Fountain Pens From My Collection: Kaweco AL Sport

John Bosley Fountain Pen Reviews 11 Comments

The Kaweco AL Sport is one of the smallest pens that I own. It’s also one of the only all-metal pens that I own. While it may be an outlier in many ways, it’s also one of the pens that I almost always have inked up. What makes it a go-to pen for me? Let’s take a closer look.

Kaweco AL Sport

First and foremost, the AL Sport is a good writer. If a pen doesn’t write well, I’m not going to use it very often. This particular pen came with a fine nib. I’m not a fan of fine nibs, but that was the only option, so I had to make due. While it wrote well, I wanted it to have a wetter, broader line, so I made a few adjustments that gave me the writing experience I wanted. While it is no longer stock, the adjustments I made were simple and performed by me, so I’d say just about anyone could achieve a similar result if they wanted to. One nice thing about Kaweco nibs is that they are fairly inexpensive, so replacing one is not a huge deal.

I find the pen to be extremely satisfying to hold. The brushed aluminum finish feels very soft and smooth. I personally prefer the aluminum body to either the steel or brass, as both are significantly heavier than the aluminum and the brass makes my hands smell strange. I also have one of the plastic Kaweco Sports, which I like, but the AL Sport is so much more substantial. I feel like it is a pen that will easily provide a lifetime of use.

Not only is the pen satisfying to hold and touch, but the quality of the construction can not be overlooked. I’m sure it’s simply because it is machined metal, but the threads are very smooth and tight. Unscrewing the cap is always enjoyable and sometimes I find myself just spinning it off and on again when I’m using it. The threads that join the body to the section are also quite nice, although in my opinion the cap threads are the best. They also seem to seal up the cap pretty well, as I’ve never had issues with the pen drying out if left for too long without use.

Inside the pen, things get a little disappointing. As you may already know, with Kaweco Sports some of your only filling options are a cartridge or a squeeze bulb filler. There is also a piston and a syringe converter, but I haven’t tried them. Having to refill an empty cartridge every time I want to fill the pen is not nearly as convenient as having a built-in filling system. I know that there are obvious size restrictions inside the pen that prevent it from having a proper filling system, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind.

Kaweco AL Sport filling system

The Size and Other Thoughts

I am not an oversized pen kind of guy. My entry point to fountain pens was vintage pens, none of which were overly large. That is typically my reference point, which means I don’t go in for many of the huge pens that currently seem to be so prevalent. Still, the Kaweco Sport series are very small pens. With that being said, I don’t have a problem using it. I rarely post my pens, but I’ve found that when I post a Kaweco Sport it is very comfortable to write with. I also don’t worry about scratching up the barrel with the cap since it is made of aluminum.

kaweco al sport posted

I know that optional clips are sold for these pens, but I have never felt the need to use one. The octagonal cap keeps it from rolling around on flat surfaces and this pen is small and sturdy enough I don’t mind keeping it in my pocket. Speaking of caps, the top of the cap has a pretty sweet Kaweco logo on it.

kaweco al sport cap logo

Conclusions

If you haven’t already guessed, I love my Kaweco AL Sport. I’m not very interested in owning any other plastic Sports, but I’d love to eventually pick up another one or two AL Sports in different colors. They look good, feel great in my hand and are very well made and sturdy. If I ever lost this one, I’d definitely replace it. That’s not something I can say for all of the pens that I own. While it is much smaller than most pens, it is very usable. If you have a regular Kaweco Sport and like it, I would highly recommend picking up an AL Sport. If you’re looking for a small, well-made and relatively inexpensive fountain pen, I don’t think you can go wrong with one of these.

kaweco al sport capped
kaweco al sport cap detail

Note: I want to write these posts as a way to share my perspective on pens that I regularly use. I don’t intend them to be in-depth reviews, but instead give my thoughts on the pens that I like and why I like them.

Comments 11

  1. Pingback: Sunday Reading for August 22, 2021 - Lessonade

  2. Thank you for the post. You inspired me to pull out the brass Sport that I also enjoy writing with. I agree with your assessment of the machining on this pen. It is a pleasure to uncap! Also, this is one of the only pens that I regularly post. For a small pen it feels nice in my hand when I post the cap.

    Thanks again,

    Jay Ballinger

  3. Nice post! Please follow up in a few weeks/months, as I’d like to know how the aluminum surface holds up being in pockets over time. My Sport is my backup pocket pen – always available if when the other pen(s) I have runs out of ink. I also keep a couple of cartridges with me just in case.

    I’m also curious if the Kaweco gold nib is worth the price. It seems silly to add a ~$160 nib to a $25-$70 pen, but I guess it depends on the writing experience.

    1. Thanks! I’ve been using this pen for a year or so now and the surface has held up very well, but I don’t often keep it in my pocket all day long. As for the gold nib, I doubt it’s worth it. Like you say, it’s pretty silly to add such an expensive nib to an inexpensive pen. Plus, I really don’t think it would make a huge impact in the overall writing experience. I’ve never used one, so can’t say for sure, but I feel like common sense says it’s not worth it.

  4. Thank you for sharing this, John. This makes me want to check out this cool pen. The pics are intriguing. Would you please consider elaborating on the adjustments you made or that can be made on a nib in a future article?

    1. You’re welcome, Jim. It really is a nice pen and I feel like it’s a decent value. I was thinking about doing some sort of article on nib tuning. I am by no means an expert, but should have enough experience to get people started.

  5. I have a large collection of Kaweco fountain pens. I use the small sport converter. A little inconvenient as it’s small but I’m not a cartridge person. My favorite is my periwinkle double broad nib one. The ink flows like butter 🙂

    1. They seem to be fairly addictive, Caroline. I’ve seen people with quite a few of them! Good to know about the converter and the double broad. I need to try one of their big nibs!

  6. I love my al-sport, though I use a converter for it. Probably my favorite pen! Enjoyed this review, though I’m curious what you did to modify the nib?

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