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 was super excited that our friends over at Goulet Pens (who did not sponsor or participate in this in any way) got through the giant snow storm that just pummeled the US east coast recently, and got a care package out to me. I’ve been collecting their nibs, you see. And this order gave me a pretty nice variety of nibs to work with. Goulet’s nibs are made by JoWo in Germany, stamped attractively with Goulet’s logo, and only cost fifteen bucks bare (use the feed that came with your pen).
While I’m sure to put every one of these to good use, I kind of wish that there were more examples out there from other fountain pen folks to show off how pen modifications can completely change the character of your pen (hopefully for the better).
The pen that I used for this test was one of my Jinhao X750‘s. It was important to me to use a pen that was familiar to most of the readers here, and the X750 definitely has some fans in the English speaking world.
After doing this test, the EF nib ended up in my Jinhao 159 which is what I use most often for journaling and taking notes at work. That pen is regularly my every day carry pen (EDC). The F nib ended up staying put on the X750. My stub nibs are on Jinhao X450’s and I’m still figuring out the best pens to get the M and B upgrades.
One of the best things about this upgrade is that in many cases the total cost of the pen and nib is still well within the boundaries of Rule 25, but as you can clearly see, the character of the pen can be changed dramatically for a small cost!
But is this the good shit?
Hell yes. While this post was meant just to be able to show you the visual differences between these nib sizes installed on the same pen and running the same ink, the writing experience itself is so smooth. Almost all of these Goulet nibs ran really well right out of the mailbox. The EF is a little scratchy, which I think can be partially mitigated with some polishing. The 1.5mm stub was also a little scratchy, but I was able to polish that out with about a minute of work. The Broad nib writes fine, but I do like my nibs a bit wetter so I will tune the ink flow to my tastes.