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Kaco Edge - Now that's What I Call Makrolon!


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    More often that not, my desk is my pocket. But everyday desk items doesn't have the same ring.

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Pens, knives & other stuff
2018/10/10
410   5  


Kaco has been busy. Their new pen is interesting.

Kaco is a Chinese stationery company that put themselves on the fountain pen map with their Sky model.

The Sky set itself apart is a couple of ways.

  • Design - The pen is an original design. Kaco isn’t trying to follow in the footsteps of other brands.
  • Materials - The Sky is constructed of Makrolon, the same family of polycarbonate plastics Lamy uses in the 2000.
  • Nibs - The pen uses German Schmidt nibs, again taking a different path from traditional Chinese pen makers.

All in all, the Sky has been well received. Both Frank Underwater and chrisrap52 have positive reviews.

At US$10, I found the pen a bit pricey so I never took the leap. The Sky has now come down to US$6.50 on Taobao, but after my first look, Kaco fell off my radar.

It's back now.

Enter the Edge

A few days ago, the Kaco Edge popped up in this FPN thread. It was clearly something different from the Sky.

 

The Edge is obviously inspired by the Lamy 2000.

The color and texture of the Makrolon is indistinguishable. With my eyes closed, I cannot tell the difference.

  • The two pens are about the same size (the Edge is some 3mm longer). They share similar lines.
  • The Lamy is girthier. It feels bigger in the hand. The Lamy is heavier by about 5g uncapped.
  • The section of the Edge feels thinner. The section is Makrolon like the rest of the pen. brushed aluminium, again similar to the Lamy.
  • The Edge uses a snap cap with a clutch ring like the Lamy. Closing the Edge is not as positive as the Lamy. It takes more force, but you do eventually get a snap when the cap seats.
  • The clip on the Edge is a spring-loaded wedge of aluminum that hinges away from the cap just a smidge. It doesn't look like it works very well. It's good for keeping the pen from rolling around. I assume it's the feature that gave the pen its name.

Nib style and filling mechanism are where the two pens diverge. The Edge uses a Schmidt No. 5 nib unit that works cartridges or a converter. It comes with a couple of long international standard ink cartridges but no converter. The nib is steel and comes only in EF

The only branding on the Edge is the Kaco logo on the nib.

Size

  • 138mm capped
  • 127mm uncapped
  • 152 posted

Weight inked

  • 24.33g capped
  • 12.65g uncapped

The Edge is about 2g lighter than the Lamy capped and 5g uncapped.

The Kaco Edge sells for US$6.50 at the Kaco store on Taobao. I guess Makrolon is just plastic after all.

Writing Experience

I elected to use the supplied black ink. I figured if I didn't use it for this experience, I may never wind up giving it a try. The Kaco ink turned out to be very well behaved and quick drying. Nice ink.

The pen was ready to write within seconds of putting in the cartridge. As fast as I can remember. It wrote the first time I put nib to paper and hasn't stopped since. For an EF nib, it is a generous line and medium wet. The nib is remarkably smooth.

I chose a medium 5mm grid TWSBI notebook. The smaller page and grid rule encourages compact writing. The Edge with the EF nib proved perfect for this kind of writing. 5 stars.

It reminded me of my Pilot Custom Heritage 92 14K F nib. So I dragged out that pen, dipped it in some Pilot Irushizuku Take-sumi and had a go. The Pilot ink is a blacker black, but the two pens produce a very similar line. The comparison speaks well for the Edge.

I haven't tried removing the nib unit to try swapping other nibs. At this point, I'm not sure I need to think about that for a while. As is, the Edge is a useful pen. I'm sold.

Conclusions

I have to say, the Edge was a surprise. I wasn't expecting an affordable, original-design pen made with quality parts in brushed black Makrolon.

I suppose Kaco is already a big enough Makrolon customer so getting the material was a not an issue. Given their expertise in manufacturing, hopefully the pen will hold up over extended use. Kaco does make a lot of pens.

The design side of the process is equally interesting. According to the box, the pen was designed by Chen Sen. A little digging turned up the LinFan Design Workshop where Lin Fan 林 帆 is listed as the 2014 co-founder & Design director at Shanghai KACO Industrial Co., Ltd. Among the projects listed on the website are the Sky pen and other work for Kaco, including a stapler co-designed by Lin Fan and Chen Sen in 2018.

So Kaco has some design chops behind their products. That's encouraging. For the Edge, I'm not too keen on the clip, but otherwise I'm a fan.

 

About the Author

More often that not, my desk is my pocket. But everyday desk items doesn't have the same ring.



Tags: schmidt nib x 1 lamy 2000 x 2 makrolon x 1 chinese fountain pens x 5

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Long time fountain pen user, sci-fi reader & tennis player

    Watch me on YouTube - chrisrap52

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Long time fountain pen user, sci-fi reader & tennis player
2018/10/11
1  

My Edge will be delivered in a few days.  After your review, I'm even more excited.  Cost 11.80 from Bobby on eBay.   Video review in a few weeks.

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Edc3

    More often that not, my desk is my pocket. But everyday desk items doesn't have the same ring.

Latest published articles:
  • Wing Sung 627 - A System is Born
  • PenBBS 469 - Variety is the Spice of Life
  • Kaco Edge - Now that's What I Call Makrolon!
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  • Kaco Edge - Now that's What I Call Makrolon!
  • PenBBS 469 - Variety is the Spice of Life
  • Kaco Edge - Now that's What I Call Makrolon!
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Pens, knives & other stuff
2018/10/11

I look forward to your review. Do you anticipate swapping the EF nib for something broader?

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Pens, knives & other stuff
Edc3

    More often that not, my desk is my pocket. But everyday desk items doesn't have the same ring.

Latest published articles:
  • Wing Sung 627 - A System is Born
  • PenBBS 469 - Variety is the Spice of Life
  • Kaco Edge - Now that's What I Call Makrolon!
Latest comments:
  • Kaco Edge - Now that's What I Call Makrolon!
  • PenBBS 469 - Variety is the Spice of Life
  • Kaco Edge - Now that's What I Call Makrolon!
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Pens, knives & other stuff
2018/10/12

The nib unit unscrews quite easily. Swapping nibs looks like a real option for this pen.

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Long time fountain pen user, sci-fi reader & tennis player

    Watch me on YouTube - chrisrap52

Latest comments:
  • Kaco Edge - Now that's What I Call Makrolon!
  • PenBBS 469 - Variety is the Spice of Life
  • Kaco Edge - Now that's What I Call Makrolon!
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Long time fountain pen user, sci-fi reader & tennis player
2018/10/19
1  

Published my review. https://youtu.be/AYlfpcA5aIw

Nib unit not standard, could pull nib & replace with a #5.  I like the EF writes closer to a M, smooth, good flow.  

How did you determine section is Aluminum?  

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Edc3

    More often that not, my desk is my pocket. But everyday desk items doesn't have the same ring.

Latest published articles:
  • Wing Sung 627 - A System is Born
  • PenBBS 469 - Variety is the Spice of Life
  • Kaco Edge - Now that's What I Call Makrolon!
Latest comments:
  • Kaco Edge - Now that's What I Call Makrolon!
  • PenBBS 469 - Variety is the Spice of Life
  • Kaco Edge - Now that's What I Call Makrolon!
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Pens, knives & other stuff
2018/10/20

Great review - as always. I hope it helps draw more attention to this pen.

Someone on my FPN review thread suggested a temp test. They claimed the section feels notably cooler to the touch in lower ambient temperatures. I tried it and found it to be true! The section does hold temperature differently than the body.  For me, that was the most persuasive argument.

It was also suggested aluminum is less susceptible to staining. I can only take that argument at face value.

After pondering this a bit more, I did look at the section in different light and at some new angles. The texture isn't exactly the same as the body. So that's another data point.

So I made the edit. I'm not a materials expert so feel like it's best to listen to other folks who may well be. What do you think?

It may be the nib unit is a new Schmidt standard. The Edge unit swaps neatly into the Moonman M100. 

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