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Kaigelu 316 Review


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11 replies to this topic

#1 Mister John

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 01:50

Lacking the cash for a Duofold Centennial, I instead recently acquired a Kaigelu 316 in amber and black from ISellPens (no affiliation). Here is my review:
From Drop Box

Appearance 10/10: Its a rich design featuring swirls of amber and black with white pearlescent highlights. The furniture is finished in what looks to be good quality gold plate. It lacks the harsh yellow of the plate on many cheaper Chinese pens. The cap is adorned with a the Kaigelu symbol, a kangaroo, in gold surrounded by a band of gold leaves and under glass.
From Drop Box

Construction 10/10: The pen is very well-built with tight tolerances everywhere--no play at any of the joints or with the furniture. The plastic is thick and heavy-duty. Indeed, compared to the Duofold International, it is thicker and more durably built.

Weight 5/10: Heavy and unbalanced. This is a very heavy pen at 47g and terribly unbalanced. All of the weight is in the ends of the pen. This makes the pen unusable with the cap posted as it is far too top heavy. This is the single biggest drawback of the pen.
From Drop Box

Nib 8/10: It's a beautifully designed steel nib with gold masking over the kangaroo and the edge decoration. Very professionally done. The nib itself is reasonably large, as befits a pen of this size. It produces a medium line. The most interesting part is that it is easy to produce some line variation. While the pen does not flex in any perceptible way, the tipping material seems to be in the shape of a rectangle rather than a circle; thus producing a thin side and a thicker side. It is not extraordinary variation, but enough to make it rather more interesting than most other M nib pens.

Fulling system 8/10: It's a basic converter with a ball inside to break surface tension. The piston is smooth and easy to operate.

Cost/Value 10/10: For $25, it's an outstanding bargain. The pen looks vastly more expensive, seems built to last, and produces an interesting line smoothly. What more could you want?
From Drop Box

Conclusion 8.5/10: It's a very nice pen and might be truly exceptional save for the awful weighting. I like to post my pens, but it is impossible with this pen. Even unposted, the pen is somewhat unbalanced and makes writing for extended periods something of a chore. What saves the pen is its looks, construction, and the quality of the writing.

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#2 bulbboy

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 03:54

Nice pen!!
Thanks for the review

#3 richardandtracy

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 17:21

Agreed.
One of my two is a constant part of my rotation alongside the real Centennial. You do get used to the weight after a while - it's 10g heavier than a centennial. It is a lovely pen and the plating on mine has worn much better than on any other chinese pen I have, That being said, after about 18 months of regular use the plating just between the barrel and section has all but worn away now.

The K316 almost looks like a LE colour Centennial. It is a good pen on any scale, and it's a fantastic pen for the money.

Regards,

Richard

#4 brownargus

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 22:06

I have just acquired a charcoal version from Ebay - jewellerymathematics for £18 including postage. It's a very nice pen, a little heavy but not, in my hand, unbalanced when unposted - I can't use it posted though! It is the same weight as my Caran d'Ache Leman which is somewhat more comfortable to hold due to the shape of the nib section. The medium nib is smooth but must be kept at or near "flat" with the paper - any deviation, particularly anticlockwise can cause skipping on upward strokes. I have looked at the tines through a loupe and they seem to be perfectly aligned. Is there an easy solution to this? Unfortunately, after a couple of fills the converter fell apart. The rubber piston came off the piston rod. I have tried to reassemble it but I can't get it sufficiently at right angles to the piston rod so it tends to have too much friction on the cylinder which pulls it off the rod again! The dealer is sending me a couple of replacements. Of course I can resort to cartridges and refill them if necessary.
Favourite pens in my collection (in alpha order): Caran d'Ache Ecridor Chevron F and Leman Black/Silver F; Parker 51 Aerometric M and F; Parker 61 Insignia M, Parker Duofold Senior F; Platinum #3776 Century M; Sailor 1911 Black/Gold 21 Kt M; Sheaffer Crest Palladium M/F; Sheaffer Prelude Silver/Palladium Snakeskin Pattern F; Waterman Carene Deluxe Silver F

#5 Joe in Seattle

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 22:08

I keep looking at these, thanks, nice review.
"how do I know what I think until I write it down?"

#6 RLTodd

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 22:51

Agree with the weight / balance issue.

Have used other pens in preference for quite a while.

Looks nice though.
YMMV

#7 TSherbs

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 02:27

Wonderful, warm pics!

#8 steb

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 05:12

A pen with kangaroo engraving..... Patriotically bound to get one aren't I :-) nice review.

#9 Flounder

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 18:25

Thanks for the review, of the three colours available, the amber is my least favourite, but your beautiful photos are very complementary!
Some thoughts:

(a) I don't consider the 316 postable. The cap lip can just about wobble about on the end of the barrel, and if I turn the pen over, the cap will fall off. I don't post my pens anyway so any nuisance factor doesn't affect me.

(ii) The converter is quite the conundrum. I have seen photos of this pen with two different converters. One has metal section threads, the mating lip looks to be a different material from the barrel plastic too, and the whole shebang looks pretty sturdy in the photos. If you recognise this pic as yours let me know, I've lost the reference.

[attachment=185358:dsc01849g.jpg]

The other type, as my 316 came with, has threads formed from the plastic, and the plastic moulded longitudinally. The lip is an insanely tight fit on the section sleeve's cartridge nipple. On mine, after the lightest of use, the lip of the converter is full of stress fractures, ink has gotten past the piston seal, and the converter can be disassembled with very little effort. The photo below, from top to bottom, shows a Diamine short international cart, a noname short international, and my converter. Notice the severity of the stress fractures on the latter. The masking tape is there as a visual aid to show how far to screw in the converter before it drives the section sleeve clean out of the section.
[attachment=185357:K316 converter.jpg]

Notice the difference in shape between the Diamine and noname cart - the Diamine will click into the section sturdily, regardless of whether the sleeve is installed on not. The noname is basically a friction fit in there, and will drive the section sleeve out until its widest point can't push into the section any further. There are a number of solutions to all this, and I think the simplest would be retrofitting an ink sac to a Diamine cartridge, in the same vein as used in this Kaweco mod. That way the section sleeve is never stressed.

(3) Looking at your nib, and mine, and photos of others, the depth the nib is set in the section can vary quite a lot. It doesn't seem to matter, as there is miles of space in the cap. I can put a blob of gum on the end of my nib, screw the cap on fully, and the gum isn't even deformed.

Latest pen related post @ flounders-mindthots.blogspot.com : vintage Pilot Elite Pocket Pen review


#10 poxy51

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 19:30

I have owned this model pen for 4-5 years now and use it almost every day. I rather like the weight of the pen, it sits in the hand very comfortably. I will aslo say for an inexpensive pen it does write very well even after 4 years or so. I do try to take of my pens, so I am careful with it. Having said that it seems to wear on the bottom black cap. I do have to clean it fairly often to keep the luster.

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#11 drgoretex

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 20:55

I agree that it is an absolutely excellent pen for the price, and even regardless of the price, has an absolutely wonderful nib. No question, for those on a budget, it is a no-brainer: get one of these pens!

I have one myself, and have to admit that I don't use it any more. Not because of its writing characteristics - as above, excellent writer. It is the balance that puts me off. I bought this pe just to check it out, was pleasantly surprised, but have too many other well-balanced pens, so I just don't use this one. Am planning on putting mine (cracked ice) up on classifieds.

Cheers,

Ken

#12 richardandtracy

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 11:22

Ken,

You, of all people, can make a new barrel finial, which will make all the difference to the balance. Take a look at this thread for removal of the finial: http://www.fountainp...assembly-photos

Regards,

Richard.






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