This is a review of the Jinhao X750 fountain pen, in "Electric Red Swirl," no less.
The Jinhao X750 could well illustrate a wikipedia entry on "Cheap Chinese Fountain Pens." It set me back all of $3.25, via eBay auction. Plus an additional $1.95 in shipping. (It was shipped to me here in Maryland, from Georgia, USA. Not from Hong Kong, as so many cheap Chinese pens seem to be.) So it cost me $5.20, total. And yeah, that was for a brand new one, in box, with converter.
INITIAL IMPRESSIONS: Well, it's a fairly pretty pen. Nice color, shiny chrome, large nib, some decorative swirls here and there. So I guess that was my first reaction - "pretty." Not gorgeous, not refined, not classic, not any of those things. But at a glance, it's an aesthetically pleasing item, at least in my opinion.A
HOW DOES IT WRITE: Well, it writes. To some extent, a $3.25 fountain pen is like a dancing bear - it doesn't have to dance well, the amazing thing is that it dances at all. And the Jinhao X750 can dance.
Okay, at first, I was mildly impressed. The pen laid down a decent enough line - about like a substantial fine. It was wet enough. Didn't have any glaring faults. It wasn't particularly scratchy, either. Sure, there was little real character to its writing (on top of which, my handwriting is mediocre, at best), but it was a good, solid, workmanlike performance.
But after writing close to 2 pages, the ink would sometimes not be there when I needed it. What I mean is, I'd begin to write the letter "D," starting with a simple line, drawn top to bottom. And the pen would lay down... nothing. So I'd do a scribble or a doodle on a piece of scrap paper, and the ink flow would be fine, and I'd go on and write a couple of paragraphs. And then it'd happen again.
I checked, and the converter was still about 1/3 - 1/2 filled with ink. I'd turn the pen upside down and rightside up. I'd tap it on its side. I'd even press down kind of more firmly than I like, when writing. (This last technique helped a little.) But the intermittent problem remained.
And I want to emphasize it is an intermittent problem. Not a constant issue. Still, it's frustrating.
I wonder if that spring in the converter, mentioned above, might not be blocking the flow of ink, or something?
I refilled the pen, and the problem disappeared for a while. Then it started happening again, after I'd written about a page.
So, the pen seems to be an okay writer when it's full of ink. But problems arise when it's less than full of ink. I don't know enough about fountain pens to diagnose the problem. Sorry.
Here's a sample of some writing, done with the Jinhao X750, using J. Herbin Violette Pensée ink (not a favorite color of mine, but my niece likes it and I can deny her nothing), on a page from a pad of Clairefontain paper.
WORTH IT?: Despite its faults, it's probably worth buying. Since if the intermittent ink delivery issue is due to lax quality control, there's no reason to believe that your X750 will suffer from it. Or maybe my pen just needs some breaking in or adjustment or something. It's not a perfect pen, but it's an attractive pen, and potentially a decent performer, being sold for a pittance.
(This has been my first review submitted to FPN, so please be gentle with me.)
Edited by 12345Michael54321, 24 October 2009 - 03:10.