First Impressions (7/10) The silver one looks OK but the red one looks really great. They both write well with very narrow nibs.
Appearance & Design (7/10) They are made of metal, highly polished and feel very smooth to the touch. Shule 2212 is printed on them, plus Chinese characters. I have seen pictures of Chinese fountain pens that are overly ornate, but these are nice clean simple designs. Both have hooded nibs reminiscent of the Parker 51, but they are most certainly not clones. The caps are firm and push into place with noticeable click. The metal thread on the barrel feels crude but when screwed tight it is firm with no flex. The bladder assembly looks cheap. However, taken as a whole they look good.
Weight & Dimensions (7/10) They are about 13.5 cm in length, slightly shorter and very slightly thinner than a Cross Century II, with a similar weight. The cap posts firmly. With the cap posted, the pen is comfortable in my large hands, but I certainly would not want them any shorter.
Nib & Performance (7/10) The nibs are narrow. One of the Shules is marked 0.5mm. I emailed the supplier and he replied that all his Shules have the same 0.5mm narrow steel nib. Straight out of the jiffy bag they worked perfectly using Parker washable ink. The flow rate is very good, I would say medium, certainly not dry. There is no skipping even when I write as fast as I can. All the letters are fully formed. Both nibs sound and feel scratchy, the silver one a little less so. The nibs are stiff.
Filling System (4/10) These are the only bladder pens I have so I cannot compare them to any other pen. They are easy to fill but I suspect the bladders dont hold a huge amount of ink.
Cost & Value (9/10) I brought these as an introduction to Chinese pens, and I have been very pleasantly surprised. I have read that quality control issues mean that the quality of Chinese pens can very considerably. If so I have been lucky because both these pens perform well. They are nice looking pens; feel firm and comfortable in use. They are good pens for every day office use with the exception of the filling system. I dont want to carry ink around while I am in the office so prefer cartridges. This is more of a comment about my cautious nature than a criticism of the pens.
Conclusion (Final score, 6.83/10) In summary, these are a good incredibly cheap pens. In terms of quality they cannot hope to compare with most of the pens review in this forum, but they are a tenth or even a hundredth the price. They are incredible value for money.
Edited by vans4444, 20 March 2009 - 20:57.