Tag Archives: Kaweco

Kaweco Italic or Calligraphy Nibs – 1.1, 1.5, 1.9, 2.3

Many companies make italic or stub nibs as an option for their pens, including Lamy, TWSBI, Edison, and of course, Kaweco. These “italic” or “calligraphy” nibs are primarily a European writing style, so you may not find them as often on Japanese or Asian pens, except as a music nib.

Kaweco Calligraphy Nibs 1.1, 1.5, 1.9, 2.3 at Wonder Pens, wonderpens.ca

These days, in my abundant free time, I’ve been playing around with the Kaweco calligraphy nibs- you can get these on any Kaweco pen you buy, or buy them individually as a spare nib unit. I’ve had a lot of fun playing with the Pilot Parallel pens, but I love that I can get a nib as wide as 2.3 on a more compact pen.

I used a clear Kaweco Sport for these writing samples, which I’ve eye-droppered with Noodler’s Kiowa Pecan. If you’re going to be using italic nibs, especially the wider ones, it helps to have a lot of ink. (For some direction on converter your Sport to an eyedropper, check out this post)

Kaweco Calligraphy Nibs 1.1, 1.5, 1.9, 2.3 Writing Sample at Wonder Pens, wonderpens.ca

The 1.1 and 1.5 nibs are fairly standard, smooth, even flow but still with good line variation. The 1.1 is good for everyday writing, and you may be able to squeeze in the 1.5 if you’ve got good paper or large handwriting. A lot of customers use these nibs for letter or card writing, but a Fine or Medium nib for their work or school notes. 

Kaweco Calligraphy Nibs 1.1, 1.5, 1.9, 2.3 Writing Sample at Wonder Pens, wonderpens.ca

The 1.9 and 2.3 nibs, though, are slightly more exciting. I love that they’re still nice and wet, and you can see shading with the ink. The difference in the horizontal and the vertical is of course much more pronounced, so your writing really takes on a bit more of a calligraphic air, without even taking any lessons! (Although, obviously, some lessons would help…)

While I did just describe the nib as wet, being so wide does mean that you have to slow down just a bit. You’re not going to be able to scribble and scrawl at top speed, especially if you want the strokes to be even and crisp. If you write at an moderate pace, your ink should be able to keep up no problem – I think this may also not be a big deal because calligraphy is not necessarily meant to be scratched out, but written with a bit of care.

Kaweco Calligraphy Nibs 1.1, 1.5, 1.9, 2.3 Writing Sample at Wonder Pens, wonderpens.ca

Kaweco Calligraphy Nibs 1.1, 1.5, 1.9, 2.3 Writing Sample at Wonder Pens, wonderpens.ca  Kaweco Calligraphy Set at wonderpens.caYou can get all four of the nibs, plus a Black Sport with Silver Trim, and two packs of black cartridges in their Calligraphy Set, which all comes in a beautiful tin case.

Of course, you get everything you need, but there are a few advantages to getting it in the set, rather than individually (unless you know you just one want or two nibs). Kaweco Calligraphy Set at Wonder Pens in Toronto, CanadaEach nib comes in a section, which you can just screw on and off to the barrel of the Sport. You can keep a cartridge punctured in the back, and the little clear plastic domes fit around the nib to keep them from drying out. If you’re doing a lot of switching back and forth, addressing envelopes that need different font sizes, or practising calligraphy or typography, this can be really handy.

I’ve just been playing around with the 2.3 nib for the past little while, and when it came down to doing writing samples of all of the nibs, my fingers got pretty inky as I had to pull out each nib from the section, with the feed all inky.

In the future, if you have a different pen you’d like to use these italic nibs with, they’re friction fit, so you can pull them out of the housing and put them in any other Kaweco pen.

Kaweco Calligraphy Set at WonderPens.ca       Kaweco Calligraphy Nibs at Wonderpens.ca

If you know which nib you want, though, you then have the flexibility of either purchasing the nib with the pen body of your choice (mint, burgundy, clear…) or you can purchase the nib unit alone. This is pretty common for people who know they’re only going to use the italic nibs in certain situations. 

Keep in mind that all of the italic nibs are only made with a silver finish. You can purchase a Black Sport Skyline with Silver Trim, but many of the other Sports only have gold trim, so if you have a Clear Sport, like the one in these pictures, the nib isn’t going to match the finial.

Kaweco Clear Sport Demonstrator as Eyedropper

Kaweco Vintage-Styled Clip on Clear Sport

If you already have a pen, Kaweco or otherwise, you should consider trying an italic nib! Taking the time to slow down with your writing and maybe even looking up some calligraphy guidelines online will help you develop an appreciation for the beauty of handwriting and its rich and beautiful history. It can be almost meditative, while also giving you a good reason to get writing. 

Kaweco Student Fountain Pen

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMany moons ago, a customer came into the shop to browse and say hello (mostly to browse). Incidentally, he had purchased from us online, and due to some weird coincidence of pen orders that were very, very similar, and some very minor brouhaha going on at the shop, we thought we may have sent him the wrong pen. Turns out, my pre-emptive email only embarrassed myself because he did get the right pen, but he came by the shop anyways!

While there, he mentioned that we should look into expanding our Kaweco line, specifically the Student, and more specifically the yellow Student, since he had a particular liking for yellow pens.

Now, after extensive planning and coordination, and just because we so highly value the particularities of our very special customers, we have finally brought it in! And it turns out he knew what he was talking about, because our first rave review of this model also happened to be one in yellow, described as a “warm, mellow yellow” – which is exactly right.

 

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We have the Kaweco Student in Vintage Blue, Yellow, Black and Translucent Blue. It’s the acrylic version of the metal Allrounder, and has a friendlier price.

It is available in nibs from extra fine to double broad, or you can upgrade to an italic nib. Nibs are always available as spare units as well. Kaweco nibs are more in line with European thicknesses, so a bit wetter and wider than Japanese nibs, and the writing sample with this Student is with a medium nib.

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It’s a bit of a retro or vintage looking pen. In fact, this model here is in “Vintage Blue”, which actually does look like a vintage blue; it has just a hint of teal in it, just like Rohrer & Klingner Verdigris!). The clip has a bit of styling to it, and Kaweco has also released this as a removable clip for the Sport along with the new Skyline models.

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One of the my favourite things about the Student is actually its balance. It’s a light pen due to its acrylic body, but its grip is made out of a heavy metal. I don’t post most of my pens because I don’t like for my pens to be too back-heavy or top heavy, but having the weight much closer to where my fingers are gripping actually makes it much nicer to write – it’s almost as though the pen is bringing itself to the paper for me.

Sometimes metal grips can get a bit slippery, but the hourglass shape of the grip helps alleviate a bit of that.

While Kaweco is most known for its Sport model, very durable and portable and sporty, the Sport’s biggest downfall is that the converter is difficult to use and tiny, leaving only cartridges or an eyedropper conversion; the Student is a full-sized pen and so it fits a standard international converter, or even two standard short cartridges – one in play, and one spare.

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The Kaweco Student is a great all-around pen – it looks classic without being boring, takes a cartridge or a piston converter, feels great in the hand, and doesn’t break the bank.

Swapping Nibs on Kaweco Fountain Pens

Kaweco has one main nib size that fits on most of their pens. It comes in two colours: gold, for their Classic Sport, and silver for most of the rest.

Kaweco Fountain Pens

Kaweco Fountain Pens

The swappable nibs will fit on:

Classic Sport (plastic)
Al-Sport (metal)
Liliput
Allrounder
Dia2
Special

If you get a spare nib, it often comes in either a plastic section (some of the Sport nibs, and most of the italic nibs), or a nib housing, which is smaller and just around the nib and feed.

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Gold-coloured nib in section (top) and silver coloured nib in housing (bottom).

The Classic Sport nibs are friction fit, meaning that you will need to pull the nib and feed out of your original pen’s section, and the new nib and feed out of the housing/section that it comes in. IMG_0026 IMG_0028

I recommend putting your thumb on the black feed, and the first knuckle of your index finger on the nib. Pull straight out (no turning), and the nib and feed should come right out. Swap.

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When you’re putting the nib back on the feed, there’s a slotted area that the nib fits right into, so you can’t get it wrong. The bottom of the nib sits right at the ledge where the two indented circles are (closest to the finger).

For most of Kaweco’s other pens, including their Al-Sport, Liliput, Special, Allrounder and Dia2, it’s even easier to swap nibs.

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Kaweco fountain pens with spare nib – the housing will twist right out.

The nib housing will actually unscrew right out, and you can screw the new nib and feed back in.

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You can still pull the nib and feed from the housing if you need to.

You can still pull out the nib and feed from the housing if you ever want to get a really good clean, or if you receive a spare nib that is in the section instead of a housing that’s screw-in. This is most likely to happen if you order an italic nib, but sometimes it just happens.