July 22, 2015 4 Comments
In terms of value for money the Pilot Kakuno has most of the opposition beat. It costs the princely sum of £5.47 and comes with a Pilot cartridge. It looks a little strange with a cap that’s a different colour from the barrel and a strangely bulbous profile to the cap. It has six facets and a little protruding bump on the cap which prevents it rolling off the desk. There are three holes on the top of the cap and two on the base of the barrel. I believe those are there to prevent a child choking. Mind you, a child young enough to wish to inhale pen parts probably won’t make much of a fountain pen. The cap snaps on with an audible click. It also posts securely. It’s very light at 10 g. To me, it seems perfectly balanced. The section has a three faceted grip similar to the Lamy Safari. The section is transparent and gives you a view of the cartridge. The steel nib has a smiley face.
I chose a medium nib and it turns out to be on the fine end of medium. It’s wonderfully smooth and the ink flow has been perfect from the first use. It doesn’t dry out and it has been super-reliable over the three weeks that I have been using it. Though it is aimed at children it isn’t a small pen at 13.1 cm capped. It fits my quite small hands very well.
It’s presented as a pen for the beginner. I’m not sure what makes it so. There’s the smiley face and the friendly font used in the word “Kakuno” but otherwise a pen’s a pen. Because it’s cheap, it won’t matter if it’s lost or broken or laid aside because the child decides against using it. However, that’s true of all the low-cost pens. There is the tripoint grip on the section, but other pens have that and they are not sold as children’s pens. Most likely, this is seen by Pilot as a way of boosting sales. For myself, I think it’s a great pen and I’m mostly adult. It will always be on my desk.
My assistant pretends that she is interested in the Kakuno but she isn’t really, even though she got hair all over it when I was photographing it. She’s much more interested in fighting with her nemesis, the dark grey cat which dares to come into our garden. She’s gathering a fine collection of scars on her nose.