The Kaigelu 316, released in 2014, was one of the first relatively high-end Chinese fountain pens with a price over $30.
The Kaigelu 316 no longer has the name recognition of new Chinese fountain pens and has largely been surpassed by pens like the Penbbs 456 (also about $30) but it was a very impressive fountain pen at the time.
The pen bears some resemblance to a Parker Duofold Centennial, which is another pen whose time has largely past, but that pen has held on to some considerable following. The Kaigelu 316 has a very flat top like the Duofold and it flatter and more drastically shaped than something like the Sailor Pro Gear fountain pen.
The pen was notable not just for its quality but the nice resin body, which was sold in a white-veined color, charcoal black, and amber. All the colors were complex and handsome, with the amber seemingly the most popular with buyers.
It was originally sold mostly through Ebay, but it can still be found there, on Amazon, Aliexpress, and similar channels.
A newer, but similar, model is the Kaigelu 336, which comes in a handsome checkerboard known as the “Phantom” pattern.
Kaigelu 316 Fountain Pen Review
The Kaigelu 316’s nib is dual-toned steel, with one section gold-colored (not actually gold) and the other silver. There is some messiness to the gold-plating on many pens but it doesn’t affect the writing quality. The writing experience was pretty good! The pen writes wetter that expected, with consistent lines and good flow. The 0.7 mm steel nib wasn’t as smooth as higher end steel nibs or a Lamy medium, but it was made well and did its job. As a steel nib it’s very stiff and doesn’t offer much in the way of character or variation.
The 316 is a cartridge-converter and includes a Kaigelu converter that screws into the grip section with thin threading. The converter, in my experience, is of poor quality and has issues with leaking. As a result I simply used international standard cartridges which worked great. Only standard international short cartridges will work due to the length of the pen’s barrel.
The screw-on cap does post, but not very well so I didn’t write with it posted (not that I tend to do so anyway). Partially this was because of the pen’s extreme weight, which came in at 45 grams in total. That’s a serious amount of pen to carry around or to write with for any extended amount of time. It’s actually too heavy for me except for special occasions.
Kaigelu 316 Fountain Pen Information
|Street Price||Check Price|
|Pen Type||Fountain Pen | Cartridge/Converter|
|Barrel Color||Amber, Black, White|
|Body Diameter (mm)||13.1|
|Grip Diameter (mm)||12.0|
|Country of Origin||China|
|Capped? Retractable?||Capped - Screw-on|
|Length Capped / Retracted (cm)||13.5|
|Length Posted (cm)||16.8|
|Length Uncapped (cm)||12.8|