I made a decision in the great debate between the Kaweco Student and the Kaweco Allrounder and I chose the Student model. The Student is $50 cheaper than the Allrounder and I wasn’t sure if I was going to like a full-sized Kaweco. My hands are very small and the lightweight quality and size of the Kaweco Classic/Sport/Ice designs are comfortable and easy to use. But I really wanted to try a ful-sized fountain pen from Kaweco in order to accommodate a converter and boy, am I ever glad I did.
The Kaweco Student comes in a lovely tin box with a great vintage logo on the box (much more posh than the cardboard boxes the Sport/Classic/Ice pens come in). The first thing I noticed is that its much weightier the Student is compared to the less expensive Kawecos. The grip area is a heavy chrome material — I think its actually metal, not just chromed plastic but I don’t want to scratch my pen to verify it.
The pen has chrome silver accents on the cap and a silver chrome clip bulit-in. On the clip, the classic Kaweco logo is engraved into it. I love the look.
The big deal, of course is that this is a Kaweco model that can accomodate a standard small converter. This makes this a more convenient method for expanding your ink options. Alternately, you can also fit two cartridges into the body so you have a back-up handy.
I noticed that the Kaweco Student, for a full-sized pen, is not too large. Its just a little bit bigger than my vintage Esterbrook. Its not like upgrading to a BIG man-hands fountain pen but it does feel like a bigger, classic PEN.
Compared to other pens in the same price range, the Student is closest in size to the Pilot Prera though its a bit heavier than the Prera.
- Kaweco Sport: 15gms
- Pilot Prera: 17gms
- Kaweco Student: 27gms
- Lamy Studio: 27gms
- TWSBI Diamond 540: 28gms
Pricewise, these pens are fairly competitive as well. Obviously, the Kaweco Sport is the least expensive (depending on the model between $20-$25) and the Lamy Studio is the most expensive (again, depending on the website one can be had for $75-$100). The Pilot Prera, the TWSBI and the Kaweco Student are all about $60. Each offers different features and options that account for their price but I felt they were good for size, weight and price comparison.
Unlike the cheaper Kaweco models, the Student ships with a silver nib rather than the gold tone. I was worried it wouldn’t be as smooth on paper but it writes just as smoothly and has the exact same embellishments on the nib.
I loaded my Kaweco Student with a Kaweco Turquoise ink cartridge and have been writing with it for about a week or so. The look and feel of it are really nice so I’ve been keeping it on my desk at work as my go-to pen, trying to get some real world miles on it.
So far, it writes beautifully and I have fewer (if any) needs to “prime” the pen before using it. Priming is a term used to describe the need to run a few scratches or scribbles on paper in order to get the ink to flow. This is something that I have to do occasionally with the less expensive Kawecos but the Student doesn’t seem to need to be primed as regularly, if at all.
The Student model can be used with the cap posted on the end of the pen or unposted since it is long enough to be held comfortably in the hand. I find it more comfortable to use unposted as it is much weightier with the cap posted but if you prefer a heavier pen, the cap stays in place nicely, no wobbling.
I purchased the pen with the EF nib which is, for me, the sweet spot for Kaweco though I don’t notice a huge difference between the F and EF nibs. Compared to the Prera F nib though, the Kaweco EF is broader. Other websites have discussed in detail the difference between Japanese and European nib sizes so I won’t dwell on this but I did want to mention it if you are familiar with one and not the other.
Overall, the Student is a good upgrade to the compact Sport/Classic/Ice/Liliput models. While I love how compact the smaller model Kawecos are and the lower price for such great quality, the larger Student model is a beautiful looking pen that looks and feels more luxurious. Am I saying that the Student should be your next purchase? Maybe. If you’re looking for a reasonably-priced, nice-quality, classic-almost-vintage-looking, full-sized fountain pen, then yes.
Hopefully, I’ve covered everything but if you have any questions, please leave them in the comments section.