Everyone knows I am a big Kaweco fan, especially of the AL Sport Fountain Pen which I currently own four of. Its close relative, the AL Sport Ballpoint, had been on my wish list for ages until I finally bought one a few months back. I was really excited when I first got it, but that excitement waned quickly for a few reasons.
I knew going into it that the ballpoint refill was going to be poor. That's fine, and was actually a big selling point to me because it takes D1 refills, meaning I can load it with the Zebra Sharbo X 0.4 mm gel ink refills that I like so much. The hand written review above is done with the stock refill. The best compliment I can give it is that it is usable. The lines and tip are clean, but the ink color is far too light - you can tell how hard I was pressing in an effort to darken it up.
It is also a loud pen. This is a product of the combination of aluminum construction materials and the retractable mechanism. The moving parts and the metal on metal areas of the pen cause some noise when writing. Lots of click-clack going on. What really did not work for me with the Kaweco AL Sport Ballpoint is the barrel length. It comes up about 1/4" short of where I am comfortable writing with it for any length of time. Unfortunately for me, the stylus-equipped version of this pen showed up online about a week after I received my standard model. I think the extra length would have made all the difference in my opinion of this pen. As it stands, it made the "Truly Disappointed" list in Episode 32 of the podcast.
It all worked out in the end though, as I was able to trade this pen to a Pen Addict reader for an EF nib unit for my Vanishing Point. The Kaweco AL Sport Ballpoint is working out very well for him and just goes to show you how a pen that doesn't work so well for you can work great for someone else.