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Blog > Kaweco fountain pens

I must confess that I’m a bit of a fountain pen newbie. I love stationery, but I always found fountain pens slightly intimidating… as if reserved for professionals or seasoned writers – or perhaps presidents, signing important treaties!

But some months ago I discovered cheap disposable fountain pens and thought… I can try that! Turns out, I ended up falling in love with the way the ink pooled and dried on the paper, giving it shading and character. These days, a fountain pen is never far.

So when Postcrossing advertiser Kaweco offered to send us a couple of pens from their stationery line some months ago, I jumped at the opportunity to upgrade my little collection!

Beautifully wrapped Kawecos

Kaweco was founded in 1883 in Heidelberg, Germany and comes from a long tradition of writing instruments. The brand is well known and loved all around the world, and their motto, License to write, is just enticing – as are their timeless designs.

Kaweco Sport and Liliput writing sample

Take the Kaweco Sport, for instance (top one in the photo above). After some research, I found out that the iconic design behind the Sport series has its roots in the Bauhaus movement from the early 1900s. The straight and sharp lines don’t let the pen roll on the table, conveying a practical feeling – form and function united. Mine is made of slick aluminium and feels solid yet surprisingly light. It’s already gaining a bit of a wear and tear from travelling around on my bag, giving it a bit of a softer, polished look.

The other fountain pen I received was the Kaweco Liliput. How can one resist such tiny little thing, I ask you? It’s less than 10cm long when closed! However, when the cap is posted, the pen is long enough to write comfortably.

Ornate nibs

The nibs are beautifully ornate and include the Kaweco logo (as do the caps), giving them a luxurious finishing. And how is the writing you ask? Smooth, effortlessly and… pretty, for a lack of a better adjective. If you’re planning to write postcards with it, please use a water-resistant ink!

But Kaweco is not just fountain pens! The company also uses some of their designs to make ballpoint pens and mechanical pencils, which look just as sleek. All of their pens and pencils are available on most specialized online pen shops – or through one of their physical retailers.

Kaweco ballpoint pen & mechanical pencil

What about you? Do you have any special pens or writing instruments that you prefer? Do share your tips and advice – I’m still learning, and I’d love to know more! :)

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44 comments so far

Marjolein, Netherlands
The optic pens from Paperchase are my absolute favourite :)
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Sofa, Germany
I love fountain pens for letter writing! I have several of this series from Pelikan (one of the main fountain pens/ink/other pens for school etc. providers in Germany): http://www.pelikan.com/pulse/Pulsar/de_DE.Store.displayStore.113283./gallery--fuellhalter-von-pelikan
They are rather cheap and nothing fancy but they have the nib I can best write with - not scratchy but not too soft or too much ink at once either. And I use each of the different fountain pens for a different colour of ink (standard blue, green, red, black, turquoise, violet)
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postmuse, United States of America
I have many fountain pens, but I don't use them for postcards since the cardstock is usually too glossy and the ink doesn't hold. I did have a fabulous Sailor Desk Pen that worked great on postcards with Noodler's Heart of Darkness ink. The pen's nib was very fine and somehow adapted to the glossier paper. However, I lost that pen and the new version is awful, so I'm back to gel ink for postcards. My current favorite gel ink pen is Pilot Juice, 0.5

I have a Kaweco Sport that I adore, but haven't found the right pen case for it. It gets lost among its much taller cousins in my current pen cases! I also love my Lamys and Pilot Cavalier.
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wildernesscat, Israel
I use fountain pens almost exclusively. I have several pens from several sources, each slightly different. Of course, you have to be much more careful when you write, because the ink takes its time to dry. Never leave your pen uncapped, because you might inadvertently bump the nib, and ruin it. Those things are delicate.
Regarding the ink itself, I found Noodler's Bulletproof Ink to be the most durable - never smears, and is water-resistant once it's dry. You have to wash your nib using running water before every refill - prevents clogging.
Have fun!
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meiadeleite, Portugal
Good tips! I've heard quite a bit about Noodler's ink for postcards - I should try that! :)
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ChalkJunkie, Germany
At the moment I only use home-made iron gall ink to write my postcards. It has the big advantage that it's water-proof once it's dry. But because it's self-made I can't use it in such a delicate fountain pen, so instead I use a Venetian glass quill. Makes writing postcards an even more fun experience.
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Sirks, Finland
My fave is Muji's Erasable pen. It's very handy in writing postcards and especially complicated addresses :-)
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Manasi, India
I like to use my Lamy for writing but on postcard I like to write with coloured Pelicans .. :)
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kugusch, Germany
We started in elementary school with pencil, and as soon as we were able to write our letters properly the teacher would tell us "tomorrow you can bring your fountain pen"... EVERYONE used a fountain pen in first grade and HAD to continue until at least 4th grade. Ballpoint pen was NOT allowed!
I have a Pelican Calligraphy fountain pen that I've had since my school days and always loved for letter writing.
What I really love, though, are old fashioned wooden quills with the exchangable tips, and a real ink well.
I've been working a christmas market for 2 years now, selling things made by a glass artist. I sell lots of glass quills. If anyone is interested in a glass quill, I can only give the advice to buy it personally, not online....and not go by the LOOK of the quill, but to TRY it. With the handmade ones each one is different, and some "fit" your hand better than others, some people do better with fine tips, others with blunter tips....
I've been asked to work that market again this year, and I'll probably end up buying a glass quill myself, too.

As for brands... "Lamy" is also a wonderful, high quality brand for ballpoint pens and fountain pens!
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Mierna, Ukraine
I use liners mostly, I have 0.1, 0.3 and 0.7mm Centropen, set of four colours 0.5mm, and sometimes I use my CD marker: for big noticeable notes and on especially glossy cards, since this marker holds even on glass surface.
I also love thin line gel pens, like 0.5mm Aihao (and it's purple). They dry quite fast and have variety of colours. Usual gel pens are beautiful, but take eternity to dry on cards.
I had a fountain pen once for drawing manga, and it was nice experience, but I definitely need to find a good one.
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teamug, Germany
For postcards especially to countries subjected to heavy rain seasons I have learnt not to use fountain pens although there are some waterproof inks as well like china ink.
I had a penfriend in Taiwan who could not read anything I have written anymore.
But of course I love fountain pens. I took a few calligraphy courses as I am interested in that for many decades now... and learned that literally anything you can dip into ink can be used for writing. Little twigs, forks, sharpened bits of wood, feather quills, straw, and of course all kinds of brushes.
This of course is impractical for cards, but it is fun to use an inkwell and wooden quill with a fine nib like our grandparents have used.
But fountain pens are easier and I love to use calligraphy ones with wider nibs to use for a nice classical italic handwriting (usually parker or online). It always looks much more elegant.
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darkestperu, United States of America
I just sent a postcard to the user kaweko :)
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mrsg, United Kingdom
I have a number of Parker fountain pens - all containing different coloured inks!! My favourite is a bright pink(difficult to lose - but has happened, so I ended up with 2, once the first was found) pen with blue ink.
I have had to increase my range though for writing postcards as many do not hold the ink well.
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zwiebelbaguette, Germany
I love fountan pens, especially my old one. Most fountain pens work with ink cartridges, but mine uses the good old ink pot. Less plastic is better for the environment and it's actually cheaper, too. The pen originally belonged to my dad and is older than I am, it was a pretty expensive one, too. I broke my pen in school when I was about 12 or 13 years old and I had no time to buy a new one, so my father let me borrow his pen for a few days, since he didn't really use it anyways. However, I quickly bacame so attached to it, that my father gave it to me and I tried so hard to look after it, so it won't break. I'm still using it today, it works perfectly fine and doesn't look 25+ years old at all. :D

However, I don't use it for postcards, you know... ink and rain doesn't really work out well. :/ I prefer ballpoint pens for postcards.
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FairyFoot, United Kingdom
I love my fountain pens! I use Parker fountain pens mainly, with coloured inks from Diamine... however I use a ballpoint pen for postcards and envelopes.
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quinncreative, United States of America
Fountain pens are heavenly! I have several--a Pelikan, a Lamy, a Waterman. I also have several Pilot calligraphy pens because I'm an artist and use ink to paint with. For the postcards I used a Sharpie fine point, so if it gets wet, it won't run. But fountain pens are a dream to write with if you find the right one.
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YiliLoh, Malaysia
Thanx for the info, :)
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bornokyo, Philippines
Archival pen is my choice. Just to make sure my words will stay for a longer time. lolz
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Nordbaer, Germany
Fountain pens are wonderful!
But they were not made for me... Somehow the ink in the pen dries faster as I can use it... :-(((
And my terrible handwriting gets even worse with fountain pens... :-(((
But I love them anyway... :-)
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topcloud, Kenya
In Kenya not many options for pens. Mostly they are ballpoint pens. I use Pelikan Soft Gel pen with black or green ink. They are quite cheap with good quality for the postcards. But I love fountain pens.
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spiky_73, Germany
I am German and I would think that I have seen and heard quite a few things, but I must admit that the Kaweco brand is completely new to me. Never heard of it before.
I have written with fountain pens a lot in my youth, but always found it a bit difficult as i am lefthanded and I always used to smear the ink, sigh.
My first pen was a 'Pelikano' (Pelikan), I had some of them, then I had a Geha, a Schneider and some no name ones, too, later my favorites would be some Lamy and Rotring fountain pens. Since them, i am mostly using ball pens and fineliners.
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tantejul, Norway
You lucky bastards are probably all right-handed, right? Except spiky_73 who has the same problem as I do :)
Being left handed means having to choose a pen/ink that dries fast enough not to get smeared when you get to the end of each line. I wish I could use a fountain pen. And I wish I could have had a shot at learning calligraphy, too (There are probably special pens for left handed calligraphists, but I gave up already - and I might not have been any good at it anyway).
I could get a fountain pen just to look at it, though. They are so pretty!
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deaconessjane, United States of America
I am old enough to have learned how to write in cursive with a fountain pen when I was in elementary school. I still love them. I have a Cross that I've had for years that I carry with me at all times and use for everything--except postcards with slick paper! My Cross pen is just the right size and weight for my hand and the ink flows smoothly--just the perfect writing instrument.
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dianaf, Netherlands
At primary school we had to write with them till last grade, then you were allowed to switch to ballpoint. I tried writing with a fountain pen not so long ago, but my handwriting has changed to much to be able to write with it anymore. :-(
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little-billie, Austria
I use the Pilot Frixion Point because it's erasable but on the other hand almost looks like a fountain pen.
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ebreah, Malaysia
I use a Faber-Castell one. Before that it was a Parker. My lecture notebooks were sketch pads as they were the only ones durable enough.
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rosenbusch, Germany
I like fountain pens, but for my postcrossing cards I use a waterproof fineliner...
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lucymonty, United Kingdom
Fountain pens remind me of school and smudged ink! I use a Sheaffer ballpoint to write my postcards :-) would love to give the Kaweco one a go!
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jolo, Germany
THIS IS PUBLICITY....:O(
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Spiderwebz, Netherlands
I love pens, haven't started using fountain pens yet because I think I might get obsessed and have another hobby. Instead I only collect and restore portable typewriters from before the second world war. :-)
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PetroPetro, United States of America
I love fountain pens myself and use them at work (I come home with ink smudges on my hands every day). My personal favourite is the Pilot Nakimi Vanishing Point, which is a thin pen that with a click hides away into the barrel of the pen (it keeps ink blotches from the insides of one's pockets). I also use a Sailor extra fine point pen for detail work. Sadly, most of the postcards I find are glossy, which always results in smearing, so I often have to use marker pens.

BTW, Lefties/Ambis, we can use our left hands, though it's more difficult. A modified grip either like the right hand, in mirror, or resting the fingers just below the line can work okay (it does strain a little more). Also, certain companies like Lamy make left-handed nibs that make things easier.
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EHW, Germany
I wonder a little bit. Am a German, 65 y. o., but just as spikey-73, I never have heard of that brand. When I used fountain pens at school, they where mostly Pelikan and later Montblanc. After I lost my last Montblanc in Sweden, I use a no name one, that they sell cheap for school children. And do you know what? I don't think there is a difference.
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Ching6767, China
This is my first time hearing about the pens. Sounds great :) Thanks for the info.
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browntrout, Germany
I use fountain pens for both, work and postcrossing. At work I write with a Montegrappa from Italy and a French waterman man.
At home I have a Namiki Pilot vanishing point like PetroPetro and I love it. But since a few months I use a Kaweco Sport with the small calligraphy nib and it is my absolute favourite. I use it with a converter and with Pilot Iroshizuko ink. I like the look of my writing so much now, it is hard for me to drop the card in the post box ;-).
So far I have not heard about smeared ink from the receivers.
There are comments from fellow german postcrossers who have not heard about Kaweco before. At school every one in Germany used a Pelikan or a Geha, at least in my generation.
That is because between the seventies and the beginning of this decade the Kaweco brand was nearly dead. The last bigger action was an official pen set for the olympic games 72 in my hometown Munich.
Thanks to M. Gutberlet who gave back life to this nice pieces of german industrial design.
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nugget, United States of America
Interesting. Maybe someday I will be brave enough to try a fountain pen.
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Blauwvinger, Netherlands
I write almost everything with a fountainpen. From shoppinglist to letters. My favorite brands are AURORA and OMAS. And sometimes I use a PELICAN pen. Al of my pens have a fine penpoint and I use black ink.

Greetings from The Netherlands
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isagv, Germany
I used to write a lot with fountainpens but not on postcards. I never heard of that brand though.
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KateFeredayEshete, Ethiopia
I used to use a fountain pen but haven't done so for years. I must find it and try it out again, although buying my favourite blue ink might be a problem here (I live in Ethiopia). These days I usually use a Staedtler stick 430 F, which is a fine-tipped ball-point pen with blue ink. However, for postcards I always use a Sharpie black permanent marker with an ultra-fine point, this being waterproof and also very suitable for writing on glossy cards.
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moonlessnite, Canada
I grew up using a fountain pen in elementary school in the 1960s. we still had old desks with inkwells. We had once a week. My 2 fountain pens were SCHAEFER and DURA. Later when we were allowed to use ballpoint pens, had to purchase and use the ballpoint pens that were shaped like the old fountain pens...the made was ADPAC. I still have them. I was recently in Vancouver and there is pen shop. I will buy a fancy one one of these.
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LudditeOne, United States of America
I love fountain pens, especially with flexible nibs and/or chisel points. Getting that thick, thin transition makes writing a joy. However, I usually use a fineliner with pigmented inks for postcards because of the coatings used on so many postcards. After reading everybody's comments here, I have some new information and think I'll try some Noodler's bullet proof inks and give a Lamy pen a try [with a converter so I can use bottled ink]. Thanks all.

ps. I too went to elementary school in the 1960's [late 60's], but never used a fountain pen. I did have a desk [or two] that still had the hole for the ink well, but it was pencils all the way for us. Do you know that cursive writing is no longer taught here in the U.S.A.??? Tragic.
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wildernesscat, Israel
Left-handers who still want to use fountain pens are advised to switch to Hebrew or Arabic/Farsi scripts :)
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honeybee, Austria
When I was a child we also used Pelikan fountain pens at school, my children used Lamy fountain pens which were for both - right- and left-handed people. A letter looks so much more beautiful if it is written with a fountain pen.
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NCIS_Junkie, United States of America
As an art major, I had to use the real deal: dipping the nib in a pot of ink. This is not convenient for a lefty. I used to use my right hand when doing caligraphy. My fear with a gorgeous pen like this is that there would be more ink on my hand than on the paper. How quickly do the inks dry??

I am a pen-snob by my own definition. I L-O-V-E the way a good ink feels on quality paper. I own more pens than one person should be allowed to own. My favorite is the Pentel (fast drying) Liquid Gel Ink. However, on some slick surfaces, it does not dry fast enough.
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Marijaxxx, Macedonia
I started using a fountain pen a month ago, after I found one that my dad used. He gave it to me and now I use it to write in my diary. I love the way it works.
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