Except for a few key differences, the pens are exactly the same – the same shape & size, the same cartridge/converter mechanism, the same screw-on cap.
The biggest difference between the two is the material of the body. The Sport is made out of plastic, and the Al Sport is made from aluminum. This difference also means that the Sport is much lighter than the Al Sport. The Sport weighs around 12g, and the Al Sport is 20g.
The finishes on the Sport are gold – including the writing on the barrel, the metal finial and the nib inside, while the Al Sport finishes are all silver. You can get silver or gold pen clips separately to match the finishes on the pen. These finishes are purely cosmetic – there will be no difference in how the nibs write, just what colour they are.
The Al Sport comes in a grey graphite aluminum and the matte black aluminum.
Previous to around March 2013, one of the biggest advantages to the Kaweco Sport was that it could be converted into an eyedropper, giving it a much, much larger capacity than the standard international ink cartridge, and allowing it to use any variety of bottled ink. The Al Sport cannot be converted into an eyedropper because its aluminum body will react with the ink.
Even though it fits international short cartridges, and therefore would also use any converter that fits these cartridges, the extra compact body of the pen meant that there was no converter available.
Kaweco has just released a squeeze converter to fit both the Sport and Al Sport, so you can use bottled ink with both pens.
Of course there will be a difference in price as well. The Al Sport is a much more expensive $74.00 and the Sport is $23.50. The difference comes in the material of the pen (metal versus plastic), but will not have any difference in the performance of the nib.
So is it worth spending more money on the Al Sport than the Sport? Both pens are compact, will write the same and are very durable. If you like the style of pen, you can’t go wrong with either.
Most people who pick the Al Sport:
– like the weight of the pen in their hand
– prefer the silver finishes over the gold
– like metal over plastic