked dirty. This is the only Liliput I have but am glad I purchased mine as well.

 

It convinced me that the fire branded one wouldn't have been worth the additional cost after I had this one "in hand."

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inkstainedruth

Thanks for the review.

I keep looking at the Liliput Fire Blue -- but can't justify the price. And I really prefer converters over cartridges, but have not heard good things about the Kaweco converters.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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Kaweco sells nib units in the sizes EF-F-M-B-BB.

They also sell 1.1 and 1.5 stubs. See this discussion. The Liliput is a nice little pen. I opted to go for its larger sibling, the Supra Brass. Great pens!

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inkstainedruth - I agree that the Kaweco converter designed for the Liliput pen isn't a good substitute for cartridges. I'm a huge Kaweco Liliput pen fan, and use 0.2ml 'disposable' transfer pipettes to refill my ink cartridges. The pipettes are compact and inexpensive, so its as easy to refill an ink cartridge with a pipette as it is to replenish a converter with ink. The pipettes can be used multiple times, and cost less than 10 cents each on Amazon - when purchased in bulk.

 

BTY - the Kaweco Fire Blue is very nice pen :) I've found the process that creates the Fire Blue finish provides the pen with a very pleasant tactile surface finish, as compared to the surface finish of the Liliput stainless steel pen.

 

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  • 1 year later...

Great review. I do miss the look mine had when it was new, shiny and pinky, but do appreciate the aged look it is developing as well. So much so that I'm considering getting another Lilliput.

 

One detail, mine is inked most of the time. It may be for that reason, but it is developing a much darker colour close to the nib. Anyway, it is still very nice, though. Or maybe it isn't, but that is why I like it, because it looks battered and old. Age, is a privilege.

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thank you for the review.

This is a nice little pen and a very tough one.

I own the brass version with the wave pattern. This is a carry pen that can take a beating.

The very few complaints: as you mentioned the nibs are not always perfect, mine was starved, tines too tight, I had to work on it to get better flow. The cartridge is a bit of a nuisance, but syringe filling is not so complex after all. The threads can be a little sharp on my fingers... but all in all still a great pen to use.

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Great review. I have the Brass Sport, but heavier than appropriate for such a thin section, or a balance issue... I hate that I may have to try(buy) this one.

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Honeybadgers

The only reason I don't own this version is that I hate screw post pocket pens that are too small to use unposted. the slowness with which they're deployed kinda negates their utility as a pocket pen.

 

I prefer the ensso minimalist for that reason. It just uses O rings on either end for a tight, easily serviced slip cap.

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)

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  • 3 weeks later...
cgreenberg19

Great review. I had a Lilliput in copper, but it was a bit heavy for me so I picked it up in the black finish. Kaweco midnight blue is a great ink.

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Congrats. Thanks for reviewing this model. They are great little pens.

Enjoy!

My constant companion is the stainless steel version of this series. I wonder how the copper & ss. compare in weight

 

Edited by tinta

*Sailor 1911S, Black/gold, 14k. 0.8 mm. stub(JM) *1911S blue "Colours", 14k. H-B "M" BLS (PB)

*2 Sailor 1911S Burgundy/gold: 14k. 0.6 mm. "round-nosed" CI (MM) & 14k. 1.1 mm. CI (JM)

*Sailor Pro-Gear Slim Spec. Ed. "Fire",14k. (factory) "H-B"

*Kaweco SPECIAL FP: 14k. "B",-0.6 mm BLS & 14k."M" 0.4 mm. BLS (PB)

*Kaweco Stainless Steel Lilliput, 14k. "M" -0.7 mm.BLS, (PB)

 

 

 

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Thanks for reviewing this model. They are great little pens.

Enjoy!

My constant companion is the stainless steel version of this series. Mine has a stubbed "B" nib.

I wonder how your copper & my stainless compare in weight.

 

*Sailor 1911S, Black/gold, 14k. 0.8 mm. stub(JM) *1911S blue "Colours", 14k. H-B "M" BLS (PB)

*2 Sailor 1911S Burgundy/gold: 14k. 0.6 mm. "round-nosed" CI (MM) & 14k. 1.1 mm. CI (JM)

*Sailor Pro-Gear Slim Spec. Ed. "Fire",14k. (factory) "H-B"

*Kaweco SPECIAL FP: 14k. "B",-0.6 mm BLS & 14k."M" 0.4 mm. BLS (PB)

*Kaweco Stainless Steel Lilliput, 14k. "M" -0.7 mm.BLS, (PB)

 

 

 

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