Kevin from JustWrite sent me a couple of sample pens from their Beifa A+Plus range, one Red and the other Black, for review. I must apologise for the length of time it has taken for me to do this. They arrived just was we were introducing a new system at work, and the section I am in has been flat out providing training and support for it. However, I am now on holidays, so there are no more excuses!!!
These pens are made from Acrylic, with a translucent barrel, transparent cap and black section. They are available with barrels in Black, Red, Blue and Green. The cap is snap on and the pens take either a standard international cartridge or an equivalent converter. There is space in the barrel for a second cartridge, which adds a little extra weight to these very light pens.
The nib is simple stainless steel with a small dob of tipping. Neither pen needed adjustment, but one did need the nib slit cleaned before it would start to write. The nibs are on the fine side of medium width and write a medium wet line.
The section has three knurled areas for your fingers. And, wonder of wonders, they are arranged so that when your fingers are on the knurling, the pen is aligned properly with the paper. The problem with the triangular section on the Lamy Safari and the knurling on the Jinhao X450 is that the cut-outs are symmetrical with the nib. When you hod the pen, the nib is tilted to the right. With the A+Plus, the nib is correctly aligned. As well, the three knurled areas have different shapes for the thumb, forefinger and middle finger, guiding your fingers for a correct and comfortable grip.
I put a Jinhao converter filled with Waterman Florida Blue into one of the pens and used one of the supplied Diplomat Blue cartridges in the other. Both pens wrote as soon as the ink had passed through the feed to the nib (although, as noted, I had to clean one nib slit).
These pens are very light, so I sealed the hole in the barrel of one and filled it with water. This then made it about the same weight as a Pilot 78G, and a little more comfortable to write with.
The pens are very reliable, always writing immediately on start-up, even after being left for over a week unused.
The nibs are nice and smooth, and write without problems - no scratchiness, no skipping, just writing. The nib width appears to be about a Western Fine, both writing a line that matched my Parker 100 (F)ine.
These pens are comparable with the Pilot V-Pen/Varsity and the Platinum Preppy, however they take standard cartridges and converters (which JustWrite can also supply). The one advantage the other two have over the A-Plus pens is a spring-loaded inner cap. The third pen these are comparable with is the Smiggle Fountain Pen, which also take standard converters and cartridges, but the Smiggle pens are just too unreliable to recommend.
Please look at the images on the JustWrite website, as they are better than I can photograph at the moment. The fifth and sixth images show the offset knurling quite nicely.