Kaweco Special Aluminum Review

The Kaweco Special is a thin, octagonal aluminum fountain pen based on office pencils from the 30’s. This is a LONG fountain pen when posted. When capped, it reminds me of an ultra fine sharpie marker in overall barrel size, but when you pick it up you can feel the extra heft of the all aluminum barrel.

  • Thin barrel
  • Overall weight
  • Smooth nib

  • Top heavy when posted
  • Extremely long posted
  • Grip section is too short
  • Fingers sit on threads
  • 7 Rotations to remove cap
  • 9 rotations to screw-on cap
  • Threads on end to post cap
  • Nail hard, no-flex nib

My Short Video

Design of the Kaweco Special fountain pen

Steel Nib

Nib Width:7mm

Nib Length:16mm

Cartridge/Converter Fill

Screw Cap

Mid-Grip Width:6mm

Overall Width:7mm

Total Weight:19g

Cap Weight:5g

The Kaweco Special is unique because it’s narrow and longer than most fountain pens. There is no pen clip so what you see is what you get. It’s made out of aluminum so it’s lighter than most metal (brass) fountain pens but heavier than you’d expect looking at it.

The simplicity of its design reminds me of an ultra-fine Sharpie marker but it’s actually based on pencils from the 30’s. There are threads at the end of the barrel so you can remove the cap and thread it to the back of the barrel for secure posting.

Threads are part of my disappointment with this pen… too many threads, too many rotations, wrong places.

The grip section on the Kaweco Special is SHORT meaning my thumb and forefinger hit the threads as I write, which is disappointing. Also, maybe because the design is so thin, but it takes a whopping nine turns to get the cap all of the way on and seven to get it off. Frustrating.

Now, if you’ve read more of my reviews you know that I have a slight bias against screw on caps because I feel they slow me down, but this is just ridiculous. Maybe you don’t mind twisting and twisting and TWISTING to get the cap on and off. I have better things to do.

There’s a rubber gasket between the section and the barrel, so that means when you cap the pen, any ink that sloshes out when you bang it around in your purse or pocket will stay inside the cap… A redeeming design addition for an otherwise less-than-impressive pen.

As usual on Kaweco, there’s a steel nib, but even though it’s nail hard, it writes very smoothly. The nib I’m reviewing on this particular pen is a broad.

Fountain pen branding, style and significance

The only place you see the Kaweco Special brand name is written on the black barrel in white typeface and in their unique, silver toned, pie-shaped logo on the cap of the pen. 

To post or not to post, that is the question…

Well, the Kaweco Special fountain pen does come with threads on the back of the barrel that allow you to post the cap on the back with confidence. It’s certainly not going anywhere once you screw it on there.

My issue is I’m a poster, I will post the cap on the back of anything because it’s how I enjoy writing. BUT… when I screwed this aluminum cap onto the back of the aluminum body it became immediately awkward.

The fountain pen is already designed long. Then, to post the cap on the back pulls the center of gravity more towards the cap and the weight of the pen pulls away from the paper. No bueno.

This uneven distribution of weight with most of it riding closer to the cap lead to some hand fatigue as I wrote. You want the weight in the section, near the paper, not away from the paper pulling out of your hand.

But here’s the thing, I like big pens. Some of my favorites are fat, oversized big-boys. It’s not just the size that’s a turnoff, it’s the extreme length with no counter-balance in width and an uneven distribution of weight in the barrel.

If you were to use your finger as the fulcrum, ideally (for me), the mid-point of the weight would be closer to the nib. In this pen it’s 3/4 of the way up the barrel on the cap side when posted, which is not comfortable for long writing sessions.

Okay, Okay, but how does the Kaweco Special write?

Well, even thought I don’t appreciate the feel or aesthetic appeal of this fountain pen, the Kaweco Special does have a smooth nib. Using the broad, I didn’t have any issues with skipping or hard-starting at all. There were no catches or teeth-gritting upstrokes, it is a smooth nib.

Now before I go on, you need to know this is a steel nib and it’s nail hard. That means there’s absolutely no give in the tines as you write which means it’s not “springy” as some people like to call it. Smooth and springy are different feels and this nib is smooth, but definitely not springy. But this is the same nib as the Kaweco Sport series and it doesn’t bother me on those pens.

The broad nib did bleed through to the back of the page on notebook paper, it lays down a lot of ink. It had no ink delivery issues and I have no constructive criticism of the nib, just don’t expect the barrel and cap to feel like a $100 value, but more on that later…

Overall Value: Kaweco Special Fountain Pen

The Kaweco Special fountain pen is a smooth writer, like all of the Kawecos I’ve tried so far. Having said that, this is not my favorite fountain pen in looks or function. The nib writes smoothly, but there are so many other issues that detract from your writing experience.

Seven rotations to remove the cap is just ridiculous. I’m not kidding. Nine to get it back on is even more absurd. Now, I’m not a huge fan of the design, but I understand the market for it.

A sort of minimalist design, it’s for someone that loves thin pens. The weight of it overall is great, but as soon as you post it, it becomes extremely long and awkward. So if the look of it appeals to you, and you’re not a poster, it could work for you as long as you’re not irritated by 7-9 turns to get the cap on and off the barrel.

But there’s a rub – and it’s really ironic.

On this extremely LONG fountain pen (162mm posted) they designed the grip section to take up only 11mm of that extensive real estate before the threads start which is a narrow bulls-eye for your forefinger and thumb. (Out of curiosity, I measured the pad of my forefinger, it’s 15mm, so my fingers end up resting on the somewhat sharp threads.)

For what you get, this is not the best value at its price point. The AL Sport Raw costs less than the Kaweco Special, it’s a better all around fountain pen.

Or look at more from the same brand.

I suppose you could still insist on pricing one so I’ve made it easy for you… (don’t say I didn’t warn you!)

Get a price on the Kaweco Special on Amazon.


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