Thursday, February 21, 2013

Review: Ken Cavers Green Swirl Acrylic Cigar Fountain Pen - Fine

After seeing Julie's (Okami) green swirl bamboo fountain pen with matching pen rest, handmade in Winnipeg, Manitoba, by Dr. Ken Cavers, I couldn't help myself. I had to have one. I requested a cigar style fountain pen in the same green swirl acrylic material, with a matching pen rest! I also picked a two-tone fine nib and opted for no clip (after going back and forth - clip, no clip. Poor Ken.).
Ken Cavers Green Swirl Cigar
My in-laws came to visit in December so they brought the pen with them for me from Winnipeg. First impressions: this pen is big and beautiful. I could hardly wait to get it inked up, but I had to be polite and not run away from our guests to hide out and sniff ink.

ABOUT

Brand: Ken Cavers
Model: Cigar
Body Material: Green swirl acrylic
Trim: Two-tone steel
Origins: Made in Canada (in Winnipeg, my hometown!)
Length (capped): 6.0"
Length (uncapped nib-end): 5.5"
Length (posted): N/A
Nib type: JoWo Fine
Nib material: Steel
Weight: 26 g/1.0 oz
Barrel design: Round, Cigar
Fill type: Cartridge/Converter & can be converted to eyedropper
Price: Starts at $105

PACKAGING

My pen arrived safely wrapped and protected in foamy soft stuff, though it was opened by my father-in-law (who inquisitively had to investigate what was so interesting about this pen). Therefore, no packaging to speak of, but arrived without incident or damage and that's all that really matters to me.

APPEARANCE

Ken Cavers Green Swirl Cigar
I said this pen is a big pen and I wasn't kidding. It gives my Pelikan M1005 demonstrator a run for its money, but it does not carry the same crazy weight the M1005 does. In fact, I was surprised by its weight. I really expected it to be heavy but that goes to show what I know about acrylic. It's light and balanced beautifully. The pen does not post (like most other cigar style fountain pens) but posting is not required at all, given its size. I flip-flopped back and forth between a pen that could post or not and in the end, I'm glad I selected a non-poster. I have gotten into the habit of holding the cap in my left hand while writing.
Ken Cavers Green Swirl Cigar Comparison to Others
Top to bottom: Ken Cavers Cigar fountain pen, Pelikan M1005 Demonstrator, TWSBI Diamond 540 Demonstrator, Pilot/Namiki Vanishing Point, Lamy Studio.
I can't even describe the beauty of this acrylic. I wish I could transport you into my eyeballs to see it with your own eyes (in a manner of speaking). Pictures hardly do this justice, so you'll just have to trust me on this. It has so much depth and shimmer, especially when light hits the body. This is also my first acrylic fountain pen and I'm quite delighted by the feel of it in hand. Not at all slippery, despite the smoothness of the material.
Ken Cavers Green Swirl Cigar
Dark Side of the Moon.
Ken Cavers Green Swirl Cigar
The grip section is smooth and flares right before the nib, and begins just below the threads. It is smooth and comfortable. The acrylic does not really get slippery while I'm writing so a textured grip is not necessary.

While this does not fall in the category of appearance, it's part of the pen. The pen does have a residual acrylic smell which you can really only notice when you sniff inside the barrel or cap. I guess most people don't get a new pen and immediately sniff it, but I do. AND I LOVE IT. I love the smell. Every single time I use this pen, I sniff it. And while I'm writing and holding the cap in my left hand, I sniff the cap. So... I might be insane. 
Ken Cavers Green Swirl Cigar Disassembled
What can I say about the pen rest? It's perfectly cute, it holds the pen in place on my desk and has a permanent position next to my computer. Did I mention it's cute?

NIB & PERFORMANCE

The nib is quite large when considered on its own, but its size is appropriate when considering the size of the pen. It is a two-toned nib. The gold color really helps to bring out the warmth of the acrylic swirls. It is a simple nib with a few little swirls. I actually think it's quite attractive without any writing on it, though I think at some point Dr. Goretex will have to start stamping his nibs (in which case I will have to buy another pen).
Ken Cavers Green Swirl Cigar Uncapped
Pretty.
Ken Cavers Green Swirl Cigar
Nice looking nib!
I really could present this review as just pen porn. But I guess I'll add a few details. Finally, the next day, I got a chance to ink up! I picked Private Reserve Ebony Blue for this special occasion. I didn't even wash the feed beforehand or anything (something I have gotten into the habit of doing for new fountain pens). The nib gave absolutely no trouble to write - no hard starts, no skips, no scratchiness that needed to be smoothed out with some writing.
Ken Cavers Green Swirl Cigar
At this point, you might be thinking, um these are all the same picture. NO. Look at the pattern of the acrylic! This is why it's le awesome.
I absolutely love writing with this pen. I find myself very often picking this pen over some of my other, more expensive pens (I won't tell you which ones because I'd feel like I was cheating on them). But when I was thinking of having a nice, smooth fine nib, this pen came through and became exactly that. It's an absolute pleasure to write with, extremely comfortable, not too heavy nor too light, and it makes all my inks look awesome. It was adjusted by Ken and he did a far better job than I ever could have.
Ken Cavers Green Swirl Cigar Writing Sample
Ken Cavers Cigar Fountain Pen Writing Sample
IN HAND

Despite the large size of this pen, its weight allows it to be very comfortable and easy to hold. I have what I would consider normal-sized female hands. They're not terribly large but not teeny, so I am able to hold this pen. I would suggest if you have small hands to steer away from such a large pen.

I'm new to acrylic but I really enjoy writing with acrylic pens now. The acrylic seems to warm up in my grip and fuses with the very depths of my soul and it is AMAZING. 


PROS

Everything. All of it.

CONS

NONE. Seriously. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this pen or its maker. I love. Every. Single. Detail. 

OVERALL

Overall, the pen and pen rest are adorable, perfect, very clean, and very well made. I say adorable with reference to the pen rest anyway. I'm very impressed and absolutely thrilled with how wonderful the entire package is. The colour is gorgeous and the nib is perfectly tuned. It's a good, crisp fine, but still allows good flow. This pen has become a fast favourite and remains in my regular rotation now. ... I may need another one. Or two.

Stay tuned for another post including pictures of this pen being made! For more pen porn, check out Ken's gorgeous pictures of this pen on his blog!

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