A model that doesn't seem to get discussed much, the Pilot Knight was a model I knew of, but wouldn't say I was familiar with so I was excited to give it a go.
I want to thank Pen Chalet for providing this sample for me, and I wanted to mention that they have a smokin' deal going on at 50% off if this ended up being a model you may care to try as well...
Coming in at $48 retail ($24 with crazy discount), you could probably bundle this pen into the range of "economical" when compared to a lot of other more expensive options. This price range puts it in the realm of the Lamy AL-Star or Safari, TWSBI 580 or Mini, and even the Kaweco Classic Sport or Pilot Metropolitan on the lower end. Is it worth it's price tag? I think so.
The cap and barrel of the Knight are metal, or at least mostly metal. The cap has sort of a metal sheath around a plastic insert which makes the cap click on as well as seal the nib while closed. The grip section is also plastic.
The Knight has a sleek look with some nice tapers, a flatter bottom, and quite a bit of all metal hardware like the clip. This feature alone does increase the "class" factor of the pen and makes it a bit more businesslike. While the Metropolitan is an awesome cheap fountain pen and it looks pretty good, there are parts like the pressed metal clip that do diminish it's aesthetic in my opinion. But for $13-15, Pilot did a heck of a job on it. The Knight is a nice step up for a reasonable price.
The nib is steel and seems to be a slight higher quality than the Metropolitan. Rather than being etched with detail it is stamped and says "Super Quality"...a little cheesy? Yeah, but funny in an awesome kind of way. Maybe a bit over the top?
I really do enjoy the nib though. It is a good solid writer, doesn't skip, and is overall quite pleasant. If someone used this pen as their first fountain pen I'd say it might kick them off on a positive note. Pilot just makes great stuff, don't they? I've yet to be disappointed at any price range.
The cap can post, but I opt not to. It makes the pen too top heavy and isn't a really snug posting so the cap can wobble a bit.
If you're looking for a step up from the Metropolitan, but don't want to buy a plastic barrel like a Safari, or quite jump on board with the piston filling system of a TWSBI, maybe give the Knight a try. This could be a nice starter fountain pen gift for someone just getting into it, and with Pen Chalet's $24 deal the barrier to entry is low. Remember, the CLICKYPOST promo code also drives an additional 10% off...
Thanks again Pen Chalet!
(this post was done entirely on my iPad Air as a test, photographs and all, through the Squarespace Blog app. neat...)