I finally got a hold of a Pilot Kakuno Fountain Pen. Its an introductory fountain pen, originally targeted to school kids, with its plastic body and low price ($16.50).
The cap has no clip and is the part of the pen available in a variety of colors. I, of course, bought the lime green cap version with a fine nib. There are other color caps available: red, blue, pink, gray and orange. The cap snaps into place and the divot on the cap is the grip area for grabbing and removing the cap. The body on all the Kakuno pens is an opaque, slate grey. The grip area is a translucent grey-black.
Its a very lightweight pen but the cap can be posted on the pen to give it a little bit more weight and makes it a comfortable length for just about any hand size.
One of the most endearing features of the Kakuno is the etched smiley face on the nib. This is a nib that should make you smile on a Monday morning.
The nib is as smooth and silky as the nib I have in my Prera. The grip has a faceted grip area like a hexagonal pencil but has soft, rounded edges that does not dig into my hands the way the Lamy Safari does. But the grip area will help people using fountain pens for the first time find the right hand placement.
I used a standard Pilot blue-black cartridge ($4) for my writing sample though the pen does ship with one black cartridge. I also purchased a CON-50 converter ($8.25) to use with bottled inks. The total cost is $24.75 for the pen and the converter which is a very competitive price for a first fountain pen.
Overall, I love the nib and the grip area is a lovely compromise between the rigid grip area of a Lamy Safari. The green cap is a perfect lime but, I find the look of the pen plastic to be a little kid-like for me. With the exception of the cap, the pen is very unassuming. Though I think it will definitely be a pen I use and keep in my office. The Kakuno is a great value.
EDIT: The grip area is actually a rounded triangular shape.
DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Jet Pens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.
10 comments / Add your comment below
I bought a Pilot Kakuno (fine nib) in Tokyo last October for 1060 yen (about $11). I still cannot believe the writing quality of this pen: it writes smoothly and never skips. By contrast, the Sailor Candy (also around 1000 yen) I bought skipped at lot. I used the Pilot converter on the Kakuno and the Sailor converter on the Sailor Candy. I should have bought more Kakunos in Tokyo.
Seeing as how this model is targeted at school kids, how do you think it would fare as a knock-about pocket pen? I would be happy with a sturdy good writing pen with an orange cap and a smiley nib.
I’ve been carrying it in the bottom of my bag and it seems comfortable with the arrangement. I’ve only had it for a week so I don’t have a long term test but the plastic seems durable enough to handle the abuse. And at the price point, even if it only survived for a year, you’d certainly get your money’s worth.
Well played to Pilot for encouraging the younger generation to start using real pens!
Ana, your pen reviews and recommendations are awesome! I just received a Kakuno Fine and it writes beautifully! And at this price – I can buy other colors! Thank you for your very detailed and helpful comments.
Thanks so much for your kind words. I’m glad the pen worked for you. Happy writing!
Thanks for the review. I find the grey body not too attractive, but the caps are indeed colourful! I see you like the lime green colour, which doesn’t appeal as much to me – I went for the blue one instead. Love the smiling nib too 😀
I thought I’d just share my review here http://onfountainpens.com/2014/10/pilot-kakuno-fountain-pen/