Kaweco Classic Sport fountain pen review
Let’s get this out of the way first. It's hard to talk about any fountain pen in the sub £20 price range without comparisons to the Lamy Safari. It is the undisputed champion when it comes to affordable, German made fountain pens. The Safari is a great workhorse, suitable for school or office use and offers a lot of pen for a modest outlay.
However, what if you want something a little different? A pen that offers the same great German build quality, at a similar price point, in a fantastically compact package? The pen you are looking for may be the Kaweco "Classic" Sport fountain pen. Let's take a look.
Priced at £19.95 For the entry level model. The Kaweco "Classic" Sport fountain pen has been manufactured in Germany since the 1930s. The pen itself is made from a tough but lightweight ABS plastic, with a hexagonal screw cap design (that prevents rolling) and comes in a range of classic colours: Navy, Black, Red, White, Bordeaux and Green all with gold coloured appointments. So you are bound to find something that suits your tastes. All this is finished off with stylised gold “Kaweco Sport” branding and a gold coloured “jewel” on the endcap that showcases the Kaweco logo. Fit and finish are excellent with minimal mold lines and crisp clean edges. This makes for a comfortable hold. The pen can be a little short if you dont post the cap, so if you like writing without the cap posted, it might be worth trying one out first, if possible. The cap is a screw type that adds to the pen's robustness. And I don't find myself worrying that it will come loose in my bag and leave a horrific mess.
My pen has the optional “Nostalgic octagonal sport clip” which features an attractive art-deco design that compliments the classic vibe of the pen (available separately RRP £6.95). There is also a plain octagonal clip version available for £4.95 and this has a more utilitarian feel due to its shear functionality. Both are great options if, like me, you like clipping your pen to the inside of your bag or pocket etc. You do have to be careful as it is possible to push the clip back off the pen if you use excessive force. But I didn't feel this was much of an issue for the functionality adding the clip offers.
Much like the previously mentioned Lamy Safari, the Kaweco "Classic" Sport fountain pen is certainly well specced for a fountain pen at this price range. Featuring a gold coloured stainless steel nib (no gold plating at this price point). The nib has little flex, which can be either a pro or con depending on where you sit on the subject. And I found that it was extremely reliable. No hard starts and minimal, if any skipping. And overall I enjoyed writing with it. Due to its stainless construction I didn't feel the need to baby it (unlike some 18k fountain pen nibs I have, I’m looking at you Pilot Capless!) and that's quite refreshing. Kaweco offers the sport in a range of nib sizes: XF, F, M, B, BB, 1.1mm Italic and a 1.5mm Italic. My pen has a medium nib and it does benefit from a good quality writing paper and taking notes on cartridge paper, during office use can be a bit unrefined. Switch to a quality writing paper (I’m using a Leuchtturm 1917 notebook) and the pen just flows. This might be where the Lamy Safari has the edge. The nib on the Safari just works. Whatever the situation. It's hardly a deal breaker, and some might like the small amount of resistance/ tactile feedback offered by the Kaweco nib in these situations.
The pen uses international standard sized cartridges meaning you have a wealth of options available to you if you wish to go the cartridge route (such as those by Diamine, Waterman, Faber-Castell, Caran d’Ache and Kaweco themselves). The pen comes supplied with a single blue cartridge. Kaweco also offers two variants of converter that fit this particular pen. Mine is fitted with the slightly more deluxe piston version, and there is also a squeeze convertor available if you prefer that type. Both convertors are fairly rudimentary, and I would like to see a higher end twist version in the future as I find this type offers the best ease of use*. Both of these work fine however and this is a minor gripe that comes down to personal preference. It is worth noting that the squeeze convertor holds very little ink. If you are planning to use this pen with bottled ink, I would recommend spending the little extra and getting the piston fill version as it just works better.
And this brings us to another point regarding the Kaweco "Classic" Sport. Customisation. It is easy to take the base model and add these little extras to make the pen truly yours. Don’t like cartridges? Add a convertor. Want a clip? There are two clip designs available in four different colours. It's hard to think of any pen manufacturers that offer this much customisation at this price point. The only brand I can think of is Fisher Space Pen and they do not make fountain pens unfortunately.
For those of you interested in Everyday Carry (EDC) they do offer stainless steel, brass and aluminium bodied variants. Any of these would be an excellent choice if you are in the market for a pocket sized EDC fountain pen. My personal preference would be for the Raw Brass, as this builds up a wonderful patina over time.
The Kaweco "Classic" Sport fountain pen comes packaged in a slim cardboard transit box that features the Kaweco branding. While this minimal packaging is easily recyclable and great for the environment, it doesn’t look particularly impressive if you are looking to give the pen as a gift. So it's worth bearing this in mind.
To wrap up.
Ideal for those looking for:
- An EDC or pocket fountain pen.
- An Affordable quality fountain pen, with a robust steel nib.
- A school pen alternative to the ubiquitous Lamy Safari.
- A pocket fountain pen with a vintage aesthetic.
- Customisation options a plenty.
- A good everyday fountain pen.
- Shiny finish does pick up fingerprints and scratches quite easily.
- Vintage styling is not for everyone.
- Converter options could be better.
Body Material: Lightweight ABS plastic.
Nib Material: Stainless Steel.
Pen Type: Fountain Pen.
Refill Type: International Standard Cartridge or optional converter for use with bottled ink.
Posted Length: 123.8mm.
The Kaweco "Classic" Sport is available as a Fountain pen, Rollerball, Ballpoint pen, Mechanical Pencil and Clutch pencil. And all models are suitable for engraving**. If you are interested in the products featured in this article you can find them all here on the Europens website. I've included some of the more popular options in the related products section at the bottom of this page.