Kaweco Liliput Al Fountain Pen – Fine Nib – Black Body

5 01 2012

Featuring the same aubergine ink as my first Kaweco review (not the EXACT same...that cartridge ran out months ago. But this is from the same box.)

This review is long overdue. I am not exaggerating when I say I had four separate photoshoots for this thing, in at least 3 different states, each time dissatisfied with the results. This pen DESERVES beautiful pictures, because this is a beautiful pen.

Taken in the fading sunlight outside of Central Park Zoo

This pen is small—though NOT Jetpens’ smallest, in spite of the claim on the Liliput’s page; the Liliput is 3.8 inches capped per Jetpens, and the Ohto Rook, per Jetpens, is 3.7 inches capped. HELLO, SOMEONE AT JETPENS PLEASE FIX THIS INACCURACY THANKS.

Dare to compare

In spite of being 0.1 inch shy of smallest, the Liliput still boasts an impressively diminutive profile among compact fountain pens.

Regular fountain pens Lamy Safari and Pilot Prera for reference, compact fountain pens A. G. Spalding & Bros. Mini Fountain Pen, Kaweco Sport, Pilot Petit1, Kaweco Liliput, and Ohto Rook for comparative littleness battle

Posted, I believe the Liliput is the smallest of these pens, but not so small as to be uncomfortable. I can even write with the cap off, no problems, but that has more to do with my weirdo-grip than the length of the pen.

Reasons why you would even want to write with the cap off will follow

One of the pen’s greatest strengths is also one of its biggest inconveniences. The cap unscrews to come off, and screws onto the back to post. The cap is very sturdy, once posted. But this is not a maneuver suited to quickly jotting something down; the rounded end doesn’t give enough purchase for the cap to line up and easily catch the thread, and it often takes me a try or two before I get the cap screwing on correctly. I do a little better if I sit here, focusing on the task, practicing—but focusing on getting the cap lined up is not my greatest strength when I’m trying to remember something I want to write down.

Hello, silky smooth aluminum. Wait...WAIT NO DON'T ROLL OFF THE TABLE

On the one hand, I love the barrel. Smooth. Uninterrupted. Slips into a pocket like it’s greased down and dripping with butter. On the other hand, this pen is CONSTANTLY rolling off and away (apparently none of the tables in my life are level) any time I set it on a flat surface without a book, additional pen, or some other object to chaperone it. I don’t know what I would do to fix this problem; I love the look of the pen. I don’t want some ugly bump protruding from any part of it, nor do I want the body to be anything other than rounded. I don’t want a clip. I want this pen to defy gravity, just a little bit. That’s the only reasonable solution I can come up with.

On to the writing portion of this never-ending talent show. The nib writes tactile-smooth; you can feel the nib on the page, but it doesn’t drag. Ink flow is nice and consistent. My only beef is that this fine nib seems to write just as fine as my medium nib; which is to say, I perceived no difference at all.

I'm completely baffled

I don’t know what the deal is. Maybe nib size for the Kaweco brand is just a game of Russian Roulette. Maybe you’ll get the nib size you want. Maybe you’ll get shot in the head and have vodka poured on you. Who knows.

Taken at a bus stop in Virginia

So it writes well, it’s nicely made. Let’s talk ink. Takes the standard short international cartridge. I’ve been asked if I know of any converter that fits in this pen. Here’s the smallest converter I know; I think it’s by Monteverde:

Top: plunger all the way out. Middle: plunger all the way in. Bottom: amount of room left when I put the empty converter in the Liliput and screwed the body back on.

I guess there’s theoretically enough room there for a drop, maybe two, of ink. Feel free to knock yourselves out trying. I’d say your best bet is to get a little syringe and use it to fill up an empty cartridge with the ink of your choice.

All the king's horses may have trouble with Humpty Dumpty, but I have opposable thumbs and no trouble reassembling this pen.

I think the biggest hesitation point for this pen is price. I got it at $53; the price has already increased to $55 (metal prices are going up, I hear). Now, I’m both cheap and poor, so this is a lot of money to me. For moneyed professionals and sensible people who save money wisely, and basically anyone other than me, have no hesitation buying this pen. If you’re like me, and you want this pen but $55 seems like more than one should be spending on any pen, wait one day for every dollar it costs, and if you still want it, get it (that’s what I did). I haven’t been disappointed, despite the few drawbacks. It’s adorable, writes well, and is constructed of quality materials. And JetPens just rolled out replacement nibs, for those of you who can’t decide between sizes; get one Liliput, and then another nib to go in it.

One last glamour shot.

Kaweco Liliput Al Fountain Pen – Fine Nib – Black Body at JetPens

Kaweco Replacement Nib – Broad – at JetPens

Kaweco Replacement Nib – Extra Fine – at JetPens

Kaweco Replacement Nib – Fine – at JetPens

Kaweco Replacement Nib – Medium – at JetPens

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25 responses

5 01 2012
Peninkcillin

Very nice and detailed review. This is a cute little pen but

1) I find myself getting tired of my Kaweco classic. I don’t enjoy posting caps, so having to post it all the time in order to write comfortable, even short notes, is becoming a chore.

2) These pens from established manufacturers are becoming horridly expensive. I can’t help but to compare every pen with the TWSBI. Why is it so hard for them to come up with better prices thanks to economies of scale?

9 02 2012
No Pen Intended

Agreed, agreed. I’m starting to turn against unscrewing caps, even…not outrageously, but given the choice between using a pen with a cap that pops off (like the Prera) versus a cap I have to unscrew (liiike this random old Sheaffer I acquired, or the TWSBI), I’m reaching for the pop-off. Speaking of absurd prices, I’m afraid to look through my JetPens wishlist and see what things have become even more unobtainable :T

5 01 2012
IvanR

I have the Kaweco Classic and I just don’t like how the barrel is getting scratched up from posting. My Stipula Passaporto (FPN LE Edition) on the other hand handles that nicely by having the cap screw on when posted. I just like the nib on my Kaweco better.

9 02 2012
No Pen Intended

How is the Stipula Passaporto? It sits on my wishlist, taunting me. I weep quietly, trying to ignore the Passaporto, and cling to my resolution to stick to a budget this year when it comes to buying pens… :p

7 01 2012
pensandmore

Great review as always!
I have the Kaweco AL Sport EF in my cart, going to order today!
I noticed it went up to 79$ (used to be 69) but I’ve learned a lesson “If you really want something get!”
I’m just concerned about it getting scratched as said in the comments :(

7 01 2012
pensandmore

Ummm yeah apparently it’s 76 $

7 01 2012
pensandmore

Jeez, Get it *
This is what happens when you don’t sleep and stay up till 10 am :/

7 01 2012
No Pen Intended

Haha, hey that’s almost the schedule I’m on now that I work the night shift. Stay up till 6am, sleep till 2pm B)

I hear you on the concerns over scratching. I’ve got a Lamy Al-Star that I got in June that’s already had paint scratch off the cap. Let me inspect my wee Kaweco…I’ve had it since around the 10th or so of October, and I’ve DEFINITELY dropped it several times on hard ground…looks like I’ve got two points, not even as big as if I’d made a dot with the sharpened lead tip of a 0.3mm pencil where, in the right light, you see silver…and if you look in the last close-up picture of this post, near the C on the cap, you can see a scuff (but no silver) from the worse of where I dropped it. Maybe go for the silver if scuffs and scratches are a concern?

Bluh, speaking of price hikes, I’m glad I bought my Lamy Dialog 3 when I did; I hear the list price is due to go up soon. Better check my wish list for any other metal body pens and nab ‘em before they go up any more.

9 01 2012
pensandmore

Oh wow, you reminded me I should go check out your bio and read about your job :P

I placed the order already! I saw the photo. They don’t really show that much and I guess there’s nothing wrong with a worn out pen, think of it as its aging process if that makes any sense!

Yeah it seems that’s what is happening! I actually don’t buy pens from my own money, I don’t even have my own money, my mother or father are the ones who pay. When it’s from Jetpens it’s always my mother. I feel bad sometimes but it’s not like I can get a job, I’d love to be able to get a job and pay for my own pens and other fascinating things.

I really hope you are able to get all the metal body pens for a reasonable price! I was surprised Jetpens didn’t have like a Christmas/New Year discount! Would’ve been nice, right ?

Have a nice day/night :D

9 02 2012
No Pen Intended

Naw, don’t feel bad. I have conveniently bookmarked my Jetpens wishlist on my parents’ home computer :p The trade off of having my own money is having lots of boring crap to deal with, like managing that money and trying not to spend it all on pens :T Currently trying to stick to spending only $25 per paycheck on pens….yeah that New Year’s Resolution has already been broken WHOOPS

7 01 2012
Speedmaster

Great review and pics!

9 02 2012
No Pen Intended

:D thanks!

9 01 2012
Monday Grab Bag of Links … | The Pretense of Knowledge

[...] Pens / Writing. Kaweco Liliput Al Fountain Pen – Fine Nib – Black Body Ink Links – The Pen Addict Ink Nouveau: Rohrer and Klingner Alt-Bordeaux Review The Best Use [...]

9 01 2012
Monday Morning Review Round-up « European Paper Company

[...] No Pen Intended: BIC Disposable Fountain Pen & Kaweco Liliput Al Fountain Pen [...]

18 01 2012
Riley

I have been salivating over this pen in the EF on JetPens for weeks. Thanks for the review. I think you pushed me over the edge.

9 02 2012
No Pen Intended

Bwahaha. Excellent. Join my insanity! (Pensanity? No, that sounds like it’s about the sanity of pens)

18 04 2012
Pilot Prera Clear Body Fountain Pen – Plumix Medium Italic Flat Nib – Translucent Blue Accent « No Pen Intended

[...] enough to look nice clipped on a small notebook, slipped into a jeans pocket (not as nice as a Kaweco Liliput, but not every pen can be a luxurious choking hazard), or even tossed unobtrusively in your coat [...]

21 04 2012
Akashiya Bamboo Body Brush Pen – Red Body « No Pen Intended

[...] a pen, bigger even than the eternally popular Kuretake No. 33, by about 5mm. Almost as big as two Liliputs put end to end. This isn’t something you’ll just slip in your pocket (though it will [...]

28 04 2012
Ohto Rook Fountain Pen – Fine Nib – Black Red Body « No Pen Intended

[...] though, just to be sure). It is the shortest fountain pen I own, by 0.4 cm, shorter even than the Kaweco Liliput, which JetPens STILL erroneously claims is the “smallest fountain pen at JetPens that accepts [...]

29 04 2012
Martha Cantu

i’ve been eyeing this same pen forever, but i’ve been interested in the bp version. as a matter of fact sold some of my Kaweco sports on ebay to get the $ to buy the Kaweco Liliput BP and just bought it tonight!! yah!!!!

26 05 2012
Cross Spire Titian Red Lacquer Fountain Pen – F nib « No Pen Intended

[...] this has got to be the thinnest fountain pen I own. The Kaweco Liliput or perhaps the Ohto Rook are the only others that comes close, but they are not standard length [...]

30 08 2012
The X-Pen +prototype+ « No Pen Intended

[...] toward everyday carry convenience. Other notable pens that activate this joyous whimsy include the Kaweco Liliput, the Pilot Petit1, the E+M Workman Pocket Clutch lead holder, the Hi-Tec-C Slim Knock—but [...]

29 06 2013
Zebra Minna Mini Ballpoint Pen with Japanese Print – 0.7 mm – Wine Red Cap | No Pen Intended

[…] dollars, which seems like an awful lot of money to drop on something so little that isn’t a fountain pen. Spending absurd amounts of money on fountain pens is somehow more psychologically justifiable. […]

11 02 2014
ZPIII Zait Jerusalem Olive Wood Ballpoint Pen | No Pen Intended

[…] Maybe I should have ordered them by size. Well, it’s too late now and too much Photoshop would be required to fix it. Pictured: Zait Olive Wood Ballpoint, Zait Olive Wood Fountain Pen, Pelikan M150, Parker Rollerball, Sheaffer Taranis, Pilot Vanishing Point, Pilot Prera, Kaweco Liliput […]

27 03 2014
Monteverde Poquito Fountain Pen – Chrome | No Pen Intended

[…] for the pocket fountain pen category at a more affordable price than, say, the twice-as-expensive Liliput. The snap cap won points for convenience, and though the Chrome body picks up hand and fingerprints […]

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