This review is of a Jinhao 321.
The pen was obtained from 'Gotoschool888' for $7.98. The pen was supplied in a cardboard pen box. The pen was made in China by the Jinhao company, a company that has a good & growing reputation for the quality of their pens.
When I first looked at the pen I said to my self 'It's a re-badged Hero 100' (see the review http://www.fountainp...howtopic=114438 ), but it wasn't, quite. The pen is of similar slimline diameter and has the same sort of shape cap. Infact, I think it could be considered to be a Hero 100/ 110 copy, apart from the fact that the nib is steel. I wish I had a Hero 100 to do a direct comparison against, unfortunately that's not the case, so I'll compare the pen against the pens I do have.
The overall quality and feel of the pen is a fair improvement on the Hero 329/330 ( http://www.fountainp...showtopic=40296 ). It feels to be a nice quality pen and nicely balanced, and feels a bit better than the similar Dux 612 ( http://www.fountainp...?showtopic=7894 ) and Bahadur 612 ( http://www.fountainp...showtopic=89858 ). This pen feels - to me - to be a significant improvement on the Hero 616.
When compared to a Hero 330, the section length is slightly longer, the cap size is shorter and the clip size is similar. The barrels are not interchangable due to a different thread diameter.
The cap is, however, a great improvement on any of the previously mentioned pens. It's certainly up to the quality of the Parker 21 Super ( http://www.fountainp...showtopic=63828 )
The pen size is:-
10.5mm barrel diameter.
The construction is identical to that of a lower price point Hero pen - with one major exception, the cap.
The cap is brushed stainless steel, with a fixed arrow shaped clip. The clip is, unusually, not a copy of the Parker arrow; It is an interesting variation on the theme though. The clip is very secure, and combined with the quality of the rest of the cap, the overall feel is at least as good as the Parker 21 cap (the P21's best point). The cap grips the section in the same smooth and luxurious way as the P61, gradually getting tighter as the cap is slipped on. This is a really high class feature, and it makes the pen stand out from the rest of the P51/61 copies. The only downside of the cap is the rather square edge to the metal at the cap lip - with a slight risk of scratching the pen body. Had it been given a radius here, then I would have declared it the equal of the P61 Classic cap (praise indeed!). This cap is much more robust than the Hero 330, Bahadur or Dux caps, and much better quality than the Hero 616 cap. From the Hero 100 reviews I have read, this cap is probably the equal of the H100 cap.
The section and barrel are moulded polystyrene, the connector is clear with a squeeze filler protected by a plated steel sac guard. The connector has a stainless steel disc heat welded to it to form the visual break between the barrel & section. This heat welded disc is the only place where it's apparent that the pen has been made down to a price, and even then it has been de-burred properly (a complaint I had against the H616). The end of the barrel has a chromed tassie fitted into the end of the barrel. The fit here is not perfect, but it is at least as good as some of the the P61's I've had. The tassie is reminiscent of the P75's, with a cone being inverted into a recess. The mouldings are sharp and precise with very even colour and no stress lines in the plastic. Generally the construction is excellent. From the Hero 100 reviews I have read, this pen is probably at least the equal of the H100 in this respect.
IThe pen itself cost $0.99, with the remainder of the price being postage worldwide. Not bad. Not bad at all.
It looks like a slimmer version of the Parker 61, or a copy of the Hero 100. A very elegant shape. The brushed stainless steel of the cap is a good looking, classic style, so it looks nice and understated. The cap and barrel tassies are reminiscent of the Parker 75 - another classically styled, good looking pen. The hood shape is identical to the Hero 100 and P51, both classic and pleasant shapes. All engraving on the cap is sharp and precise, and isn't poor quality stamping. Looks as classy as it is.
Due to the quality of construction I'd expect the pen to be very durable in normal use. The cap, barrel and section are well made and very sturdy. This pen will survive every day abuse with ease.
This is the best Parker 51/61 inspired pen I have written with - with one exception. I would describe the nib as fine, not the 'medium' it was advertised as, and this is the only grumble I have with the pen. I like UK mediums or wider, and this is too fine for me. The line is nice and wet, doesn't skip, is reasonably smooth for a F nib and has a nice level of feedback. There is no flex, but you don't feel is if you are writing with a nail either. The pen writes beautifully whether posted or unposted - the lightweight cap doesn't alter the good balance one jot.
The pen is very lightweight and it is possible to use it for hours. The pen is almost too light, in some ways I'd like a little more heft to it, maybe another gramme or 2 to make it perfect, but it's well within acceptable limits.
The pen is slender, about 1.5mm slimmer than a P61, but that doesn't make it only suitable for small hands. It is a nice size for prolonged use.
Now to bring everyone back to earth: While this pen is good, it isn't as good as a P51/61. But it is very pleasant to write with.
Value for money 5/5
Excellent. I highly recommend this pen.
I really like this pen. Definitely worth having, and I think it's an improvement on the Parker 21 Super, and possibly an equal to the Hero 100. Jinhao are developing a reputation for excellent, low priced pens. If anything, I think this pen extends and improves their current reputation.
If you are looking for a new, cheap, hooded nib pen, then look no further. This is the one for you.