I’ve mentioned this several times and I will say this again: the Pilot Kakuno is my first fountain pen and I will love it forever for drawing me into fountain pens. I originally discovered this pen through the Pen Addict’s Top 5 pens list. It has now dropped off because Brad decided its experience was too similar to the Metropolitan. I disagree and think it deserved its own spot on the list, but no matter. The list is still perfectly fine, no complaints. This review will be slightly biased because I love this pen so much, but I will try to be as objective as possible.
This pen comes in 10 different colors; six with a gray barrel and bright colored caps (and gray) and four with a white barrel and pastel colored caps. This pen is marketed towards Japanese schoolchildren and the design reflects that. Both the cap and the barrel have holes for safety (in case the children chew on it and accidentally gets it stuck in their mouths.)
The pen’s section, a translucent gray plastic, is molded into a triangular shape similar to the Lamy Safari, but with no hard edges. This shape is meant to help children learn how to hold their pens properly. Since my grip was quite wrong, I found this helpful and the proper grip also helped me improve my cursive. Another benefit of the translucent barrel is, if you use the pen with ink cartridges or a clear convertor, you can see the ink level and know when it’s low. (I’m using a CON-20, so I don’t get this benefit.)
It has an overall has an hexagonal shape to prevent it from rolling away. The cap has a notch on it, also to prevent it from rolling away. The top part of the cap has a slight depression, probably for easier cap removal.
This is a Pilot cartridge/converter pen that accepts Pilot’s cartridges and Pilot’s CON-20, CON-50 and, apparently, the CON-70 if you have a newer model without ridges in the back of the barrel. I have not tested this out, but I’ve seen several accounts of this and I’m inclined to believe it. This pen cannot use international cartridges because Pilot has their own sizes.
Because it is all plastic, it could probably be converted into an eyedropper. However, you’d need to figure out how to plug in the holes in the back of the barrel.
The best design element, in my opinion, is the smiley face on the nib. It’s adorable. Otherwise, it is a pretty standard stainless steel nib.
Overall, the design is very functional, very straight forward. It is the perfect introductory pen because it explains itself. Just pop in the cartridge and go. It is well-designed and kid-friendly. Plus, did I mention the smiley-faced nib?
This comes in either a Fine or a Medium nib. I have the Fine and I love it. As is typical with Pilot pens, the nib wrote perfectly right out of the box. It is wonderfully fine. It is smooth. I’ve used it for over half a year and it has held up well. Still writes really smoothly. I would say it is neither wet nor dry, though it leans towards the dry end because it is a fine fine nib. (Japanese fine.) I have not had any problems with skipping or hard starts, unless I leave it for a long time without using it. I’m completely satisfied.
I recommend this pen to beginners and seasoned fountain pen users alike. It is so fun and functional. A workhorse, portable pen that won’t cost you more than 15 dollars. It may look childish if you work in a more conservative environment. Okay, it will look a little childish anywhere. Still, if you don’t worry about those things and appreciate how endearing this pen is, you should try it! You can get this pen at Jet Pens for $13.75. Hope this review was helpful!