Kaweco Sport Review
Fountain pens and pockets don’t always play nicely together. Depending on your everyday carry setup, you can find yourself with a scuffed-up pen, or worse yet, an inky surprise. The Kaweco Sport seeks to buck that trend by offering a capable pen that’s also pocket-friendly. So does it have what it takes to earn a place in your pocket?
Materials & Construction
The cap, barrel, and section of the Kaweco Sport are all made of plastic, which is a wise choice given the Sport’s pocket pen designation. Being a pocket pen, the Sport is likely to be exposed to relatively harsher conditions than more conventional pens, such as inside a pocket with keys, coins, or other abrasive items. The plastic is quite durable, but does pick up scratches relatively easily. On plastic models of the Sport, rings of fine scratches tend to develop where the cap meets the barrel, and I can already see some on mine.
Build quality on the Sport is solid, which is an especially important consideration on a pen that’s meant to be carried. The cap and barrel both feel quite sturdy, despite their seemingly thin walls. Best of all, the cap meshes cleanly with the barrel threads and locks tightly, giving me nothing but confidence when I carry it with me.
The Sport does not come with a clip, but you can purchase one separately for as little as $3. Kaweco also offers a slightly different (and more attractive) clip in various finishes for around $6. I haven’t purchased one of these clips, as I prefer a more streamlined profile for a pocket pen.
The Kaweco Sport features a protruding finial at the top of the cap that displays an embossed Kaweco logo on a textured background. Near the finial, the cap starts off round, but quickly transitions into an octagonal faceted design. The facets offer both style and substance, as the flattened edges keep the pen from rolling, while also adding some visual distinction. The cap takes about 1.5 turns to remove, which I’ve come to appreciate, as I frequently use the Sport for short notes and other extemporaneous writing.
At the back end of the barrel, we see a coined edge that adds an interesting bit of texture to an otherwise smooth design. The end of the barrel has an inscription that reads “made in germany” and features a pattern of four dots below it.
“Classic” Sport models have gold-colored lettering, finials, and nibs, while “Skyline” models have silver-colored appointments, and “Ice” versions feature clear demonstrator barrels. The red-and-gold combination on this Classic Sport works quite well in my opinion, and the red hue in particular does a good job of masking the scuffs and dings that have formed over time.
The Sports accepts standard international short cartridges, but the compact size limits converter options. Kaweco does offer a mini converter specifically intended for the Sport, which can be had for around $6. The plastic construction and airtight barrel ostensibly make the Sport a good candidate for eyedropper conversion, though I haven’t tested it myself.
In the Hand
The ergonomics of the Kaweco Sport are relatively unique, and truly unlike most other pens I own. At around 105mm capped, it’s extremely diminutive in the hand; even with my relatively small hands, the Sport barely spans the distance from my wrist to the base of my middle finger. For me, these dimensions make the Sport barely useable unposted, and I tend to avoid doing so, even when only writing a few words.
When I uncap and post the pen, however, I’m met with a more traditional size, approximately 130mm. It’s quite a thing to behold if you haven’t, and the change in dimensions threw me for a loop the first time I used this pen. Upon first impression, I was convinced the size of the Sport would never work for me, but that assumption quickly dissolved after using the pen posted. At around 9.5mm wide and 16mm in length, the section is on the smaller side, but still gets the job done, and never feels cramped or uncomfortable.
At 10g, the Kaweco Sport is one of the lightest pens I own. I suppose that’s only fitting, given its pocket pen status, and it’s nice that I barely notice it when it’s in my pocket. It also means I can use the pen for extended writing sessions without feeling any fatigue.
Material & Design
The Sport features a stainless steel nib that, along with the feed, is friction-fit into the section. One nice surprise about the Sport is that, in addition to the standard extra fine, fine, medium, and broad nib options, you can also get a double broad (BB). Double broad nibs are not frequently offered on many pens, let alone pens in this price range, so if you’d like to give one a try, the Sport offers an inexpensive entry point.
The face of the nib features the Kaweco logo, nib size designation, and some light scrollwork. “GERMANY” is inscribed below the scrollwork on one tine, while “since 1883” appears on the other. The Kaweco logo also appears on the underside of the feed. All in all, it’s an attractive design, if a bit subdued.
Out of the box, the Kaweco Sport is a consistent writer. I’ve not experienced any hard starts during my testing, though the pen does write a bit on the dry side. I suspect I could easily change that by widening the nib slit just a tad, but I haven’t felt compelled to do so. Because I tend to carry this pen more frequently than other pens I own, I often find myself in situations where only cheap copy paper is available to me. Consequently, having a slightly drier nib can be a boon.
When pressed, the nib can give a very slight amount of line variation, but I would not characterize the nib as “springy” by any means.
I’ve read other reviews where the reviewer has complained about a ‘sweet spot’ on Kaweco nibs. I did not experience that with this pen. However, there is a bit more feedback than I prefer, so I suspect I will end up running a few passes on some micro-mesh to smooth out the tipping material. Overall, though, the Sport offers a reliable writing experience and I don’t have any concerns regarding the nib’s performance.
The Kaweco Sport can easily be had for just a little over $20. At that price, it competes with the likes of the Pilot Metropolitan and Nemosine Singularity. However, those are both traditionally-sized pens, and when it comes to price and form factor, there aren’t many direct competitors to the Sport. Size-wise, the TWSBI Mini and Pilot Petit compare similarly, but at completely different price points. Beyond that, Kaweco mostly competes with itself, in the form of alternative versions of the Sport with metal components, or other Kaweco models like the Liliput.
Final Thoughts & Score
- compact design that becomes a more traditional, comfortable size when posted
- nib performs reliably; Kaweco offers unconventional double broad (BB) size
- affordable price
- plastic material, while durable, scratches relatively easily
- compact design limits converter options
- atypical size doesn’t work well with some accessories like sleeves, slots in bags, etc.