Buying a fountain pen can be a daunting task. Getting a cheap one from Daiso usually means ink all over the place. A nice, beautiful Pilot Justus 95? It sure is pretty, but you may need to take out a loan.
Thankfully, our kind friends at Pilot have created a reasonably priced and extremely high-quality alternative – The Kakuno Series.
Designed originally with children in mind, these fountain pens with a good grip were initially released to encourage good penmanship and Japanese calligraphy writing.
They are easy to write with, easy to refill, and just all around easy to use.
The base of each pen comes in dark grey or cream, with a variety of coloured tops available from lime green to deep blue. The color of the top doesn’t reflect the color of the ink, all pens come with one standard black cartridge in the box, which you can change to suit your taste.
You can also get a wide variety of coloured ink for the pens at a very reasonable price. Changing the ink is quick and simple. Unscrew the base, slide the replacement ink up into the nib chamber, and push until the seal pops. No leaks, no mess, ready to write! I’ve been using them for about a year now, not once have I had a leak.
The nibs themselves are amazing quality for the price. According to various testers, the nibs are identical to, or sometimes even superior to other Pilot fountain series pens.
Available in both fine (F) or medium (M) point, they also feature a cute smiley face to brighten your day or keep you writing through piles of paperwork.
Kakuno pens are available at most stationary shops, online retailers such as Amazon and Rakuten, as well as shops popular with students such as Tsutaya. The average price is about 1000 Yen plus tax, with ink refills costing about 200 Yen plus tax for 5 cartridges.
If you have a chance, try one out, you may just let your ballpoint gather dust in its pen case. Bring back a few for friends as well, as prices in the US tend to be higher (sometimes even double) than those in Japan.
Happy writing, drawing, and calligraphing!