The Kaweco Sport Puts a Workhorse In Your Pocket

Why hello there! I’ve just rolled out from under a small mountain of Thanksgiving leftovers, and all that feasting has put me in need of a digestif. Some pen talk about this minty-fresh Kaweco Skyline Sport sounds just about perfect.

I originally wanted to open this post with a size joke about the “wee little Ka-wee-co Sport” but I’ve been told by a German-speaker that’s it’s actually “Kah-veh-ko”. So much for that joke, but I learned something new, and maybe so have you.

The pen we call the modern Kaweco Sport has been around nearly twenty years. In that time, the model range has expanded enough to require things like this comprehensive guide that covers every model of the Kaweco Sport from fountain pen to mechanical pencil and every color from classic black to carbon-fiber-and-ferrari. (That last one is the name I made up for the red AC Sport.)

This is a pen that’s been thoroughly talked about, reviewed, and recommended as a beginner and entry-level pen, and now that I’ve had my Sport for a few months I’m ready to weigh in with some thoughts of my own.

First of all, this pen is truly a wee little thing. It’s adorable.

Spin the cap slightly more than a turn and it’ll slide free, and like a magician’s trick it reveals a pen barely larger than the cap protecting it, crowned by a tiny, tiny nib. It’s almost comical.

I knew this was a small pen after reading about its dimensions, but seeing numbers on a screen is not the same as holding the actual object in your hands. It’s one of those rare pens that I have to post to use comfortably. When posted, the pen is a perfect fit for me, but I have smaller hands than most. This is definitely a “try it before you buy it” pen due to its weird proportions.

Your first instinct upon opening this pen is going to be to post it, even if you’re like me and rarely ever post your pens. It’s okay, this pen’s made to be posted. The downside for me is that posting this pen brings out some of my latent OCD tendencies. I have to have the “Kaweco Sport” logo on the cap in line with the nib slit or it drives me bonkers.

For a plastic pen that costs around $20, Kaweco has managed to make it feel like a more expensive offering. Much of that has to do with the design, which is unique and visually interesting. The faceted cap also adds a tactile dimension; I often find myself using this pen as an impromptu fidget toy, spinning it around in my fingers. This is something I just don’t do with other pens.

The design details continue with the silver-colored finial set into the end of the cap and the clean font used for the “made in germany” at the end of the barrel. It’s here that you can see the dimple and molding sprue left over from the manufacturing process. This is a cheap plastic pen! But it doesn’t feel like one.

Compared to a Kaweco Sport, the TWSBI Diamond Mini looks big, and the Lamy Vista looks enormous.

The Sport is a cartridge/converter pen. I’ve been using the cartridge of Kaweco Blue that came with it, and I don’t plan to buy a converter as I have plenty of short international size cartridges. There’s no metal in the barrel or section so an eyedropper conversion is an option.

I found the Sport’s section to be wider than I expected. It’s slightly wider than a Pilot Metropolitan’s section, and it’s comfortable to hold. The cap threads aren’t sharp and there’s not a large step up to the barrel. However, the section itself is rather short, and those with larger fingers might find it constricting.

The only flaw with this pen is that it has visible mold lines on either side of the section. You can see one of the lines in the next photo. They’re prominent enough for me to feel them when I grip the pen, but not so annoying that I don’t want to write with it.

As for the writing experience, the Kaweco Sport is fine. Not spectacular, not awful, just fine. I was slightly surprised that I didn’t need to adjust the nib out of the box, given the reputation of Kaweco nibs.

The nib is a steel nail, with a smidge of feedback reminiscent of a Lamy Safari nib. It’s a bit on the dry side. The only thing I don’t like about this pen is that it’s a hard starter if I pause too long between words. The nib dries out so quickly that I end up priming it over and over and over again, which is annoying. It’s a good pen for quick notes, but not so good for writing long, thoughtful pieces. The cap does a good job of sealing the nib during storage as the pen starts up nicely after being uncapped.

My pen has a fine nib, and it puts down a Western fine line.

I can definitely see why the Kaweco Sport is so popular. It’s not too expensive, it’s a decent writer, and it has a unique look. But it really has that it factor that all classic pens have. Not bad for a pocket-sized workhorse.

This Kaweco Skyline Sport was paid for with my own funds. My opinions on this blog are always my own. Please see my review ethics statement for more details.

Pentaloons Fit Your Pens Like a Comfy Pair of Pajamas

My pens work hard for me. So when it’s time to give them a much-needed rest, I let them lounge around my desk in something comfortable. Something warm and silky. I let them slip into some Pentaloons.

What could be a better place for pens to rest than in a custom pen wrap handmade from luxurious fabrics? If you know your way around a sewing machine, you’ve probably made yourself a pen wrap or two, but for those of us who don’t know our bobbin winders from our feed dogs, Amy Bowman at Pentaloons has got us (and our pens) covered.

I first heard about Pentaloons on the FPN forum way back in March. I immediately hopped on etsy and started perusing the available pen wraps at the Pentaloons store. At first, none of them jumped out as a must-have, but I noticed fabrics and colors that I liked. They just weren’t available in a pre-made combination. Thankfully, Pentaloons specializes in custom orders, so I dashed a message off to Amy with an idea in mind, and received a response from her in a few hours that yes, she could make the pen wrap I had envisioned, and at a very reasonable price, too.

Once the fee was settled, I expected to hear back from her with a shipping notice in a week, maybe two, so imagine my surprise when I received a tracking number the very next day. Four days later, I was greeted by this lovely package:

The wrap I commissioned has a charcoal grey wool exterior and a lining of blue dupioni silk, with seven pen slots.

The slots are generously sized, and fit all my pens from the super-slim Pilot Murex to the chunkier Lamy Vista. I don’t care for large pens, so I don’t know if a King of 149 Emperor or whatever will fit, but it’s a moot point as your wrap can be completely customized to fit your needs.

The fabrics are just awesome. The wool gives the wrap some heft while the silk is soft and luxurious. To close the wrap, simply fold the top edge over, roll it up, and wrap the tie around snugly. I like the simplicity of the fold-over style because it can accommodate pens in a wide range of lengths. I’m almost certain that the pens don’t touch each other when the wrap is rolled up, because the slots are wide and I can’t hear any clicking or rubbing noises.

While this pen wrap looks great on my desk, I’ve also thrown it into my messenger bag and taken it work, and to pen meetups in Portland to give my pens some social time. None of them have emerged damaged in any way.

I chose to use the blue silk for the tie, which gives the wrap a nice color contrast. The fastening pin is handmade from paper micarta.

I feel seven slots is a good number for a pen wrap. When filled with pens and rolled-up securely, this wrap is about the same diameter as a 12oz pop or beer can. But if seven isn’t your lucky number, you can commission any number from one to… well, I guess you’d have to ask Amy what’s feasible.

The pen wrap is well-made, with good sewing throughout. One seam is slightly uneven, but that’s nitpicky even for me.

I love the Pentaloons tag sewn into the lining — the punny name, the nibs en pointe — but even this is optional if you don’t want it.

So let’s talk price. This particular custom, handmade pen wrap made from wool and silk cost me $35, plus $3.25 for shipping. The price of a Pentaloons pen wrap will vary depending on a number of factors: custom vs pre-made, the fabrics chosen, the size of the wrap, etc. If you have something specific in mind, drop Amy a note and ask for a quote. I splurged on my pen wrap and I don’t regret it, especially when it’s supporting an independent business and a craftsperson making a quality product.

I’m delighted with my Pentaloons pen wrap. The fabric and stitching has held up perfectly during the eight months I’ve had it, and my pens rest in safety and comfort. It’s been a struggle not to keep hitting that order button — seriously, look at this one in wool tweed and rust silk! And this one in velvet and satin. I suppose my pens could use a smoking jacket to go with their pajamas…

This Pentaloons pen wrap was paid for with my own funds. My opinions on this blog are always my own. Please see my review ethics statement for more details.