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Kaigelu 356


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#1 Miles R.

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 15:34

I got this pen from a vendor on eBay for under $7. The pen has a matte finish in a medium-deep, slightly grayish blue that is quite captivating. The finish reminds me of the Sheaffer Prelude line (before Sheaffer discontinued all the attractive colors), but the overall design, I gather from this comparison by Richardandtracy, owes more to that of the Parker Sonnet.

 

fpn_1387724488__kaigelu_356_04_capped.jp

 

You will notice a discrepancy between the appearance of the color in this photo and in some of the ones that follow. This is because I have altered this photo (and one of the others below) in an attempt to get the color to appear more truly. I don't think I have quite got it right, but it is certainly no further off than the others. In any case, what looks right on my screen may not look right on someone else's.

 

There are some nice details.

 

fpn_1387724444__kaigelu_356_01_band.jpg

 

Also, although I didn't get a photo of it, there is a little Kaigelu kangaroo on the black plastic tip of the cap.

 

The cap snaps on and off and posts very cleanly.

 

fpn_1387724471__kaigelu_356_03_posted.jp

 

The pen comes with a convertor with the brand name and logo on it.

 

fpn_1387725066__kaigelu_356_05_disassemb

 

Weight*: 25.9 grams; body, 16.4 grams; cap, 9.5 grams

 

(*This is with ink in the convertor, because I didn't feel like emptying it before weighing the pen: so sue me!)

 

Dimensions: length, capped, 13.7 cm; uncapped, 12.2 cm; posted, 15.1 cm; width at narrowest point of grip, approx. 0.9 cm (I haven't got calipers)

 

This is a slender and, as metal-bodied pens go (if indeed metal is what it is made of: the finish makes it difficult to tell!), light-weight pen. For me it is too slender to be used for extensive writing, but apart from that it has a very good feel to it. The parts fit together firmly, the cap posts securely, and the balance is excellent.

 

Nib: The nib was described as "medium," and medium-point it is—in Western, not Eastern terms (i.e., it is not medium-fine but simply medium).

 

fpn_1387724458__kaigelu_356_02_nib.jpg

 

Bhbarto in his or her review reports having had to adjust the nib for proper flow, but the one in my pen has needed no such adjustment. The ink flows evenly from it and it feels tolerably smooth on paper, with a moderate amount of feedback.

 

As I said, the pen is too slender to be a favorite of mine, but I am so taken with the finish, the design, and the solid (however light) feel of the pen that I am delighted to have it in my collection.



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#2 nomadhacker

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 15:57

I have one of these I ended up giving to my oldest son.  The only thing is the cap doesn't seem to seal good enough because it will tend to dry out just a bit.  Not completely, but hard starting the next time you use it.


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#3 linearM

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 16:01

Thanks for the review.  I have one Kaigelu pen, a model 316 which was a smooth writer right out of the box but a heavier (though it is classified as a mid weight)  and evidently larger pen.  The 316 looks like a vintage parker and cost about $25.00.  I felt that the quality was very good as you seem to feel with your Kaigelu.



#4 Miles R.

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 16:32

I have one of these I ended up giving to my oldest son.  The only thing is the cap doesn't seem to seal good enough because it will tend to dry out just a bit.  Not completely, but hard starting the next time you use it.

 

I haven't had that problem yet, but we shall see what happens. So far, I have been using Private Reserve Tanzanite, which is a very wet ink, in mine. Things may change when I use a drier ink.

 

By the way, I don't think that there is any connection between a pen's being a slow starter and its not having an airtight seal on the cap. I have seen fountain pens with ventilation holes in the caps that were ready starters, while slow starters may have airtight caps. I have owned several Jinhao x450s and have found all of them to be exasperatingly balky starters, drying out within less than an hour of being capped; but I don't find any air leakage in them. I suspect that the fault lies rather in the design of the feed.



#5 Fabius

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 23:49

I bought one because of the reviews on FPN. I got it on Ebay for $6. Same blue color as pictured. Mine also worked great out of the package (did flush it first). As others said it is thin but even though I have a big hand I'm okay with it. It's been my daily writer now for a couple of weeks and I'm enjoying the smoth writing pen. I do wish they put a little more detail (feather lines etc) on the arrow clip.



#6 zdeveric

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 13:30

My cap on silver model of K356 is spinning freely. It is not big issue, but if somebody knows how to prevent this, please, let me know.



#7 bhbarto

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 01:36

First, bhbarto is a he. 53 years old and about 300 lbs. I have had a couple more 356s in the past coup!e years, and they are generally good writers right out of the box.

However, I have now use the Pilot Metropolitan as my cheapie pen, they cost $10 more but the quality control and writing quality is far superior.

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Sailor 1911 Large (Broad) - Iroshizuku Tsukushi

Sheaffer Snorkel Desk Pen (Medium) - Lamy Blue-Black


#8 Gloucesterman

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 22:16

First, bhbarto is a he. 53 years old and about 300 lbs. I have had a couple more 356s in the past coup!e years, and they are generally good writers right out of the box.

However, I have now use the Pilot Metropolitan as my cheapie pen, they cost $10 more but the quality control and writing quality is far superior.

 

And his age and weight relate to the fountain pen and seller in what way??


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#9 Miles R.

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 13:03

 

And his age and weight relate to the fountain pen and seller in what way??

 

It's because my review makes mention of "Bhbarto in his or her review." But at first that gave me a bit of perplexity too.


Edited by Miles R., 08 June 2014 - 13:04.


#10 bhbarto

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 14:34

 

It's because my review makes mention of "Bhbarto in his or her review." But at first that gave me a bit of perplexity too.

 

Just my poor attempt at humor.  Sorry.


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Sheaffer Snorkel Desk Pen (Medium) - Lamy Blue-Black


#11 arcadeflow

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 17:53

I have a matte silver Kaigelu 356 that is a slow starter. My cap is not airtight (I can blow through it). I only used it with Sheaffer inks (brown and black) and both of them dry a bit on the nib as soon as I cap the pen. If it stays 24hs capped it is really noticeable. A week or more will probably require me to wet the nib. Is there a way I can fix this? Did anybody notice this problem? I know it is a cheap pen, but unless I can fix this problem I am going to give it away because I have no use for pens that can't stay capped for a couple months without drying. I am storing my pens horizontally in an attempt to keep them wet for longer, doesn't help the Kaigelu.



#12 Miles R.

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 21:09

I have a matte silver Kaigelu 356 that is a slow starter. My cap is not airtight (I can blow through it). I only used it with Sheaffer inks (brown and black) and both of them dry a bit on the nib as soon as I cap the pen. If it stays 24hs capped it is really noticeable. A week or more will probably require me to wet the nib. Is there a way I can fix this? Did anybody notice this problem? I know it is a cheap pen, but unless I can fix this problem I am going to give it away because I have no use for pens that can't stay capped for a couple months without drying. I am storing my pens horizontally in an attempt to keep them wet for longer, doesn't help the Kaigelu.

 

I am so accustomed to this sort of performance among cheaper fountain pens that to me a pen that will start writing after a couple of days of disuse is something out of the ordinary, at least if I paid less than $100 for it.



#13 arcadeflow

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 01:14

 
I am so accustomed to this sort of performance among cheaper fountain pens that to me a pen that will start writing after a couple of days of disuse is something out of the ordinary, at least if I paid less than $100 for it.


I understand, but my best pens are all Pilots under $50 and a Petit1 that is a 200 yen pen never dries. It's not as fancy but much more reliable to carry around. A slow starting pen can only be used as a toy because you never know how dry it may be, it might not even write at all. I guess my advice to people reading threads about cheap pens is that they should avoid buying them for serious use unless they can perform as good as a cheap Pilot.

#14 owend

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 17:59

I've had the same blue 356; it took a bit of twiddling to get right, but it's now a reliable starter and a good, even, slightly wet line. I've got Diamine ink in it, which seems to flow slightly wet but cures any hard starting.

 

(Note: twiddling not tuning; I got this as a cheap pen to learn how to tune/tweak!)








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