Here’s another pen that has been on my wishlist for a while. I’ve been waiting for Scribe to have new stocks of this pen because I didn’t want to have to buy it online. I actually prefer the Liliput fireblue, but this one is a close second. The minute I saw it at Scribe last week, I knew that I wanted to add it to my collection. So I bought it even if the nib is broad and I generally prefer medium nibs. Look at that little cutie! It’s seriously no larger than a cigarette, and just a tiny bit longer than my pocket swiss knife.
It’s only 97mm long when capped and it’s a cylindrical shape, streamlined and minimalist in appearance. There are no clips available for this pen. It was really designed to be diminutive and simple in the way that it looks. I think that Kaweco makes the best pocket pens in the market. I love their ALSport line but I must admit that the Liliput is by far its prettiest pocket pen yet (for me, at least). Since it’s made of brass, it’s also got a comfortable heft to it, much like the AL Sport. It doesn’t feel flimsy at all, and the heft makes it easy to write with. It also will develop a nice patina over time, being hand-machined out of brass. 🙂
I often just put it in my pocket because it doesn’t seem to be vulnerable to scratches. I put it in a leather pouch and it came out with some faint-looking stains that polished off easily. It’s pretty refreshing to bring a pen that you don’t have to be extremely careful with. So far I’ve tried to shake it to see if it will burp out ink but it remained burp-free.
Being a pocket pen, it only uses cartridges, no converters. I’m not sure if kaweco’s squeeze converter will fit here, I should give that a try when I visit Scribe this week. The cap screws off the section and screws on at the end of the barrel. I like that it screws off when it posts because sometimes the cap gets pushed off while writing. It’s a very short pen and it would be uncomfortable to use while unposted. Being very small and the ends smooth and rounded, it’s sometimes a challenge to screw the cap at the end when you’re in a hurry. Also, for a small pen, the section is pretty comfortable in length, I like that a lot. I think it’s what makes the pen easy to hold and comfortable to use despite its size.
I like the little details of the pen. The KAWECO logo, the little etched typography around the cap, even the nib has a bit of scrollwork on it too. It is a pretty nice touch. I’ve always liked Kaweco’s nibs.
The only problem I had with this pen was that it wouldn’t write properly when I first got it. It’s my first time to encounter a baby’s bottom on a nib. I didn’t want to return it to Scribe because I believe fountain pen users should have a rudimentary knowledge of how to fix pens that just won’t write well out of the box.
Baby’s bottom is when the bottom of the nib is too smooth or too polished that the ink does not properly flow when the nib makes contact with paper. I followed this tutorial to fix the baby’s bottom issue. Please note though that you must proceed with caution because polishing the nib the wrong way can ruin your pen completely. You may polish off the iridium point entirely or make it flat at an odd angle. If you want to follow the tutorial in the link, do so at your own risk and take it slow.
After solving the baby’s bottom issue, I flossed it a bit with acetate to make it write wetter and flushed it with soapy water (then rinsed with water) to get rid of any residual chemicals on the feed. I admit though that it still needs some work because sometimes it hard starts a tiny bit (as you can see on the video). Either that or it needs a wetter ink. Point is, the pen didn’t write well out of the box. If I had not been determined to fix it, I would’ve needed to return the pen and since it’s the last stock at Scribe, I would’ve been disappointed to come home without a replacement. Once I did fix the baby’s bottom issue, though, it writes pretty well (occasional hard-starting notwithstanding).
Here’s a video of the writing sample. Pardon some of the skipping in the writing, I tend to lift my hand sometimes while I write so the nib isn’t really in contact with the paper. It hard-started for a bit but when I got it going, it was writing continuously and consistently.
All in all, I think the Kaweco Liliput is a pretty nice pen if you’re willing to work a bit on the nib. I would’ve appreciated it if it worked fine out of the box, and it’s weird that my friend also had the same experience with her two Kaweco Sports. My other two Kawecos didn’t have baby’s bottom but I did need to floss them to increase the flow. I accept nib adjustments as basically a part of pen ownership, so I don’t mind as much. The pen’s aesthetics is spot on, and I like that it’s heavy and easy to hold even if it is so tiny. Since it is a pocket pen, I don’t expect it to perform like full-sized pens with regards to long writing sessions. However, so far it has held up pretty well when I use it for long journal entries (four pages of closely spaced lines without any hint of the ink varying in thickness).
Despite the initial difficulties in making it write, I must admit that it’s pretty hard to dislike this pen.
In this review:
Kaweco Liliput (brass), Broad nib
Ink – Diamine Green Black (from Elias Notebook’s ink samples)
Paper – Elias notepad from everythingcalligraphy.com