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Kaco Master With 14K Gold Nib - Hidden Gem

kaco master 14k gold nib chinese fountain pen

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43 replies to this topic

#21 Honeybadgers

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 22:00

 

From the Aliex site:

*Luxury 14K Gold tip, produced by Germany Craftsman with 36 different procedures

*Perfect ink system produced by Germany Schmidt for super smooth writing

 

Isn't schmidt a subsidiary brand to bock?


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#22 RockFL

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 22:32

This is a great review of a very interesting pen. I'd love to hear from anyone who has a steel nib version of this pen. Is the nib actually smaller as the measurements cited above suggest?  

 

Also, checking out the 'stock' photos of the pen online I don't see any of the nibs photographed with gaps between the nib slit and the breather hole. It doesn't sound like it affects the performance, though.



#23 Karmachanic

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 05:39

 

Isn't schmidt a subsidiary brand to bock?

That is my understanding.


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#24 MuddyWaters

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 00:32

Chinese pens have gotten more expensive in the last few months. The hero h718 for example almost doubled in price. I am not sure that their more elevated prices compete well with a 3776 for example.

Link to a post about ergonomics I made: http://www.fountainp...with/?p=4179072


#25 Aditlojs

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 03:10

Chinese pens have gotten more expensive in the last few months. The hero h718 for example almost doubled in price. I am not sure that their more elevated prices compete well with a 3776 for example.


I've noticed the same price increases (in USD) with Japanese pens. I figure it has to do with shipping and handling in the current environment. Hopefully we'll see prices drop back down once thing return to something resembling normal.

#26 asincrono

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 14:19

This is a great review of a very interesting pen. I'd love to hear from anyone who has a steel nib version of this pen. Is the nib actually smaller as the measurements cited above suggest?  
 
Also, checking out the 'stock' photos of the pen online I don't see any of the nibs photographed with gaps between the nib slit and the breather hole. It doesn't sound like it affects the performance, though.


I have the Kaco Master 14K (black) and the one with the steel nib (white).

The one with the steel nib is EF (in my opinion). The one I received had a slight bend in the nib (so small that it's probably immposible to see in the photos).
The steel nib is rigid and, being EF, has more friction with the paper. I wouldn't call it scrachy cause you can write without problem (doesn't catch with the paper). I can compare it with a Sailor PG (Slim) F and they have about the same feeling.
 
Other than the nib material I can't see any difference in the pens.
 
fpn_1591452199__kaco_master_gold_steel.j
 
fpn_1591452646__kaco_master_black_gold_w

 

Closeup of the steel nib:
fpn_1591452742__kaco_master_steel_nib.jp
 
Comparison between the gold nib, the steel nib and a bock nib (Moonman m800):
fpn_1591452836__master_gold_bock_steel_m
 
The nib in the steel one is not Bock, at least not a regular one. Here a closeup of the feeder of a bock (m800) and the Kaco:
 
fpn_1591452005__alimentador_kako_m800.jp

 

Closeup of the nibs (Kaco Master steel vs. Bock)

fpn_1591453129__kaco_master_vs_bock_stee
 
The feeder of the steel nib master is the same as the one with the gold nib. Nib dimensions are broadly the same, the steel nib being a bit slimer though.

I must disclose that I polished the nib with this... polishing cloth? (the ink in the cloth it's from many other pens, not from the Kaco, I think that it's 12k grain so hard to do any real harm... I think)

fpn_1591453031__prueba_escritura_kaco_ma
 
Hope this post clarifies something

Best regards.


Edited by asincrono, 06 June 2020 - 20:36.


#27 donnweinberg

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 20:46

Just one question, asincrono: What is the overall length and width comparison between the Kaco Master Black and the Kaco Master White?  Same size? White shorter?



#28 asincrono

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Posted 07 June 2020 - 09:19

Just one question, asincrono: What is the overall length and width comparison between the Kaco Master Black and the Kaco Master White?  Same size? White shorter?

They both have the same size. You can switch caps, bodies / section (dint' try to switch nibs).


Edited by asincrono, 07 June 2020 - 21:00.


#29 Dip n Scratch

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Posted 08 June 2020 - 17:40

Does anyone have a Hero H718 & can tell me what one weighs?

The Hero looks rather like an industrial tool rather than something you'd want to write with all day.



#30 MuddyWaters

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Posted 09 June 2020 - 03:15

Does anyone have a Hero H718 & can tell me what one weighs?
The Hero looks rather like an industrial tool rather than something you'd want to write with all day.


I think it's over 60g. I heard somewhere in a YouTube review.

Link to a post about ergonomics I made: http://www.fountainp...with/?p=4179072


#31 TheVintagelife

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Posted 12 June 2020 - 12:59

I have the Kaco Master 14K (black) and the one with the steel nib (white).

The one with the steel nib is EF (in my opinion). The one I received had a slight bend in the nib (so small that it's probably immposible to see in the photos).
The steel nib is rigid and, being EF, has more friction with the paper. I wouldn't call it scrachy cause you can write without problem (doesn't catch with the paper). I can compare it with a Sailor PG (Slim) F and they have about the same feeling.
 
Other than the nib material I can't see any difference in the pens.
 
fpn_1591452199__kaco_master_gold_steel.j
 
fpn_1591452646__kaco_master_black_gold_w

 

Closeup of the steel nib:
fpn_1591452742__kaco_master_steel_nib.jp
 
Comparison between the gold nib, the steel nib and a bock nib (Moonman m800):
fpn_1591452836__master_gold_bock_steel_m
 
The nib in the steel one is not Bock, at least not a regular one. Here a closeup of the feeder of a bock (m800) and the Kaco:
 
fpn_1591452005__alimentador_kako_m800.jp

 

Closeup of the nibs (Kaco Master steel vs. Bock)

fpn_1591453129__kaco_master_vs_bock_stee
 
The feeder of the steel nib master is the same as the one with the gold nib. Nib dimensions are broadly the same, the steel nib being a bit slimer though.

I must disclose that I polished the nib with this... polishing cloth? (the ink in the cloth it's from many other pens, not from the Kaco, I think that it's 12k grain so hard to do any real harm... I think)

fpn_1591453031__prueba_escritura_kaco_ma
 
Hope this post clarifies something

Best regards.

 

Thanks for this. This is very interesting indeed. That means the measurements given in the Aliexpress site (154mm for the gold nib, 143 for the steel nib) is incorrect.  Also, I was told by an Etsy seller that the steel nib itself is smaller, which also doesn't seem to be the case.  In that case, it seems a wasted opportunity by Kaco in not offering the 14K in these other two colours as well. 



#32 Paul-in-SF

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Posted 23 June 2020 - 23:17

I bought one of these shortly after this review was first published, and it finally arrived today. I ordered it from Andstal, a stationery shop, via AliExpress

 

As far as shipping goes, there was no notification between the time it supposedly left Shanghai (May 6 if I recall correctly) and the time it turned up in my city (San Francisco) in the early hours of this morning. I guess that's possible if SF happened to be the port of entry, and it missed getting scanned at the regional facility. Also, I realize that probably none of this is the fault of the seller. 

 

Mostly I want to report that my nib also has that, uh, feature of the nib slit not going all the way to the breather hole. I haven't inked it up yet, as I was re-reading this threat to see if I would have to return it. I guess not, at least not for that reason. I ordered a Fine nib, but the tipping material is quite round and bulbous so I don't know if I'll get a Fine or a Medium line out of it. I'll come back and edit this once I have done some test writing. 

 

edited to add: I have not written very much about it yet, but the first thing I noticed is that the nib moves and comes out too easily, to the extent that the nib actually moves out of alignment with the feed just from writing with it. That doesn't seem to interfere with ink flow, at least so far. The nib is fairly wet and I would call the line a fine-medium. The nib is very soft and it is pretty easy to get line variation, not for calligraphy but to add a flair to one's writing or to show off an ink's shading. The nib has rather more feedback than I would like, so I am considering doing a little smoothing. 

 

But before that, I wonder if there is anything I can do to seat the nib more firmly. I remember reading somewhere here a recommendation to run a bead of shellac across the outside bottom of the nib and letting it dry thoroughly before putting it back in, to add a touch of thickness there. Is that a bad idea, or are there better ones? Or should I send the pen back (I hope not, ye gods, 6 weeks each way and I'll get it back in September!) and hope that the 2nd try has better nib fit? 


Edited by Paul-in-SF, 23 June 2020 - 23:34.


#33 Paul-in-SF

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Posted 24 June 2020 - 18:13

Another construction flaw, or failure in quality control on the pen I received is that the lip of the cap is slightly too small, so that when I go to cap the pen, I have to give a little extra push to get past that point so that the threads can engage. 

 

So I spent about $96 (including postage) for a new pen that has already, in two days, shown two construction flaws, one of which at least is potentially serious and will need dealing with. I offer these observations as a counterpoint to the OP who would be happy to pay $300 for this pen and calls the construction "top notch." I guess they were luckier with their pen than I was with mine. 

 



#34 donnweinberg

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Posted 24 June 2020 - 20:27

Another construction flaw, or failure in quality control on the pen I received is that the lip of the cap is slightly too small, so that when I go to cap the pen, I have to give a little extra push to get past that point so that the threads can engage. 

 

So I spent about $96 (including postage) for a new pen that has already, in two days, shown two construction flaws, one of which at least is potentially serious and will need dealing with. I offer these observations as a counterpoint to the OP who would be happy to pay $300 for this pen and calls the construction "top notch." I guess they were luckier with their pen than I was with mine. 

 

 

Paul, my take on your extensive comments is that the Kaco Master you received is a bit of a disaster, especially in light of long shipping times. I'm inclined to wait for a pen show (if there ever is one again) or a visit to a bricks-and-mortar retail shop (if any are carrying Kaco) before I buy one. Thus, your review is very helpful.



#35 TheVintagelife

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 20:14

Another construction flaw, or failure in quality control on the pen I received is that the lip of the cap is slightly too small, so that when I go to cap the pen, I have to give a little extra push to get past that point so that the threads can engage. 

 

So I spent about $96 (including postage) for a new pen that has already, in two days, shown two construction flaws, one of which at least is potentially serious and will need dealing with. I offer these observations as a counterpoint to the OP who would be happy to pay $300 for this pen and calls the construction "top notch." I guess they were luckier with their pen than I was with mine. 

 

Interesting to see you had these problems.  Quality of construction on my piece is top notch and none of these problems were there.  this makes me think there maybe a QC issue with some bad apples slipping through. O course, when everything is right, it is a fantastic writer, so I was lucky I guess.



#36 Waski_the_Squirrel

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 22:54

I filmed my first impression of both pens about a week ago. Not sure when I'll publish. I'm thrilled with the build quality. The steel nib didn't show the shading of the ink I used like the gold one did, but I found both quite enjoyable. I was inspired to purchase them by this thread, and I'm very satisfied. And they're attractive too!


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#37 TheInkSpot

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 10:17

I bought the gold nib version earlier this year, I was greatly disappointed. I threw the pen in my drawer after only one week.

The problems I had with my pen:

- Same short slit in the nib. The nib was also a lot out of alignment and very dry.  

- Very sharp and uncomfortable threads on the pen body. The worst threads I have tried on any pen ever.

- When capping the pen, you hit some sort of edge on the inside of the cap and have to press to get the cap on, before you can start turning the cap

 

Is the pen worth it? Not in my opinion

 

 

 



#38 Bill P

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 19:09

I have had my Kaco Master with the 14k gold nib for over a month now......No issues.  I find the Pen to be very well constructed, threads are excellent, fit and finish excellent, and the nib right out of the box was very good....Well, I say right out of the box, but actually when I opened the metal container the nib was loose and not on the Feed.... no damage, reinstalled it with no problem....but very unusual.

 

My nib also has the slit coming up just short of the breather hole.  It would seem as though the nib/slit has been engineered and produced that way intentionally.

 

I am enjoying the Kaco master, and I do believe it was worth the approx. $86 it cost me.

 

Bill P.



#39 Paul-in-SF

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 22:02

 

- When capping the pen, you hit some sort of edge on the inside of the cap and have to press to get the cap on, before you can start turning the cap

 

Yes, I had this issue as well. I got used to it pretty quickly, but I still don't know if its a QC issue or if it is somehow intended. You and I are the only ones to mention it so far (although I"m looking forward to Waski Squirrel's first impression video). 

 

And now I must confess that I was hasty in my concern about the nib. After fooling around with it (while there was ink in it, so getting lots of ink on my fingers) I did find a place where the nib was more firmly seated, and it no longer moves just from writing. It also requires a little more effort to get out, so on that score it also feels more secure than it did when I got it. Having been seated in what is apparently the correct spot, the nib does not feel as soft as it did initially. I need to run it through another ink fill though.



#40 kcwookie

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Posted 27 August 2020 - 01:18

Just noticed that mine has the same 'gap' between the slit and the breather hole. So probably a 'feature'. Mine was just a little dry out of the box, but after minor adjustment, writes on the wetter side of just right.

Some of the newer Parker Sonnet nibs are the same way. I've been told it is to stiffen the nib a bit. I have no issue with that. Both my Sonnets and my Master are lovely writers. 







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: kaco, master, 14k, gold nib, chinese, fountain pen



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