Welcome back for another edition of affordable fountain pens! This week I’m sharing my favorite, most portable fountain pen—the Kaweco Sport, specifically the Classic, ICE, and Skyline models (there are other Sport models) but these are the ones in the lower price range. Don’t let the small size or simple design fool you, this little pen really packs a punch and doesn’t break the bank!
I first learned about the Kaweco Sport when I was looking for a small fountain pen to accompany my Midori Passport travelers notebook. After doing some research, I noticed that the Kaweco Sport models kept coming up time and time again. It’s small enough to fit in a clutch, shirt, or jean pocket and it wrote very well. The only downside I saw was that, at the time, it only took cartridges—that has since changed; as of the time of this writing, there’s now both a squeeze and piston converter available which is sold separately—and I was concerned that the plastic body might crack under regular wear and tear.
The Kaweco Sport line has a lot of different models but for the purposes of this blogpost, I’m only going to talk about the models I own. In the lower, affordable price range ($20 – $29), I own the Kaweco Classic, ICE, and Skyline Sport models. They are very unassuming, available in both fun and muted colors, use standard international ink cartridges, and typically come in a cute, durable tin package that can be re-purposed to store small items. I also own the moderately priced (less than $100) Brass Sport which I’ll briefly talk about as well.
Initially, I was torn between the Classic Sport in Bordeaux and the ICE Sport in Red/clear models but opted for the ICE Sport for two reasons: it would allow me to keep an eye on the ink cartridge to see when it was running low and it would enable me to convert the pen to an ‘eye dropper’ filling system which works best with an all plastic body. An ‘eye dropper’ pen is when you leave the pen body empty—that is without a cartridge or converter—so you can fill up the entire chamber with ink. To make sure it doesn’t leak, you apply some silicone to the threads on the nib section and add a plastic ‘O’ ring so when you assemble the pen, it forms a tight, leak proof seal. Having a clear plastic body meant that I could keep an eye on the ink levels regardless of which filling system I chose to use.
The plastic body might seem plain to some, but the faceted barrel shape and silver (and sometimes gold) accents give it a pleasing, classic look without looking cheap. Eventually, I bought more of these in other colors and styles like the Sport in Cognac, Skyline Sport in Cappuccino and ultimately one of the higher end but still moderately priced models, the Brass Sport.
When closed, the Kaweco Sports pens average about 105mm (a little over 4 inches) and are about 132mm (a little over 5.25 inches) when posted, meaning the cap is attached to the end of the pen. Despite the compact size, I’m able to write comfortably both with the pen posted and unposted but just be aware that those with large hands will need to use it posted,
To be honest, my first experience with the Kaweco Sport was disappointing. I purchased the ICE Sport in Red/clear with a M (medium) nib and it skipped whenever writing an upward cross stroke. It was fine when doing up-and-down strokes, side-to-side strokes but not angled, cross strokes—like when forming an ‘X’—so I put the pen away to tinker with another day figuring I had just received a ‘dud’. Soon after, I learned that I could buy a replacement nib in another size so I decided to try the F (fine) nib instead—and it worked! Finally, I was getting the smooth writing experience I had heard about and the ink flowed beautifully. It soon became one of my favorite pens. So much so, that I decided to splurge for one of their moderately priced models—the Brass Sport.
I can honestly say the Brass Sport has rocked my world! I love rustic things and knew this pen would patina beautifully just like my Midori plus, it wrote like ‘butta’! It’s a heavier pen because of the brass but not excessively so. At the time of my order, it was only available with an Extra-Fine nib which I worried might be too scratchy but it wasn’t…at all. Now that I was ‘2-for-2’ with the Kaweco Sport models, their extra-fine and fine nibs became my absolute favorites so, sure enough, I purchased two more pens: the Sport in Cognac and Sport Skyline in Cappuccino.
I got the Cognac and Cappuccino pens for an amazing price—on the lower end of the $20-$29 range—from a seller overseas. The Cognac has a clear golden/brown body with an EF nib while the Cappuccino has a solid cream body with an F nib. I’ve also heard great things about the Kaweco Broad nibs and there are many other nib options to choose from ranging from a Fine to a Double Broad as well as calligraphy nibs ranging from 1.1mm thru 2.3mm but given my experience with the Medium nib, I’ve stuck with the EF and F nibs since I love how they perform—smooth with the slightest feedback (my preference) and no skipping!
Currently, I use the Red/clear ICE Sport inked with Kaweco Ruby Red in my Passport Midori which is always in my camera bag, the Brass Sport inked with Diamine Ancient Copper in my personal size art journal, the Cognac Sport inked with Kaweco Blue-Black in my pocket size ‘brainstorm’ notebook, and my Cappuccino Sport Skyline inked with Kaweco Caramel Brown in my A6 size daily writing journal.
Each of my pens has the matching Kaweco pen clip—available in gold and silver, the Deluxe style is my favorite—to keep them securely in place in my notebooks and add a decorative touch. If you decide to try any of the Kaweco Sport models, I highly recommend getting a matching clip—to coordinate with the gold or silver accents, there’s also a Copper option—as well.
All in all, the Kaweco Sport fountain pens have proven to be a wonderful, reliable, portable option for my smaller travelers notebooks allowing me to take a fountain pen on-the-go. The Classic, ICE, and Skyline Sport models are great affordable options to check out and, if you’re so inclined, they have some equally wonderful, moderately priced, higher-end but still portable choices to suit everyone’s taste and budget.
How about you? Have you tried any of the pens in the Kaweco Sport line? If so, which is your favorite? Do you have any other favorite portable pens? Please share in the comments below and don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe!
Until next time,
♥ LilD ♥