Katherine: This pen is adorable. But it does bug me a little that the end of the barrel isn’t black (I’m picky, I know). But oh, it is so cute. (Contrary to what Pam says, they’re still available on Rakuten)
Pam: CHIBI BUMBLEBEE SAILOR for the win!!! It’s a petite Progear that is small enough that the pen gets posted by screwing on the end of the pen. Sailor pocket pen are three words that send my heart swooning; great things come in small packages. Unfortunately, these are not being made anymore. They are available on the secondary market.
Franz: The Sailor Pro Gear Mini is so tiny and charming especially in this yellow finish! Pam calls it bumblebee and I can see that too but in my mind, I refer to it as a banana pen. I don’t know… it’s just something about that black cap finial that makes me think of one of my favorite fruits.
The Business End
Katherine: It’s the the same Sailor MF 14k as a Pro Gear Slim (it’s really just a Pro Gear Slim with a shorter barrel, after all) — and unsurprisingly, I really enjoyed it. It’s broad enough that I can see the color of the ink, but fine enough that I can stick to my usual tiny hand writing.
Pam: It’s a Sailor MF (medium-fine) nib. It’s in the great sweet spot of a slightly wetter/broader line that isn’t too wet. I would recommend putting in an ink that you want to show off. Perhaps an ink with some sheen. I don’t find as much feedback with this Sailor nib, which makes sense given that the MF nib is a bit broader.
Franz: The Mini’s medium-fine nib is very nice to write with. Just like most Sailor nibs I’ve tried, it was very smooth. The M-F line width is actually a good one for me as I find Sailor’s fine nibs just “a little” too thin of a line for me. The design on this nib is different from any other Sailor pen because this was a pen commissioned and sold by the Nagasawa Kobe stores in Japan.
Write It Up
Katherine: I found this pen usable, but slightly short when unposted. It’s one of the few pens that I prefer posted to unposted. Like the Kaweco Sport, when unposted, this pen makes my hand a bit tired after a while because it’s just barely long enough to fit in my hand and I have to be careful about how I position my hand. Posted though, it’s fantastic — like a slightly longer Pro Gear Slim!
Pam: The size of the pen posted is similar to the Sailor Progear Slim. The width of the pen is exactly that of the Sailor Progear Slim actually. They section and body are swappable amongst the Sailor Progear Slim and Mini. Other than the length, if you find the width of the Sailor Progear Slim comfortable, this pen won’t be a problem for you.
Franz: I wrote in my journal with the Mini only in the posted mode because it was quite difficult to write with the cap unposted. I found that the posted length made it a little more comfortable for me. The girth of the section was quite thin for me so I end up gripping the pen on the threads. They weren’t too sharp and I barely noticed them.
Katherine: It’s great for quick notes and pocket use. It’s tiny, brightly colored (and hard to lose…) and seems plenty durable, not that I threw it against a wall or anything.
Pam: I kept this pen with my Hobonichi A6 notebook cover and it kept up with my adventures in my bag. It’s really portable. It’s not the best for quick notes given that you have to screw the cap onto the body to post, However, if you have particularly petite hands and don’t need to post it, a which quick twist of 1.5 rotations, will get you writing pretty quick.
Franz: Ahh… every day carry. It is definitely a pen that fits in your pockets. The M-F nib is actually very appropriate for use on cheap copier papers as the line is thin and the ink spread is minimal. But I don’t think I can recommend this pen for large handed writers because after 2 or 3 words, it’s hard to write with the pen unposted. This is due to the pen falling into the crook of my hand and is uncomfortable. I’d need to post the cap and screw it onto the barrel which takes quite a bit of time if you are constantly needing to cap and uncap for quick usage. It takes almost 2 turns to uncap the pen and then another turn or two for posting the cap. Small hands? No problem as you can see from the two ladies’ experience.
Final Grip-ping Impressions
Katherine: This pen is really cute — but between this and the Pro Gear Slim, I’d prefer the latter. It’s just a little more flexible and accommodating for my hand. But if short pens are your thing — this is definitely a great fit.
Pam: It’s a chibi Sailor for chibi hands. It’s a solid Sailor pen, albeit small. If you are into challenging yourself on how small of a pen you can comfortably write with (like Franz), this is a great pen to borrow from smaller hand friends. If you are looking for a great pocket pen and don’t mind the extra work posting, you will be rewarded with this Sailor.
Franz: I really like the Pro Gear Mini a lot, and want one for myself. But to be honest, this is more because of me just hoarding wanting the pen in my collection. As a journal, or letter writing pen, I’d use this pen again.
The Mini is a pen more suited for people with a small, or medium hand size. This is coming from a guy who uses his King of Pen Pro Gear a lot in the workplace and for daily use. As well as a guy who constantly annoys pen friends by singing, “I like big pens and I cannot lie…!”.
But one, including myself, cannot deny that the Sailor Pro Gear Mini is an adorable pen to behold. #ChibiPen
Sailor Professional Gear Comparisons (Left to right: Pro Gear Sapporo/Mini, Pro Gear Slim, Pro Gear Classic, and Pro Gear King of Pen)
We are once again joined by our guest reviewer, Roz and she contributed her thoughts on this Pelikan pen. She is also our first left-handed reviewer and we are glad to have her persepctive. Thanks very much Roz!
Hand Over That Pen, please!
Roz: Classy and petite! The green, black and gold made me feel fancy just looking at it. I don’t usually seek out gold accents, but this pen makes me question that inclination. Definitely the smallest pen I was ever going to write seriously with, so I’m really looking forward to it!
Katherine: I love the styling of classic Pelikans, and this one is no different. Plus, its adorable! ❤
Pam: Great things come in small packages so when you make a Pelikan petite, it’s adorable. My wallet is very lucky that the white tortie did not come in this size. I don’t normally enjoy the “classic” styling of the Pelikan, but in a small package, it harkens back to the vintage Peter Pan pens.
Franz: Hey! Did someone leave a Pelikan M1000 in the drier, or did it shrink from ink starvation? Harharhar!
Yep, it’s that familiar and elegant green stripe of a Pelikan in their smallest pen ever. They introduced this pocket pen version in 1998 and the green-striped finish is a standard finish as well as a black barrel one. Pelikan also produced a few special edition finishes in the year 2000’s. The M300 is unmistakably a Pelikan Souverän pen.
The Business End
Roz: Springy! Honestly, I had a lot of trouble writing with this nib. I wasn’t expecting the amount of bounce back, so my natural writing pace had a lot of adjusting to do. I also learned (thank you Pam!) that this is an oblique medium nib, maybe my inexperience with this type of nib added to my inconsistent writing.
Katherine: I liked this nib more than I expected. The only other oblique Pelikan nib I’ve written with much was a vintage OB, and that was an unusable angle for me. This one was comfortable, forgiving and surprisingly wet (I’m not sure why I expect small pens to be drier? Not like this one can’t hold a lot of ink…)
Pam: I find the oblique nib to be too inconsistent for my writing style. I always feel that I am apply more pressure to the “longer tine,” if that makes sense. That being said, like all Pelikan nibs, I find the nib to be smooth and enjoyable to write with. This nib somehow reminds me of an ice skater gliding over the ice on one leg.
Franz: The M300’s 14-carat nib is quite springy and I love it! An oblique nib’s characteristic always seem weird to me at first but I eventually get used to it. It’s just being conscious of turning the pen at the right angle. But yes, this nib’s flow is quite generous and I enjoyed it.
Write It Up
Roz: The diameter of the pen being so small, especially because I tend to grip low on the section, made it difficult for me to find a comfy grip position and my hand got tired pretty quickly as a result.
Katherine: This pen is usable for me for quick notes… But not the pinnacle of comfort for longer writing sessions. Overall though, not bad. Much more usable than I expected, but definitely more of an on-the-go pen than a sit-at-my-desk-and-write-about-my-deep-dark-feelings.
Pam: When I said that this pen reminds me of the Peter Pan pens, it’s likely due to how I see this pen being used. For quick notes in a pocketbook. I find the diameter of the pen to be too slim for a prolonged period of time. I am always fearful of snapping this petite pen with my iron grip.
Franz: At 4.3 inches closed, it’s a small pen. I went into the 20-minute writing session already expecting that my hand wouldn’t be comfortable. And I’m glad I managed my expectations because I did feel fatigued after ten minutes. The section and barrel’s thinness contributed to that fatigue. I only used the pen with the cap posted because unposted, the M300 was almost disappearing in my hand.
Roz: At first I was super worried I would lose this pen because of its size. However, the clip on the M300 is really strong and it did great in my carrier. I admit though that for my day to day writing, I did not use the M300 much due to the size of the pen being difficult for me to hold for long periods of time.
Katherine: Great pen for EDC! The clip is strong, the size is perfect and the nib makes notes enjoyable. My only gripe is that the typical Pelikan wetness, paired with a medium nib doesn’t make for the fastest drying notes. That’s easily solved by getting a different nib though. 10/10, would EDC again.
Pam: In a checkbook, pocket book or a dainty pocket, it’s perfect! Perhaps it’s the size, but I feel that it’s more fragile than the normal size pens so I wouldn’t throw it into a jeans pockets if you plan on sitting down or putting your keys in the same pocket.
Franz: The M300’s Every Day Carry-ness is what won me over though. Definitely fits in my shirt pocket, and it’s ready to write with only one turn of the cap. It may be too short for my hand unposted but is perfectly usable for a fast signature, jotting down a phone number, or whatever quick note one needs. If I know I’ll use it for more than five words, I’ll post the cap and it does so securely. Unlike Pam’s thoughts, I didn’t find the M300 more fragile than any other pen. Granted, I wouldn’t dare to sit on this pen (or any other pen) but it’s quite durable for everyday usage.
And just like any other Pelikan Souverän, it’s a piston-filled pen and the piston operates very smoothly. As shown in the photo below, you can see through the barrel’s stripes and see the ink level clearly. The smaller barrel definitely means a smaller ink capacity though. And it holds about 50% less ink than an M1000. At 0.7mm, the ink capacity is just like a converter for other pens.
Final Grip-ping Impressions
Roz: The M300 is a beautiful pen. I would like to give it another try down the road, maybe when my experience with oblique, springy nibs develops a bit more. ^_^;
Katherine: A great pocket pen! Classy looking, fantastic nib and the perfect size. My only gripe is the price, for $200+, I would likely get a vintage 400 instead (fairly easily found at around $150) and I’d still have a reasonably small pocket pen, but one that can play dual duty as a normal writer as well.
Pam: Despite my love for pocket sized pens, I would have to say that this pen is an acquired taste given the size. It’s not as practical as the M200 or M400 in size. For those with average and larger size hands, it may be a challenge to use for an extended writing session. For those who love Peter Pan pens or pocket pens, I would highly recommend trying out this pen before committing your wallet to it.
Franz: Clearly, the Pelikan M300 is for people with smaller hands or for people who wants to have an elegant looking pocket pen. Also, it’s a great pen for a Pelikan pen addict (like myself). Have you guessed who owns this pen yet? =) For my large hands, the M300 is a novelty. I love it but I don’t see myself using this pen comfortably on a daily basis. My hand is definitely happier writing with a M800 or M1000.
The M300’s Souverän styling gives it a serious and classic look but it’s tininess makes it a “cute” pen.
This is our first post with a guest! Claire, a friend of ours from the SF Pen Posse. She has more “average” sized hands than the extremes that the three of us represent. Also, she makes and sells pen wraps on Etsy. Check them out! (Review to come!)
Hand Over That Pen, please!
Pam: My first Kaweco was a Skyline in the minty green color. I had no hesitations to the size of the pen, and the color was spot on! The Kaweco has a very unique design going from a cute and sturdy pocket pen to a “regular” length pen with a post of the cap. Given the portability, durability and assortment of colorways, I can see why the Kaweco is so highly recommended and appreciated by so many in the pen community.
Katherine: I love small pens and faceted pens… so the Kaweco Sport is right down my alley. I also love bright colors… so it’s taken quite a bit of self-control to not collect a rainbow of these. Grumble pen limit grumble. Anyway, I really enjoy the design of this pen — a little quirky, but not too weird. Unique and functional! And if you prefer clips, you can add a clip — they come in both silver and gold.
I own a white Sport (which will soon be doused in urushi) and a Rose Gold AL (pictured below). The Rose Gold was a special edition to Eslite, a chain of bookstores in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. To my knowledge, it’s sold out but may show up used here and there.
Claire: This is a pen I avoided purchasing for a while simply because I thought the facets of the cap make the cylindrical-ness of the barrel stick out in an awkwardly. That being said, now that I’ve owned one for a few months the overall aesthetic of the pen has grown on me. This is a sturdy little pen has stood up to everything I’ve thrown at it. I purchased an orange Ice Sport in November and have enjoyed having a decent pen to throw in my pocket. My mum gave me an AC Sport late last year since I wouldn’t shut up about the pen after seeing it on the Pen Addict’s Instagram #blamebrad.
Franz: Hello Kaweco! =) What else can I really say about the appearance of the Kaweco Sport that the ladies above have not mentioned? It really is a pocket pen with such a distinctive and unique design. Before we reviewed the Sport, I never knew how many different styles this pen has available in the market. The two models we are featuring/reviewing here are the AL Sport (aluminum body), and the Skyline Sport (acrylic body/silver trim). There are 5 more styles that this pen can be purchased as: Classic Sport (acrylic body/gold plated trim), ICE Sport (acrylic transparent body), AC Sport (aluminum body with carbon inlays), AL Stonewashed (aluminum body with weathered effect), and Brass Sport (brass body).
The Sport Series was introduced by Kaweco in the year 1911 as a short, safety pocket pen. In the beginning, the pen was called Safety Pen 616 for Sportsmen. They eventually changed it to the Sport-Series. Kaweco updated the pen’s filling system into a piston-filler pen in the 1930s, and then to a cartridge-filler in the 1970s as we know how it is filled today. Of course, you can fill the pen like they did in 1911 and choose to eye-dropper the pen as well. Just be careful when you unscrew the pen. Eyedropper-filled isn’t my preferred method for getting ink into my pens though.
Kaweco Sport history source: www.kaweco-pen.com
The Business End
Pam: Disclaimer, the EF of my Kaweco was too broad for my taste. Given that, it was still a good nib for daily use. I used the pen on cheap office paper and it performed admirably. I didn’t find the nib to be too dry, given my choice of paper at work. The nib writes more true to size on Tomoe River paper, unsurprisingly. I very much enjoy it when I am in the mood for a “bolder” EF line to show off the ink color in my hobonichi. This German EF nib does require me to change the size of my handwriting, ever so slightly, to accommodate the “bolder” line, which results ins a “bubblier” handwriting for me.
I was really surprised how much I enjoyed the 1.1 stub. It’s probably my favorite of all the Kaweco nibs that I have tried. Its a great nib that has the right amount of ink flow so that the line remains relatively crisp and shows off a decent amount of shading in the ink color. If I had to choose between an EF or the 1.1 stub, I would choose the 1.1 stub. My ongoing taste change in nib sizes is very likely due to Franz-fluence (Franz’s influence for those who are pun adverse.)
Katherine: I’ve owned a handful of Kaweco Sport nibs and had a decent out of the box experience with all of them. My Fine and BB ran a bit dry, and my 1.1 “Calligraphy” nib wasn’t too wet, but all in all, they’ve all been very usable. However, I think I’ve been lucky — I have seen quite a few reports of Kawecos with baby’s bottom. None of them will win awards for being my (or, I suspect, anyone’s) favorite nib, but they get the job done and write without fuss.
Claire: Out of the box, the nib on my fine Kaweco AC Sport was great. The extra fine on the Ice Sport required a quick tine alignment; which I don’t mind on a sub $30 pen. Both nibs have been utilitarian; being a tad on the dry side, better for paper of questionable quality. I am thoroughly enjoying the 1.1 stub I’m borrowing from Katherine (I might forget to return it the next time I see her). Typically, fine and extra fine nibs are the way to my heart, so I’m surprised to enjoy the 1.1 so much.
Franz: To echo the sentiments above, Kaweco’s nibs write out of the box. A friend gifted me the black Skyline Sport below and it has a fine nib that just wrote smoothly after I placed the cartridge into the pen. Granted, the nib isn’t as wet as I want it to be but it isn’t scratchy and it wrote nicely. I also got to use Katherine’s 1.1mm nib on her AL Sport and it was also a pleasant experience. Yay for Kaweco! Their business end means business.
Write It Up
Pam: I prefer to write with the Kaweco Skyline posted given how light it is. I much prefer the weight of the Kaweco AL over the Sport. I find the plastic body to be too light and unpleasant to hold for prolonged periods of time. I find myself gripping the pen harder because it feels so unsubstantial. (No, the plastic body did not crack under my iron grip.)
The Kaweco AL is comfortable with or without the cab and relatively well balanced for me either way. The weight is more comfortable and “sits” in my grip well. The Kaweco AL is wonderful when paired with the 1.1 stub nib aka Katherine’s Kaweco, which I had a really hard time giving back.
Katherine: This pen makes it obvious how much smaller my hands are. I can and do use my Kawecos unposted, both my plastic Sport (which was my only work pen for about six months) and my AL. I prefer the plastic Sport when posted though — it gives the pen a little more heft and makes it more comfortable to hold. But, my tiny hands prefer the Sport AL unposted — it feels more balanced to me. All in all, both are very usable for me, both posted and unposted. I don’t own a Sport in Brass, but I’ve tried one and found that it was usable, but heavy and my hand felt the fatigue (especially if it was posted and top heavy) after a bit of writing — usable, but I wouldn’t buy one.
Claire: For quick notes, I don’t feel the need to post the pen. That changes if I’m going to write more than a few sentences (which is the majority of my writing), then I feel the need to post the it to avoid hand fatigue. I prefer the weight and balance of the AL Sport over the Ice Sport. Though, after eyedroppering the Ice Sport is a more comfortable weight. Even posted, this is not a pen I can write for a long time without noticing some discomfort. But as a pocket pen, it isn’t intended for hours upon hours of writing at one time.
Franz: May I just skip this part? Kidding, kidding! Okay, so I took both the AL, and the Skyline Sport on a test drive. I wrote with both of them posted for about 10 minutes each. Please understand that this Sport is a little too short unposted for my bear paw to write more than 5 words so I just kept the cap posted as I wrote on my journal. Because of the narrow 9.4mm section, my hand cramped up and I noticed my hand gripping the pen tighter than usual. The Skyline Sport is a very light pen and I didn’t enjoy writing with it. The AL Sport however, has a nice weight to it and my hand was a little bit more comfortable. The length of the Sport when posted was fairly comfortable for me.
Pam: The Kaweco is a great pocket pen, especially the Kaweco Sport, for it’s petite/cute size and lightweightedness. It’s also a great way for me to lose this pen into my many pockets or not notice it before throwing my pants into the laundry. I didn’t try to EDC carry Katherine’s AL, but I would be really interested in purchasing one, and I am pretty sure I will be less likely to lose it or toss it with my dirty laundry.
Katherine: The plastic Sport was my EDC for a few months before I jumped off the deep end and started exploring vintage pens. I had a mint green, Fine nib Sport that I stuck in my pocket, threw in my backpack and generally manhandled. It did great. I ended up gifting it to a friend I was living with for a week (Hi Tatsie! Thanks for letting me stay with you in Singapore!) but I eventually picked up another one, used, to be a project pen (hello urushi, meet my faceted friend). I’ve used my Rose Gold AL on and off as an EDC, and it’s held up similarly — durable, very little (if any) leaking into the cap (perhaps because the nibs are dryish to start with?) and easy to write with quickly. However, I’m a little worried about damaging the finish, so I don’t carry it as often (it was a gift from a cousin).
Claire: The Ice Sport lived in my pocket for several months. About a month ago, I accidentally ran it through the washing machine. No ink leaked out of the pen (no stains on my clothing phew!) and the pen was no worse for the wear. Some ink snuck behind the cap insert, but that’s to be expected. I carried this pen at work quite frequently, though in my line of work a ballpoint or a permanent marker is more suitable. I have since put a different nib on the pen and don’t carry it as lackadaisically.
Franz: Even though I do not use my Skyline Sport for my journaling, or letter-writing needs, it practically lives in my bag ready to be written with. For me, this pen can be used as like a backup when you need to fill out a quick note. In the spirit of the Hand Over That Pen review process, I made it a point to use this pen at my workplace for a day. Let’s just say that it didn’t really impress me as an everyday carry pen. This is mainly because for my larger hands, I need to unscrew and post the cap each time I have to write notes or sign my name. Even though the cap only needs one and a quarter turn to uncap, it was still a bit inconvenient for me. The fine nib performed well as I wrote on the copier paper from our office.
Final Grip-ping Impressions
Pam: I would highly recommend the Kaweco Sport for those who enjoy a small/portable pen and a reliable German nib. For those who enjoy the durability and heft of the aluminium, the Kaweco is a good, solid upgrade. The Sport is a great starter pen, but for fans of the Kaweco Sport, the AL is an obvious choice to have to try out. You won’t regret it.
Katherine: If you like small pens (and I mean small), the Kaweco Sport is fantastic. For the money, I think the plastic Sport is a great pen — durable, neat looking and a solid writer. The AL isn’t a bad pen at all, but at it’s price point, unless you really like the way it looks, it does seem a bit expensive for what it is. Price aside though, I prefer the AL. The pen feels more substantial, nib units are unscrewable (instead of friction fit in the plastic Sport) and the finish can show wear and tear — and I’m a sucker for pens that tell a story.
Claire: The section of this pen is just a little bit narrow for my taste. As such this is never going to be the pen I reach for to take notes in class. Narrow sections are especially uncomfortable for me thanks to an old fracture in one of my fingers so your mileage may vary. That being said, this is a pen I thoroughly enjoy; another one may be heading my way as soon as the stainless steel version becomes available.
Franz: I’m gonna go with what Claire said above and echo that the Kaweco Sport is a little too small for my use. If you have big hands, this may not be a pen for a daily user but try one out when you can. It is a cool pen to have in the bag/collection and they’ve got very nice finishes of this pen in the different styles I mentioned in the beginning of this review. I actually want to get the AL Sport Night Edition just because it’s all decked out stealthily with a nice carbon black nib too. But that’s the pen collector in me who wants to have all the stealth pens. Haha!