Kaco Edge

I own three of these pens. I don't need three. But two of them have become in short order my two most used pens.

The Gentleman Stationer gives a better introduction to these pens than I ever could. (I'll be here when you get back.) Joe reviewed the black Kaco Edge, but they also make a brown and blue version. Admittedly, this is perhaps getting closer to rip-off territory, as Lamy infamously made its limited editions of the Lamy 2000 in blue and brown Makrolon. However, Lamy added a ridiculous upcharge to those editions, while the Kaco Edges did not. Furthermore, as Joe says, a lot about the pens are really different. I own one of each color, though I've never bothered to use the black one. These pens are really too cheap and unfortunately too unknown to resell, so I'll probably try to find someone to give the black one away to.

I love the brushed aluminum grip and the warm of the Makrolon against my hand.

The pen body and cap are made of Makrolon, while the grip is made of brushed aluminum. Unlike the Lamy 2000, the grip color is not different from the body color; only the difference in material contributes to a slightly different hue.

I've never really been tempted to get a Lamy 2000 because I don't want a hooded nib. I know that the hooded nib helps with it not drying out, but really -- what's the point of a fountain pen if you don't get to see and show off the nib? I also am a far bigger fan of converters than internal filling systems. They're just more convenient.

In that sense, the Kaco Edge design actually eschews some of the most defining characteristics of the Lamy 2000. The pens come with a stock Schmidt nib. I bought replacement nibs in advance (more on that later), but the nibs are really such good writers that it's unnecessary. In some senses, they don't have a lot of personality. No softness, no line variation. But also no sweet spots. No tuning needed at all. These nibs deliver. Except for some hard starting...

But on the topic of replacement nibs: I read somewhere that these nibs are #5 and thus interchangeable. So while waiting for the pens to arrive, I bought a #5 architect nib from Bobby and a #5 Titanium nib from Karas Kustoms.

I've been toying around with the idea of getting a nib ground to an architect for some years now. I damaged a Pilot Metropolitan nib several years ago - dropped nib down on a concrete floor - in such a way that it actually ended up writing with an architect-style line variation. (Unbelievably, even with that damage, the Metro still wrote better than a lot of my other pens.) But architect grinds are expensive. So this was a good alternative. Unfortunately, I hated the nib. Didn't even keep it on for a full day. It felt inconsistent and awkward and decidedly did not go with my tiny cursive handwriting. Lesson learned.

The titanium nib, on the other hand, was a joy. Soft, springy, expressive, and oh so wet. Except the pen didn't like it. Hard starts like you wouldn't believe, skipping - I would often have to re-dip the nib and feed to get it to write. Took the nib and feed out one day and realized that the nib didn't actually fit. It couldn't go down far enough in the feed housing, so the cap wasn't closing tightly, and the ink couldn't flow well enough to the tip. The size of the nibs looked the same, but the curvature was pretty different. Put back in the original nib, and most of the issues are gone.

Honestly, I love these pens so much that they very nearly became my exit pens, except I want to be able to use the titanium nib. So I have a Karas Kustoms Fountain K on its way to me.