Curious how the Kaweco AL Sport Raw holds up over time? Close-up photos and a detailed review of my well-used pocket pen follow…
This is an all aluminum finish, no embellishment, no fuss.
This isn’t your Grandaddy’s pen, it screams modern even though the Sport was released by Kaweco in 1935, it didn’t take on today’s iteration until sixty years later in 1995. The design just looks like it appeals to the young, hip fountain pen set or the garage tinkerer.
It’s high gloss raw aluminum finish is attractive but most people want to discover how the finish holds up over time. I carried this pen everywhere for more than a month to find out for you…
Kaweco AL Sport Raw Fountain Pen Design
Nib Width: 6mm
Nib Length: 16mm
Mid-Grip Width: 6mm
Cap Band Width: 11mm
Total Weight: 22g
Cap Weight: 8g
The Kaweco AL Sport Raw fountain pen is made of all aluminum without any embellishment.
In the photo to the left, it’s boxed with the Kaweco Classic Sport, a plastic pen that doesn’t have the same feel and substance.
When you first receive it, it’s unscathed, raw and gorgeous. But don’t let that fool you, this pen is designed to carry in your pocket and take a beating and will eventually show every scratch.
But that builds character right?
It’s 8-sided and looks like a tool for the garage just like another aluminum model the AC Sport.
The shiny untouched aluminum finish is irresistible when you’re unboxing it the first time. Every time I’d recap it the first week I had it after use, I’d carefully do so because I knew the finish would scratch. Sure enough it did and it’s battle-worn now and the finish has fine scratches all over the cap as well as around the body where the cap screws on.
The nib is made of steel and engraved with Kaweco’s logo and some spiral flourishes. What’s interesting about the nib is it’s interchangeable with any nib from other pens in the Kaweco Sport series fountain pens. It’s easy to unscrew it from the body and pop in a different sized nib.
Kaweco’s tri-sectioned logo appears not only on the nib, but also on the end of the cap on the Kaweco AL Sport Raw it’s an all aluminum stamped logo, unlike others in the sport series which are enameled black or affixed with a plastic cap button.
I’m reviewing the medium nib on this pen, but it’s also available in EF, F, M, B and BB. You can see a writing sample of the BB here.
This is cartridge or converter fill and came with one Kaweco cartridge in the body. You can also buy the Sport series squeeze converter for this pen, which is the same size as a cartridge but has a metal handle that spans the length of the converter so you can squeeze it to fill it.
Fountain Pen Performance: Kaweco AL Sport Raw
The medium steel nib is a medium writer. No surprises, it is smooth and fun to use. I write pretty fast and the medium nib doesn’t struggle to keep up. It has no issues sailing along the pages of my journal as thoughts hit me without an issue.
What I love about the Kaweco AL Sport Raw is that it is absolutely an everyday carry pen meaning I used it on every type of paper I came into contact with for many weeks (I own this pen and love it so much I carried it everywhere for almost a month until someone gifted me another pen I’m now using to review for you later.)
I usually use fountain pens for a week on everything to test them and then review them. This pen I’ve used almost a month and it rolls around the bottom of my bag, in my pocket, at my desk… everywhere with no problems!
Just like most fountain pens, it writes even better on heavy paper like Clairefontaine 90g. The ink settles more evenly in heavy paper than in notebook paper so there’s less feathering or bleed-through. This applies to all fountain pens, not just the AC Sport Raw though.
I forgot I had this pen for four days, then uncapped it when I came upon it in the vast bottomless pit of my purse, and it wrote like a dream as if I’d just inked it. No hard starts, although it did skip twice after sitting for that long, but hasn’t skipped again.
This is a daily-carry pen and the finish is meant to take a beating and show some character; it’s like a trusty old friend, always there for you, and the longer you know each other, the more character appears on your faces.
Okay, But How Does It Feel?
The long cap means when uncapping it, the aluminum section flare will make contact with the raw aluminum cap. Because the cap is so long and the flare on the section (which keeps you fingers from sliding onto the nib) is almost the same diameter means when pulling them apart, the aluminum will bump against it.
The result of the aluminum-to-aluminum contact is a harsh grinding sound that made me cringe thinking the finish was going to take a beating an it does, but that’s the wonder of this raw finish!
All of the capping and recapping means it leaves circular fine scratches in the finish of the body, further proof of your love and regular use of this pen.
Because the nib is meant to unscrew and replace easily, just be careful to tighten it down before adding your cartridge or converter. I didn’t have any issues with it coming loose on theKaweco AL Sport Raw, but something to think about.
The Kaweco AL Sport Raw fountain pen feels balanced like the rest of the Sport series fountain pens. You’d expect it to be heavy because of the chunky cap design, but because of the aluminum, it’s much lighter than it looks.
This pen is too short for me to use without posting the cap, but who wants to do that? 🙂 I like to write with the cap posted on the back; posted, this pen is fun to write with and you’ll keep checking the finish for your own battle-scars like I do.
This is a screw-off cap and it takes just 1.5 rotations to remove it. I generally prefer pull off caps, but because it’s so long of a cap, it’s not too bothersome.
The long cap posts very well because the weight is distributed down the body of 2/3 of the pen.
The aluminum makes it a delight to use, it’s so much lighter than it would be if it were made of brass but more substantial than if it were plastic.
The Classic Sport is plastic and while it has the same nib, it’s not nearly as enjoyable to use because it feels like a plastic pen. It’s like when you graduated from your first Lamy Safari to your first $100+ fountain pen, the step up between the Classic and Kaweco AL Sport Raw is the same feeling!
The cap doesn’t screw on to post, but sits there proudly and dares you to try and wiggle it off. Its length means it seats incredibly well on the body without chattering or moving around. I have a passion for posting caps and the Kaweco AL Sport is designed for posters!
How Does The Patina Hold Up Over Time?
The photo of the Kaweco AL Sport Raw Aluminum is of the high gloss finish as perceived by the naked eye after a month of heavy use. Capping, uncapping, rolling around in my bag for a month, this is the patina my particular pen developed.
Below is how it looks under a loupe, magnified ten-times so you can see all of the fine scratches that developed through my loving and using this pen. The most prominent developed where the pen cap bangs the body as you screw and unscrew the cap, the rest of the fine scratches are just normal use.
Who is the Fountain Pen Good For? Is It a Good Overall Value?
You can also pick up a squeeze converter for this pen. You attach this converter where you see the cartridge attached to the pen on the upper left and squeeze it which creates a vacuum to draw in bottled ink.
Do you like the finish of your pen to show character with more use? Are you attracted to the stories the finish tells about where a fountain pen has been and how much it is loved and used?
The Kaweco AL Sport Raw will tell those stories without you saying a word. This is a pen for the true enthusiast that likes to use a fountain pen whether in the garage working at a hobby, at the store, jotting a note on a receipt… anything. It’s lightweight and cozy and you can buy a couple of fountain pens from the Sport series and trade nibs to find your perfect size nib width.
This looks and feels like it’s designed for a guy’s guy, but as a woman I also enjoy using and carrying it everywhere. I appreciate how it’s designed for pocket carry and fits in any corner or crevice.
The scratches tell a story and show how much it’s loved; sort of like the scratched off eyes on your favorite childhood stuffed animal; remember how your favorite stuffed animal wouldn’t stand up on its own after a while because the stuffing has settled from years of hauling it around the house everywhere?
Your use will tell its own story.
Get the price of the Kaweco AL Sport Raw fountain pen now on Amazon.