The best deal in quality writing instruments going today is, without a doubt, the Jinhao X450. This pen, for only 99 cents shipped from China to the US, should prove to be a gateway drug into the good shit for anyone with good taste and frugal spending habits.
If you’re anything like me, you’re probably wondering how to get better performance out of your cheap Chinese fountain pens. I spent a few bucks and got my hands filthy with Hero blue-black ink so that you won’t have to.
I didn’t want to call out any particular pen today, though my image shows a Jinhao 699. The problem I’ve been observing spans multiple value brands from China, including Jinhao and Baoer. There are some nibs out there that should be avoided. Let me explain.
Next to a common (and relatively spendy) Lamy Safari, the Jinhao 159 is a beast of a fountain pen. Total cost: $3.59 on eBay.
When I saw this pen in my auction trawling, the seller piqued my curiosity with promises that this would be a mysterious pen. Is this pen some avatar of Eastern mysticism? While this pen did not conjure any actual dragons (yet), it’s been quite a treat so far. It’s actually a rather challenging pen to photograph because my… More Jinhao 1200: Enter the Dragon!
As soon as I saw this handsome pen available for only two bucks, I had to pull the trigger and see what it was all about. I mean, sure it looked good online in a photograph. But would it hold up to closer scrutiny? And could it write worth a damn? There was only one… More Baoer 388: Simple, svelte, and only two bucks
I’ve been a fountain pen user for about five years now. The number of pens I had was actually pretty small, and the few times I’d dabbled with “cheap” pens it ended with disappointment. Actually, the first time I dabbled with an expensive pen (the Namiki Falcon) was bitterly disappointing. But then I read a… More The Jinhao X750: The pen that started it all
I had a pretty interesting childhood. My mother was from a very frugal working class family. Her’s was a big family with lots of brothers and sisters. Her father was a blue collar worker, and her mother stayed at home to raise the kids. I remember my grandfather on that side of the family being… More Enter the Geezer