I can’t think of a maker that owns a sub-market as thoroughly as Kaweco owns the pocket fountain pen market. It is a Nakaya/urushi level of dominance in my mind.
Sure, there are other amazing pocket pens available - Schon DSGN and Fisher immediately come to mind - but Kaweco does it the best across the board. Entry level, mid-range, high end, plastic, metal, special editions, fountain, ballpoint, pencil - all of it. Who else owns a niche within a niche as thoroughly as they do?
Over the years, I moved from the plastic-bodied Sport models, to the aluminum AL Sport, to the Fireblue Lilliput, to my new favorite model: The Kaweco Steel Sport Fountain Pen. It’s the best of all worlds for what I need in a pocket carry pen.
The Steel Sport features a - wait for it - stainless steel barrel. What is it about stainless steel that I love so much in pens? It tends to land in a barrel weight sweet spot that is heavier than aluminum, and lighter than copper and brass. (Note: There is a ton of brand variance here. Primarily, how much they choose to core out of the barrel to shed weight.) The price point also falls in the middle, usually around the same upgrade price as titanium.
Stainless steel has a density and warmth that I enjoy in a pen barrel. It is also practically indestructible, which is what I want in a pocket pen. Not that I make a habit of running over it with my car, but I know if I toss it in a backpack, or in a pocket with keys, it is going to come out looking the same way as it did when it went into one of those locations.
And it is going to work immediately when I uncap it. That is what Kaweco has perfected. Style on its own is fine, but without performance you don’t have a product. I never have to worry about any Kaweco fountain pen giving me an issue when I uncap it and want to write.
As you may have noticed in the pictures, I swapped out the stock Kaweco Steel nib for a modified 14k gold Kaweco nib. It started life as a B nib, but now lives as a stub, and it is glorious. For all of the Kaweco fountain pens I own, I have two or three nibs I swap out between them. This started years ago when their nib quality control was subpar, but they have righted the ship on that front. The stock steel EF nibs I have received in the past year have been perfect right out of the box, so don’t hesitate to go with your preferred nib size if and when you buy one.
This setup is me. That’s what I look for in a writing experience. Maybe the stock offering is a perfect match - which happens frequently - but if I can upgrade the barrel, swap out the nib, and toss in a fun ink color (in this case, Graf von Faber-Castell Deep Sea Green,) then I am living my best analog life.
Kaweco pens are not for everybody. They require a different mindset than a traditional fountain pen. If you are interested, I suggest starting with one of the Classic or Sport models to see if the size and shape works for you. Those are some of my most used Kaweco pens, in fact. If that works well, then beware the rabbit hole of Kaweco goodness that awaits.
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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