My Top Five Pens

22 02 2015

My Top Five Pens…..For Right Now….

Ok, this is just for fun. I’m interested in what your favorite pens are. Please, if you read this, leave a comment below as to what your current (up to 5) favorite pens are. Mine are kind of fluid. If I had made this list 5 or 6 months ago, it would have probably all been different. Here are my five (in no particular order)……for right now:

Kaigelu 316

There were sev20150213_212031.jpgeral Chinese pens I considered for this list, but right now the Kaigelu comes up on top. A copy of the modern Parker Duofold, it features a super smooth #6 size two-tone nib, that is very smooth and wet. One of the higher quality Chinese pens and one of the more expensive ones (for Chinese pens that is). You can find these from $18 to $30. But easilly comparible to $75+ pens.

Pilot Metropolitan

Pilot is a Ja20140827_144914.jpgpanese company and produces a wide range of pens from economy (like the Metropolitan) to high end. Just my humble opinion, but I would label this pen as the finest economy penmoney can buy. It does have it’s faults, but they are mainly opinion based and not materially relevant (i.e. the fact that it takes a proprietary cartridge and converter instead of standard sized ones). I have two of these pens and based on them, I would pit the writing experience with their nibs (fine & medium) against ANY other pen. Easily the best fine point I’ve ever used. VERY high quality pen.  For $15. You can’t beat it.

Blue Esterbroo2014-08-24 17.39.30.jpgk Dollar Pen

My only vintage pen in my top 5. Which, if you knew me, is quite surprising. Esterbrook is probably my favorite of the vintage pen companies (followed closely by Sheaffer) for collecting. Their pens were/are beautiful, durable, and of high quality. This is a “Dollar” pen which preceeded the more common “J” pen. This has a 9668 nib. Smooth, firm writer. Dependable and beautiful.

2014-05-12 14.35.53.jpgNoodlers Konrad in California Tortoise

 I picked up 3 Noodlers pens last year, an Ahab and two Konrads. The Ahab I was so-so about, but this Konrad was a different story. Piston fillers, they hold a lot of ink, and that’s needed. Because as they are flex nibs, these things DRINK the ink. I don’t really utilize the nib’s abilities too often in terms of coaxing a lot of line variation when I write. However, it’s still a superbly smooth writer for everyday work.. And cheap too at about $20.

IMAG0387.jpgPelikan M200

 I only have 2 pens from “high end” companies, a Mont Blanc and a Pelikan. Both are the entry level pens for their companies, the MB 144 and this pen, the Pelikan M200. This is a FANTASTIC pen. The Mont Blanc…is not. My only quibble about this pen is the aesthetics of the nib. It’s a steel nib (and it’s awesome) with gold plate or electroplate. And it looks like electroplate. I have a lot of other far less expensive pens with plating, but they look like gold. Other than that, there is nothing I can say negative about this pen.

Well, that’s my top five for now. Next month may be different. Let me know what yours are!





Help Identify This Pen!!!

5 06 2014

I need some help. A couple of years ago, I bought this pen off fleaBay for a few bucks. At the time, I knew NOTHING about Chinese pens, but it was dirt cheap, and looked really cool (to me anyway). It was listed as “Jinhao Noblest”.

Well, today I know a bit more about Chinese pens, though I often feel like I still don’t know much. I soon came across other pictures of my pen, citing it as a Jinhao, Hushalai , Noblest (not even sure this one is a company…), Kaigelu and several others. I’m pretty sure it’s not a Jinhao. I don’t think it’s a Kaigelu either, but I do suspect a tie-in to that company though. The pens share a lot of the same type of components and attributes, with just a very few differences.

I just acquired a Kaigelu 316 in a white pearl and gray swirl. Overall, they seem to be almost the same pen. There are just a very few differences. Obviously, they are different colors. The mystery pen has a metal black cap that is a snap on. The Kaigelu is a screw on and is a resin material, the same as it’s body, but they are the same dimensions. Same clips, same twin gold bands, same top adornment, but different logo’s under each. The bodies seem to be the same resin material and have the same black painted brass end pieces. The Kaigelu body is shorter, but by the same exact measurement of it’s threaded portion of the section.

I know the Kaigelu is a copy of a Parker Duofold; is this just another company’s copy of a copy? If so, how do they both obviously share so many of the same parts?

Any ideas? Thoughts? Rants?

I’m posting this on the Fountain Pen Network as well. Anyone, please comment if you know anything!