I love beautiful fountain pens and I try my best to keep my pens in excellent condition. When I need to carry my pens outdoor, I usually carry the pens in pen pouches, in order to make sure that there will be no damage to the pens. In my opinion, this is essential for carrying any full sized pen made of light and less durable materials such as resin or cellulose acetate. However, sometimes you may not need to carry your favourite pen, but rather just need a pen that writes well enough, easy to carry, and durable. The pens that this review is going to cover are one good example in this pen category, the Kaweco AL Sport Stonewashed fountain pens.
Fountain Pens: Kaweco AL Sport Stonewashed Black & Kaweco AL Sport Stonewashed Blue
Nibs: Stainless steel medium nib & Stainless steel 1.1mm stub
Filling System: International standard cartridge/converter
Production: Regular edition
1. Packaging (9/10):
The pen comes with a simple but useful packaging. This pocket sized fountain pen is presented in a small tin box. The insert inside actually can fit two pens, which can be very useful if you have more than one Kaweco Sport pen, including but not limited to the Sport, AL sport, and BRASS Sport models. The insert is actually removable, so that the beautiful tin box can be converted to hold many pen accessories. Personally I use it to hold spare converters and empty ink cartridges. A cartridge is provided with the pen. Unfortunately, there is no converter. Considering the price of the pen, I wish a converter can be included in the packaging.
2. Pen Design (8/10):
These pens are very different from any of the pens that I have reviewed so far. Being a pocket pen, the Kaweco AL Sport Stonewashed fountain pens carry quite a unique design. The cap is relatively long and covers more than half of the pen body when capped. Its octagonal shape can stop the pen from rolling. By default the pen has no clip (which can be purchased separately). On one side of the cap, the lettering states “Kaweco AL Sport Germany”. I like where the lettering is placed. However it contains several different fonts, which looks a bit messy. On the top of the cap, there is a medallion, which shows the Kaweco logo. The silver coloured trim matches well with the black or blue pen body.
When uncapped, the pen barrel doesn’t have much decoration. The grip section is short but very comfortable to hold onto. The threads there are not sharp at all, and there is only a small step from the barrel to the grip section. The stainless steel nib on the pen is quite small. But considering this is a pocket sized pen, the small nib matches well with the overall pen design. The engravings on the nib are simple and clean.
The nib unit is easily removable by just twisting it. Users can have spare nibs of the same or different nib width switched onto the pen.
Once the cap is posted onto the pen, this tiny pen suddenly becomes a full sized pen. The cap posts deeply onto the barrel, which makes the pen perfectly balanced in weight.
In my opinion, the best feature that makes these pens great for daily carry is the stonewashed finish. The entire pen body is specially treated, so that it looks like the pen has been well used already. Even the hidden part that connects the grip section and the barrel is treated with this finish. Personally I really like it, because then I don’t have to worry about the pen getting scratched, when it is carried around. Overall, I think the design of the pen is really simple but beautiful.
3. Filling System (6/10):
The Kaweco AL Sport Stonewashed fountain pens accept international short cartridges. Since this is a pocket sized pen, it’s too short to allow the international long cartridge. Meanwhile that also makes the pen too short to fit many of the international standard converters. Kaweco has a very small squeeze converter that fits the pen well, but it doesn’t hold a lot of ink and certainly is not the easiest converter to fill or clean up.
Personally I use cartridges with these pens. But I wish there can be a converter that is easier to use, so that I can use bottled inks with this pen more conveniently.
4. Nib Performance (7/10):
Both the stainless steel medium nib and the 1.1mm stub write right out of the box. They write consistently without hard start or skipping issues. Compared to most of the other stainless steel nibs that I have, these nibs seem to write on the drier side. Personally I prefer the nibs with a more generous ink flow. Even though they are not my favourite nibs, I still like their quality and they fit well on pocket pens, since these pens are probably not for long writing sessions, but rather for taking quick notes. A nib with less ink flow may help the ink on the paper dry out faster.
5. Pen Cleaning and Maintenance (10/10):
The Kaweco AL Sport Stonewashed fountain pens are easy to clean. The nib unit can be flushed by either using an international standard converter or bulb syringe. Since the pens already have the stonewashed finish, they don’t really need much protection to keep them from getting scratched. The aluminum pen body also is quite strong and durable.
Pen Design: 8/10
Filling System: 6/10
Nib Performance: 7/10
Pen Cleaning and Maintenance: 10/10
The Kaweco AL Sport Stonewashed fountain pens are excellent pocket sized pens with high build quality and consistent nib performance. They are not the pens that I use all the time, but as pocket pens, they are durable and the nib performance fits their main usage well. I think they are a good option for anyone looking for a small fountain pen that is easy to carry and maintain, and writes reliably every time.