Parker Duofold International versus
the Kaigelu 316

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I'm a huge Parker fan. I've been collecting them for 30 years. When I heard that the Hero 100 was nearly as good as a Parker 51, I took a look myself. The Hero is a decent pen, but it didn't hold up to the 51 in my opinion. Being a legend makes you an automatic target. It's only natural.

Recently I noticed offering another Parker-wanna-be. Here we go again. The $32 Kaigelu 316 was shown side-by-side with a modern Parker Duofold (MSRP $400). The Kaigelu photos were promising. But hey, pictures can't convey true quality: touch, feel, weight, fit. At only $32, I had to try one just to satisfy my curiosity.

The Kaigelu 316 has arrived and I'm in awe. Not only does it make a good show, it actually beats the Duofold in some regards. To start with, overall dimensions are almost identical in every way. That's the easy part. But the 316 really looks beautiful and handles well. The material in the 316 is more dense and feels more substantial (less plastic-like) than the Duofold. The barrel and cap ends on the 316 are nicely weighted (brass?) which gives the 316 a little more heft.


Components are almost identical. Barrel length and thickness match up and the end decorations are very similar.



Very minor differences in the cap band and of course the clip. Look closely at the cap openings - even the small taper at the lower end of the cap is done in the same way, giving the pens a streamlined effect when posted. The caps are almost interchangeable.

The threads on the 316 barrel join precisely with the threads on the barrel. No play at all.

As mentioned above, the 316 cap top is weighted, adding to the solid feel of the pen.


The Parker nib is gold, while the 316 is steel. As far as I'm concerned, this is the only advantage the Parker has over the 316. Not bad for a $370 difference.