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Found 12 results

  1. A Smug Dill

    Five nominally #6 Chinese nibs

    From the album: Size and shape comparisons

    I didn't have a loose PenBBS nib handy at the time the photo was taken, but eyeballing one inside a transparent nib housing, its length is in-between that of the HongDian and the Moonman.

    © A Smug Dill

    • 0 B
    • x
  2. From the album: Hanging in the balance

    The Kaigelu 316 has a reputation for being uncomfortably back-heavy. In 2020, it appears some design changes have been introduced in the new release colours of the model, such that the weight balance has shifted somewhat. (If I recall correctly, the converter attached to the gripping section was more than half-full of ink when I took this photo.)

    © A Smug Dill

    • 0 B
    • x
  3. Well... Today, my aunt flew from Beijing to Australia and brought with her the largest expansion to my collection,ever. I had asked for a Kaigelu 316,Hero 616 and a presentation case. A rather modest request,but boy oh boy,did she give more than that... I will be reviewing all 30ish of the items she bought for me today, in reasonable detail. Hers is a list of all the items: 5 Hero 616s (Parker 51 replica) 2 Wing Sung 233s (Sheaffer Triumph replica) 1 Wing Sung 380 1 Baoer unidentified model (Sheaffer Legacy replica but WITH A HOODED NIB?!?) 1 Jinhao 599 Hooded nib variant (Lamy Safari replica but WITH A HOODED NIB?!?) 1 Kaigelu 316 (Parker Duofold replica) 1 Hero 329 1 Hero (or was it Wing Sung?) 806 1 Rosewood presentation case for 50 pens 4 unidentified brand unidentified model pen cases for 1 pen 1 Wancher unidentified model pen case for 4 pens 1 Wancher unidentified model pen case for 1 pen 2 bottles of Hero 200 Blue-Black And, 14 unidentified brand unidentified model pen sleeves for 1 pen. Phew... So,let the reviews begin. Let's start with the Kaigelu. First impressions: 9/10 The first thing I felt was quality. The presentation is outstanding for a Chinese pen. And the celluloid is beautiful. Very high quality. I will have a picture of all items below. Looks and quality: 8.5/10 The 316 lost marks here. The end plastic jewel is slightly asymmetrical,and misaligned. I guess for such a cheap pen,I'll let I go,but that is a bit of a disappointment. Apart from that,all good. Practicality: 7/10 The converter felt low quality and cheap,and the cap takes 2.5 turns. Average practicality for a Chinese pen. Writing: 5/10 This is where things got bad. I inked it up with the Hero 200 ink and started writing. It was scratch and dry,so I pushed the pen a big and applied some pressure. This made ink spew everywhere and it was just really really really bad. It was decent in terms of smoothness,but it has feedback. Not please tell feedback,the annoying kind. Value: 8/10 Get this: $25 for a celluloid pen. That's all I have to say. With some work on the nib,it might write well,too! Now onto the Hero 616. I'll be trying 2 out of my 5 and doing separate reviews to see how much they vary. First impression: 8.5/10 The pen was very light with the cap off. Literally as light as your average pencil. Yet it still felt of decent quality,so I'm impressed. Practicality: 2/10 Irremovable sueeze converter. Need I say more? WORK IN PROGRESS
  4. Hi, I've come across these two pens and was hoping someone could provide their comparative experience with both pens. I've gone over reviews of both and both seem fine. Which over the other should I get though? Or are they virtually identical? For personal criteria, I like the looks of both. They're cheap pens and they're not "flashy". They also seem to have just the right size. I've borrowed the Jinhaos of friends and while they write well (if a bid broad-ish) they are too large and heavy and I'm not much of a fan of their designs. I have a Baoer 801 (Vector copy) and I like it. Writes very well without needing to be tuned. One thing though is that the gold plating n the clip, etc. does wear off. I'm not sure if that is an effect of my use, since I don't put it in a pen sleeve just a pencil case with my other pens, but the barrel is still very nice it's just the gold finishings. The Baoer 388 has similar gold trim and there is a chance it is of the same less-than-stellar quality. The Kaigelu is silver so it should (maybe?) not have the same problem. The last consideration is the nib width. My Baoer 801 is, I think, a fine. It's about the width of my Safari Fine and my Metropolitan Medium. This is my ideal width. How would the nib from either compare? Lastly, I see that both of them are stocked by YC Pens on eBay (a seller that is recommended). He lists them on Best Offer. What is the Best Offer? EDIT: I just remembered that there is a Jinhao 601. A tiny bit more expensive. Is it better?
  5. Those of you who have Kaigelu 316 FPs may have worn out the screw thread at the bottom of the converter, thus risking the odd leak. YCPENS to the rescue. He now has in stock replacement converters with the screw thread. I bought a pair, greased up the thread of one of the new ones, swapped the ink load over via a syringe, and now have a safe, securely screwed in converter. These converters may fit other pens that support an international-style screw in converter. http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/LncAAOSwFqJWqNCM/s-l1600.jpg Disclaimer - I have no affiliation with YC Gao, other than being a long-time satisfied customer.
  6. Tailbiter

    Kaigelu 382 M

    Ah, time for yet another cheap pen review! This time it's one of my favourite Asian fountain pens ever - the Kaigelu 382 (intl. c/c) (Manufacturer's website entry http://www.kaigelu.net/Z.asp?ID=16&SID=170&ZID=62 in Chinese). I had previously bought this model quite some time ago and thought of writing a review but long-story short: party, pen got given away. However, today, I received my second order from eBay! Wohoo. Today, I will be reviewing the blue model. The pen also comes in a red and a black finish (all with gold trim) and I purchased it off the seller jewelrymathematics on eBay (no affil.) for $8 with free intl. shipping. My parcel arrived very well-wrapped (ridiculous amounts of bubble wrap) and within two weeks. Looks The finish is glossy with the golden trim shiny. It's not a flashy pen but it's not a dull pen either. I find it to be a simple and elegant design with no overdone bands or gaudy, large and misplaced logotypes. The cap has a golden band with two black lines framing the word KAIGELU on one side and the model number 382 on the opposite side. http://i.imgur.com/yFsI0Aw.jpg The overall look is very stylish and the tolerances on my pen are excellent, better than pens many times more expensive, such as say, my Conklin Duragraph. http://i.imgur.com/g8BM2HK.jpg Construction The pen is solidly built out of some metal (brass?), like most other Kaigelu pens. The section is black plastic and provides a nice grip, although it may look a bit slippery, I've not had this issue at all. It's a very decently weighed pen - not heavy enough to feel clumsy but not light enough to feel flimsy. Clumsily enough, I have already dropped this pen from a height of ~ 1 metre onto a hard rubber floor. It hit itself on a few things after it hit the ground but it remained whole, capped and without any damage. The cap is made out of the same material and lacquer as the rest of the pen and is quite heavy. It also comes with an insert of sorts inside made out of what looks like plastic. It does snap on pretty securely however. If anything, it is a bit too secure for my own taste. The clip is extremely stiff out of the box but I know from experience it gets slightly better with time and use. It comes with the standard Kaigelu twist converter which to me feels much less flimsy than any Jinhao converter I've ever received. It works pretty good and sucks up the ink easily. To access it, just unscrew the body while holding the section, which takes 3-4 turns. Dimensions Fully capped, the pen measures 137 mm (~ 5.4 in) of which the cap is 57 mm (~2.2 in) and the body with nib 122 mm. The nib looks to be a 5 mm nib (measured at base). http://i.imgur.com/dKvCxVD.jpg The pen weighs 30 g ( ~1 oz) capped and inked; 19 g without the cap and inked. Like many other chinese fountain pens, the cap is a bit heavy in proportion to the rest of the pen. Does it post? Yes, the pen posts very securely.The good old thermometer shake does nothing to it. The pen does however end up being around 160 mm long and just a sliiiight amount of top-heavy which kind of kills it for me personally. It's not directly uncomfortable but I get the quick impression I'd rather not write with it posted for an extended period of time. http://i.imgur.com/yWWN5iO.jpg?1 Nib Unfortunately, like very often with these Chinese fountain pens, only one nib option is offered. In this case, a medium nib. I suspect it's a #5 nib as stated above. It is a two-tone gold(?)-plated steel nib with the adorable Kaigelu kangaroo logo stamped. There is a very decent amount of tipping material. Overall, the nib looks pretty decent. There is no flex on this nib. You can force it a tad and get a B, but this feels cruel and you can tell the nib isn't very happy. As for disassembly - I've had no luck. If it's a friction fit, it will take a much stronger person than I to pull it apart. If it's not, (oh god I'd feel terrible), I can't seem to unscrew it in any direction. http://i.imgur.com/YwWFH7S.jpg It is a lovely nib. It writes extremely smooth with little feedback at all and the feed has no issues keeping up with even really fast writing. Caveat: I have only tried it with Montblanc Königsblau and Waterman Serenity Blue. It has worked super well with both. Here is my little corner paper where I tried out some of my pens for comparison. As you can see, the Kaigelu M is quite comparable to the modern Waterman M. http://i.imgur.com/paEXIb2.jpg Filling / Maintenance Filling is easy with the included converter and the pen takes standard international short and long cartridges. The converter is not threaded, holds a not huge amount of ink (~0.6 ml ± 0.1ml) but it works pretty well. I am a tad concerned about possible nib and feed maintenance since I have so far been unable to disassemble those. If anyone's had any success, I will gladly take any tips or suggestions. It's possible I just got a dud that's very, very stuck. Anyway, for $8 and a so-far very nice experience, I'm not willing to risk damage-from-curiosity to it just yet. Cost The pen cost me $8 with free shipping on eBay from the seller jewelrymathematics, who also sells many other Kaigelu models. The MSRP on Kaigelu.net is 79 RMB which for 2016-03-30 equals 12.22 USD or 10.79 EUR per Google's currency converter. I have not found it being sold for cheaper on eBay. I own a few other Kaigelus and this is basically my favourite. This was a new pen and I have to say, it's one of the best value-price pens I've gotten. It's really just pleasant to use. Final remarks I love this pen. It has superseded my expectations and I would totally buy it as a gift for someone. I was carrying the previous pen of the same model I had as a daily carry, and I will continue carrying this new one as well. The only major issue I find is that the nib doesn't seem to disassemble too easily, beyond that, I'm a fan. If Kaigelu makes the cap less heavy and solves the nib disassembly bother, this would be an excellent, excellent pen both for its price and its quality. It punches way above $8. Final score? 9.5/10. Final photo: here it is with a few other beloved fountain pens. Bottom-to-top: Pelikan 400, Kaigelu 382, Montblanc Classic, Jinhao 500 http://i.imgur.com/E8cC4GM.jpg PS.I was unable to get the forum software tags to resize the pictures. If anyone can point me to the correct way of doing it in fpn-approved BBCode, I will adjust.
  7. Hi, everyone! I have a Kailgelu 356, which writes pretty well, but is a little bit too fine for what I like to normally write with, which is a 0.9 to 1.0 italic stub. I was wondering whether it was possible to buy a #5 replacement nib to swap into this pen, and whether anyone has tried doing this before? I wanted to get a knox nib to replace my current nib with but didn't want to do so if it's not going to work, as I don't have any pens that will use #5 nib.
  8. Does anyone know anything about this pen, how it writes, how it feels? It looks like a wonderfully made pen but I'm new to FP's so my knowege is quite limited. I've ordered a 316 since for the most part, peoiple enjoy how it writes. So now Im curious about the brand and this pen in particular. It looks like a great pen for 27 CAD. Thanks!
  9. Figured what better way to get into fountain pens than to start inexpensive, fortunately had a couple friends who were able to get me some recommendations on favorable ones. Most were about 10USD or less, the most expensive 'single' pen was the Uranus KSF-301 w/ Box for about 17USD. My favorite of the pack is the Jinhao X750 with the Goulet Extra Fine nib, followed by the Jinhao X450 which I replaced with a Goulet 1.5mm Stub Nib (I put the 2-tone Jinhao M nib from the X450 onto my Nemosine Singularity). On the thin side it's a toss up between the Kaigelu 363 and Jinhao 611. The Hero 616 is probably the least favorite of all the Chinese ones I've tried. Baoer 507 "8 Horse" (one of a three pack I got, I kept the silverish one) http://static.karlblessing.com/pens/intro/baoer_507_8horse.jpg Jinhao 611 in blue, aside from the Hero 616 I have, probably the finest on the nib size I have. http://static.karlblessing.com/pens/intro/Jinhao_611.jpg A Kaigelu 363 and Haushilai 2111, bought them as a pair, I like the Kaigelu better of the two. http://static.karlblessing.com/pens/intro/kaigelu_363_huashilai_2111.jpg A Duke Uranus KSF-301 (~ Medium Partially Hooded Nib) http://static.karlblessing.com/pens/intro/uranus_301_full.jpg Jinhao X450 in "Distressed Black" http://static.karlblessing.com/pens/intro/x450_closenib.jpg Jinhao X750 "Shimmering Sands" with a Goulet 2-tone Extra Fine Nib. Currently my favorite of the chinese pens. http://static.karlblessing.com/pens/intro/x750_ef.jpg Most of them side by side (the non-Chinese ones shown being the Sheaffer Snorkel, Nemosine Singularity, and the unbranded green one in the front) http://static.karlblessing.com/pens/intro/chinese_colection.jpg
  10. apkayle

    Kaigelu 220, Revisit

    I made a post a long time ago about the $6 Kaigelu 220. Summary of my former opinion of the Kaigelu 220: Pros: beautiful aesthetics made of metal, feels durablenot too unbalanced when postedcheap. $6 with free shipping for those who live in USA. UK buyers probably won't find this ebay dealcame with a good converter (easily disassembled and reassembled, no leaking), accepts international ink cartridgesCons: a little heavysomewhat scratchy nib (I was able to smooth it with a little grinding)stiff nib (this isn't always a BAD thing, but those who like line variation should not buy this pen)stiff clip (not springy at all)----- Here is the new review. some details about the pen: price is between $5 and $10 on ebaybarrel and cap are made of metalsteel nib, some gold decoration but I dunno if it's real gold (looks beautiful though)pull off capaccepts cartridges, comes with a screw converter that works very well and holds a day's worth of ink-- For this review, the K220 was inked with a Montblanc Toffee Brown ink cartridge. It's a nice well behaved ink that does everything well (from flow to shading) except survive the slightest bit of water contact. Onwards to the pen's blurry photoshoot! If you look closely at the clip, you'll notice the Kaigelu kangaroo engraving. http://24.media.tumblr.com/6145d09515cd41fe5b7661c77bbb4b08/tumblr_mnuk0xd47R1r4c920o1_500.jpg The pen is about 6.5 inches long when posted. A little less than 5 inches when unposted. http://24.media.tumblr.com/1b1c7ce6144daa75ed77e938a00b8344/tumblr_mnuk0xd47R1r4c920o2_1280.jpg More kangaroos! I thought the nib section would be slippery since it's made of metal, but the engravings provide all the grip I need to write comfortably. http://25.media.tumblr.com/c751cf3877eef088d19e4bdfcda03ab1/tumblr_mnuk0xd47R1r4c920o3_1280.jpg Here is the pen when it's disassembled. It's really easy to clean. The converter comes fully apart with a little effort, but I wouldn't recommend disassembling it a lot since it feels a bit flimsy. http://25.media.tumblr.com/9d8f03c963e7beeb3d5b62c4fc3ce64a/tumblr_mnuk0xd47R1r4c920o4_1280.jpg Writing Sample: Lots of pressure needs to be applied to get some line variation out of this pen. Without pressure, you get a little line variation between vertical and horizontal strokes. http://24.media.tumblr.com/2f980cd61e2b79c1942758b36b13d80a/tumblr_mnuk0xd47R1r4c920o5_1280.jpg This pen advertised as a medium nib. Like a lot of other Asian nibs, the Asian medium is pretty equivalent to a "Western" fine nib. http://25.media.tumblr.com/58519936e9559222553b3f13d45f7ba5/tumblr_mnuk0xd47R1r4c920o6_1280.jpg The fast writing part of this review suggests that the K220 won't keep up with extremely fast writing. Either the feed won't keep up or the writer has to pay close attention to how the pen is held. I thought some of the skipping on upstrokes was due to the feed until I paid attention to my hand position. When holding the pen in proper position, I would get a skip after writing several cursive f's and e's. http://25.media.tumblr.com/98ea1f3fdd21751718112ae0888f3f50/tumblr_mnuk0xd47R1r4c920o7_1280.jpg I did some more fast scribbling and had less skipping when I was holding the pen properly. This pen isn't exactly friendly to shaky or wobbling hands. http://25.media.tumblr.com/9572f88cfd90386832f8b6045160cfe9/tumblr_mnuk0xd47R1r4c920o8_1280.jpg Verdict: This is a good pen for its price, but I have mixed feelings whether this is a good pen when price isn't an included factor. The pen seems to skip a bit on upstrokes, but again I cannot fully tell whether this is due to my posture or the feed. To be fair, I just reclaimed this pen (temporarily) from my girlfriend so that I may give it a long (several weeks) overdue cleaning. This pen wrote away just fine until I got to the fast writing section of the writing sample. I'll come back with one more update on this pen's fast writing capabilities after it has been cleaned. Buy this pen if you're not afraid of having to do a little nib smoothing. It's a remarkably smooth and durable knockaround pen for the measly price of $6. For now, it seems to me that its ability to handle quickly-written upstrokes is limited by either a lagging feed or its somewhat limiting writing posture.
  11. Hi everyone, I got myself a bunch of Chinese pens last month and have been trying out a few of them since. My 'test-drives' have included writing out two A4-sized sheets continuously and filling up another A4 sheet with random line patterns including a checkerboard. Surprisingly, I see a pattern in some of the pens. Of my four Jinhaos put to the test, the blue celluloid Century has performed nearly flawlessly. Straight out of the box, without even a flush required. It sometimes doesn't write after I've stopped using it for a while but once it starts, it keeps going effortlessly. The X450, X750 and 159 have been a massive disappointment; I've flushed the pens, taken apart the nibs and feeds and carefully cleaned the feeds with dishwashing soap and a toothbrush (as recommended on a website) but the problems continue. And then I just thought of chucking the 159's Jinhao cartridge converter and replacing it from another standard converter. Knock on wood, but that seems to have done the trick for the 159, which now can't wait to get out of my pocket and on to the paper... incredible! When I pulled out the Jinhao converter, I saw that even on inverting it, the ink didn't drop down and was 'stuck' to the top, for the want of a better term. I suspected a breathing problem or whatever (could even be a small plastic sphere in there that's the culprit). No idea if this fix would make the X450, X750 and Kaigelu 323 usable but there's one final remedy that I now can try ere trashing them. I have three Picassos and these are by far the most reliable of my Chinese pens. The Dukes are still in the box and might yet perform well but the Picassos are hard to complain about. They're not my sort in that I like pens that are moderate to big-sized. The Picassos are all slim and dainty but never once have any shown the slightest hint of skipping or are there any other problems. Has anyone here had a similar experience?

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