(This is a guest post by Brian Gushikawa)
Disclosure: This is a review of a used pen that I repaired to working condition. Writing performance might not be fully reflected in this, but the rest of the review is solid for all Cavaliers. Note that manufacturing variance means that some nibs and feeds need adjusting and no mass produced pen is immune from needing adjustment sometimes.
The Pilot Cavalier Fountain Pen is a slender and very elegant pen, seemingly custom-tailored to fit into pen loops in journals and reminder calendars. The pen is light and styled for office and professional use. This pen seems ideal for women because it's a perfect fit for smaller hands and the pastel colors available can mesh quite well with professional attire.
Smoothness: The steel F nib makes about a 0.4 to 0.5mm line and is not as stiff as the wider Prera and Penmanship pens. The tines are longer and the overall width of the nib is about half as much as a standard Pilot wide nib. The unit I got was fairly smooth for such a thin line; thin nibs are scratchier because they have less of an ink cushion to glide on. This pen is good, though.
Grip and Balance: The grip is smooth and slender, meaning that folks with larger hands might find this uncomfortable to grasp for long periods of time. The cap is kind of heavy compared to the rest of the pen and the balance when its posted is helped greatly. It counterbalances the longer nib very well.
Ink Flow: My unit needed some work, so I cannot say how a standard production pen will be, but expect finer nibs to lay down less ink and seem a little scratchier.
Build Quality: This is where this pen really excels. The tight fit and finish is wonderful to behold and the lacquer job on the barrel is really thick and well done. Threads align 100% and the cap posts on the front with a very nice snap. The seal is tight enough to prevent nib dry out, too.
Capacity: You have options for Pilot Cartridges or a CON-20. I am not sure that the CON-50 or CON-70 would fit the slender barrel, but the choice of the CON-20 expands options on ink.
Clip: Strong, solid and metal. Affixed securely to the stoutly constructed cap.
Post: Affixes to the back with a satisfying click. Although the cap will spin, it won't come off while writing. Pilot really nailed it on this one.
Overall: Although this pen seems aimed at the female demographic, I'd say that a man with smaller hands would enjoy this pen quite a bit. The slender size is perfect for pen loops and the fine writing is great for college ruled notebooks. As long as the hand size is properly matched, I can recommend this pen without hesitation.