Inktronics Kaweco Al-SportKaweco Al-Sport Germany fountain pen nib aluminum anodized clip steel metal cartridge ink Vader Fountain Pen Sith Lord

Kaweco AL-Sport and Lord Vader

Kaweco AL Sport Black Fine Point Fountain Pen

1.1 mm italic nib, Conklin Black Cartridge

 

My AL-Sport originally came with a fine nib. I purchased a 1.1 mm italic nib through Goulet Pens some time ago and for my Classic Sport when the Goulet’s used to carry the nib units. It lived in my Classic Sport for all that time until I purchased this Al-Sport. The decision to transfer the nib to the Al-Sport was not a hard one to make. The 1.1 nib is silver-colored and the finials on the Al-Sport are silver-colored, on the Classic Sport they are gold. Something that irked me in a small way but I just tolerated it.

Kaweco Al-Sport Kaweco Al-Sport Germany fountain pen nib aluminum anodized clip steel metal cartridge ink

The Force is Strong With This One

 

The Kaweco Sport line is one that I feel you either like or dislike. There is no middle ground. Part of this is due to the somewhat odd-looking shape. Some people like that it is a very pocketable pen, that is meant to be used with the cap posted. The faceted cap bothers some as the pen rests in the crook of their hand. I do not find any of these points to be a negative and welcome them. Besides materials used in either pen, the Al-Sport is practically identical to its plastic brother. The length capped is 106.4 mm, un-capped 99.8 mm. The barrel diameter at the thinnest point is 9.4 mm. The cap diameter from flat face to flat face is 16.4 mm. The cap length is 70.1 mm. The section is a bit small so my fingers rest on the threads. I can feel the step but it is not sharp or uncomfortable.

Kaweco Al-Sport Kaweco Al-Sport Germany fountain pen nib aluminum anodized clip steel metal cartridge ink

The Shiny Boots Shot

Kaweco Al-Sport Germany fountain pen nib aluminum anodized clip steel metal cartridge ink

AL-Sport Finial

Kaweco Al-Sport Germany fountain pen nib aluminum anodized clip steel metal cartridge ink

It Is Made In Germany, In Case You Did Not Notice

The pen is made of anodized aluminum and while the finish is durable, it is not totally impervious to showing wear. Mine has started to show some wear just above the threads and appears to come from uncapping/capping the pen. The nib itself is a bit dry but has enough flow to write smooth with cartridge ink. While using the pen on longer writing sessions, I noticed that black ink starts to get a bit light. The feed recovers quickly to a very dark black after a couple of minutes capped and nib down. I have not had the nib totally dry out on me or skip. If you like Lamy italic nibs, I feel this nib is comparable in performance to the 1.1 mm italic nib.

Kaweco Al-Sport Germany fountain pen nib aluminum anodized clip steel metal cartridge ink

Kaweco AL-Sport Cap Finial

Kaweco Al-Sport Germany fountain pen nib aluminum anodized clip steel metal cartridge ink

Did I mention it is Made in Germany?

 

The solid feel of the aluminum barrel is a nice upgrade from the cheaper feel of the Classic Sport. This sturdier feel of the aluminum does not sacrifice a balanced feel in the hand.

Kaweco Al-Sport Germany fountain pen nib aluminum anodized clip steel metal cartridge ink

Kaweco AL-Sport Fountain Pen

Kaweco Al-Sport Germany fountain pen nib aluminum anodized clip steel metal cartridge ink

Kaweco AL-Sport Fountain Pen Cross Your Fingers Edition

 

When I swapped my nib, I had to experiment with different feed positions as it leaked quite a bit initially. The Kaweco squeeze converter works with the pen, but I have read some comments saying that it fit a bit loose in some pens.

Kaweco Al-Sport nib 1.1 mm italic Germany

Kaweco 1.1 mm Italic Nib

Kaweco Al-Sport Germany fountain pen nib clip aluminum anodized

Kaweco AL-Sport, Cap Posted

 

I was able to purchase my pen for much less than the going price at isellpens.com when Todd was clearing them out. I have not seen them on the site since. :( I’m not sure if I would pay the full street price of between $75 and $80. If you can find it for under $60 I would say that is an excellent price.

 

Thank you,

 

Ivan

The Fountain Pen Sith Lord

 

Inktronics Blog, where the pen is mightier than the sword but a light saber?

*If you purchase from my Amazon links, you are helping to fund more reviews on inktronicsblog.com

 

One Man Made Wallet and Key Fob

One Man Made Wallet and Key Fob

One Man Made Leather Wallet

 

I want to thank One Man Made for providing this wallet. I won it via a giveaway that was hosted on Instagram.

One Man Made is, as suggested by the name, a one man operation out of Portland, Oregon run by Brent Schuller. His online shop can be found at onemanmade.com. I found a little bit on the man behind the company in an article that appeared in The Oregonian.

 

A natural horween leather smell that wafted from the cloth bag that it came in was impressive. The bi-fold wallet has six slots, three on each side and one large pocket for storing bills. I have used the wallet close to a month and it is wearing nicely. The stitching looks tight and professionally done.  All the outside edges have been burnished for a more finished look. I did notice that this particular version is not on his site but another version that has four slots (two per side) is currently on the site. I think I may know why. While the wallet can fit 6 cards, it gets a tad bit fat for front pocket carry. When I take 2 cards out, the thickness seems much more manageable. Overall a great looking wallet that should last for years to come. Despite not paying for this wallet, it is well worth the money Mr. Schuller is asking.

One Man Made Wallet, Portland, Oregon

One Man Made Wallet After About A Month of Wear

 

Thank you for reading.

 

Ivan

The Fountain Pen Sith Lord

Inktronicsblog.com, where the pen is mightier than the sword but a light saber?

 

Inktronics Reviews The Nock Co. Hightower Notebook and Pen Case.

Inktronics Reviews The Nock Co. Hightower Notebook and Pen Case.

Nock Co. Hightower

Pen/Notebook Storage

 

Nock Co. is the brainchild of Jeffery Bruckwicki and Brad Dowdy. I don’t remember exactly where I heard about Nock Co., I think it was an Instagram photo that started it for me. Later, I heard Brad talk about it on the Pen Addict Podcast. At that point, I did not have a Kickstarter account, but a few minutes later, I was signed up and waiting for the announcement that the Nock Co. campaign was live. A few months later, I had my Kickstarter Edition Hightower. I have been EDC’ing it ever since.

The Hightower in the Kickstarter Limited Edition Peacock Color Scheme.

The Hightower in the Kickstarter Limited Edition Peacock Color Scheme.

 

The Hightower is a bi-fold 3-pen case with storage for a notebook. At least that is how it is advertised. I have managed to carry two notebooks (Word and Clairefontaine Life.Unplugged) with three pens just fine. I have exchanged the Clairefontaine notebook for my HTC One with no issues but I am not totally comfortable with it since I feel the phone might slide out the pocket accidentally. More on that later.

 

All the seams and stitching have a professional look and feel. The pen side shows the bar tack stitching that we helped Nock Co. produce. You see, the Kickstarter project helped fund the bar tack machine that makes possible the reinforced stitching that looks like “bars” at the top of the pen storage area. There is a flap that covers your pens to provide some extra protection for the clips. The edges of all the seams have been melted to keep the material from fraying. A tasteful Nock Co tag is in the interior and on the notebook side. For as long as I have been using it, the Hightower looks like the day it arrived.

The Nock Co Hightower Interior View.

The Nock Co Hightower Interior View.

 

While reading up on Nock Co, I learned that the products are aimed at the low-end of the spectrum but very high quality and in that respect, Nock Co delivers in a big way. This is definitely high quality and affordable.

Pen Storage, Simple and Safe Storage

Pen Storage, Simple and Safe Storage

 

There is only one thing I would change about the Hightower. I would have made the notebook pocket vertical instead of horizontal. That way you could slip in a notebook and use it without having to remove the notebook from the case. It is more of a minor quibble than anything.

 

This is a quality product that is made in the USA and I am happy to support this homegrown product. Look for the Nock Co store to open soon!

 

Ivan

The Fountain Pen Sith Lord.

Where the pen is mightier than the sword but a light saber?

*This product was purchased with my own money and Nock Co. did not endorse nor approve this review. The views expressed are my own and do not reflect those of my employer.

What should I review next?

Posted: May 20, 2014 in Misc

I thought maybe a little reader participation might be nice. I have two items I want to review but maybe you can help me decide which item to review.

First off, I have the Nock Co. Hightower. For those not familiar with it, it is a notebook/pen case touted/produced/marketed by the Pen Addict himself, Brad Dowdy. This is the limited edition Kickstarter version in peacock with a dark navy blue interior.

Next I have the Kaweco Al-Sport. It is the metal version of the Kaweco Classic. Mine had been modified to hold a Kaweco 1.1 mm italic nib.

Let me know in the comments! What’s your choice?

Pilot Metropolitan

[Vader] The Force Is Strong With This One! [/Vader]


Pilot Metropolitan

Medium Nib – Stipula Musk Green

 

First, thank you to JetPens for providing this review sample pen and ink!

The first gel pen I ever truly liked was the Pilot Hi-Tec C. When I delved into fountain pens, it was only natural I gravitate towards Pilot pens once more. My first Pilot fountain pen was the lowly 78G in broad italic nib. It was and still is a great value fountain pen, but while you can still get them, they are sadly discontinued. Others, like the Varsity in its semi-disposable glory, and the Penmanship, with its somewhat plasticky look, just did not fill the void left by the 78G. That is until the Metropolitan came into being. Its initial offering came in three colors; black, silver and gold. All had conservative styling that made it seem like Pilot was just testing the waters to see if it was going to be a success. Since then, it is safe to say that it has been a great success. We have seen new colors and grip designs appear and now, just recently, a new nib size; Fine. You see, the Metropolitan
only came in medium nib. I realize that many people are going to love a fine nib, but I would love to see another italic nib come directly on the Metropolitan without having to do any nib swapping.

Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen

Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen Vs. Darth Vader!

This brings me to the pen I am reviewing today. I must say, this pen does not disappoint. I know that is pretty much giving the review away but I am excited about it. The very smooth medium nib is a dream. I have pens costing three times as much as what the Metropolitan retails for and they did not come with such a smooth nib. Pilot had to cut costs somewhere and it seems they did it in the plastic section. Other than that, the rest of the pen is metal. It is surprisingly light-weight for a metal pen. The pen posts fine and is surprisingly balanced, but I don’t usually post my pens.

Pilot Metropolitan

The Pilot Metropolitan has a Light Saber er, umm, Squeeze Converter!

Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen Medium Nib

Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen Medium Nib

The pen dimensions are somewhat similar to the 78G with the Metropolitan being slightly larger. Capped it is 138.3 mm, uncapped it is 125.5 mm. The section diameter at its thinnest point is 8.5 mm. The barrel is 13 mm at the widest diameter. The section length just before the large step is 20 mm. I find the step noticeable but not bothersome. The clip is tight and springy. The snap cap grips the section nicely without being overly tight.

Pilot Metroploitan Writing Sample on Hobonich Techo Tomoe River Paper

Pilot Metropolitan Writing Sample on Hobonich Techo Tomoe River Paper

Pilot Metropolitan

Close Up Of The Writing Sample

Overall, the pen that Pilot has brought forth is an excellent value. Under $20 with a gift box, squeeze converter and ink cartridge? Sign me up!! I really do not know how Pilot did it. It will most likely be the best value in the fountain pen world for a while!

 

Thank you for reading!

 

Ivan

The Fountain Pen Sith Lord.

Inktronics Blog, where the pen is mightier than the sword, but a light saber?

 

*If you purchase via my Amazon links, you help support this blog and more reviews.

Levenger L-Tech Stealth, M nib with Stylus *

Levenger Black Cartridge

Levenger L-Tech Fountain Pen Stylus

Levenger L-Tech Fountain Pen Stylus

 

I have been using the Levenger L-Tech Stealth Plus Fountain Pen with Stylus and Medium nib  for a couple of months now and have been enjoying the pen. It is not without some issues that are minor. The issues are nib related and maybe cap related. Let’s take a closer look.

Levenger L-tech Stylus Clip

The Strong but Springy Clip

The pen is a seven sided brass metal body. It posts but becomes a bit too large and unwieldy. As I prefer not to post my pens, this is not an issue for me. It seems like eventually the threads would end up scratching the butt end of the barrel after posting repeatedly. I really like the way the section is knurled. There is a large step down from the barrel to the section but the section is large enough that it is not an issue for me. If you hold your pen higher up on the barrel it may be more of an issue for you.

Levenger L-Tech Stylus Uncapped

Levenger L-Tech Stylus Unsheathed

The whole body is covered in a matte black lacquer. It makes the pen look sleek and high-tech. It looks very attractive, when clean. After a few writing sessions, I started to notice fingerprints showing up as greasy, shiny spots on the body. A quick wipe with a microfiber cloth cleaned it right up, but it is worth mentioning.

Levenger L-Tech Stylus

A closer look at the nib and knurled section.

The nib is very smooth with just a slight hint of feedback. I also noticed it is just a bit noisy on Rhodia paper which surprised me, considering how smooth it writes. It is a pleasing sound, at least to me but it is more noticeable than other pens in my collection. Performance of the nib was good but as I wrote for longer sessions, I started noticing some skipping issues. More notably on the first letter of a sentence. A pause between sentences of 10-15 seconds was enough to make it skip so it is a bit dry. A second pass and it starts writing again. Not a big deal for me since I tune my own nibs but it can be annoying. Upon further investigation, I discovered that it was possibly due to the ink. I was using the Levenger black cartridge that came with the pen. While on a business trip, I ran out of ink and popped in a Conway Stewart black cartridge that I received with another pen. Please note that I did not clean the pen before initial use, nor did I clean the pen before putting in the new cartridge. I wanted to simulate what someone new to fountain pens might do. The skipping stopped for the most part with just a couple of skips here and there. This leads me to believe that the skipping may have been in large part due to the ink, although it is still a dry writer.

Levenger L-Tech Stylus

The Conway Stewart Black Cartridge

Levenger L-Tech Stylus

Stylus meet nib, nib meet stylus

How about the stylus? I have been using it mainly with my iPad mini and have not had any issues with it. I did notice while trying to tap on a smaller portion of the screen, it may not work straight away. I have had this issue with other styluses so this is not unique to this one. I feel it is more of a hardware or iOS issue recognizing the tap. I do find that I use the pen more for writing than I do as a stylus. Not a totally unexpected outcome for me. I do have to make one observation that I think may be due to the stylus. I live in the desert southwestern US where even now, our temperatures are getting in the mid 80 degrees F. Ink is drying very fast in this pen and I think it is due to the stylus. The stylus screws into the cap. I noticed that there is no inner cap and when you unscrew the stylus, the nib is immediately visible. It may be that the stylus does not create a tight seal and allows air in that dries out the ink. I had a 3/4 full cartridge a week ago and it was empty as of this writing. I have not used the pen often this past week.

Levenger L-Tech Stylus

There is nothing to seal out the air.

People who do not like heavier metal than guitar riffs at a Black Sabbath concert, need not apply. If you like your pens to have some heft, you will like this. People who do not like metal sections might give this a chance as the knurled section really gives you some positive grip even after a lengthy writing session. The Medium nib may be a bit dry for some tastes and might be partially responsible for a skipping issue although changing inks mostly solved this. The nib is also smooth out of the box, a plus. The stylus works but is more of a novelty for me and may be the source of quick drying inks within the pen. The clip is springy but tight enough to hold the weight of the pen to a shirt pocket. The cap screws on and off in just over two turns. The matte finish is technically supposed to be low-key, but this black pen will stand out from the crowd and grab people’s attention. The finish can attract fingerprints like a phone screen but it is easily cleaned. I enjoy using the pen overall.

Thank you for reading.

Ivan

The Fountain Pen Sith Lord

Inktronics Blog – Where the pen is mightier than the sword but a light saber?

*Thank you to Levenger for providing this pen for review.

 

CamiApp Review

CamiApp A6 Notebook by Kokuyo – Review
The CamiApp notebook is an A6 sized spiral bound notebook. The cover is stiff cardboard. Obviously, with the spiral bound paper, the notebook lies very flat. Some people do not like spiral notebooks because the spiral gets in the way of their hand, and this is understandable. This is a small notebook and the spiral is minimal. This is not the first time I use Kokuyo paper and as always, Kokuyo’s coated paper performs admirably with fountain pens. In the case of the CamiApp notebook, fountain pen friendliness is not its claim to fame. What makes the notebook unique is the electronic aspect when paired with an Android or iOS device. The CamiApp application allows you to take pictures of your notes and catalog them with tags and “macros” within the app and special designations on the paper itself. There is a series of rectangles on the top left of the page that can automatically classify your notes.

I must admit, I was expecting a little more when it comes to the electronic aspect. It may be my unrealistic expectations, but I was thinking there would be some OCR (optical character recognition) aspect to the software. Sadly, there is none. Once your note is in electronic form, the only editing you can do is a “white board” style of mark up on the screen with rudimentary paint tools.

I am impressed at how well the app can straighten an image, although, after some research on similar technologies from other companies, it is on par with what is being offered. The black border around the page is used by the software to straighten the image. This explains the warning not to tear out the page before scanning it.

For drawings, short lists and quick notes I do not see an issue using this notebook. However, if you want to do more serious writing, I do not see the app doing more than simple cataloguing. The app does export to well known apps like; Evernote, DropBox, Google Drive, Smartbiz+, Sugarsync, and SkyDrive. It also does simple exports to email and your local photo album.

For my tests, I saved to a PDF in my local drive and Google Drive. I do believe I like the iOS experience over Android. With the Android version, I was always tweaking menus because I had forgotten something. Not so with iOS on my iPad Mini. After the initial setup in iOS, there was no need to tweak anymore settings once they were set.
Overall, a good performing analog notebook with some left to be desired performance when it comes to the app portion but still very usable.

Thank you for reading,

Ivan
The Fountain Pen Sith Lord

I would like to thank Jetpens.com for providing this review sample. The CamiApp is available through JetPens at this page.

CamiApp Review
CamiApp Review
CamiApp Review
CamiApp Review
CamiApp Review