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Duke Crane

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12 replies to this topic

#1 kissing


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Posted 07 February 2007 - 04:09

images borrowed from isellpens.com

First Impressions
What a Beautiful looking pen! The main aesthetic feature of this pen is the elegant cloisonné oriental Crane design on the cap. The whole pen is laquer on black metal. It really looks better in real than it does in the pictures. Considering I only paid $16.99 for mine on isellpens.com I was thoroughly impressed at the amount of pen I got for it biggrin.gif It measures 5-1/8" capped and 6 1/8" posted (which is good length - half a centimetre shorter than regular Sonnet size). I noticed that the cap is quite heavy, and is wider than the rest of the barrel. It's quite heavy to write with it posted, but is of Medium weight unposted. For comparison, it's only a fraction heavier than a Pilot Knight. Not for someone who loves light pens, as it has a bit of heft wink.gif

Straight to the point
Ok, so first I was impressed at how it looked, but I was worried about how it would write. This being the first time purchasing a Duke (I also ordered a Duke Filigree Ruby with this), I was worried about how these inexpensive steel-nibbed pens would write. I filled it with some Parker Quink..

I was very impressed that it wrote flawlessly and smoothly. The nib is a polished steel nib stamped with the Duke logo. It isn't the smoothest nib out there (in fact, the Duke Ruby feels a bit smoother than the Crane), but it is good enough to become one of my favourite writers. This pen writes great straight out of the box, and is moderately wet (not very wet, but no dry) and consistent. Like most asian nibs, it writes at a width about the same as a Western Fine. The tipping material has a slight edge to it, giving it a mild stubby feeling - but it definitely isn't a stub. It adds a subtle bit of expressiveness to writing biggrin.gif The nib has a bit of feedback, but it's definitely not something one would call "toothy". I'm sure it will become even smoother with use.

Simple Duke converter filler. Mine came with a twist converter included. It's nothing fancy, but I like converter filling pens for their convenience.

Overall Reaction
Very satisfied with this purchase. At only $16.99 (note: this pen is listed at $85 or above, on some other sites ohmy.gif ), this Duke Crane (along with some of the other Dukes) is enough to cause widespread Heresy. One blasphemic thought I couldn't get out of my mind after fiddling with my Duke pens was Why did I bother paying so much for major Western brand pens, when I could have bought several more of these for much less? unsure.gif laugh.gif

I wasn't the only one impressed though - my father, who had tried writing with it, immediately told me to order a few more. It's very rare to see my father fall victim to impulse buying, but it happened unsure.gif Long live inexpensive (but high quality) Chinese pens laugh.gif

Attached Images

  • Duke_samp.jpg

Edited by kissing, 07 February 2007 - 04:24.


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#2 umenohana


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Posted 07 February 2007 - 05:38

Thanks for the thorough (and entertaining) review. cool.gif

I got my friend a Duke, and he seems to like it very much. What a great deal you got on your pen! I need to sharpen my bargain-finding skills..

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#3 JRodriguez


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Posted 07 February 2007 - 06:21

Great review. And what a fantastic deal on that pen!

#4 French


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Posted 08 February 2007 - 03:19

Nice review, Kissing. I have one of these pens, and you really can't beat the value.


#5 helius



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Posted 08 February 2007 - 13:30

Why did I bother paying so much for major Western brand pens, when I could have bought several more of these for much less?  unsure.gif laugh.gif

That thought crosses my mind every time I use my mine! If only the company would tighten up their QC a little bit, and put out some lighter pens that don't feel cheap.

#6 mfwebb



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Posted 08 February 2007 - 15:36

I own its twin brother (or should that be sister?) the Cubist. Another superb Duke pen that writes far better out of the box than any Parker I have owned and is on a par with the writing quality of my Pelikan 800. I have just re-inked my Pelikan after 3 months out of rotation and I resent the £180 I paid for it 12 months ago. It will be cleaned and go back into the box when it's empty -- maybe I'll sell it and invest the money in a few more Dukes and a Pilot Capless (that will be my next purchase).
Malcolm Webb, Lincoln UK

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#7 jd50ae



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Posted 08 February 2007 - 15:49

.....another dasterdly Chinese pen..... tongue.gif

been using them for years, sometimes mix up Hero and Duke........

I have had fewer problems with all of my Dukes then any other name pen. Well, except my custom nibbed Pelikans of course.

#8 Judybug



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Posted 08 February 2007 - 17:27

I have a Duke Sapphire and love it. It's always dependable - never skips even after being laid up a while. I have been tempted by the looks of that Crane, but haven't given in --- yet. smile.gif

So many pens, so little time!

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#9 kai-wun


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Posted 09 February 2007 - 20:12

That's beautiful! I might have to buy one for my sister =) I need an excuse to get her one though. Hm... her birthday just past! wahhahaha

#10 Stephen-I-am


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Posted 09 February 2007 - 21:56

Thanks for the review, kissing. By the way, the reflection of you holding your camera is in the cap. wink.gif I see green leaves on trees, so we must be talking Oz. And to think it was 3 degrees F (-16 degrees C) this morning near Chicago ... (sigh)

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#11 kissing


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Posted 12 February 2007 - 14:58

It's true that it's quite warm here in Oz - but those photos weren't done by me :doh: (They're from isellpens.com website)

I can't stand the cold unsure.gif

PS: It's very interesting to see the reflection on the cap laugh.gif I didn't notice it before until you mentioned it. Keen eyes smile.gif

Edited by kissing, 12 February 2007 - 14:59.


#12 LapsangS


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Posted 13 February 2007 - 16:12

QUOTE(Stephen-I-am @ Feb 9 2007, 09:56 PM)
Thanks for the review, kissing. By the way, the reflection of you holding your camera is in the cap. wink.gif I see green leaves on trees, so we must be talking Oz. And to think it was 3 degrees F (-16 degrees C) this morning near Chicago ... (sigh)


Haha, we've had -20 ... -30 degrees C recently... and I had to walk 2 kilometres to my workplace.

PS. Kissing, nice pens! I had a guest yesterday who was very interested in my CHINESE pens!!! He asked where he could obtain them. I showed him all my collection and gave him a list of a few online stores and discussion forums for starters biggrin.gif (My guest was especially interested in Heros and Dukes)

#13 MYU


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Posted 16 February 2007 - 21:52

Argh... why is it that everytime I get a new pen and say "OK, that's it--I'm set for a VERY long time", another great pen comes along? blink.gif

I plan to give a few Duke pens as gifts--they are an amazing value. And I might get one for myself, too. wink.gif

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