As I had already pointed out in my recent review of the Faber-Castell E-Motion rollerball pen, and as one might also guess from the recent quick writing sample of the Jinhao 159 (review to follow somewhen), I am currently out and about to get into fountain pens – again.
Again, because of course I have used them in school back in the days – then stopped using them for many years. This was not because I did not like them, but because of me being left-handed. Hence, I was often annoyed of writing with fountain pens, because I would just sort of smudge the ink all over the place.
Anyway, I recently gave fountains another shot – which was more by coincidence – and I was pleasantly surprised: I really liked the writing-experience a lot. And I did not smear the ink any longer. I do not exactly know why, though. Maybe the inks got better the past 20 years or so, which is round about the time that I had not written with fountain pens anymore. Or, and that is also possible, the way I hold my hand when writing has changed. I am not entirely sure. Anyway, I do not smear the ink anymore, and that counts. That is, for now, if I use around an F-nib – because a broader nib will obviously lay down a thicker line of ink, which will be rather wet and not dry in so fast, causing some smearing, again.
Having that said, I wanted to try the Kaweco pens, since I have read a lot of good stuff on the net as them being very solid entry level pens (and even more) that are not entirely on the cheapest side. So I opted for them, because I just did not want to get disappointed right from scratch by using the cheapest option available.
As many of you might already know, Kaweco is a German pen manufacturer, located in Nuremberg, with a pretty long company history (since 1883). Seemed trustworthy enough to me. So, for a review and for playing around with my new fountain pen sympathies, I got their fountain pen model “Student” (F-nib, vintage blue) to get the thing rolling. So let’s see about that pen.
The Kaweco Student is made of polished acrylic material. The metal parts that you can see are made of brass and are chrome-plated. The vintage-blue color that you can see on the pictures is pretty much the same in reality. I think it looks lovely. The pens are also available in yellow, black, transparent blue, white, and red. It has some ornaments plus the Kaweco label-sign on the clip as well as on the ring around the cap. All this – and the rest of the pen you are going to see now – gives the pen sort of a really nice vintage or old school look.
Here is another view on the cap. It has sort of an emblem on top of the cap, which is the Kaweco company logo. The cap itself has a length of about 5,5 cm.
That Kaweco logo on top of the cap is in form of three syllables that are arranged in sort of a triangular star-shape: KA-WE-CO. That also looks very nice and old school, I think. Especially in combination with the vintage blue color. I do also have a black rollerball of the “Student” (see below), which then looks a bit more classy.
The fountain pen is fairly short, I would say. In total, it measures about 13cm, which makes it a pretty compact companion. It is a very solid pen, I must say. It has a nice heavy weight to it for a pen of that small size and it is pleasant to hold.
Since the pen is not too cheap (it goes for around 40€), I wanted to have a proper and fitting home for it in order to safely take it out. I opted for a Kaweco Flap Case for 2 pens. It is black leather, looks classy and has a separating element in the middle (I think it is felt, or at least felt-coated), that prevents the two pens from constantly bumping onto each other. The case carries the same logo as the top of the pen’s cap.
This is the case again, this time with the flap opened. The pens just fit perfectly in there, of course, since the case is made just for that type of pen size. Here you can also see the black “Student”, which I have as an additional rollerball – since rollerballs are still my “first love” so to speak. But let’s see if this stays that way. I might be lead astray. Anyway, I will write a separate post about that rollerball another time.
Let’s have a look at the nib. Yeah, I know I am new to those “nib-shots” as well, so please excuse my greenhornishness on that one. Anyway, I think one can still see that the pen as a lovely nib with some nice looking ornaments on it. Plus the by now familiar Kaweco logo, of course.
This is another angle on the nib. It is a steel nib with an iridium point and it’s available in EF, F, M, B and BB. You do see a F-nib on the pen on the picture, which is the nib that I use to write with it. As I said, I am left-handed, and anything that is much broader that an F will just cause me to smudge the ink all over the place, again. I do have an additional B-nib for that pen however, and I have also tried my luck with it. No chance. Well, the line that the B-nib lays down is really beautiful, because obviously you see much more of the ink. I might use that one occasionally when I do some few lines of calligraphy. But for me personally, the B is definitely no everyday-writer. Also, I do write way too much and too fast, so that an F-nib is a lot more space-saving. On top of it, as said, the line it lays is not that thick, which is another plus, because you do not really have to care too much about using fountain pen-friendly paper. I use the F-nib with Kaweco-ink (at the moment the royal blue) and I can use pretty much any piece of paper that I can get a hold on and just use the pen without any bleeding-through of the ink. Having that said, I might want to add that the pen takes standard international ink cartridges or converters, too.
Now, to the writing part. As you can see, and as I have already mentioned, the pen is a bit shorter (about 12cm without the cap on). I do have slightly larger hands, but I can still hold the pen very comfortably. The only thing that happens with lengthier writing sessions is that the section gets a little slippery for me, so I do have to readjust my grip at times. Otherwise, I do love the line that the F-nib lays. There’s no skipping, no hard start problems, or anything like that. To me personally, it just writes pleasantly smooth.
Here are some writing samples and some coloring. It is possible to get a little line variation. Otherwise, the nib is pretty sturdy, I think. To me, this is perfectly fine. Line variation is nothing I aim for in a nib, because I really do mostly use the pens for taking notes and academic or creative writing, not so much for the calligraphy part of it.
All in all, the Kaweco Student is a really good pen, I think. It looks beautiful, has good quality, and most importantly it does write really nice. If the 40€ are okay for you to spend, I would definitely recommend that pen. Here are the summarizing pros and cons from my perspective: