The Kaweco Student

Kaweco is very good at taking pen designs from their archive and updating them just enough for today’s fountain pen market. In the case of the Student, Kaweco took the popular flat top design and made it their own. The Student comes standard in black and clear, and is also available in neat retro themed colors based on a particular decade’s aesthetic. At one point, the Student was available in red and blue along with the black and clear. For this review, I’ll be discussing the red model.

Photo from Kiwi Pens of the Sheaffer No Nonsense

The Kaweco Student takes design cues from various flat tops from the early to mid-20th century, but most closely resembles the Sheaffer No Nonsense from the 1980’s. Flat top pens were very popular and made by dozens, if not hundreds, of pen manufacturers. Some have no clip and could be worn around the neck, some have high clips that wouldn’t show above a jacket pocket, and some have low clips to make it easy to take out of a jacket or shirt pocket. Pretty much all flat tops had a short taper in the body to allow for secure posting of the cap.

The Kaweco Student has a slightly longer taper in the body, the classic Kaweco finial on a domed top, a fancy integrated clip, and a thick cap band. The grip section is shiny aluminum, and the body is made of a resin that feels much nicer than the plastic used on the Sport. The Student can take a standard international converter, but only ones that are slim enough all the way through to fit in the body. Kaweco makes a very nice standard converter that technically fits, but not securely. Personally, I’ve only used cartridges and Kaweco’s tiny pull-out piston converter in the Student. Interestingly, jinhao standard international converters do fit.

The Student next to a vintage Sheaffer flat top from the 1920’s. This model is a ring top and has no clip.

I got my Student as a Christmas gift a few years ago in red with a medium nib. Since then I’ve also tried a double broad nib, and am currently using a fine nib. This particular fine nib originally came on an AL Sport, but I like it so much that I just keep putting it in whichever Kaweco pen I’m using. Right now I have my Student inked with Colorverse String. In the past I’ve had issues with this pen drying out after leaving it unused for a few days, but this time the Student has been able to write even after sitting for four days. For the times that I’ve had flow issues while using this pen, I’m going to chalk up to issues with that particular nib unit and not the pen itself. While the cap seal on the Student isn’t as good as the Liliput, it does an adequate job.

The grip section on the Student is a shiny aluminum that can get slippery, which makes it difficult to unscrew. The section is also quite narrow, which in combination with the slippery aluminum makes this pen uncomfortable to write with sometimes. The grip does front weight the pen a little bit. For dimensions in grams while inked, the Student weighs 25.4 grams capped. When uncapped, this pen weighs 16.1 grams. The grip section all put together with the nib and an inked converter weighs 10 grams.

Despite my gripes about the Student, I do like it. The current retro series with colors based on different decades of the 20th century is neat. The ability to easily swap Kaweco nibs, while standard across their metal gripped pens, shouldn’t be overlooked as a positive feature. Kaweco recently expanded their nib lineup with premium steel, and they have a 14k option if you’re up for the $180 price. If you’re interested in Kaweco’s higher end full size pens (like the Dia) but would prefer a smaller step up in price, the Student is a nice mid-range option from the Sport series.


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