Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Review: Kaweco Liliput Al Fountain Pen - Medium

One of the items I acquired during my sponsorship from JetPens was a Kaweco Liliput Al fountain pen with a medium nib. This is one of those pens that was on my wish list for awhile (I know... I say that about everything I get, but it's true!!) and I was thrilled to finally be able to get it! My hopes were high and I was not let down. Please scroll to the very bottom for a super cute Liliput picture!
Kaweco Liliput
Capped and posted. Smooth and sleek in both cases.
Features of this baby pen:

Body Material: Aluminum
Trim: None
Origins: Made in Germany
Length (capped): 3.8"
Length (posted): 4.92"
Barrel diameter: 5/16" (I can't believe I just wrote that tiny number as a measurement of something)
Weight: 9 grams (with a half full ink cartridge)
Nib type: Medium
Nib material: Stainless steel
Barrel design: Silky smooth, round, and seamless
Fill type: Takes international short cartridges

The packaging is pretty straightforward - a nice little metal tin with the Liliput in a plastic sleeve, nestled into a felt tray, along with an ink cartridge. For $55, I didn't expect a big fancy set of packaging and there wasn't, and to be honest, I don't foresee putting this pen back in the package anyway, so it works fine for me. This pen is treasured in my Lihit Lab Teffa Pen Case, dedicated to fountain pens.
Kaweco Liliput + cartridge
Teeny tiny cartridge is all that can fit in this little barrel!
This sweet little pen is captivating in its absurd cuteness! It has a very simple design - a smooth, rounded barrel that is virtually uninterrupted. All the writing on pen, although not very much, is tastefully laser engraved; the top of the lid has "Kaweco" on it, along with "Kaweco Liliput Germany" on side of the cap, in itty bitty, Liliput-sized writing. The writing looks great against the silky smooth black aluminum body. As for the body - it has yet to be scratched or nicked by my doings with it. I treat my pens well but I know accidents can happen.
Kaweco Liliput Top
Kaweco Liliput Writing
If that ADORABLE little writing doesn't melt your heart...
The cap is threaded on and can be posted on the back of the pen by threads as well. I find this to be a little tedious - screwing the cap on to the back to post, and then unscrewing it only to have to screw it back on again to cap it. For longer periods of writing, I have to have it posted, but for jotting notes, it's not necessary. Nevertheless, it's a lot of screwing/unscrewing of the cap. I think it would have been easier for users to just have a magnetic cap or just a friction cap. Although I find it tedious sometimes, it always looks beyond awesome when capped and posted, so I appreciate the design.

Many people wonder, is this pen too small for me? Here it is lined up with a few other fountain pens, to give you an idea of its size. It is without a doubt a tiny pen!
Liliput and Other Fountain Pens
Top to bottom: Pilot Plumix, Lamy Al-Star, Lamy Studio, Kaweco Liliput.
Kaweco Liliput and Pelikan M1005 Demonstrator
Kaweco Liliput with a monster pen, the Pelikan M1005
Kaweco Liliput and Fisher Space Pen
Kaweco Liliput and a Fisher Space pen
Kaweco Liliput and Fisher Space Pen
Kaweco Liliput and a Fisher Space pen
It's thin and light, and I suspect would be dwarfed by average male hands. I have pretty normal girl hands (I think...) and even for me, it feels small in my grip. This does not cause me hand fatigue or result in a strange grip, it's just an observation. So if it's small for me, it'll probably be tiny for bigger hands.
Kaweco Liliput in Hand
I guess there's no scale to suggest my hands are not monstrous. Please take my word for it. 
Kaweco Liliput in Grip
Just an idea of what it looks like in an average female hand. It steals your heart a little, doesn't it?
I think, judging by Twitter anyway, most people prefer extra fine/fine nibs on their fountain pens so I may be an oddball in picking a medium. Personally, I like all my nibs to be non-scratchy and nice and thick with good ink flow. Of course, you can get this in an extra-fine or fine nib, but since I'm still fairly new to fountain pens, I hedge my bets and pick medium nibs. I happen to like medium lines anyway! I am very pleased with this nib choice. It is small to suit the pen, and is truly adorable to look at and write with. 
Kaweco Liliput
Uncapped. Note the threading on the back end for posting the cap.
Kaweco Liliput and Noodler's Ahab nibs
Left: Noodler's Ahab. Right: Kaweco Liliput
Kaweco Liliput Nib
A medium Kaweco Liliput nib close up. 
It lays down a line that is, in my mind, an ideal medium. I did notice it does not write very easily on coated paper (i.e. in a Rhodia Webnotebook) - it seemed as though the coating on the paper prevented the ink from gliding off the nib. After switching to non-coated paper - such as in my Leuchtturm 1917 notebook, this little one wrote with no problems whatsoever. This isn't a unique problem - it seems some fountain pens just don't like coated paper, like the Namiki Vanishing Point I recently reviewed - Gentian suggested I try using different paper and it worked like a charm.
Kaweco Liliput Writing
Well, this is self explanatory. Also in the Leuctturm 1917 notebook.
I have read that a few other people had to flush their pen to get the ink to flow properly. I popped the cartridge in right away, no flushing, and I didn't have any problems (aside from the paper problem mentioned above). But if yours is drying up, try flushing it with water!

I am travelling for three weeks at the end of August and I have already been planning what to take with me, and this is on the list to go. I'll take it with a few extra cartridges. It'll slip into my pocket, purse, travel bags no problemmo, and I won't worry about it leaking or having to bring a bottle of ink. Lucky for me, it doesn't hurt my hands to write with so it may just be the only pen I bring with me... we'll see though because that's a daunting thought.
Kaweco Liliput Taken Apart
Cutie patootie.
Kaweco Liliput and Rhodia
Look how ridiculously sweet these two are paired up: a Kaweco Liliput and a Rhodia No. 11 pad!
Things to Thing About
Although I really love the design of this cutie patootie, the fact that it has no clip or any sort of change in its smooth shape means it's a roller. Yes. It will try to escape at every chance it gets. So be careful when and where you put it down because it WILL roll! It even rolls off the couch cushions. And because it's so tiny and sleek, it can easily be lost from eyesight. Certain felines seem to think it's fun to bat around as well, because it rolls so wonderfully...

Another thing to think about is that only cartridges will fit in this tiny body. There's no room for even the smallest converter. I personally refill cartridges when I'm at home and on the go, I'll just keep a few extra cartridges with me.

Ivan's review suggests a loop or clip of some kind which I think could be very convenient. In the case of the clip, it could be like with the Kaweco Classic fountain pens where you buy the clip as an add on, and if you don't want one, you don't have to use it. Or, perhaps at the price tag of $55USD, a clip should come with it anyway.

More Kittens Please
KrazyIvan via FPN
WayTooManyHobbies via FPN
Ben Dahl - Guest Review on The Pen Addict
From The Pen Cup

JetPens - $55.00
JetPens - Cartridges - $2.30 for six

I am a big fan of this pen. Despite its few drawbacks, I think its great quality and utter cuteness wins easily. I think if you are in the market for a cute, reliable, tough, portable LITTLE fountain pen, you should look no further because this one is for you. If you don't like the black, there is also a silver aluminum Liliput available as well, and it's just as cute and sneaky. If you don't like medium, you can also get extra-fine, fine, and broad nibs. Despite its wee baby size, the quality of this fabulous pen is not compromised, and you really have to see this pen in person and hold it in your hand to truly know its delightfulness. As this is my first Kaweco fountain pen, I am so happy with my choice. Did I mention it's fabulous?
Kaweco Liliput Fruity
What's cuter than a baby fountain pen hanging out with a peach and a lemon?
Thank you JetPens for facilitating my acquisition!


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