Pen Review: Kaweco AC Sport Carbon


Kaweco AC Sport Carbon - Steel Nib (F)
Length Capped: 107mm
Length Posted: 131mm
Length Uncapped: 100mm
Section at Thinnest Point: 9mm
Section at Widest Point: 10mm
Weight w/Ink & Cap: 22.2g
Weight w/Ink & No Cap: 13.4g
Fast Writing: Keeps up fine.
Line Variation: Very little line variation, but you can squeeze out a tiny bit.
Upside Down Writing: Very scratchy, but it can be done if needed.
Wetness: Fairly wet writer.  This ink did contribute to that some.
Pros: Lightweight, portable, Kaweco style & dependability
Cons: May be too light for some; cannot be used long without posting; nib can be a tad scratchy.

Parts of the Pen:

Like all Kaweco Sport models, the pen features a fairly long cap with an octagonal facets.  The body is cylindrical with a step down at the end leading to an end cap with a rounded top and a dimple in the middle.  The section is tapered and flared, and has a small grouping of threads at the top where the cap screws on.  Finally, the finial is very slightly conical and features the 3-syllable Kaweco logo.  The carbon parts on the cap appear to be applied as stickers, so you do have a bit of a gap between the carbon and the aluminum edge.


Kaweco is always coming up with new creative spins on their classic style fountain pen, and the AC Sport Carbon is a good example of that.  This pen features a nice matte aluminum finish and is embellished with a nice genuine carbon wrap around the barrel, and on every other panel of the unique octagonal cap.  The pen comes in 4 different colors - Red, Champagne, Silver and Black.  

As far as how the pen writes, if you've used any other Kaweco sport pen, it functions pretty much the exact same in my experience.  This pen uses the same steel nib that comes standard on all of the other Kaweco Sports/Skylines, so the added price doesn't add anything to the writing experience itself.  I admittedly have had my hits and misses with Kaweco nibs, but this one performed fairly well.  I had a bit of an issue with scratchiness, but discovered the nib tines were misaligned out of the box.  Once that was corrected, it performed well with no hard starts and only a slight "toothiness."

One issue that kind of bugged me about this pen was that lint and dust seems to settle in the small gap between where the carbon ends and the aluminum edge begins on the cap.  It's not noticeable at a distance, but up close it's pretty easy to see.  That is one small improvement Kaweco could make to this pen to bring it up a notch.

Final Thoughts:

Overall I really enjoyed using this pen, much like all my Kaweco pens.  The style is something that very few other companies have mimicked successfully, and it is another great spin on a classic design.  Whether the extra cost is worth it is really up to what added style is worth to you.  The Kaweco AL Sport, which is just the standard aluminum body Sport, retails for $80, and the AC Sport Carbon retails for around $128 - so close to an extra $50.  I think if you really like the carbon look, it's worth it to go ahead and pick it up.  If the cost isn't worth it to you, try the AL Sport, or even the classic Sport which has a plastic body.  All are great pens for on-the-go. 

Thank you so much for reading, and thank you to Kaweco for sending this pen for review!
- Lori

(Kaweco has provided this product at no charge to The Desk for the purpose of review - I have since chosen to purchase the pen from them.  My opinions are honest and without bias - visit the About Me page for more details).

Pen Review: Levenger True Writer


Hi everyone! I want to give my apologies for the lack of blog content of late.  I was in a pretty good groove as far as posting, and then life kinda happened.  I have had a lot of family events going on - my brother and cousin got married, bachelorette parties, an unexpected family death, and a whole lot of work stress with my day job.  For those of you that don't know, I suffer from chronic pain due to a condition called Spasmodic Torticollis in my neck, as well as fibromyalgia.  With the increased work stress I've had recently, my pain has been a lot worse so it had/has hindered my ability to sit down in the evenings to write from time to time.  That said, I am VERY happy to be back, and I hope to keep the content rolling.  Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy the review!

Levenger True Writer - Steel Nib (M)
Length Capped: 138mm
Length Posted: 155mm
Length Uncapped: 124mm
Section at Thinnest Point: 14mm
Section at Widest Point: 16mm
Weight w/Ink & Cap: 36.6g
Weight w/Ink & No Cap: 21.5g
Fast Writing: Keeps up very well.
Line Variation: Lots of spring for a steel nib.
Upside Down Writing: Writes well; keeps up, and is only a tiny bit scratchy.
Wetness: Very.
Pros: Nice weight, wet writer, smooth nib, springy nib
Cons: Price, hard starts, section is a little slick

Thanks so much to Clay P. for sending me his Levenger True Writer to review.  I really enjoyed using this pen.

*EDIT* Clay was kind enough to clarify for me that this particular True Writer was part of the Metalist line of pens which are no longer produced.  The normal line of True Writers which I mention are on sale for $59 right now, are acrylic.

Levenger made its debut in 1987 in Massachusetts.  The name Levenger was derived from the combination of the founders (husband and wife) combining their last names.  They specialized in creating many proprietary products for the home and office, and eventually made their way into writing instruments.

The True Writer is probably their most well known pen, and features a nice hefty metal body (with a plastic-esque coating) and a German steel nib.  I was impressed with how smooth the steel nib performed.  It writes nice and wet and I had no issues with skipping or dryness.  I did, however, have issues with hard starting - that, coupled with the smoothness leads me to believe that it may be suffering from a bit of "baby's bottom."  The pen is a cartridge converter pen, so you can use any bottled ink of your choosing.  I used Levenger Cardinal Red for this review - keep an eye out for a review on that ink soon!

The pen itself is very smooth and sleek, and has a very professional/business-like appearance.  I've heard these are popular in the corporate realm, and I can certainly see why.  The weight and balance are very nice - I didn't experience any fatigue with extended use.  The section is a little on the slick side, so that could potentially cause some slipping when writing.

The trim on the pen is minimalistic, which I like.  The center band is a chrome-colored metal with the word "Levenger."  The finials are just a smooth rounded black "button."

The color itself is a metallic grey with a slick clear coat.  I love the color of this pen!

Overall, I really enjoyed writing with this pen.  A few rounds on some micromesh to fix the hard starting and it would be even better.  For a steel nib, the smoothness is rivaled by very few, and the weight and balance make it a pleasure to hold.  The True Writer retails for around $79 normally, but at the time of writing, Levenger has it on sale for $59.  If you're looking for a comfortable, smooth, durable writer, I highly recommend you pick one up.

Pen Review: Senator President


Senator President - Steel Nib
Length Capped: 146mm
Length Posted: 175mm
Length Uncapped: 136mm
Section at Thinnest Point: 11mm
Section at Widest Point: 12mm
Weight w/Ink & Cap: 25.4g
Weight w/Ink & No Cap: 15.9g
Fast Writing: Keeps up fairly well; few skips.
Line Variation: Decent.
Upside Down Writing: Barely readable, dries up quickly.
Wetness: With pressure, very wet.
Pros: Inexpensive alternative to MB149, looks professional, ink capacity, ebonite feed
Cons: Lightweight, "cheap" feel, nib performance/flow issues

First off, special thanks to Clay P. for sending this pen to me to review.  The Senator President is an interesting pen and I was very excited to try it out.  The pen is sadly no longer made, but they make their rounds on eBay and FPN from time to time, so if you are interested you should be able to get ahold of one fairly easily.

The Senator President is a German-made fountain pen that by no coincidence very closely resembles the Montblanc 149.  It's definitely the largest pen I've used, but the first thing that you'll notice when you pick it up for the first time is how light it is.  At a mere 25.4g filled, it's lack of heft definitely doesn't match its appearance.  The pen was made available in both a steel nib option and a 18k gold nib option.  The pen I'm using is the steel version, and the nib is rather large - I would guess it is probably a #9 or so. 

The pen writes fairly well, but I had quite a lot of issues with skipping.  The nib is of the "Iridium Point Germany" variety, which in my experience tend to be less than stellar.  I wouldn't say it's horrible, but it definitely has its share of skips and hard starts.  You can squeeze a bit of line variation out of it if you try, but be careful not to spring the nib.  One think I've noticed with this pen is it does take a bit of pressure to get consistent writing and flow from it.  If you are light handed, you would have a lot more issues with skipping.  I've seen great reviews of the gold nib version of the pen, so if you're wanting one of these, I'd recommend trying to find a gold version.

The trim on the pen is a thin metal - likely aluminum or stainless steel - and is plated to have a gold appearance.  The pen does pick up micro-scratches over time, both on the body and on the trim, so something to keep in mind.  The back of the pen unscrews to reveal the piston knob, and the pen has vertical stripes for ink windows just above the section.  The section itself has a nice taper and flare to it, though because the pen is fairly fat, it took some getting used to for the wider grip.  Once you're acclimated to it, it feels great.

All in all, the Senator President isn't a bad pen, but it's just not for me.  I'm not a huge fan of black with gold trim, though I know a lot of folks are.  If you do want to pick one of these up online or at a pen show, I highly recommend that you go for the gold nib and not the steel.  The cheap iridium point Germany nib really ruined this pen for me.  As far as pricing - based on what I've found on FPN, at the time when these pens were still available they sold for around $113 for the steel nib and $290 for the 18K gold nib.  I cannot imagine paying $113 for the steel nib version - the body of the pen feels a bit cheap and for the nib performance, I'd much rather buy a couple of TWSBIs  for that price.  The gold nib is likely a lot better and may be worth it for the look and feel of a Montblanc at a fraction of the cost.

Thanks again to Clay for sending this to me for review, and thanks for reading! 


Pen Review: Kaweco Liliput & ECO Leather Pouch


Kaweco Liliput - Black
Length Capped: 96mm
Length Posted: 125mm
Length Uncapped: 86mm
Section at Thinnest Point: 7mm
Section at Widest Point: 8mm
Weight w/Cartridge & Cap: 9.6g
Weight w/Cartridge & No Cap: 6.7g
Fast Writing: Keeps up well
Line Variation: None
Upside Down Writing: Scratchy, but it works
Wetness: A bit on the dry side
Pros: Very portable, pocketable, good nib, color & finish options
Cons: Very thin and small, easily lost, may be too thin or light for some

I've been on a tiny hiatus from blogging, mainly from having a bit of writers block coupled with being very busy these past couple of weeks.  I'm very glad to be back in the swing of things and bringing you a review of one of my favorite pens - the Kaweco Liliput.

The Liliput is another wonderful pen from Kaweco, that again pushes the boundaries of what all other pen companies have done.  It's a very tiny and portable fountain pen (and I do mean *tiny*) that's easy to drop in a pocket or a bag on the go.  Despite its tiny build, the pen does post and when it does, it becomes long enough for almost anyone to use comfortably - at least length-wise.  I originally got mine with a F nib, but decided to swap it out with the EF that I had on my Kaweco Sport.  I've decided that I really like the EF Kaweco nibs better - that's just the sweet spot for me.  I've also had far less nib issues with their EF nibs than I have with their F nibs.

The Liliput has a very sleek design with it's "pill shaped" body and rounded ends.  One of my favorite parts of this pen is the Kaweco logo on the top of the cap.  The cap screws to close, and screws to post, which I like.  One downside is it does take a few seconds to unscrew the cap and then screw it back on to post - two full rotations each, so beware of that.  The screw to post functionality gives you a nice secure, and full sized pen when writing.  Of course I use the term "full sized" loosely here, as that is subjective - but it's  definitely useable.  If you were to try and write with this pen unposted - if you could do it at all - you'd become fatigued very quickly.  Kaweco has done a good job designing and engineering this pen to be both portable and functional.

The pen comes in several materials and finishes.  I chose the standard black - it's the cheapest option.  From there, you can choose from silver, brass, brass wave, stainless steel, copper and the infamous fireblue (I REALLY want one of these!).  The weight will vary based on which model you get, so be sure to take that into consideration.  I think some folks would like a little bit of weight added to this very light pen, so if you're one of those people and the price increase is no object, I'd choose the brass or copper versions.


The pen takes short international cartridges, and unfortunately is too small to fit most converters.  The only converter I've been able to fit is the Templar Skinny Mini converter, which is the same size as the SI cartridge.  It holds far less ink, but keeps me from having to buy cartridges and refilling them, so that's a plus.  Keep an eye out for my review on the Skinny Mini very soon (beware, the regular Templar Mini Converter will not fit the Kaweco feeds - more on that soon!).

I've heard many stories of people saying they lost their Kaweco Liliput because it was so small.  This definitely concerned me some when I decided to get one for myself, so I went ahead and added the Kaweco ECO Leather Pouch as well.  I like this pouch a lot because it adds a little bit of substance to the pen when it goes in my bag, so it's easier to find.  It also keeps it from rolling off my desk, which is definitely a plus.  The leather isn't very soft unfortunately, and it has a bit of a "plastic-y" feel to it.  I'm still enjoying using it, but its definitely not what I expected.  Kaweco's brown leather pouch looks to be a little better and softer, so that's an option if you like tan leather (I don't unfortunately).  Nonetheless, it's inexpensive at less than $10, so I can't really complain.  With use, the sleeve form fits to the shape of the pen, making it easy to slide it in and out.  My pen has been completely protected from scratches and dings from day one.

I absolutely love my Kaweco Liliput!  I am going to be tempted to add another to my collection in a different finish - especially the Fireblue.  Despite its size it is very comfortable to use and makes for a nice portable pocket/bag pen.  If you're interested in one for yourself, they range from $55 - $168 depending on the finish.

Thanks for reading!