Friday, 18 January 2013

Kaweco calligraphy pen set review

I've been considering learning calligraphy for a while now and I'm delighted that I've found a local course with Gaynor Goffe later this year. I'd like to thank Cult Pens for sending me the Classic Sport calligraphy set free of charge to review.

Kaweco are a German company originally established in 1883 and the Sport pen had been sold since 1934. The original company ceased production many years ago, but the name was purchased by an experienced and enthusiastic pen parts manufacturer called Michael Gutberlet. He has revived classic designs and turned Kaweco back into a respected and successful brand.

The nicely designed packaging isn't overly excessive for the size of the set and the box has a funky sliding lid which I like. To open, you pull a tab made of ribbon and a section slides to one side to reveal and open up the contents.

Here's the pen itself:

10cm in length with cap on

13cm when posted
The styling is not what I'd expected for a calligraphy pen as maybe I thought it would be more like the Lamy Joy for some reason. I do like the unusual and modern design and there is a silver logo on the top of the screw cap which I think adds a touch of class to the white plastic. The cap is faceted so that the pen won't roll off your desk. As you can see from the photo, posting the cap on the end turns it into a full size pen which feels comfortable in my hand. My husband's opinion was that it would be more comfortable for him if the barrel size was the same thickness as the cap, but with my smaller hands I find the width fine. The design is a classic 'Pocket Pen' type which means that the barrel is narrower so that most of the pen tucks away into the cap when closed. 'Small in the pocket, large in the hand' is Kaweco's slogan.

This is what's included:

The nibs are very easy to change over as they just screw into the barrel and come with caps to protect them when not in use. There is no converter available to use bottled ink, but I am going to buy some Pelikan 4001 ink and have a blunt syringe that I will use to fill the short international standard cartridge that it takes.

Left to right in width: 1.1, 1.5, 1.9 and 2.33 mm
All four nibs worked immediately after inserting a cartridge and the pen writes smoothly on the page with the ink drying quite quickly. I can't compare this to other calligraphy pens as I'm just starting out, but I'm finding that the 1.1mm width is quite nice to use for day to day use. Once I've started my course I will do a follow up post to let you know how I'm getting on with it after some tuition.

Not Filofax paper 

Looking again, the bleed-through isn't too bad
To buy the items separately it would cost you £45.46 (compared with £52.00 for the set) but the protective caps for the nibs are not available to buy on their own and you wouldn't get the box. Also, the calligraphy nibs are made up specially by this company and not normally available to purchase individually. It's also possible to buy pocket clips, pen pouches and different coloured ink cartridges.

I think this is a great set as a beginner and I feel I have everything I need to start learning calligraphy. If I had purchased this myself I would probably have gone for the black version as I wonder if the white will get stained by ink. The pen and additional nibs will be easy to transport and take with me on my course. I'm not sure that I would have spent this much on a set, but it's a good brand and I've read other positive reviews about it elsewhere:
Fountain Pen Network
The Pen Addict
Drawing with a Squirrel

Cult Pens also sent me the twist and out cartridge dispenser which holds 8 cartridges. I remember a friend at school having something similar in her pencil case and I always thought it was cool! I normally keep my cartridges in a drawer in a desk tidy, but this little dispenser is a neat way to always have some to hand.


  1. Many thanks for the post Anita, it was very interesting and great in detail. I attended a short course on calligraphy a number of years ago. We used a large variety of pens including some fibre type nibs with oblique tips and the standard metal nibs in with various widths. Initially we had a warming up session drawing swirls this was in order to get the fingers loosend up and used to holding the pens, I suppose the equivalent would be athletes stretching their legs muscles prior to a race.

    1. Thanks, Tony. Your course sounds great & I think the warming up sounds like a good idea too :)

  2. The cart holder is very cute. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi & thanks for your comment! Yes, I think so too :)