Kaweco Perkeo Pen Review

Did you know the Perkeo is named after one of Kaweco's earliest, eyedropper-fill fountain pens? In this post, we discuss some Kaweco history to put this relatively new, starter fountain pen introduction in proper context. We also compare this full-size pen to the ever-popular Kaweco Sport pocket fountain pen. Tom inks and writes with both the Perkeo's medium and fine point sizes to assess the writing ability.

Kaweco has a long history starting in 1883 when it was originally known as the Heidelberg Dip Pen Factory. One of Kaweco's earliest models was the eyedropper-filling Perkeo. Featured in the 1908 catalog, the fountain pen was made of ebonite with a gold, iridium-tipped nib. One would have to carry the pen with the nib pointed toward the sky, otherwise, it would leak. Not exactly ideal when compared to today's pens. Yet, at the time, it was an improvement over carrying a pot of ink with a dip pen.

Fast forward almost a century later, current Kaweco CEO Michael Gutberlet reimagines the Perkeo in 2017 as an ergonomic starter pen. We had the pleasure of interviewing Michael several times for the Goldspot Pens YouTube channel and had the pleasure of touring his tremendous collection of vintage Kaweco Pens at his office in Nuremberg, Germany. He's the perfect pen company CEO because he has such a deep love for the historical tradition of the humble writing instrument.

The modern Perkeo has a lightweight construction of injection-molded resin. It has a clipless, octagonal-faceted cap and a tapered, hexadecagonal barrel. The pull-off, snap cap has an inner sleeve to seal the nib, keeping it fresh with ink between uses. A subtle raised Kaweco logo is on one of the cap facets along with the word "Germany" on the barrel end. As typical of most Kaweco cap finials, a circular medallion with the KA-WE-CO "peace"-like symbol.

The 21st Century Perkeo was introduced in 2017 in a variety of fashionable color pairings. In 2021, the new collection has a harmonized, monochrome look with a springtime vibe.


The spring 2021 Perkeo colors are:
Breezy Teal
Jungle Green
Peony Blossom
and an All Clear demonstrator.

The Sport is iconic of the modern Kaweco brand. It stands out as one of the most affordable, quality pocket fountain pens on the market. The Perkeo has a similar, minimalist aesthetic while addressing the shortcomings of the smaller Sport.

As you see below, the size of the Perkeo is much larger than the Sport, allowing the space inside the barrel for a piggybacked ink cartridge or full-size converter.

The Perkeo also has a snap cap versus the twist-off cap of the Sport. Both pens post well and feel lightweight in hand. The grip section of the Perkeo is longer, wider, and contoured to be more ergonomic and accommodating to beginners.

*Measurement* Lamy Safari TWSBI GO Kaweco Perkeo Kaweco Sport Faber-Castell Grip

Length Closed

5.5 in. / 139.5mm

5.28 in. / 134mm

5.47 in. / 139mm

4.17 in. / 106mm

5.5in / 139.7mm

Length Uncapped

5.1 in. /128.5mm

4.92 in. / 125mm

5.12 in. / 130mm

3.94 in. / 100mm

5.06in / 128.5mm

Length Cap Posted

6.5 in. / 164mm

6.77 in. / 172mm

6.29 in. / 160mm

5.27 in. / 134mm

6.81in / 173mm

Barrel Max Diameter

0.5 in. / 13.5mm

0.58 in. / 14.5mm

0.49 in. / 12.5mm

0.39 in. / 10mm

0.44in / 11.17mm

Section Grip Max Dia.

0.3 in. / 9mm

0.39 in. / 10mm

0.45 in. / 11.3mm

0.35 in. / 9mm

0.44in / 11.17mm

Pen Weight

0.6 oz / 17g

0.60 oz. / 17g

0.5oz / 14.17g

0.3oz / 8.5g

0.5 oz. / 14.17g

Much similar to the Lamy Safari, the Perkeo has a contoured grip section designed to encourage proper finger positioning. The section has no step or cap threads, so if you prefer holding your pen farther back, there is nothing to interfere with your fingers.

The Perkeo nib is a #5 size stainless steel nib in medium or fine point options. The All-Clear demonstrator design also has a clear plastic feed. The other Perkeo colors have black plastic feeds. The nib and feed are friction fit into the grip section. Despite being a #5 nib like the Sport, the Perkeo nibs are not swappable with the Sport fountain pen and vice versa.

The Perkeo's full-length barrel is large enough to accommodate either international-size ink cartridges (there's a blue one that is included with the pen plus an empty dummy cartridge) or an international standard K5 converter (sold separately).

Unlike the Sport, the Perkeo is not eyedropper compatible. There are small holes designed into the bottom of the barrel, presumably to prevent choking if accidentally swallowed. It is a pen build for beginning writers, after all.

For the writing sample, I filled up a fine and medium nib Perkeo with Kaweco Smokey Grey ink, using the standard Kaweco converter.

Unlike its German competitor, the Lamy Safari, the Kaweco Perkeo has a tighter, more controlled line. The fine nib is true to its name, laying down a drier 0.5mm line while the medium operates at a slightly thicker and wetter 0.7mm line, approx. The steel nib is very stiff with an ample amount of feedback, which is more noticeable with the fine nib than it is with the medium.

The Perkeo is lightweight enough that writing with the cap posted doesn't change the balance. The pen barrel is long enough to write posted or unposted - your choice. Even if you aren't a beginner, your fingers will find the faceted grip easy to hold, guiding the nib around the page with fine control.

As for presentation, you get what you pay for with the Kaweco Perkeo. A crinkly, plastic baggie printed with the Kaweco logo and a fun phrase like "May the ink be with you" or "Get inked." Since this is geared to be a beginner's pen, it would have been helpful to include a quick-start instruction guide. If you need any help, you can follow the instructions in our quick tips videos on how to fill a fountain pen using an ink cartridge or converter.

Starting at $17, the Kaweco Perkeo is an excellent pen for first-timers, students, and those who want a knock-around, everyday carry fountain pen. While not as compact and pocket-friendly as a Sport fountain pen, the Perkeo provides a full-size writing experience at a wallet-friendly price.