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Jinhao X750


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#1 Renzhe

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 22:39

Introduction

Jinhao is a brand of Shanghai Qiangu Stationery Co., Ltd, which started in 1988 in Nanchang and relocated to Shanghai in 2003. Some of its writing instruments have historical themes, such as those about historical figures like Confucius, Zhuge Liang, and Emperor Taizong of Tang; and some have some cultural connection, such as those about the Great Wall; but most of its models do not. The X750 is one.

Posted Image

Function

While not unexpected for a steel pen, this pen is relatively heavy. At 20 grams without the cap, and 38 grams total, some might find this pen too heavy. However, the weight of a pen has never had any significant effect on me. I find that the center of balance has a much greater effect. The center of balance on this pen is about 2cm above the section. The cap snaps onto the body and can be posted, but that moves the center of balance to about 5cm above the section, making it practically unusable for me. Most people can use this pen without posting the cap. If you can't, your hands are bigger than Rachmaninoff's and the center of gravity when posted should suit you. The length is 141mm capped, 128mm uncapped. The largest diameter is 14mm. The diameter at the middle of the section is 11mm.

Posted Image

This pen uses cartridges or cartridge convertors. It came with a piston-style convertor, which holds about as much ink as small international cartridges. I don't have any cartridges, so I don't know which kinds of cartridges it accepts, although it appears to work with short and long international cartridges.

The section is round and is in what appears to be matte-textured plastic. Round sections are the best for me, as many shaped sections expect the user to grip the section at two places about 30 degrees to either side, and one place opposite of, the center of the nib. That is not my grip and I question whether or not that really is the ideal ergonomic grip. Anyway, the nib is 24mm long. Given the same gripping position on the section, this long nib lets one write using smaller movements than on shorter nibs, but others might want to write using larger movements, where a shorter nib would be more desirable. I find the long nib very easy to control. The tip is stub-like, where vertical strokes are fine and horizontal strokes are closer to extra fine. This produces line width variation inherent to the nib.

Posted Image

In addition, the stroke width is more sensitive than usual to varying writing pressure. This is not due to the tines spreading, but due to the tip having an overall round shape as opposed to a foot. This combined with the stub-like tip produces what some might call "expressiveness" in writing, while sacrificing smoothness. This tip is not the smoothest it can be, although it is not scratchy. Some might describe it as having "feedback," where one can feel the texture of the paper through the pen as the tip moves across the paper. Flow is on the dry side compared to most pens I have (which tend to be Pelikans; maybe it's average compared to most other pens). The following is a writing sample using Noodler's American Eel Blue on Roaring Spring 5x5 quad ruled paper.

Posted Image

Form

I bought this pen because it was one of the few Jinhao pens, and Chinese pens in general, that I didn't find too gaudy. That Jinhao tries to incorporate traditional Chinese design elements into their pens is ironic, because traditional Chinese aesthetics is understated and minimalistic. Anyway, this pen's rather simple lines and colors of steel and black plastic or rubber give it an understated, businesslike appearance. That the steel on most of the pen's body is brushed and that the section has a matte texture makes it resistant to fingerprints.

It seems all nibs of the design used on this pen are the same, only some are plated and some are not. The nib has "18KGP" stamped in it, which I suspect is to describe the versions of this nib that are plated with 18 carat gold, and Jinhao does not mind the inaccurate description on the unplated ones. I much prefer the unplated steel nib on this pen, but I find it unnecessary to indicate that a nib is plated on the nib. It would be better not to say anything about plating on the nib like most other manufacturers.

Posted Image

Value

I got this on eBay for $7 including shipping. 'Nuff said.

Comparisons

Jinhao X450: I like the X750 better, functionally because the section of the X450 isn't entirely round. It has grooves on the section where it expects the user to grip. The nib of the X450 is smoother, but I think these are the same nibs and any difference is due to manufacturing variation. Aesthetically, I prefer the X750 because the cap band isn't as plain, and the metal doesn't appear to stand out as on the X450, although it might be because of the colors of the pen.
Posted Image
If there were a brushed steel X450, then it would be closer. Furthermore, there is selective gold plating on the nib of the X450, but it is inaccurate. I would rather have no plating or total plating rather than inaccurate selective plating. For more information, see my review of two X450's.

Pelikan M600 and M620: For more than 20 times the price for the M600, and more than 40 times the price for the M620, they had better be better. But it is remarkable that the X750 can even be compared with them. I currently have a M600 with a nib from a M620, which I review here. The M620 flows faster, and so it produces a more consistent line. The nib is more forgiving of varying writing angles, and is just very easy to use. It can be taken to very fast writing speeds and not make me worry that it can't keep up, while the maximum flow rate of the X750 is just too dry to give me that confidence. However, the longer nib of the X750 makes it easier for me to control, and its sensitivity to varying writing pressures gives me greater ability to vary my stroke shapes. The M620 has an integrated piston filler, which gives it much higher ink capacity. Aesthetically, the two pens are so different that they fit into different niches. For the M600, aesthetics are closer to the domain of this X750. Functionally, the they are so close that the current price of the M620 cannot be justified. From a logical perspective, the X750 is the obvious choice, but this is the FPN. People pay a lot for aesthetics, finer workmanship (even where it doesn't matter), and other stuff.

Lamy Safari: Now this is an interesting comparison. I review this here. The Safari has a shaped section, which made it unusable for me. For me, the obvious choice is the X750 regardless that the Safari is about $20, but for those that can use the shaped section, the flow of the Safari is faster than that of the X750, which gives it a more consistent line and gives the writer more confidence, like the M620. The filling system is the same. The body of the Safari is lighter. Aesthetically, I find the X750 more versatile. While the X750 won't look out of place in more uppity settings, the Safari might stand out, in a bad way.

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Edited by Renzhe, 27 May 2010 - 02:00.

Renzhe

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#2 rwilsonedn

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 01:05

Thanks for a detailed, very personal review (OK, and thanks for the mention of Rachmaninoff's hands.) I really appreciate how you separated aesthetics, writing ability, and price into different issues. I did wonder, though, if you've tried adjusting the flow on the 750. In my limited experience it's relatively easy to get Chinese exposed-nib pens to write a little wetter--first by flushing to clear out the channels in the feed, and second, if absolutely necessary, by adjusting the nib a bit. That might resolve your one really big issue with the pen.
ron

#3 CRB

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 01:11

Thank you for the interesting and well organised review. I think your pictures represent the pen well.

I have this model and really like the large nib, which makes it easy to watch the formation of written characters. The flow was sluggish until I unscrewed nib from section and removed some plastic burrs left in the feed from the manufacturing process. It is better now.

The brushed steel finish was slippery for my hands, and made it difficult for me to control the pen; so I took a nail buffer to it. After scuffing it up a bit, I realised that it was coated with clear lacquer which I could have removed with a solvent of some kind. Oh well. It looks a little older than its age now, but it's easy to control.

Cheers,
Joe

#4 Renzhe

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 01:12

I flush every pen I get with a diluted ammonia solution. I haven't tried doing anything with the feed yet. Maybe I will next time it runs out of ink.
Renzhe

#5 Ausrutscher der Feder

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 04:16

Thanks for the review. For $7 I think it is pure win.

#6 Bluefinntuna

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 03:54

Great review. Thanks for sharing. I have this pen as well as the black version. Mine has trouble starting. It takes a stroke or two to get the ink to flow. But, once it starts, it flows fine. I have not flushed the pen yet, but will try once the Noodler's bulletproof black ink runs out. I don't have ammonia so I will try dish washing soap.

My X750s are both broad nibs. I didn't see any on Ebay that was not broad nibbed. Would have snagged them if they were.

All in all, I am fairly pleased with them at their price point. They are a bargain.

#7 fiberdrunk

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Posted 29 May 2010 - 19:06

A wonderful review, and great photos. I just got one of these pens last week and have enjoyed playing with it. I put Calli Burgundy ink into it and am pleased it has been flowing pretty well (a pigmented, waterproof ink that is safe for fountain pens, but which has clogged other fountain pens of mine, to my frustration. It seems to be doing fine in the X750, though.) But I have noticed the flow of this pen is more reliable when I write slowly with it. Faster writing seems to cause the ink to drop off in places. But for the cheap price, I can't complain. Here's my own writing sample with this pen and ink.

ETA: had trouble attaching the file

Attached Images

  • jinhaox750calliburgundy.JPG

Edited by fiberdrunk, 29 May 2010 - 19:07.

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#8 Renzhe

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 04:39

OK, here's an update. I pulled the nib and feed out and dumped them in a diluted ammonia solution. Then I spread the tines a little so that they were about parallel and adjusted the feed (using hot water) and the pen is now very wet. It now flows faster than I could ever write.
Renzhe

#9 Demonstrative Pen Collector

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 05:46

Introduction

Jinhao is a brand of Shanghai Qiangu Stationery Co., Ltd, which started in 1988 in Nanchang and relocated to Shanghai in 2003. Some of its writing instruments have historical themes, such as those about historical figures like Confucius, Zhuge Liang, and Emperor Taizong of Tang; and some have some cultural connection, such as those about the Great Wall; but most of its models do not. The X750 is one.

Posted Image

Function

While not unexpected for a steel pen, this pen is relatively heavy. At 20 grams without the cap, and 38 grams total, some might find this pen too heavy. However, the weight of a pen has never had any significant effect on me. I find that the center of balance has a much greater effect. The center of balance on this pen is about 2cm above the section. The cap snaps onto the body and can be posted, but that moves the center of balance to about 5cm above the section, making it practically unusable for me. Most people can use this pen without posting the cap. If you can't, your hands are bigger than Rachmaninoff's and the center of gravity when posted should suit you. The length is 141mm capped, 128mm uncapped. The largest diameter is 14mm. The diameter at the middle of the section is 11mm.

Posted Image

This pen uses cartridges or cartridge convertors. It came with a piston-style convertor, which holds about as much ink as small international cartridges. I don't have any cartridges, so I don't know which kinds of cartridges it accepts, although it appears to work with short and long international cartridges.

The section is round and is in what appears to be matte-textured plastic. Round sections are the best for me, as many shaped sections expect the user to grip the section at two places about 30 degrees to either side, and one place opposite of, the center of the nib. That is not my grip and I question whether or not that really is the ideal ergonomic grip. Anyway, the nib is 24mm long. Given the same gripping position on the section, this long nib lets one write using smaller movements than on shorter nibs, but others might want to write using larger movements, where a shorter nib would be more desirable. I find the long nib very easy to control. The tip is stub-like, where vertical strokes are fine and horizontal strokes are closer to extra fine. This produces line width variation inherent to the nib.

Posted Image

In addition, the stroke width is more sensitive than usual to varying writing pressure. This is not due to the tines spreading, but due to the tip having an overall round shape as opposed to a foot. This combined with the stub-like tip produces what some might call "expressiveness" in writing, while sacrificing smoothness. This tip is not the smoothest it can be, although it is not scratchy. Some might describe it as having "feedback," where one can feel the texture of the paper through the pen as the tip moves across the paper. Flow is on the dry side compared to most pens I have (which tend to be Pelikans; maybe it's average compared to most other pens). The following is a writing sample using Noodler's American Eel Blue on Roaring Spring 5x5 quad ruled paper.

Posted Image

Form

I bought this pen because it was one of the few Jinhao pens, and Chinese pens in general, that I didn't find too gaudy. That Jinhao tries to incorporate traditional Chinese design elements into their pens is ironic, because traditional Chinese aesthetics is understated and minimalistic. Anyway, this pen's rather simple lines and colors of steel and black plastic or rubber give it an understated, businesslike appearance. That the steel on most of the pen's body is brushed and that the section has a matte texture makes it resistant to fingerprints.

It seems all nibs of the design used on this pen are the same, only some are plated and some are not. The nib has "18KGP" stamped in it, which I suspect is to describe the versions of this nib that are plated with 18 carat gold, and Jinhao does not mind the inaccurate description on the unplated ones. I much prefer the unplated steel nib on this pen, but I find it unnecessary to indicate that a nib is plated on the nib. It would be better not to say anything about plating on the nib like most other manufacturers.

Posted Image

Value

I got this on eBay for $7 including shipping. 'Nuff said.

Comparisons

Jinhao X450: I like the X750 better, functionally because the section of the X450 isn't entirely round. It has grooves on the section where it expects the user to grip. The nib of the X450 is smoother, but I think these are the same nibs and any difference is due to manufacturing variation. Aesthetically, I prefer the X750 because the cap band isn't as plain, and the metal doesn't appear to stand out as on the X450, although it might be because of the colors of the pen.
Posted Image
If there were a brushed steel X450, then it would be closer. Furthermore, there is selective gold plating on the nib of the X450, but it is inaccurate. I would rather have no plating or total plating rather than inaccurate selective plating. For more information, see my review of two X450's.

Pelikan M600 and M620: For more than 20 times the price for the M600, and more than 40 times the price for the M620, they had better be better. But it is remarkable that the X750 can even be compared with them. I currently have a M600 with a nib from a M620, which I review here. The M620 flows faster, and so it produces a more consistent line. The nib is more forgiving of varying writing angles, and is just very easy to use. It can be taken to very fast writing speeds and not make me worry that it can't keep up, while the maximum flow rate of the X750 is just too dry to give me that confidence. However, the longer nib of the X750 makes it easier for me to control, and its sensitivity to varying writing pressures gives me greater ability to vary my stroke shapes. The M620 has an integrated piston filler, which gives it much higher ink capacity. Aesthetically, the two pens are so different that they fit into different niches. For the M600, aesthetics are closer to the domain of this X750. Functionally, the they are so close that the current price of the M620 cannot be justified. From a logical perspective, the X750 is the obvious choice, but this is the FPN. People pay a lot for aesthetics, finer workmanship (even where it doesn't matter), and other stuff.

Lamy Safari: Now this is an interesting comparison. I review this here. The Safari has a shaped section, which made it unusable for me. For me, the obvious choice is the X750 regardless that the Safari is about $20, but for those that can use the shaped section, the flow of the Safari is faster than that of the X750, which gives it a more consistent line and gives the writer more confidence, like the M620. The filling system is the same. The body of the Safari is lighter. Aesthetically, I find the X750 more versatile. While the X750 won't look out of place in more uppity settings, the Safari might stand out, in a bad way.

Posted Image


I have a question:
Have you seen signs of the plating wearing off on the chrome/silver ring just above the nib (grip areas)?
I have a gold version and my plating just wore off over night - I think its because of ink - when I dip into the ink bottle to fill.

#10 lovemy51

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 05:10

just got one today.

truly the worst chinese pen i own!!! i say no more!!

#11 MJSchuelke

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 20:29

truly the worst chinese pen i own!!! i say no more!!


Oh, please do -- what's wrong with it? My own X750 certainly isn't in the running for the best-pen-ever award -- it's a bit heavy, and the nib's a bit too big -- but it's a decent-looking, decent-writing pen. I've seen worse, and not just from China...

#12 dogpoet

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 21:28

I'd suspect that the nib and the feed are badly aligned. I bought one Jinhao which had that problem, and it was a pig to try to write with until I realised that I could just pull out and realign both myself.

#13 Renzhe

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 06:25

Have you seen signs of the plating wearing off on the chrome/silver ring just above the nib (grip areas)?


I don't think mine is plated.
Renzhe

#14 lovemy51

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 07:47

truly the worst chinese pen i own!!! i say no more!!


Oh, please do -- what's wrong with it? My own X750 certainly isn't in the running for the best-pen-ever award -- it's a bit heavy, and the nib's a bit too big -- but it's a decent-looking, decent-writing pen. I've seen worse, and not just from China...

it just won't write!!!

i've have bathed it in soap and after that in ammonia, taken it appart and flossed the feed, open the tines... :crybaby: ...nothing... won't write!!

#15 Chris

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 11:17

I have a X450 and it is similar in many respect to the X750 with regards to the feed and section. Mine was fine for half a page then ran dry (common with many converters, I know). The usual flushing did not seem to help so I pulled out the push-fit nib and feed and found that many of the slots contained bits of plastic swarf.

These could be removed with a fine implement (I used a leather needle with sharp, triangular point and a scalpel blade - SM No 11 for those who know them). I also made the central channel a bit deeper and wider - not a lot, just enough to make it more clearly defined.

I wish I could say it cured the problem but it didn't; however, it is better than it was and it is a functional pen for little money. Great for short notes but not one to write a thesis.

edit: Maybe some hot water next to adjust the feed (make the gap between it and the nib a bit bigger, I presume)

Chris

Edited by Chris, 22 June 2010 - 11:19.


#16 tuintu

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 14:16

I have an X750, too.
it's same color,material and dimensions with this one.
but mine has B nib.
Verba volant, scripta manet...

Posted Image Posted Image

#17 watch_art

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 14:38

i'm 'bidding' on a white one. hope i get it!

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