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Kaigelu 300 Calligraphy Pen


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#1 richardandtracy

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 16:02

Kaigelu 300 Calligraphy Pen Review.

This is a very brief review of my wife's Kaigelu 300 Calligraphy Pen. I have no idea how much it cost (I'm told it's something I don't need to know - as with everything else she buys!), but the Kaigelu RRP is RMB29 (at current exchange rates, approx £3.20, US$5).

The pen is as below:
Uncapped:
Posted Image
As you can see, the nib is a little bit odd. It bends up at the end...
[Posted Image
What is more, it's meant to! This appears to be a Chinese calligraphy pen, designed to act a bit like a brush.

The pen dimensions are:
Length, Capped: 134.5mm (5.3")
Length, Uncapped: 119mm (4.7")
Length, Posted: 152.5mm (6")
Barrel Diameter: 9.9mm
Cap Diameter: 11.1mm
Weight: approx 21g
Construction
This is a bottom of the range Kaigelu, so the plating is visibly thin over silver coloured metal. The barrel is brass, painted black. The section is thinly anodized aluminium. The convertor is a cheaper screw convertor than is found in the 316. 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 6 months as an everyday pen, but it won't be an everyday pen with that nib..
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 is the bottom of the range, it feels like a very good pen for the money, with good design and all the parts are well finished.

Writing
This pen is rather odd. The thickness of the line can alter dependant on the angle you are presenting it to the paper. At an angle of about 30 degrees, the line is incredibly fat, a BBB or wider. Then as the angle of incidence increases, the line reduces in width. At about 40-45 degrees it's a fat medium, reducing to its minimum width of a fine medium between 75 degrees and vertical. As a result, a certain amount of thought can lead to dramatically different writing, this is demonstrated below:
Posted Image
It takes a little thought, but thinking of the pen as a brush leads to a more natural way of working with the pen as you pull it in the direction you want it to go.
At a standard 45 degrees, it feels like any nice, small & slender medium nibbed pen. The balance is good, the size is slightly on the small side for me (not very different from a Parker Sonnet), and the weight is good. The section tapers, but not excessively, and the anodized finish does help to prevent hot fingers from slipping.
It is a pen that, the nib excepting, could be used easily all day long. Infact, there is a non calligraphy version which would be a very nice student pen, however I've not tried it.

Conclusion
It's a toy. A nicely put together toy, but a toy nonetheless. For its purpose of being used occasionally for special occasions, I think it'll do its job well, but after that I think one would get pretty tired of living with the unusual nib.

I hope this is of interest,

Richard.

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#2 Uncle Red

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 16:30

Thanks for the review and writing sample Richard, I've been wondering about these. Of course for someone writing Chinese characters this could be a really useful tool.

#3 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 16:56

Thanks for the review of an unusual and under-appreciated pen.

Of course I've got one. My 'Kangeroo' 300 is a decent writer, and my only quibble is the metal section. Metal sections are just not to my taste, but since I collect all manner of fude, and this was was an unbelievable five bucks, I had to have it.

#4 watch_art

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 23:33

Thanks for the review of an unusual and under-appreciated pen.

Of course I've got one. My 'Kangeroo' 300 is a decent writer, and my only quibble is the metal section. Metal sections are just not to my taste, but since I collect all manner of fude, and this was was an unbelievable five bucks, I had to have it.


Did you ever find a use for the fude nib I sent you?

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#5 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 16:33

Alas. I don't yet have a big enough pen to swap nibs with!






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