Kaweco Steel Sport Fountain Pen Review14 February 2018
Ah, metal pens, they get me every time. And the Kaweco Sport, that does too. A classic design: distinctive, timeless, and useful.
There’s no point me trying to build up any kind of suspense. I love this pen.
Price: £89 (with a stainless steel nib)
Filling method: short international cartridge
Barrel options: there are lots of other Sports with different designs and materials
Nib options: extra-fine, fine, medium, broad, double broad, all in stainless steel; there are gold nibs available, for a price
Size: 10.8cm capped, 13.3cm posted; 1.4cm around the cap
The octagonal cap covers more than half the barrel when closed, making the pen small enough to pocket or pop in a bag (and it’s robust enough to deal with being knocked about a bit). However, once unscrewed and pushed onto the other end of the barrel, it lengthens the pen to make it almost full-sized and very comfortable to hold and write with. The cap posts securely and doesn’t move about at all.
It also looks fab.
Stainless steel is an evocative material. It speaks of traditional manufacturing, honest workmanship, durable products. It’s down-to-earth and authentic. Kaweco have done it justice with this pen. It’s unfussy, with just ‘Kaweco STEEL Sport Germany’ etched on one facet of the cap. The steel is brushed on the diagonal, adding some very subtle flair.
Kaweco’s nibs are more reliable when slim: extra-fine, fine and medium are usually good, whereas broad and extra-broad can be a little hit and miss. This pen came with a medium nib but I did what I always do and swapped in the one Kaweco 14k gold medium nib I have. The Kaweco gold nib is expensive, as are all replacement gold nibs: £99 (£129 if you want it rhodium plated). Buying any Sport with a gold nib makes for a very expensive pen but most Kaweco pen models can use the same nib. If you have several Kaweco pens then buying one gold nib to swap into whichever pen you currently want to use is a much more practical proposition. A gold nib with this pen isn’t essential, the steel nibs are usually good, but it does make the writing experience feel more luxurious: a little smoother and a touch of bounce.
The Sport line uses short standard international cartridges, which are readily available in a wide range of colours. Although Kaweco have made a few attempts at producing a converter for the Sport, they’ve not been great, and so if you want to use bottled inks you’ll need to refill cartridges with a syringe.
At 40g this isn’t a light pen although it’s a tiny touch lighter than the brass version. For me, it’s comfortable to hold for extended periods but that might not be the case for everyone. The section, although metal, has a tiny touch of texture to it which aids the grip.
I love this pen. Have I said that already? I know it’s not for everyone but if the material speaks to you, then I think you’ll love it too.
Classic and practical design
Poor converter options
This pen was loaned to me by Kaweco for the purposes of this review. I’m buying one of my own.