I’ve had this quirky little pen for a while so I thought i’d share my thoughts on it.
I’ll say straight up that surprisingly I ended up quite liking this pen, but I don’t think this pen will be for everyone.
First, looking at the design and build of the pen, it comes across as somewhat childish and possibly cheap. It is a cheap pen, so you wouldn’t be expecting something spectacular anyway, but the design and aesthetic grew on me the more I used it. It is simple and there are no unnecessary frills, (except for the smiley of course). It comes in a wide variety of colours ranging from the standard black to some fun ones like orange and pastels.
Packaging & Compatibility
The packaging was just a plastic shell which I threw away so I can’t show it =(. It’s a step down from the metropolitan but I don’t really care about packaging at this pricepoint. It came with a cartridge but no converter. I was slightly disappointed but I don’t really like the con 20 anyway so it wasn’t a big deal for me. Plus I have a few con 50s lying around. The pen also fits a con 70 but that is almost as expensive as the pen itself.
You can’t eyedropper this pen as there are two holes at the end of the barrel. It only fits pilot’s proprietary cartridges.
The pen’s form factor
Uncapped, it is a similar length to the pilot metropolitan and platinum preppy. It is a similar weight to the preppy, maybe slightly heavier but it feels better in the hand. It also feels similar to an unposted safari or vista. While the body is entirely made out of plastic , it feels quite solid in the hand and I feel comfortable throwing it around. I have thrown it in a bag with keys and other things and so far there have been no scratches.
The pen feels comfortable in my hand but is a bit too light when unposted for me. The cap posts pretty securely and adds some length but not a lot. The cap is a snap on and feels fairly secure. If you have big hands and prefer a heavier pen, this is not a pen for you. There is no clip on the pen, so that might be a deal breaker for some, but I personally don’t really use clips that much. There is a small raised notch on the cap that prevents the pen from rolling which is handy. The weight of this pen is great for longer periods of writing.
The section is hexagonal and I prefer these grips to triangular ones as they are more forgiving if you hold a pen differently. The section is similar in length to the section on the Lamy safari and longer than the TWSBI Eco’s section. It is clear, which I like since you can see the ink flowing and it’s easier to see the ink when you are cleaning your pen. The nib is the similar to the metropolitan and prera nib.
How does the pen write?
It writes really well, and that’s something I have come to expect from Pilot, especially after seeing that the nib was similar to the metropolitan. I got it in the fine nib, and while there is a little feedback, due to the nature of fine point, the pen wrote well straight out of the box, never skipping or hard starting. For a nib this fine (japanese fine, western extra fine), it is quite smooth. I didn’t even flush the pen prior to sticking the cartridge in.
Edit 3/11/19: I have since also picked up this pen in with a medium nib and it’s also just as good, less feedback and even smoother.
After leaving the pen for long periods of time without using it, it still wrote immediately, without any issues. The flow is good, without being too dry or overly wet.
In the pictures I used the pilot black cartridge and Diamine Asa blue and it wrote amazingly with both inks.
Summary: Pilot Kakuno
Overall, I really like this pen and do end up using it a lot, mainly as a throw around pen in a bag. I liked it so much that I bought another one in a clear demonstrator design with a Medium nib.
If you were looking for a inexpensive pen and like the design of this I’d definitely recommend it and you won’t be disappointed.
TL;DR – thumbs up from me, great inexpensive, lightweight pen to throw around.