Kaweco AL Sport - Anthracite (F)
Length Capped: 106mm
Length Posted: 131mm
Length Uncapped: 100mm
Section at Thinnest Point: 9mm
Section at Widest Point: 9.5mm
Weight with Cartridge: 21.4g
Fast Writing: Keeps up well.
Line Variation: Not much at all; not practical.
Upside Down Writing: Very scratchy, but doable.
Wetness: Fairly dry, but partly due to the ink.
Pros: Nib writes well, aluminum body, color options
Cons: Converter options
If you're a regular reader of the blog, you know that grey is one of my favorite colors. When I saw that Kaweco carried a grey AL Sport in their line, I knew that would be the color for me. If you've read my Kaweco BRASS Sport review, or the Kaweco Skyline Sport review, then you're familiar with the looks of the Sports, but I'll go over that quickly here for those new to the site or these pens. Then we'll get into the review itself!
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 - the threads can sometimes squeak when you screw the cap on, which to some people may seem like nails on a chalkboard. Most of the time it's not an issue for me, but it does happen here and there. I'm assuming with age that issue will get better. Finally, the finial is very slightly conical and features the 3-syllable Kaweco logo.
The Anthracite grey AL Sport is a spiffy looking pen. The aluminum barrel has a nice satin/matte looking finish and feels great in the hands. It has a decent weight to it, not too heavy and not too light, at 21.4g with a nearly full cartridge installed. Due to the pen's length, most people tend to post it, and I've found the weight is balanced enough to be able to write both posted and unposted comfortably.
Fortunately I got a really great nib in this pen. It's a fine nib and was aligned perfectly when I got it and has not seemed to skip or hard start so far. I always make sure to flush a new pen out and clean the feed before using it to get all the machine oils and manufacturing debris out of there. Once I inked it up for the first time, it wrote like a dream and still does.
One thing that will always be an issue with the Kaweco Sport pens is the converter options. Since the pen is aluminum, eyedropper conversion isn't an option sadly. The pen takes Standard International short cartridges, and most full sized converters will not fit in the body of the pen. That leaves you with a few options: use only prefilled Standard International Cartridges, refill a used cartridge with a bottled ink and a syringe, or pick up one of the few converter options. The Monteverde Mini Converter, which is a plunger style, will fit in the sport pen but I believe that the plunger cannot be pulled out all the way. I've also heard that people have had issues with it not fitting the back of the feed properly, so there is the potential for leakage. Your second option is the Kaweco squeeze converter which is made specifically for the Kaweco Sport pens. It was recently redesigned to fit better in the new Sports, but a lot of people have issues getting a full fill with the squeeze mechanism. Another option is to fill the Squeeze Converter with a syringe, saving you the hassle of buying cartridges to refill, and avoiding the issue of getting a full fill. Finally, there is the Templar Mini Converter. Stephen Brown used one in his review of the Kaweco Sport RAW, and mentioned that it holds a bit more ink than the squeeze converter. I was going to wait for the Kaweco Squeeze converter to be restocked at JetPens, but I'm thinking the Templar converter will be my next purchase. I'll be sure to let you guys know how that works out!
I really love this pen - it's portable, lightweight, and seems very sturdy. I've always loved aluminum pens, so if you're into that too you'll really like the Kaweco AL Sport. The only real downside is the converter issue, but at least there are more options out there than there used to be. I'm excited at the prospect of this pen weathering over time, similar to the Kaweco AL Sport Stonewashed. I know it won't be as uniform, but I kind of like that idea. So if you have one of these pens, don't be afraid to let it get dinged, dented and scratched - it just adds character!
The Kaweco AL Sport sells for $80. As far as I can tell, the Anthracite color isn't sold by any of the US retailers (please correct me if I'm wrong on that!), but they do carry the Black, Blue, RAW, BRASS and Silver at most places. Keep an eye out for my Kaweco AL Sport Stonewashed version on the blog in the next week or so!
Thanks for reading!
(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).