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Baoer 388


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66 replies to this topic

#21 antidogma

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 16:33

Just a small note: the cap is friction fit onto the lower metal band near the nib using a plastic insert glued inside the cap. Over time, this plastic degrades and cracks, and as this happens, the super tight fit gets looser and looser until the cap doesn't stay on the pen anymore.

Total lifespan of my Baoer 388 = 3 months HEAVY use: school, bookbag, jacket pocket, scrubs, etc.
Nib still works great. The cap is un-repairable in my estimation, so the pen is useless.

Still a great value
but note that the newly launched Pilot Metropolitan can be had for $15+S&H.
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#22 chandelle

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 03:27

I've had a Baoer 388 and 510 for more than a month now. I wanted 3 models in particular (the 3013 hasn't yet arrived) and when I'd asked my Beijing Office to shop for these for me, I hadn't known that my company had previously gotten custom ballpens done from Baoer, so I got the two pens free LOL

 

Anyway, I've put these two pens to the test, and somewhat arduous ones at that, and they seem surprisingly reliable. I didn't even do the initial water flush that everyone seems to suggest as a must-do for Chinese pens and yet they seem to start running off the block straightaway. Just like the original poster said, the 388 ain't for me; I like pens of a greater girth and slightly longer than the 388 is. That can't take away the fact that it's a rather decent performer. The finish of the black barrel and cap have manufacturing flaws that can be seen upon close observation, as does the gold trim, but the nib and writing experience makes up for it. If dainty pens work for you, the 388 can be to an FP what a nice inexpensive recreational runabout can for a petrol head.

 

The 510 looks and feels more sturdy and performs comparably well. Again, there are minor surface imperfections but so long as these don't worsen over time, they're no big deal.

 

Oh and I've also once tried reusing them after ten straight days of disuse and they started up nearly instantly. There would be pens I'm sure that you'd occasionally say you wouldn't use even if someone gave you them free but despite getting them free, I can't get myself to say that about either the 388 or 510 :)


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#23 pstjohn

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 17:07

I actually found the nib on mine was a bit toothy, and the gold plating on the two-tone nib looked a bit dull.

 

I swapped it out with a Knox K26 fine nib from xfountainpens, and have been liking the pen much more. A much more buttery writing experience.

 

My two complaints with the pen are the clip (too stiff to be used) and the tightness of the cap.

 



#24 Bynming

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 19:42

I've just received my Baoer 388 today and I've had a few problems with it, the first one is that when I got it, the tines were misaligned. I fixed them up with my fingers but then I still had some flow problems. I'll write with it some more before passing definitive judgment but one of the things that bothered me is, how do you remove the nib and feed from this pen? I tried pulling on it but it wouldn't come out and I wouldn't want to bend the feed's fins.

 

As for the cap, it's really making this pen looks bad, at least for me. It clicks so hard it makes the pen leak or something, and a droplet of ink is inevitably on the nib when I open it back up. Maybe it's just mine but I would be surprised, because this clicks really hard. I find myself not pushing the cap all the way back in, which is kind of a functional solution in that it's held on there. Unfortunately, it's not on very tightly and it shows the gap.

 

My initial impression is that this pen is simply not very good because of the cap. It looks great for show, but for actual use, it's not convenient.



#25 Flounder

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 13:06

Hi Bynming, the nib and feed are a very tight friction fit in the section, I did take them out once out of curiosity.

 

I think I can trace my current preference for screw caps back to the insane tightness of the 388's snap-cap :lol:


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#26 columela

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 16:33

 I just inked my Baoer 388 (red and black marble effect) for the first time a couple of days ago. I just flushed it with water before and it wrote beautifully from day one. It has been quite in use for the last couple of days as I am always finding an excuse to write with it. It is true that the cap is very tight, but otherwise is an incredibly balanced pen, light in the hand and quick on paper. It does not skip at all. One of the best investments I have made for 4,88 pounds.


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#27 tonybelding

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 01:13

Just got one of these today, stainless steel with gold trim, and it's a very surprising pen at this price point.  Much of my impressions are similar to those in the review.  No box, no instructions.

 

Yes, it's a very nice looking pen.  Let's keep in mind that some things from China look great when you open the box and then fall apart two weeks later, but...  So far, so good.  It also comes with a decent screw-piston converter, which is something of a surprise with such an inexpensive pen.

 

The snap cap is VERY STIFF.  At first I pulled, and it didn't come off.  I wondered if it was a screw cap, but that didn't work.  So I pulled harder.  As grandma used to say, "It just needed a man a-hold of it!"  I reckon a strong snap is better than a weak one, as they only get weaker with age and use.

 

Yes, the section and nib are small.  It doesn't seem like a problem for me, though I can see how it might be for some people.

 

Biggest surprise for me was the nib, which is unusually flexible and expressive for a steel nib.  It's not going to set hearts aflutter with the true flex-nib fans, but...  I think it's at least as flexible as the gold nib on my Lamy 2000, which is quite unusual to see in a steel nib.  It's a much better writer than I had any reason to expect.



#28 Albinoni

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 03:20

Lovely review but my main question here is, did Parker ever sue this company I mean wow this pen looks so much like a Parker Sonett, seriously if you didn't even mention the name Baoer I would of thought it was a Parker Sonett. I mean even look at the clip its just like a Parker.



#29 Albinoni

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 03:22

Lovely review but my main question here is, did Parker ever sue this company I mean wow this pen looks so much like a Parker Sonett, seriously if you didn't even mention the name Baoer I would of thought it was a Parker Sonett. I mean even look at the clip its just like a Parker.



#30 dan in montreal

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 03:47

antidogma

Posted 18 December 2012 - 16:33

Just a small note: the cap is friction fit onto the lower metal band near the nib using a plastic insert glued inside the cap. Over time, this plastic degrades and cracks, and as this happens, the super tight fit gets looser and looser until the cap doesn't stay on the pen anymore.

 

 

I agree. I've had several (3 to be exact) and all 3 have developed this problem. It's unfortunate, as they look pretty good and the nibs are quite decent.

I have 2 Sonnets, have used them extensively for years and have not experienced any such problems.

Another Sonnet clone I'm fond of is the Hero 5020. The cap lining seems a little sturdier, but I suspect it will soon give way as well, which is too bad.  I find the 5020 nib and finish superior to the Baoer.

 

Thank you for the review!



#31 ac12

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 08:27

I have several 388s and have these comments:

  • The cap on most of the 388 pens is much HARDER to remove than most slip caps.  I don't know if this because of a better air seal or not.  But it is rather irritating.  This tight cap also makes a LOT of noise, which makes it difficult to use in a meeting.  click...click...click...click 
    So you have to soft cap the pen, between uses and only fully close the pen at the end of the meeting.
  • The nib on 4 of 5 of my 388s had to have the nib adjusted to flow well with Waterman ink.
    4 of the 5 pens are gift pens, so I had to make sure they wrote well for the recipients of the pens.
  • The nib is NOT a flex nib.  If you press down too hard, you will spring the nib. 
    So just light pressure, if any at all.
  • I could find the pen only in F or M, nothing wider. 
    The M nib measures 0.025 inch wide, about the same as a Lamy XF nib.
  • The nib and section are very similar in size to that of a Sonnet. 
    So if you think the nib on the 388 is small, you will think the same of the nib on the Sonnet.
  • Buying the pen in bulk really drops the price, making it great for using as gifts.  I bought 7 for $25, or $3.57 each.  This includes shipping from Hong Kong to California.
  • The black finish is quite nice and classy looking.
    The stainless steel finish sorta looks like a Parker Flighter finish, but the Baoer is a cooler blue-gray color whereas the Parkers are a warmer brown-gray color.  I think the SS finish will be great for daily use and stand up to wear better than the painted finishes.

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#32 thepiman

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 09:56

Excellent review. I also bought this same pen, as well as the black lacquered model. Currently I'm using the black one as my daily writer, and I agree with your opinions. The only issue I've found is about the nib. With certain papers the nib 'slips' and so skips, just as my Frontier does. It's quite annoying, but I cannot ask for more for the price I've paid.

I have a question for icardoth, or anyone else that owns both the stainless steel and the black lacquer models of this Baoer 388:

Does the stainless steel version age as badly as the black laquered version? I think this is a brilliant writing instrument, but after a few months of regular use, the black laquer on mine has chipped away and it looks rather unsightly. The band of "imitation gold" at the base of the cap is also showing a lot of wear, but this is not as noticeable as the degradation of the black lacquer. So to replicate this writing experience but not be embarassed of the looks of my pen in a meeting, can i just replace it with the stainless steel model, or do i need to fork out for a more expensive pen?

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#33 Art

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 12:05

Nice review. Thank you. In fact I liked your review so much that I just went and purchased a few of these pens. Looking forward to using them. 



#34 richardandtracy

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 12:28

thepieman:

The stainless steel does not wear, but the 'gold' will.

 

You could get another stainless steel one, or scrape off the black paint, polish the brass & put on a clear lacquer.

 

Regards,

 

Richard.



#35 Flounder

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 18:38

On my stainless one, the gold plating where the section meets the barrel got quite a lot worse. I haven't seen the Baoer since a move, but can't say I really miss it that much. I tend to buy vintage more since I wrote this review.

 

That's quite a lot of laquer loss in a short amount of time, piman. Perhaps the base metal wasn't keyed before laquering?


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#36 ac12

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 03:23

I have a question for icardoth, or anyone else that owns both the stainless steel and the black lacquer models of this Baoer 388:

Does the stainless steel version age as badly as the black laquered version? I think this is a brilliant writing instrument, but after a few months of regular use, the black laquer on mine has chipped away and it looks rather unsightly. The band of "imitation gold" at the base of the cap is also showing a lot of wear, but this is not as noticeable as the degradation of the black lacquer. So to replicate this writing experience but not be embarassed of the looks of my pen in a meeting, can i just replace it with the stainless steel model, or do i need to fork out for a more expensive pen?

 

I don't know how you are using/treating your pen, but I would go for the SS model.

In college I got the SS flighters, simply for minimum wear on the pen.  And today that is still my preferred choice for wear resistance.

But also think about how you treat the pen, as the gold band and clip will still be subject to wear.

 

And if you really like how yours writes.

Get a SS model, then swap the sections, to put your section into the SS pen.


Edited by ac12, 10 October 2014 - 03:24.

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#37 flpenaddict

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 10:47

Great review! I feel better about buying a Baoer 388.



#38 Flounder

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 21:26

do you know if these would be the same quality of a pilot 78g which is in the same price range of 8-10 dollars USD?

 

5 years after your question, having been piffed a 78G a wee while ago, I say "I would buy another 78G" (in fact, if I could source a new teal blue international standard cart version as were once available, I would snap it up quick).

 

The Baoer is not a terrible pen, but I just don't buy inner-cap-as-snap-cap Chinese pens any more. I've not exactly given up on accessible cheapies, though - I've a screw cap Jinhao 159 on the way.


Edited by Flounder, 20 February 2015 - 21:27.

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#39 zdeveric

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Posted 13 April 2015 - 20:32

Few days ago, I have found my silver-gold Baoer 388 in post box. It seems that chinese people have good ears ie the cap is very easy to remove.

The clip is hard but functional. Nib is fine, wet and smooth. I like it.

Kaigelu 356 was disappointment. The paint on the section has chiped away after few weeks of use. Baoer has plastic section and that will not happend. 



#40 Manalto

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 22:51

I'd like to see the 388 with a black or burgundy barrel and a brushed-steel cap. At these prices, you can do what you want with the inverse combination.


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