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Knox Galileo

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#1 Miles R.

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 18:35

The Knox Galileo is a slim, steel-nibbed, metal-barreled fountain pen. It is sold by xFountainPens.com (with which I have no affiliation) for $14.99. I do not know of it being sold by anyone else. It is available in four colors: cherry red, midnight black, navy blue, and Galileo orange; and in four nib sizes: EF, F, M, and B. It has been available for some time, but, so far as I can find, the only discussion of it on this Web site has been in a thread that I started about a year ago inquiring whether anyone had experience with any of the three models of Knox pen sold by xFountainpens, which elicited a couple of reports.

 

1. Appearance and design

 

I bought the pen in so-called cherry red, which is absolutely nothing like the color of any cherry that I have ever seen. As you can see from the photograph immediately below, it is more like the color of a Ferrari.

 

fpn_1385314703__knox_galileo_2.jpg

 

The specks that you can see on the barrel are dust particles, not blemishes in the finish. The finish is perfectly even and well-polished. All the parts of the pen that are visible when it is capped are of metal: the barrel and cap, which are painted; the end-pieces of the barrel and cap, the clip, and the band at the base of the cap, which are of chrome finish; and the little black bit below that on the cap, which I believe is just painted on. The band has "KNOX" engraved in it. The clip, you will notice, is quite robust and is of a somewhat unusual shape. You can see that more clearly in the next photo.

 

fpn_1385314653__knox_galileo_1.jpg

 

The nib is done in two tones—rather unfortunately, it seems to me, as a plain chrome finish would have agreed better with the chrome trim of the rest of the pen. It is on the small side, in keeping with the rather slim profile of the pen. (More on the nib below.)

 

2. Construction and quality

 

The pen comes with a convertor. One nice feature of the design is that, as you can see in the next photograph, the base of the grip section is of metal, so that when you screw the grip section back into the barrel, you are screwing metal into metal, so that there is no danger of cracking the threads, as can happen with all-plastic grip sections.

 

fpn_1385314823__knox_galileo_3.jpg

 

And now I come to the one flaw of construction in the pen—at least in the specimen that I got. The first thing that I did with the pen when I got it was to remove the cap and try to post it on the barrel. It would not go on. I could set the cap on to the end of the barrel, but it would simply perch there loosely and would rattle around or fall off if the pen was used. I found this rather exasperating, as I strongly prefer to use my pens with the cap posted. I tried applying a bit of pressure and heard a snap, whereupon the cap fit into the proper posting position. However, when I replaced the cap on the writing end of the pen, I found that its fit was looser than before. I believe that the plastic inner cap cracked when I posted it. I have had no problems of the nib drying out since then, and the cap will stay in place, but it comes off more easily than I think it should. It would not be safe, for example, to wear this pen clipped into a pocket, for fear of the barrel coming out of the cap. Neither of the two persons reporting on their own Galileo pens in the thread that I cited earlier (posts #21 and #23) reports having any such problem as this.

 

3. Weight and dimensions

 

The pen is rather slim, which in general is not agreeable to me; however, I find that my thumb and index finger tend to stay in place at the widest point of the grip section, just below (if the pen is held in writing position) where the barrel begins, so that I can hold it comfortably. The balance is comfortable for me.

 

Length, capped: 13.9 cm; uncapped (body only), 12.4 cm; posted, 15.3 cm.

 

Width at narrowest point of grip: approx. 0.85 cm; at thickest point in barrel, approx.1.1 cm.

 

Weight: 23.6 g; body, 16.4 g; cap, 7.2 g.

 

4. Nib and performance

 

I ordered the pen with a broad nib. With it I ordered a second nib in medium. (The nib is the Knox K26, not the larger K35 that fits into the "Bülow" or Jinhao X450.) This turned out to be very fortunate, as the broad nib proved unusuable for me. The photograph below shows a sample of some writing done with the broad nib, in J. Herbin Bleu nuit ink, with the addition of a note in the margin made after I had replaced the B nib with the M nib.

 

fpn_1385315489__knox_galileo_writing.jpg

 

Some might find the writing with the B nib to their taste, but to me it seems a soppy mess. To be sure, the writing was made on the back of a page of a composition book that already had writing on the other side, not on Clairefontaine or the like. And, I should confess, getting a B nib was a bit of an experiment for me, as I don't generally use them. Still, this nib laid down more ink than I like. I much prefer the M nib, and now use it exclusively in the pen.

 

Knox is already well-known, I believe, as a manufacturer of nibs. These nibs are well up to their standard, writing very smoothly and evenly, with no problems of skipping. They seem to be on the wet side, but I have not tried them with a great variety of inks (I think Bleu nuit is on the wet side itself). Also, the pen is an easy starter. So far, it has always begun to lay down ink immediately for me—though I have not yet left it unused for more than a day or two at a time.

 

5. Filling system and maintenance

 

I have mentioned the convertor, which, as far as I can tell, is just the standard sort. The pen also takes cartridges. It is easy to remove and replace the nib and feed for cleaning.

 

6. Cost and value

 

It's fifteen US dollars, people! That's for a metal-barreled fountain pen with a convertor. And you can get all the additional nibs you want for $9 each or the EF, F, and M nibs together for $18.

 

7. Conclusion

 

The one flaw that I reported in this pen may be peculiar to my specimen, and my experience with the vendor has been that they would immediately send me a replacement if I were to ask for one, so if you could possibly have a use for a fountain pen of this description, I think it is worth it to get one of these. There are, however, two other models made by Knox that are also available on the xFountainPens site, whose designs some users may prefer.


Edited by Miles R., 24 November 2013 - 18:39.


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#2 wastelanded

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 19:45

That looks like a very nice pen for the money! I like the understated design, and the quality looks quite good. The one pen I have with a Knox nib is very smooth indeed. I'm going to go have a look at these now.

 

That B nib looks like thing for me, actually. I regret not getting the OB and OBB, now that they're no longer available.

 

Excellent review, thanks for sharing with us!


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#3 mhguda

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 20:55

Good review there and it prompted me to get out and take another look at my Galileo, which I had inked and tried, liked, and put away as other pens demanded my attention. I took it out and to my consternation, noticed a scrape on the cap where some of the paint was scratched off, I have no idea how that could have happened, since it mostly sits in my pen box ready to use.

I like this pen, and before I had seen this I would have given it very high marks, but now I am sort of in doubt, given also your experience with the inner cap. For me, the pen posts securely and this has not influenced how it caps; indeed the only problem I have had with this pen is the paint scraping off while the pen is not even used.

I do know that if I were to write to XFountainpens they would probably replace the pen or the cap alone; I have had issues with other pens I bought from them and they were always very quick to respond and replace fautly pens. But it's too bad that it is necessary... and it seemed like such a nice pen.


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#4 harlequin-RIH

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 23:04

How would you compare it to some of the other under $20 metal barreled pens available, say Chinese pens or even the Pilot Metropolitan?



#5 Miles R.

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 23:38

How would you compare it to some of the other under $20 metal barreled pens available, say Chinese pens or even the Pilot Metropolitan?

 

Actually, I think that the Galileo is a Chinese pen, apart from the German-made nib (which a lot of other Chinese pens have, anyway). I don't think it could be sold at this sort of price if it were German-made. The metal construction and the slightly wonky design of the clip suggest Chinese origin to me as well. There are so many different models of pen made in China that sell in that price range that I don't think that there is much to be said about such an indeterminate comparison.

 

I have a Pilot Metropolitan. It is much lighter, as its body is of aluminum. Even the Galileo is lighter than I like, but I find it more comfortable to use than the Metropolitan. But that information will be useless to someone who prefers lighter pens. The Metropolitan has a prettier design, though, I have to admit.



#6 dietrich64

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 02:08

I have four Galileo's, one in each color. The Orange Galileo, medium nib, loaded with Noodler's Liberty's Elysium, is my favorite daily carry. The black Galileo, broad nib, is loaded with Architekt Aubergine ink; the Navy, medium nib, holds Diamine Ancient Copper, and the Red Galileo, broad nib, is loaded with Chesterfield Turquoise. Every one starts almost every time (except for the Navy with Ancient Copper, which dried up after a few weeks of neglect). I'm planning on buying a couple more with Fine and Extra Fine German nibs.  I love these pens for the weight, vibrant colors, and the German nibs, all of which are buttery smooth writers, and you can't beat the price. why have all four? because I have a b'jillion ink samples and love to try each new batch right away. 

 

I also have two Pilot Metropolitans with medium nibs, and I love them too; they are sweet and smooth writers and, again, start every time no matter low long they may hang around in the case.  My vintage Diplomat, Waterman, and Schaeffer pens are feeling a bit neglected, if not downright envious.


Edited by dietrich64, 25 November 2013 - 02:12.


#7 Miles R.

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 22:32

Some followers of this thread may wish to know that I have posted a review of the Knox Aristotle.

 

Edited to add: And now the Knox Plato too.


Edited by Miles R., 21 December 2013 - 11:18.


#8 harlequin-RIH

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 08:14

Ok, so now that you have reviewed each, which would you call your favorite?



#9 Miles R.

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 11:16

Ok, so now that you have reviewed each, which would you call your favorite?

 

It takes time to settle on a firm preference, but I think the Galileo will be the one I prefer for writing, as it seems to me to have the best balance of the three, while the Plato is the most fun to handle and to look at. The Aristotle would be the one I preferred if I wanted to make other people say, "That's a nice pen!" Or perhaps I should say it would be if it weren't for the tacky gold plating on the nib.


Edited by Miles R., 21 December 2013 - 11:19.


#10 Miles R.

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 16:30

 

It takes time to settle on a firm preference, but I think the Galileo will be the one I prefer for writing, as it seems to me to have the best balance of the three, while the Plato is the most fun to handle and to look at. The Aristotle would be the one I preferred if I wanted to make other people say, "That's a nice pen!" Or perhaps I should say it would be if it weren't for the tacky gold plating on the nib.

 

After using the Aristotle a bit longer, I would now put it above the Galileo in my preference. I have grown more comfortable with its balance, and it has a strong advantage in looks.



#11 ariesse

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 21:58

Hi! I just bought three Knox fountain pens, and managed to put the cap on improperly the very first time I uncapped it. :( Now the nib is destroyed, and I need to buy a new one. But I can't get the nib off the pen! I don't want to use too much force. I was trying to look it up online, and it seems some of the nibs are attached to a plastic cap, and you have to unscrew the whole thing, whereas on others, you just pull out the nib. Since the replacement K26 are just nibs (without the plastic), I'm assuming you are just to pull out the nib? Any tips would be appreciated!



#12 Miles R.

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 22:15

Hi! I just bought three Knox fountain pens, and managed to put the cap on improperly the very first time I uncapped it. :( Now the nib is destroyed, and I need to buy a new one. But I can't get the nib off the pen! I don't want to use too much force. I was trying to look it up online, and it seems some of the nibs are attached to a plastic cap, and you have to unscrew the whole thing, whereas on others, you just pull out the nib. Since the replacement K26 are just nibs (without the plastic), I'm assuming you are just to pull out the nib? Any tips would be appreciated!

 

It has been a long time since I extracted the nibs of any of my Knox pens, but I can see that the fins on their feeds have been damaged by my previous efforts. I believe that the smallness of the nibs is the main cause of difficulty. I don't know of any tools for getting around it. I have used rubber grip material, but it doesn't prevent damage to the feed.



#13 ariesse

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 06:26

 
It has been a long time since I extracted the nibs of any of my Knox pens, but I can see that the fins on their feeds have been damaged by my previous efforts. I believe that the smallness of the nibs is the main cause of difficulty. I don't know of any tools for getting around it. I have used rubber grip material, but it doesn't prevent damage to the feed.


Thank you for a quick reply in an old thread! When changing the nib, how do you pull the old one out? Just pull and wiggle, or do you unscrew it?

#14 Miles R.

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 12:40

Thank you for a quick reply in an old thread! When changing the nib, how do you pull the old one out? Just pull and wiggle, or do you unscrew it?

 

It has to be pulled out. I think I ended up using a pair of thin-nosed pliers to clamp the rubber gripping material (not applied directly to the nib!). The nib is just too small to allow sufficient leverage to extract it by hand.

 

Another hazard is posed by the plastic sleeve that holds the feed and nib within the metal shell of the grip section. It is merely glued into the grip section and can get pulled out, as happened with my Plato, so that you then have your nib and feed stuck in something from which it is even more difficult to extract them!

 

I found this thread on removing nibs; there are surely others on the topic: http://www.fountainp...val-for-newbie/


Edited by Miles R., 01 August 2015 - 12:41.


#15 ariesse

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 16:00

Thank you very much!

#16 titrisol

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 01:05

Is the barrel of Aristotle or the Galileo thicker than the Plato?
I found the Plato to be an OK pen, but the balance is off, and I think it is beacuse the grip part is too thin....

 

Some followers of this thread may wish to know that I have posted a review of the Knox Aristotle.

 

Edited to add: And now the Knox Plato too.



#17 Miles R.

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 01:28

Is the barrel of Aristotle or the Galileo thicker than the Plato?
I found the Plato to be an OK pen, but the balance is off, and I think it is beacuse the grip part is too thin....

 

 

The Galileo has the thinnest grip section. I think the Plato has the thickest. At any rate, the Aristotle is not thicker.



#18 titrisol

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 14:01

Thanks a lot!







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