Congratulations to Pam Magnus (entry #17)! The random number generator came up big for her. Thanks so much to everyone who entered and thanks to Kaweco for providing the pen for the giveaway.
How can I top a giveaway for a Kaweco Skyline Sport? Hmmm…
I know! I’ll giveaway a Kaweco Student in a fabulous blue color with a broad nib. Seriously, this pen has a great color and the comparatively thick plastic of the pen body feels great in the hand. The Student retails for around $50 so this is a pretty awesome giveaway chance. Thanks to the kind folks at Kaweco for supplying the pen for my review.
All you need to do is submit a comment to this post (one per contestant please) by 7:00 pm EST on Wednesday 1/14/15. Entries will be numbered in the order in which they are received and we’ll fire up the random number generator to select a winner.
Good luck everyone!
Update: Please, entrants with a US delivery address only.
It’s giveaway time! This is the first of two give aways we’re doing for Kaweco products. This first giveaway is for the Kaweco Skyline Sport in grey with a fine nib. Simply offer a comment to this post to enter. The give away will be open until Wednesday 1/7/15 at 7:00 pm eastern time US and is open to anyone with a US mailing address. Let’s keep things fair and limit everyone to one entry. The winner will be selected at random from the comments.
There will be a second giveaway for another Kaweco fountain pen later next week.
I recently got a hold of three different Kaweco fountain pens so I thought it would be appropriate to review them side-by-side-by-side. The pens in question are a Kaweco Skyline Sport (~$25; F nib), a Kaweco AL Sport (~$75; M nib) and a Kaweco Student (~$55; B nib). The AL Sport I have here is the raw aluminum finish. I reviewed, positively, an AL Sport in blue several months ago. I have not done many multiple pen reviews, so to make this process a bit more streamlined I’ve come up with a few categories (build quality, balance in hand, nib experience, overall) to guide the comparison.
In first place we have the AL Sport. Of course, being made out of aluminum gives the AL Sport a serious advantage. This is not to say that the other pens are poorly made. In fact, the Kaweco Student, with its thick plastic walls and solid clip, comes in a close second with respect to build quality. The Skyline Sport is an all plastic pen with somewhat thinner walls than the Student. As a result, the Sport is noticeably lighter. I won’t say the Skyline Sport has a cheap feel to it, but of the three pens it does have the least confidence-inducing build.
Kaweco AL Sport
I was unable to find the perfect porridge between these three pens when it comes to balance. The closest to perfect would be the AL Sport but it has to be posted in order to feel balanced in the hand. Unposted, the Sport and AL Sport are just too short to feel comfortable for anything more than a quick note. Also, with its all plastic build, the Skyline Sport (~0.4 ounces) is just too light for me. I prefer to notice that I’m holding onto something when it comes to my pens, especially fountain pens. I don’t have great penmanship to start with and pens that are too light feel like they get away from me when I write. The AL Sport gives a nice ride when posted but I’m not a big fan of the raw aluminum finish as it feels a bit too slippery. My blue AL Sport doesn’t feel nearly as slippery to me so I’m guessing the anodized finish adds something to the grip.
When it comes to balance, the Kaweco Student is an interesting pen. Unposted, it was too short and the metal grip section too slippery. Posted, the pen was quite a bit longer so my grip naturally moved further back on the grip section and more towards the body of the pen. Either way, I couldn’t get it to sit in my hand nicely. But, and this is an important but, if you hold your pens somewhat higher up on the grip then I suspect a posted Kaweco Student could really work nicely for you. Helpfully, the threads on the body of the Student are not sharp in the least so they make a suitable gripping location.
Save for the line width, all three pens appear to use identical steel nibs. My experience with these pens and their different nib sizes is identical to my previous interactions with Kaweco nibs. The fine nib rocks! I’ve never had skipping issues with Kaweco’s fine nibs. They write smoothly and lay down a consistent line. The broad nib isn’t my thing but that’s not Kaweco’s problem. It’s just that I’m not a broad nib kind of guy. I’ve tried. I’ve tried multiple times. There’s just no getting around it – I don’t dig broad nibs. Please send your hate mail to firstname.lastname@example.org :-). Now for the medium nib. Maybe it’s the way I hold my fountain pens, but I have yet to meet a Kaweco medium nib that works well for me. They don’t start readily and they constantly skip. I’m willing to take all the blame for this issue with medium nibs but that’s just the way it is. In short, medium nib – yuk, broad nib – not me, fine nib – yes, yes, yes!
Kaweco Skyline Sport
If I were to recommend a Kaweco fountain pen it would be an AL Sport with a fine nib in a colored finish. Hold on, I already recommended that pen. The regular Sport doesn’t float my boat. It’s too light and there are other inexpensive alternatives that give a better ride. The Kaweco Student is very well made and the blue color of the pen I got is a real looker. I do think you need to naturally hold your pen further away from the nib than I tend to otherwise you may find the balance of the Student a bit off. The AL Sport in raw aluminum looks great and has an nice balance when posted but I like my aluminum pens to be anodized for that extra bit of grip.
If you’d like a chance to nab a Skyline Sport or Student for yourself, stay tuned. These two pens will be part of a giveaway in the near future.
Kaweco was kind enough to send these three pens to me at no expense. I’m human so their kindness may have influenced my perspective but I attempted to give an honest review nonetheless.
Holy cow! I am absolutely digging the Kaweco AL Sport. There are two minor issues with the AL Sport that prevent me from possibly labeling it as THAT ONE PEN, but it really is a fantastic writing implement. Minor issue #1 – The grip section is just a touch too thin for me. It’s not annoyingly thin. I just wish it was a few more millimeters wider to maximize the feel in my hand. Minor issue #2 – There’s no clip. Yes, you can buy a clip but it looks a bit too large for the sleek style of the pen and I hear it doesn’t hold the pen all that well. The lack of clip is actually a very minor complaint as this pen has been residing comfortably in my front pocket since I bought it a few weeks ago. I would; however, prefer that it could grab the lip of the pocket so that it never wiggles into an uncomfortable horizontal position while in my pocket. It rarely does this so minor issue #2 really is a minor issue.
Now, onto the reasons why I love this pen. First, the look. Just look at that color and minimalist design. Originally, I was thinking about snagging the gray AL Sport, but once I saw the blue color I quickly changed my mind. I’m not sure if my pictures show it well enough, but the blue body color does lean a bit towards the purple side of blue. The octagonal shape of the cap prevents the pen from going anywhere when resting on your desk and the silver Kaweco emblem on the cap is a sharp touch of bling. It’s true that you’re likely to make contact with the threads while writing but I don’t find the threads to be all that sharp so it’s a non-issue for me. Since the cap covers about half of the pen body when posted, the pen feels solid when writing.
Speaking of writing. I originally bought the pen with a medium nib. That was a mistake. The medium nib skipped a bit here and there and just didn’t give a great writing experience so I ordered a fine nib which turned out to be one of the best pen-related purchases I’ve made in a while. The pen absolutely positively sings with the steel fine nib. I haven’t experienced any skipping or dry ink issues with this smooth-writing fine nib. Any fountain pen that can put up with my lefty hook and come up aces each and every time is a welcomed addition to the collection. The writing shown here was done with the Kaweco blue cartridge that came with the pen.
If you were to ask me what are my two must have fountain pens right now I would probably go with my TWSBI Mini and this AL Sport. Both are rock solid performers and fit my hand well. This got me thinking that it seems that I prefer fountain pens with relatively small nibs. I think I control the pen easier with the smaller nibs and they seem to be more tolerant of my hooked and somewhat upright writing style.
Carry it, carry it, carry it, carry it!! The pen is great to write with, is a real looker and easy to take anywhere. Go buy one. Right now. I’m serious. Buy one right now!
The Kaweco AL Sport is like my Wilson Six.One 95 BLX tennis racquet. The AL Sport fits my writing style just like the Wilson racquet fits my tennis game. Both have a great feel and with just a bit of tweaking (grip wrap for the racquet and fine nib for the pen) they become a near perfect instrument for the task at hand.