Pens and Pencils | Reviews and Data

What’s The Deal With Kaco Pens?

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There is a good chance that some time in the past year you’ve run into a pen made by Kaco. Despite a general unfamiliarity with the company, they are been making many rather good pens lately.

So… who is Kaco, where are they based, what’s their website? We had many questions and wanted to learn the basics about this pen company, whose pens we’ve been enjoying for some time now.

Kaco is a particularly difficult company to figure out. Their pens are sold all over, especially on Amazon AliExpress, and other big online marketplaces, but if you search for information about the company online, almost nothing comes up.

Kaco Basic Information

Here is some of the basic details about Kaco that we’ve rounded up through our research.

Kaco History

Kaco was founded in 2011 in order to produced stationery products and what the company describes as “business gifts.” The company specifically notes customization as being a priority in their history, which makes sense as many of their product are white-labeled and sold under other brands. Many Kaco products also are sold only with a company’s promotional logo on, with Kaco fading into the background.

Kaco says its goal is to bring Chinese made and designed stationery items to the world market.

The official name of the company is not Kaco, but rather Shanghai KACO Industrial Co., Ltd.

Where is Kaco Based?

Kaco is a Chinese company, headquartered in Shanghai.

What is Kaco’s Website?

Kaco has a number of websites, with a number of country-specific sites and Facebook pages. That said, after spending some time working through them all, Kaco’s main site seems to be kaco.cc.

The domain is a bit confusing because it comes up well behind the sites for Kaco Malaysia and Kaco Singaporea, but it does appear to be the official site. There is added confusion because the .cc TLD is for the Cocos Islands, which is an Australian territory. This tiny chain of islands in the Indian Ocean and while Kaco is certainly not manufacturing pens here, the state does have a very fun top-level domain (.cc).

Kaco Pens

Kaco pens are often sold as “Kaco Green” and “Kaco Pure.” It’s not clear if these are sub-brands or simply third-party resellers using the Kaco name to push the pens. Either way, don’t be confused if you seen these name at an online retailer, as these are likely real Kaco pens.

Kaco Retractable Gel Pen

Kaco Retractable Gel ink Pen

The Kaco Retractable Gel is a simple, plastic gel pen that is often printed with a company logo. It’s also sold on its own, usually in packs of up to 20 pens of various colors. This pen is sold in Extra Fine (0.5 mm). This pen is like a slightly worse version o Paper Mate’s popular Ink Joy Gel pen.

If you want to try Kaco pens, this it the best place to start. It appears to be their best-selling pen.

Kaco Retro

The Kaco Retro is, as you might have guessed, and old school looking fountain pen. But it’s not old-timey or old fashioned, it’s definitively “retro” thanks to the combination of a number of features from yesteryear. The pen has a wire clip with a plastic ball at the end, a hooded nib, and styling that echoes that of the Parker 51. This is a fully plastic pen (except for the clip and center band) that includes a converter and sells for under $15.

Kaco Edge

The Kaco Edge is the company’s best known pen. It’s a cartridge/converter fountain pen that has clearly been inspired by the Lamy 2000. Like the Lamy 2000 it has a brushed black body, though the body appears to be plastic, not Makrolon (fiberglass) like the Lamy. The Edge has a wet writing Schmidt German nib which makes it a popular choice in the sub-$20 price, but it has a bad reputation for the cap cracking. The Edge is sold with an Extra Fine, Fine, and Medium steel nib.

Kaco Sky Gel

The Sky Gel is Kaco’s entry-gel capped rollerball-style pen. Priced at about $5 for 6 pens, they are quite affordable, and they seem to be a take on the sign pen. It’s confusing that the pen looks like a rollerball but seems to be named the “Sky Gel” but the name was probably named more for sales optimization than pure logic.

Kaco Sky Fountain Pen

This is a high-end version of the Sky Gel rollerball, but with a fountain pen writing tip. This is capped, cartridge converter pen that includes an ink bottle, 6 refills, and a converter, all in a smart-looking gift set.

This pen is sold in two different body types: one is metal in bright anodized colors and the other is Makarolon, like Lamy’s 2000 fountain pen and the Kaco Edge.

Kaco Premium Pens

In addition to the company’s standard pens Kaco also sells a number of premium pens. These aren’t seen much in the United States, but they can be found on the company’s website. Prices range from $35 to over a$120, with the most prominent model being the Kaco Master fountai pen. The master has a 14K gold nib and styling that looks a lot like an urushi Platinum pen, though the body is made from plastic resin.


Kaco Refills

Kaco sells standalone refills for Parker-style G2 pens as well as gel rollerball refills for its Retractable Gel pen. These are very affordably priced, usually at under $1 per refill.