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Kaigelu 306 Review


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#1 richardandtracy

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 13:50

Kaigelu 306 Review.

This is a very brief review of my Kaigelu 306 Pen. I have no idea how much it cost, as it was a Christmas present.
The pen came in a moulded plastic case, and is obviously not aimed at the top of the market. It's a hooded nib pen with an aluminium section and lacquered cap & barrel.

Initial Impressions.

On opening the box I was fairly impressed. The black lacquering was beautifully done, without a blemish, and the gold highlights looked smart and attractive. On closer inspection, the pen is even more attractive. Parts of the lacquering has been dabbed with red to give the impression of red petals embedded in the lacquer. It looks very smart and understated.

I have become used to excessively heavy Kaigelu pens having used the Kaigelu 316 quite a lot, in comparison, this one is very light at a mere 26g. Well, I'd better put this into perspective. It's heavier, by a quarter, than a Parker 51, so it isn't a true lightweight, but it doesn't weigh the hand down like some others.

The pen is as below:
Capped:
Posted Image
Uncapped:
Posted Image

I'm not convinced I like the writing on the section, but it looks as if it'll wear off fairly quickly & I won't be disappointed.
Posted Image

The pen dimensions are:
Length, Capped: 133.5mm (5.26")
Length, Uncapped: 114mm (4.49")
Length, Posted: 156mm (6.14") Doesn't post terribly well, and it feels as if it could fall off. It's no problem, as the lacquer could be scratched by the plastic cap lining if posted too often.
Barrel Diameter: 10.2mm (0.40")
Cap Diameter: 11.5mm (0.45")
Weight: approx 26g
Construction
This is a mid range Kaigelu, so the plating is not too thick over silver coloured metal. The barrel is brass, lacquered. The section is anodized aluminium, but appears to resist scratches moderately well. It is not hard anodized, which makes me concerned slightly about corrosion from the inks in the long term. The convertor is a mid range screw convertor, and isn't quite as good as the one found in the K316 ( http://www.fountainp...316-grey-amber/ ), but is better than the one in the K300 ( http://www.fountainp...alligraphy-pen/ ). The cap is made in the same way as the barrel. However, it is well put together, there are no sharp edges and it is fairly well designed. I suspect it will keep writing for a long time after the finish becomes rather tired. Longevity of the finish: Possibly a year or more - it feels hard and durable..
The clip is secure and there are no sharp edges. The cap lip is reinforced with a separate machining - better than the Parker Frontier - and the edge is well finished.
While it isn't a top of the range pen, it feels well made and durable, with good design and all the parts are well finished, giving an admirably smooth surface.

Writing
The nib is a hooded nib, and of equivalent quality to the excellent/superb/brilliant Jinhao 321 ( http://www.fountainp...nhao-321-review ). It's smooth, gives a wet, fine line and works at all reasonable angles on all papers I can find. My only problem with it is the fact it's a 'Fine' and that there are no other options available. If you like fine nibs, well the nib stands scrutiny against a fine nibbed P61 in terms of its writing quality. Have I mentioned the fact I think the P61 is the last word in hooded nibs? And this is as good as a P61.

The pen is light enough to use all day. The section is a little slender at 9mm diameter at its maximum and some people may find this a problem. I do not find the size to be a problem, despite having large hands and fairly fat fingers. The barrel to section joint is at the position I hold the pen & the geometry is a bit busy here: The barrel steps down to a cap location ring, then there is a further step to the section, closely followed by the cap click groove. All this where my fingers rest. It's not uncomfortable, but it isn't spectacularly comfortable either.

Conclusion
This pen, if it only had a medium nib, would be a Parker 61 alternative for me. It is very, very good. I'm not sure of its durability in the long term, but with moderate care it could be a long lived pen.

This pen is yet another good Kaigelu. The more I see of the brand, the more I am impressed.

I hope this is of interest,

Richard.

#2 rwilsonedn

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 20:12

Richard:
thanks as always for a very informative review and great photos. I have to agree with you about the printing on the section, but the rest of the pen looks beautiful!
ron

#3 richardandtracy

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 12:41

Thanks for you kind words, Ron.

Richard.

#4 miwishi63

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 14:57

Richard,

Thank you for your review of this pen. I am looking into buying some pens in this line and so appreciate your photos and comments.

Mike