Monday, February 6, 2017

KAWECO STUDENT DEMONSTRATOR FOUNTAIN PEN REVIEW

Kaweco student demonstrator fountain pen review
If you think Kaweco, you think pocket pens like the Sport and Lilliput, right? Those are great little pens, perfect for EDC use. But let's be honest, a pocket pen isn't always the best option. Moving up to a full-sized pen is the obvious next step if you don't NEED that pocketability and/or are looking for more comfort without having to fiddle around with posting the cap (which can be frustrating if you have to write a lot). 

If you browse Kaweco's complete product line, you'll find quite a few full-sized pens, amongst which the fantastic new Kaweco Supra that I reviewed recently. For those that don't like the rather experimental design of the Supra (or the price!), There's also the Kaweco Student, a completely different pen with a more traditional design and a more forgiving price tag.
Kaweco student demonstrator fountain pen review
I've taken a look at the Kaweco Student before, a couple years ago (review can be found HERE), and my opinion actually hasn't changed much in those two years, most of it still holds true today. I still think it's a pretty cool pen, especially in this more reasonable price range, and it definitely offers a more comfortable writing experience compared to the pocket pens.
Kaweco student demonstrator fountain pen review
The gently curved clip gives the entire pen a vintage look and feel
What's new? Quite simply the new demonstrator colorway it comes in!

In the past, you could choose from five opaque colors (white, black, yellow, blue and red), which are nice, but they don't really make for a particularly eye-catching pen. The new clear demonstrator version is a bit more exciting from a design perspective. It has a slightly more modern appearance, but still with that hint of vintage that all Kaweco pens have (mostly due to the nice arched clip I think). The transparent design lets you see the internals, as well as how much ink is left inside, which is always useful.

[UPDATE] This pen is not meant for eyedropper conversion due to the metal section. Feel free to try for yourself, but do it at own risk since inks and metal don't always go well together... So in this case you're limited to using a cartridge or converter, and you should be aware that it only fits Kaweco's own full sized converter, which is slightly smaller than a regular converter (like the ones Schmidt makes).
Kaweco student demonstrator fountain pen review
Speaking about design, the Student can also be found with other manufacturers (under different names of course). One of those 'identical twins' is the Monteverde Artista, a pen I've had for quite some years now. But I only noticed how similar it was when I got a hold of the demonstrator Kaweco Student. All the injection moulded plastic parts are exactly the same on both pens, but the metal hardware -including the section- is different. 

When you know that the Gutberlet group (three companies, of which Kaweco is one brand) is mainly a parts building company. The most likely explanation would be that they also sell these pen parts to other brands who then assemble them with different hardware. While selling out your product seems a bit strange, I assume the main reason would be to lower production costs.
Kaweco student demonstrator fountain pen review
the same...but different
When talking about dimensions, the term 'full-sized' should probably be taken with a grain of salt. Measuring in at 13.1cm (5.2 In) closed, and 11.9cm (4.7 In) open, it comes in below pens like the Pilot Metropolitan or Lamy 2000, which I'd consider a good average. The difference is subtle, but whereas I consider 12.5cm when open ideal, under 12cm feels a little short in the hand. You can see that I grip it fairly low towards the nib. If I'd hold it higher up, like I normally would, the back of the pen would almost dissapear in my hand. Luckily, the cap can be posted quite securely if necessary. 
Kaweco student demonstrator fountain pen review
Kaweco student demonstrator fountain pen review
L to R: Pilot Metropolitan, Kaweco Ice Sport, Kaweco Student, TWSBI Eco, Lamy Vista
The metal section still is -and probably always will be- one of the biggest let-downs for a lot of people. The shape of the section does help providing more grip and the section has a comfortable length and width, but it's still chrome-plated metal so it'll always feel a bit slippery.
Kaweco student demonstrator fountain pen review
Since I've reviewed about a dozen different Kaweco's that all (with the exception of two) share the same nib unit, there isn't much I can write that hasn't already been told yet. The small steel nibs don't always perform as consistent as they should, but in this case it wrote a smooth, wet line.

After a while, I swapped the nib it came with out for a broad nib that I ground into an architect/hebrew, which gives really cool line variation with a wide horizontal stroke, and narrow downstroke. I've gotten the hang of grinding my own nibs recently, and the architect is definitely one of my favourites. I'd highly suggest getting a grind from a professional nib grinder (of which there are plenty out there), it can give an entirely new dimension to your writing!
Kaweco student demonstrator fountain pen review
The Student Demonstrator is a simple update to a pen that already proved its' worth in my book, but the new clear design gives it a more modern, cooler look. It's a solid addition to Kaweco's product catalogue, next to their pocket pens, and it offers good functionality at a reasonable price. At 44 EUR/ 58 USD, it's relatively affordable. But it's still priced higher than some other interesting beginner fountain pen options out there, like the Faber-Castell Loom or Lamy Al-Star. 

Note: This pen was sent to me free of charge by Kaweco, so I could write this review.  I was in no way influenced in the making of this review, the opinions shared in this review are completely my own! This post does not contain affilate links.
Kaweco student demonstrator fountain pen review
Sorry for the unreadable written review! I've learnt my lesson: light grey inks do not play well for this kind of thing...

3 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. No indeed, I forgot apparently, and only realised after I had finished all the photos! Nothing too special though when it's filled, it can't be eyedroppered (or probably shouldn't be) because of the metal section, so it's just cartridge/converter filled.

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