Kanwrite as a pen holds a special place for me, a pen that reignited my desire to look for Indian pens over staple of other well established FP manufacturers. Kanwrite in itself are not a small name from India in our little world of fountains but it certainly was big step for me to get this in my hand mostly due to lack of general awareness and issue of availability locally. As sad it is, the reality is most Indian markets are either dominated by cheapo china or full-blown Luxor. Quite ironic, in a place where so many masters of this craft of making a pen are hidden in plain sight, we get mostly whats rather pale imitation of same product in maybe better looking package. Thus is my title beginning of a journey to look again and broaden my view……...its been a couple of year since then but I only managed to get a desire for myself after a while almost a year ago to be exact. So I thought what better way to start a review on FPN with the pen that restarted it all for me.
A small disclaimer; This is my first review so please do ask for anything I missed and apologies for mistakes upfront. Also my experience may differ from other fellow users so do share them would love to hear from everyone. Also pen has ink stains inside cos of using multiple permanent inks in a demonstrator as ED….yeah I know.
This will be my take of desire with honest opinion after using for almost a year now and its long.
Looks and design:
The most subjective of all the aspects of anything so lets take it down first.
The pen is classic cigar shaped with no surprises to go with. There is tapering at end but its practically negligible. Now color options are a lot really including 4 demonstrator, solids and marbles so there is something for everyone.
The pen has a simple clip so no surprise here either. Its not ball ended as such there is no visible ball on end but the pen does has ball shaped tapering for easy slides in pocket and it works with no issues no complain here and I in general prefer understated designs. Clip is secured via screw on top which can be removed to get change clip or change the positioning or anything else. It has good springiness to it as well. Its also the only part in my pen with kanwrite written on it.The pen posts quite nicely and securely so no issues here either.
Marble color options taken from kanwrite brochure there are more marble options than this in brochure.
Body and construction:
The pen is made of acrylic, it was once CAB but that was changed along the way with other change being new threaded screw type converter by kanwrite from earlier plunger type design more on that later.
The body being acrylic is welcome step from plastic and sure feels sturdier in hand but, and this is important, its by no means a pen that you want to fall with. The pen should survive but I have my doubts on this point, at the very least I suspect a crack may happen if fallen on hard surface from decent height. Best case avoid it. I have demonstrator version so it could be that too (I feel demonstrators require more care in this aspect).
The pen is light overall which is to be expected of acrylic so no surprise here either. Pen needs 1+3/4 turn to unscrew the cap. Threads are fine and have no issues in either closing or opening this applies for all threads from barrel, cap and nib housing which was nice to see. Nib housing will be a bit tight but that is to be expected here.
a pic of cap and clip
Filling mechanism and converter:
Desire is a 3 in 1 pen so no surprise here…….well there is though.
The converter is the point. This will be interesting as it was for me at least. The pen has threaded screw converter developed in house by Kanwrite (that's what I think correct me if wrong) and it performs well…....until it does not. See the converter has silicon grease at end to offer extra layer of seal and it works great until the grease is there. In my case the grease was cleaned by me while cleaning the converter and that caused a leak from end section of converter…...solution is simple though just apply some grease and done.
Also the pen accepts standard international converters and cartridges so its fine to just replace the thing if its having issue or not interested in hassle.
Nib, feed and writing:
This is the party piece of the pen. First what is what.
The nib is Kanwrite steel nib while feed is plastic and both are friction fit so easy to replace the nibs when one wants to. The entire assembly is screwed in and can be removed by turning anti-clockwise so replacing nib housing is also very easy. The nib options are #6 (35mm) and #5 (27mm) nibs with fine, medium, broad, stub Regular and Fine Medium Flex on the table.
I went for fine nib for daily use of pen. The pen is wet writer which I personally prefer so this was great for me. No skips or hard starts either with very consistent flow. The nib has a bit of feedback which is characteristic of Kanwrite nibs its not scratchy by any means and will feel like very fine pencil. In fact take a 0.7mm pencil and use it for a while after this put very gentle force to write….that's the feedback you will get (a very crude way to judge but that closest I can think without comparing to other nibs). If compared then closest feeling among my lot is lamy safari with shin-kai ink in my case. Overall its very smooth and wet nib to write with.
Width is Indian fine which is between western fine and medium. Once combined with wet ink the pen will become really wet writer, no leaks but still very wet. Eye Dropper conversion is easily possible. Reverse writing is possible and lines will be very fine but pen will feel a bit scratchy.
nib comparison with different pens. pen order from left to right- Camlin trinity, platinum preppy, Kanwrite Desire, Pilot Metropolitan and Lamy Safari
pen size comparison- from left to right Camlin trinity, platinum preppy, Kanwrite Desire, Pilot metropolitan and Lamy safari
feed comparison with Kanwrite Heritage which has ebonite feed.
Line variation is possible but its not a flex nib so don’t try to get too much out of it, a little is possible but go for flex version otherwise. On the note of lines I do feel that nib is quite forgiving and allows for errors in angle for holding to great extent which is really good for those new to Fountains and I personally appreciate on long writing sessions as mistakes there are possible and can break flow of writing easily (at least for me).
Inks that I have tested are
waterman serenity blue (my staple testing ink): result was wet and smooth lines and nib on wetter side. ED conversion shows burping at standard 3/4th mark.
R&K Sallix: Iron gall ink, a dry ink and will make feedback more visible, no scratchy feel just more feedback. No skips or flow issue seen. ED conversion possible and dry ink shows bit more resistant to burp but it will still occur sooner or later (it managed to cross 3/4th mark in my case abide by small margin).
Iroshizuku murasaki shikibu: wetter side of spectrum the feedback will still be present but lesser then dry inks. No issue in flow and no skips seen. No leaks and ED is very much possible with burp at standard 3/4th mark it good.
Platinum Carbon ink: a very wet ink, feedback is fallen by a several notches but flow sees a big rise no leaks or over release of ink the flow is still managed nicely, wont recommend ED for this type of ink though as in my case it left permanent stains and ink burp issue was seen earlier then usual ED case (earlier than standard 3/4th mark).
A small writing sample, ink used is platinum carbon black.
Final thoughts and price:
For the price of Rs 650 (~$ 9) plus delivery I feel its a great deal considering what one gets, simply put good pen and for those who go for long writing sessions or for those who are new to fountain pens and are aiming for such price ranges or just about anyone looking to add another one. Yes there are minor issues but for me they were easy to overlook and that made the pen great from good for me. Honestly I felt the flaw were mostly nitpicking for this price.
Also I would say that the customer service from kanwrite was excellent in my eyes. The contact was established on watsapp after a direct call and order was done there, mails sent received the replies withing 3 days so I am quite satisfied with that aspect as well.
These are strange times so keep yourself healthy and happy, wishing you all a long inky and colorful days ahead.