Those are my thoughts in a nutshell on the Kaweco Mini Fountain Pen Converter. This isn’t a bad product, but it’s not a good one either. Let’s dig in.
Converters for Kaweco fountain pens have always been sought after. The small barrels in the Sport and Liliput lines don’t take traditional converters - the barrels are too short. But people love their Kaweco’s - myself included - so news of any converter that fits is always met with excitement.
The previous attempt was the Kaweco Squeeze Converter, and it was a failure. Good idea, but it didn’t work. You could barely pull in enough ink to get you through the day, which made trying to use it a frustrating experience.
The new Mini Converter is a piston style converter that does pull in more ink than the Squeeze, but it is only slightly less frustrating to use.
First of all, it only fits the Sport models, not the Liliput. I didn’t realize this initially, thinking the piston rod would somehow remain flush with the end of the converter when filled. That’s not how this converter works. You attach it to the nib unit, dip the nib into the bottle, pull the piston back to fill, and leave it in that position. That added length doesn’t fit inside of the Liliput, as I found out the hard way when screwing the barrel back together. #InkyFingers
Once I realized the mistake I made, I grabbed an AL Sport and started over. The second issue, which you will see in the video below, is that it is a two handed operation to fill. That’s not abnormal, but due to the small size I had to stick my left thumb and index finger practically inside the top of the ink bottle to pull back the piston properly. There isn’t a lot of room to work with. And this bottle is 90% full. I imagine you will have an even harder time with ink bottles under 50% full.
When I went to screw the AL Sport back together, the fully extended piston still hit the back end of the barrel. This caused ink to once again to come out of the nib as I tightened everything back up. In the end it fit, but it wasn’t a smooth process.
Kaweco converters add frustration to what should be a simple process. Including this one, they are 0-for-2 in making a functional product. I would love to be able to recommend one of these to you, but they just aren’t worth the headache.
This leaves you two options: Use short international cartridges or syringe fill empty cartridges from your ink bottles. Fortunately, we are seeing more short international options hit the market, including great colors from Waterman, Diamine, and Caran d’Ache. Waterman Mysterious Blue has been my go-to short cartridge recently, and works well with all of my Kaweco’s.
Time to move on to other ideas Kaweco.
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)