Today I'm going to review another piece of beauty from Kanwrite, the family stationary business house from Kanpur, UP, one of the front runner in furthering the cause for quality Indian fountain pens at affordable prices. Their latest offering is the Kanwrite Desire, a 3-in-1 filling system pen at less than 500 INR (less than $10).
My previous review of Kanwrite heritage, an affordable piston filler is here.
Mr. Sandip Awasthi, who presently runs the operations, is one business magnet who actually is very friendly towards his customer's opinions and feedback. The CAB material of Heritage was stirring up some mixed reviews and acceptance. So, the Indian fountain pen lovers from a few whatsapp groups, urged him to look for acrylic, ABS plastic and ebonite as material for his great offerings. The kanwrite nibs have already revolutionized Indian fountain pen scenario by virtue of their consistency and tip variety, and I felt his pen designs have great potential as well. So he has presented us with molded acrylic design for the first time in Kanwrite Desire and soon we expect him to offer this material across all his models.
Just a bit about CAB and the molded acrylic material- CAB is "Cellulose acetate butyrate" , more softer, ink and environment friendly, durable, less prone to crack, but has funny smell and can attract scratches far easily. On the other hand, in Acrylic- polish and finish is better,there is no smell, surface colour finish is more symmetrical and it is far resistant to scratches.
1. Appearance & Design: The Desire is a classic cigar shaped pen, with slight tapering towards both top and bottom ends. Both the ends are rounded. It is a simple design with great feel in hand. The cap has a rounded dome shaped finial at the top, chrome coloured clip and two chrome rings of about 1 mm width separated by about 2 mm distance at the bottom end. There is minute gap between the finial and body of cap, accommodating the ring of the clip. The clip descents straight for about 12 mm from the junction of finial and cap body, then curves outward, ultimately curving back and touching the cap again. This design makes the clip sturdy and springy. I personally would have liked a straight clip. Kanwrite is written on the clip, though I didn't like the plain font. No other branding on body or cap. The polish on both the CAB version and the molded acrylic model is good, but as explained above, when compared side by side the acrylic one appears more attractive. The cap is a screw-on cap, takes about two and half turns to open. The section is 27 mm. long, smooth tapering towards the nib, with a #5.5 chrome nib attached to it. The cap threads don't bother during gripping the section, unless one grips pretty high up.
The pens come in a paper box, which reminds me of my school days. I would suggest Mr. Sandip to think of a bit better boxes as the pen itself is great for both students and professional users.
Kanwrite Desire- The brown swirl is CAB and Black one is molded acrylic, side by side the black appears more attractive
2. Construction & Quality: The construction is very good. These pens are available in both CAB and molded acrylic, both material appears sturdy. The polish is very good on both the models. Variety of colours are available, both single colours and attractive combination of swirls. The nib is very good quality screw-in kanwrite nib unit, which is reliable for giving out of the box good performance. As of now, this model is available with 'M' nibs by default, but all nib grades like F, B, BB, F flex, M flex, B flex, M stub, B stub etc are available as extra nib units with Mr. Sandip, at some extra cost . These nibs can be easily swapped with similar sized Kanwrite or other nibs, though I haven't given it a try. There is some simple design engraved on the nib along with the word 'Kanwrite' and a logo, which again may be improved further. As such the nib looks great. The trim quality is very good and extensive use with sweaty hands haven't induced discolouration or rusting in my Kanwrite pens. Kanwrite seem to have solved the problem of good trims in Indian pens to a great extent. I wish them all the best in achieving further improvements in their designs and material. For a sub 500 rs. pen, this pen exudes great quality.
All threads works perfectly, without any tightness or loosening.
The caps, look for the curved clip design and end rings
3. Filling System & Maintenance: This is a 3-in-1 pen, one can use the converter, international cartridges or use it as simple eye-dropper. The converter supplied with the pen is a piston converter,similar to the ones coming with Jinhao pens. It is a bit of disappointment by its appearance, though works fine and when we consider the unit price, its the only possible way. The is no leakage or difficulty while using the plunger. There is even a small spring inside the converter to break surface tension of ink. As an eyedropper, I didn't encounter any leakage in my two pens. The nib and feed can easily be pulled out. Cleaning this pen is very easy.
4. Weight & Dimensions:
The dimensions are as follows
Length capped: 140 mm.
Length uncapped: 128 mm
Length without nib : 110 mm
nib length: 18 mm.
cap length : 67 mm
Length posted: 160 mm
Section diameter : 10 mm-8.5 mm gentle tapering
Weight: 20 gram un-inked
This is very lightweight pen. Balance is good both posted and without posting.
Comparison with lamy Safari, capped
Comparison with lamy safari, posted
5. Nib & Performance: Kanwrite nibs are very good performer. The tipping is very good and most of the time they perform well & smooth out of the box. On the few instances when meshwork was needed, only minute adjustments produced excellent performance. I have never encountered flow related issues in kanwrite nib-feed combo. They are wet writers, but the flow is superbly regulated. Its not an overstatement to say that one can buy Kanwrite pens just for their nibs. Most kanwrite nibs have a bit of feedback, which is again their specialty. If you have used their nibs for sometime, you can actually detect their characteristics even with closed eyes, just from the tactile sensations.
6. Cost & Value: This pen cost rs 350 (about $5), but if you are looking for the same flashiness of a $5 Chinese pen, you'll be disappointed. This is a simple quality product that will last long, give you great performance with extensive rough usage and a reliability in nib performance unmatched by most makers.
7. Conclusion: The Desire is an entry level pen with great potential and performance. The design is simple but elegant, the looks are attractive, the nib is standard kanwrite quality. Its not some flashy cheap pen only for the students, It is quality product at an affordable price. This pen has the potential to entice all fountain pen lovers with its simplicity and VFM nature. Its very much 'Desirable'.
What I expect: This same design would be executed with better materials like premium acrylics, premium ebonite rods etc. The price may go up according to the material, but there is potential in this model to do better.
One thing about Kanwrite ethics: It is one of the most reputed companies when it comes to business ethics. They never market the products they manufacture for Noodlers or other companies as OEM makers, not even as personal gifts to friends. Even if there is no such agreement preventing them from such sales among friend circles, by virtue of ethics, they don't. They don't increase price just because a product is selling well in the market.
Disclaimer: I bought both the pens as I liked them, and even paid for the shipping amount twice, as the acrylic version came out a few weeks after the CAB version. I review Indian pens out of my weakness for these, and I don't get any favor whatsoever for reviewing these. My taste may not be similar to other members, and some may not concur with my views. Everyone is welcome to give genuine feedback about their own experiences with these pens.
Contacts: Whatsapp no Rohit Chaurasia +91 7309034825
Amazon link: Kanwrite
Website (no purchase link) : Kanwrite
Edited by Samrat, 23 October 2016 - 15:14.