Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the FPN Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies


Registration on the Fountain Pen Network

Dearest Visitor of the little Fountain Pen Nut house on the digital prairie,

Due to the enormous influx of spammers, it is no longer possible to handle valditions in the traditional way. For registrations we therefore kindly and respectfully request you to send an email with your request to our especially created email address. This email address is register at fountainpennetwork dot com. Please include your desired user name, and after validation we will send you a return email containing the validation key, normally wiithin a week.

Thank you very much in advance!
The FPN Admin Team






Photo

Review: Pilot Cavalier


  • Please log in to reply
18 replies to this topic

#1 terminal

terminal

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,511 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 09 January 2013 - 21:32

Pilot Cavalier Medium
(better writer than other pens in this price range)

Let me start of by saying up front that I don't have a Prera to compare to this Cavalier -- nor do I have a Metropolitan. I'm also not sure where the Cavalier fits in to the Pilot line. The nib appears to be different from that of the Prera or Metropolitan. There are a few threads relating to the Cavalier, and so I know that milage may vary, but there's not a review posted yet, so I thought I'd try my hand.

Related posts:

There's also a review over at The Pen Addict. One thing about that review (as the author, Brian Gushikawa, states), this is a pen he repaired so it's not new, and it's been tweeked.

Now down with tackiness:

  • Fit & Finish: 6/10 Outstanding for a pen of this price. I really can't fault the construction quality of this specimen. It's just very high quality manufacturing. Some slight critisisms are that the gap between the tassie and the barrel is a little bigger than all the other gaps, and the plastic is a slightly different color than the metal. The gold part of the grip section kind of has a different diameter than the lilac-colored plastic, and as you'll see in the macros, the gold isn't perfect. Finally, I don't really enjoy the mold-mark on the threads of the grip section, when the barrel is off... I mean, granted it's hidden, but you'd never expect to find something like that on a higher end pen.
  • Style: 5/10 It's neat that the Cavalier comes in so many colors, but if I had to criticize the design, I'd say that I don't like the fact that the grip section is a noticeably different color than the rest of the pen. This is because the barrel and cap are metal and the grip section is plastic. I also personally find the gold appointments to be a bit cheap looking -- there's no mistaking them for real gold! Meantime, in an effort to make the pen look 'girly' (I guess), the clip is sort of... busy for my taste.

    This is also a very small diameter pen. For my hands it's WAY too small. That's one thing to keep in mind with the Cavalier -- it's NOT for big hands (though it's long enough).

    On the up side, I do like the fact the pen is metal -- it gives the Cavalier an especially solid feel without being heavy. As I said, the color choices are really nice.

    One nice feature is the fact that the pen posts with a solid 'click' because the tassie is shaped the same way as the nib end of the grip section. It's very satisfying. I don't personally post pens, however, and the pen is plenty long for me without the cap. Meantime, I've read a lot of criticism that some people find the cap rattles and spins when posted.... this specimen doesn't. It's possible it will in the future though.

    A general note about the style: I don't like the whole 'girl pen' notion very much. I think the efforts Pilot made (other than the colors) to make this a 'girl pen' are mostly just distracting.
  • C/C Design / Filling: 8/10 Normally, I'd say I prefer an integrated fill system of some kind -- piston or vacuum or some such, but in this price range, being able to get a pen that comes ready to use with ones' own ink is pretty great. The con-20 is certainly easy to use. I don't love that you can't see how much ink you have left, but as I say, I can't knock this pen since it shipped ready to bottle feed.
  • Nib: 6/10 I'm not actually sure what nib sizes are available... fine and medium are all I can find. But this is where the pen was just a giant surprise to me. Yes, it is a STEEL nib... that has been gold toned. But man is it smooth. Smoother than a Platinum Plaisir or Preppy, Lamy Safari, Kaweco Sport or Monteverde Artista. Yes!

    Now, let me set out some caviots, because that's a big statement I just made. It has more feedback than the Safari, Kaweco or Artista, and not as much as the Plaisir or Preppy (read 'scratchy'). What impresses me is that it has more bounce and flex than any of the above. The Kaweco and Artista come the closest (for all I know those two are more or less the same nibs anyway). This cavalier is both smooth and light. It feeds well and hasn't skipped or hard-started on me at all. This is the best nib I've found in this price range (and by price range... I mean under twenty dollars -- more on that later).

    As has been stated over and over on these forums: this is NOT what I would consider a "medium". I can't imagine what the 'fine' would be like... a sewing needle I guess. Once again, Japanese Medium is more or less a german fine.

    It's hard for me to evaluate this nib... I mean, for the price, it's fantastic, but of course it doesn't really touch a lot of my other pens empirically. I'd say it's got a nib that you'd expect to find in a pen that's in the 50-70 dollar range.
  • Price: 9/10 Ok, so I see that JetPens only stocks the fine version of this pen, and they sell it for fifty bucks (granted, with free shipping). I bought my pen new for less than twenty dollars from one of my top three eBay sellers, engeika. Shipping was not included, but with shipping, the pen was still under 30. For that price, this pen is really beyond reproach. It's a great deal. Best sub thirty dollar pen I've ever used.

    For fifty dollars, I think it's still a good pen, but the problem is that you start to get in to the range of not having to use a con-20. A TWSBI Mini is $50 and it's a piston filler. Also, a Sailor Dynamic Young Profit can be had for that price range, which is a whole 'nother class of pen.

    Anyway, in summary, for the purposes of this review, I'm considering the Cavalier in the sub-thirty dollar range.

GLAMAH SHOTS:

Posted Image
Note in this one the plastic is a slightly different shade of lilac:
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
Note the mold mark in the threads (booo!):
Posted Image
Ye olden con-20:
Posted Image

Comparison with other pens. Top to bottom:
Platinum Plaisir
Pilot Cavalier
Lamy Safari
Kaweco Sport

Posted Image
Posted Image
The Safari is a huge freekin' pen posted... I always forget.
Posted Image

And, at risk of further writing criticism / flaming, here's a sample...
Posted Image
That's about as wide as she'll go... maybe .8mm or so...
Posted Image
Posted Image


Conclusion: Best pen I've used sub-thirty dollars hands-down. The nib is quite amazing. It's also well put together and attractive. It's got feedback without being scratchy, and a little bounce and flex. It has never skipped or hard started. I plan to give these as fountain pen introductory gifts in the future.

One note is that I intentionally didn't compare this pen to any Noodler's flex pens. I am aware that the Ahab , and the Konrad are piston filled for under $20. I personally don't think they are comparable, even though I have given a lot of Ahabs as gifts in the past. My brief statement on this would be that the Cavalier is great for everyday use and has a very amicable nib with a bit of flex.

Another note is that, as I ponder the manufacturing quality, I'd have to say that the Lamy Safari is a bit better (it's also simpler in that it doesn't use the same combination of materials). I actually think TWSBI, Kaweco, Lamy and Sailor all manufacture pens that are tighter. The Cavalier is definitely more like the Plaisir in this respect.
"One always looking for flaws leaves too little time for construction" ...

Sponsored Content

#2 isildur

isildur

    Near Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPip
  • 45 posts
  • Location:Near The big Apple....well not very far from it!
  • Flag:

Posted 09 January 2013 - 22:11

Nice Review indeed!

I own a Pilot Cavalier F nib pen. I think that the construction of this pen is as good as Lamy safari (if not better) however, the Lamy design is more appealing to me. To me, this pen design is a hybrid of slim pens (a la tombow pens) and traditional pilot design. The result is not that pretty.

For ~50 bucks, I would recommend Faber Castell Basic (a rather hefty but very reliable pen), rotring initial (it can be had at amazon sells for under $40 now!) , faber castell ambition (slightly more expensive) and probably Pilot Prera ( i do not have it but I have heard good things about it) and my personal favourite Pilot Lucina (not very common in US) are better pens. But nonetheless, I think this pen (cavalier) is a rather unique pen from Pilot because of the design, materials (mine are metal) and interesting nib features.

Thanks!
“silence is the language of god,
all else is poor translation.”
Rumi

#3 rockydoggy

rockydoggy

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 590 posts
  • Location:Culver City, California

Posted 09 January 2013 - 22:14

This is a really fine review--thanks.
I have a Cavalier and I find it to be a smooth writer as well. I also tend more toward thinner pens than thicker ones; as you point out, this is definitely a thin pen (probably about the size and weight of some Elysee fps I have).
I'd be curious to see what you'll think of the Pilot Metropolitan.

#4 myn

myn

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,625 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 10 January 2013 - 00:17

What a great review. Thanks so much for posting it. It's a bit on the thin side for my likes but I'm thinking it would make a lovely gift pen for a beginning FP user.
"Minds are like parachutes. They only function when open." James Dewar
Posted Image

#5 superfreeka

superfreeka

    Sumgai

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 212 posts

Posted 11 January 2013 - 21:17

Nice review. I love the picture showing all the nibs. Reminds me of the 3 Musketeers + D'Artagnan.
Deodorant can't fix ugly.

#6 Gloucesterman

Gloucesterman

    Transformation Coach

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,280 posts
  • Location:Gloucester, MA
  • Flag:

Posted 12 January 2013 - 00:25

FYI, just checked on the ebay site for the Cavalier reviewed above.
Current price is $29.00 with $13.00 economy shipping. Total $42.00
The fancier one with a marbled "lacquer" finish is $43.50 w/ economy shipping $13.00 Total $56.50.

“Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today, because if you do it today and like it, you can do again tomorrow!”


#7 terminal

terminal

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,511 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 12 January 2013 - 01:18

FYI, just checked on the ebay site for the Cavalier reviewed above.
Current price is $29.00 with $13.00 economy shipping. Total $42.00
The fancier one with a marbled "lacquer" finish is $43.50 w/ economy shipping $13.00 Total $56.50.


Here's my auction -- the one I won:
http://www.ebay.com/...984.m1439.l2649

And since I know eBay auctions only last a couple of months, here's a screen capture of the summary:

Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 6.15.09 PM.png
"One always looking for flaws leaves too little time for construction" ...

#8 Gloucesterman

Gloucesterman

    Transformation Coach

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,280 posts
  • Location:Gloucester, MA
  • Flag:

Posted 12 January 2013 - 03:23

Wow, that does look like a great deal. Now if I saw that pricing (or even near it) I definitely would have bought. Especially with you very good review here on FPN.

Thanks.

“Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today, because if you do it today and like it, you can do again tomorrow!”


#9 olivier78860

olivier78860

    Dura Flex, Sed Flex

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,433 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 12 January 2013 - 16:12

I bought a few NOS "cheap" pens last year. One was a Pilot Knight, one a Waterman Forum, another one a Waterman Maestro, and two Parker Rialto. All these pens were very good, in the "affordable" price-range, but the Pilot was the most expensive and I couldn't really understand why.
I recently saw a Pilot Prera in a shop, and after inspecting it thoroughly, 50€ for it was far too much.
I am starting to think, with a Cavalier retaling at $40 (so around 40€ if it is available where I live), entry-level Pilot pens are overpriced, by at least 50%. This isn't saying they are bad pens (since last time I posted some comment about a brand, I got quite flamed, I prefer to add that disclaimer).

The Cavalier looks very comparable to a Waterman Maestro, you should have a look at it if you like that type of pens.

Posted Image


#10 JVera

JVera

    NOS (New Old Stock)

  • Member - Silver

  • PipPip
  • 24 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 12 January 2013 - 17:45

Both the 78g and the Metropolitan are a great + value, but I agree the Prera seems expensive for what it is.

#11 VirtuThe3rd

VirtuThe3rd

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,827 posts

Posted 12 January 2013 - 18:29

Nice review. Thanks for sharing! :)

#12 Darthie

Darthie

    Dipped Only

  • Member - Silver

  • Pip
  • 1 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 03 July 2013 - 23:32

FYI, just checked on the ebay site for the Cavalier reviewed above.
Current price is $29.00 with $13.00 economy shipping. Total $42.00
The fancier one with a marbled "lacquer" finish is $43.50 w/ economy shipping $13.00 Total $56.50.

 

Pilot Cavalier Medium
(better writer than other pens in this price range)

.....................

 

What a great review! A little bit slim for my own, but I really like my Cavalier.



#13 bone215

bone215

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 447 posts
  • Location:Lounging in a Tree
  • Flag:

Posted 16 July 2013 - 22:31

For the price I paid, $14 I am thrilled with this pen. Mine doesn't have the issue with different colors as section that holds the nib is black and the pen color is a dark metallic blue.  The pen is very light. Mine is a fine and like the other Pilot pens I own, I describe the fines as scalpels, as they are very fine and scratchy which I like. The Pilot mediums seem more like fine points compared to others.


Be Happy, work at it. Namaste

#14 Celerity-dad

Celerity-dad

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 99 posts
  • Location:Meridian, ID
  • Flag:

Posted 16 July 2013 - 22:52

Nice review and thanks for posting it.  The Cavalier was the first "higher" end pens I purchased.  I had some Pilot Varisty pens prior to it.  I've always liked it for the snap cap and the excellent nib.  I have it tucked into my polo style shirt right now.  It doesn't have the bulk of my other pens so it was my choice for today.


When you have pen and ink, every problem needs a piece of paper.

#15 GabrielleDuVent

GabrielleDuVent

    The Sylph Scribe of the Unseelie Court, 2nd Class

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,238 posts
  • Location:Gardens of the Moon
  • Flag:

Posted 16 July 2013 - 23:20

If I recall correctly, Cavalier is the sequel to Minuet, which was a ladies' pen. Hence the small diameter (and the variety of colours, I think). 

 

I do want one, but I can't find one under $30. :(


Tes rires retroussés comme à son bord la rose,

Effacent mon dépit de ta métamorphose;

Tu t'éveilles, alors le rêve est oublié. 

 

-Jean Cocteau, from Plaint-Chant, 1923


#16 terminal

terminal

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,511 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 16 July 2013 - 23:49

Oh, well, that shouldn't be a problem!  Take a look at the Cavaliers engeika has listed right now -- buy-it-now for $29.


"One always looking for flaws leaves too little time for construction" ...

#17 GabrielleDuVent

GabrielleDuVent

    The Sylph Scribe of the Unseelie Court, 2nd Class

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,238 posts
  • Location:Gardens of the Moon
  • Flag:

Posted 16 July 2013 - 23:53

Oh, well, that shouldn't be a problem!  Take a look at the Cavaliers engeika has listed right now -- buy-it-now for $29.

 

The shipping jacks up the price to over $30. :(


Tes rires retroussés comme à son bord la rose,

Effacent mon dépit de ta métamorphose;

Tu t'éveilles, alors le rêve est oublié. 

 

-Jean Cocteau, from Plaint-Chant, 1923


#18 K. Cakes

K. Cakes

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 540 posts

Posted 17 July 2013 - 00:34

 

The shipping jacks up the price to over $30. :(

Try Stationeryart.com 


Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.

#19 proton007

proton007

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,335 posts

Posted 17 July 2013 - 03:35

I really liked the look of the special editions;

 

20120717_551730.jpg


In a world where there are no eyes the sun would not be light, and in a world where there were no soft skins rocks would not be hard, nor in a world where there were no muscles would they be heavy. Existence is relationship and you're smack in the middle of it.

- Alan Watts







Sponsored Content




|