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Baoer 100


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#1 ser.rep

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 08:48

First of all, this is my first pen review, so it can be largely improved (suggestion welcome); photos may be not so good, I apologize.

I bought this pen several weeks ago on eBay, mostly by curiosity, because I read somewhere that a replica of the Aurora 88 / 888 (I mean the models of the 50es) did exist and was the Baoer 100.

The pen arrived more than a month after, with a bit of disappointment on my side, because I was going to bring it with me in a planned business trip to Moscow.

Needless to say that I found the small white parcel in the mail box the morning after I came back, so my curiosity was more teased.

Inside the white bubble wrap envelope the pen was protected by a black small gift bag (as the Chinese sellers use to call it) and also an additional transparent cellophane bag … how carefully!

All the stuff for 6.89$ shipping included; in any case, it was worth to try.

Nuff said, when I finally released the pen from its whole bundle (my daughter did actually: she has the ius primæ visionis), the first impression was pretty good, the pen looked to me elegant and really '50s styled.


Posted Image
Baoer-100 004 di S.R.GE, su Flickr


At first glance every part seems to be well built and carefully assembled, in terms of absolute value and not only in relation to the price; the pen is equipped with an international standard screw converter.
The cap removes and fixes with an elastic and secure click, requiring not too much energy to be managed.

The pen deserves a more in-depth analysis, so let's go further.

Appearance & Design: 8/10
First of all, some figures: the pen is 134 mm long and the maximum diameter is 12 mm, subtly bigger that my Baoer 388, the well known Sonnet replica; its weight is about 29 g (exactly as declared); an overall handy pen.

As I told, the pen has a modern (not contemporary) design: it reminds me some items of the first‑era Italian industrial design; the barrel and section are of a glossy black, with some chrome trims, like the flat ending lid of the barrel, the ring that separates the barrel from the section and the quite odd whiskers near the nib.

The cap is completely chrome-finished and makes a pretty good match with the pen body, the ribs slender the overall pen shape, but maybe contribute to a little “decadent” image of the pen; unlike other Chinese pens in my experience, the clip is well fixed, well-centered and makes no excessive resistance when slipped in the shirt pocket and secured to the fabric.

Posted Image
Baoer-100 010 di S.R.GE, su Flickr


The section tip is maybe the most original part of the pen: the nib is almost completely covered by the section itself (a well-known but not so frequent solution, as in Parker 51 and, exactly Aurora 88 / 888) and contained in a kind of shark mouth, as seen in the picture below; there the odd whiskers above the nib can also be noticed:

Posted Image
Baoer-100 005 di S.R.GE, su Flickr


The pen body when uncapped shows a pretty nifty shape, the large chrome strip breaks the continuity of the black color.

Finally, if the Baoer 100 is really inspired by the Aurora 88 / 888, it succeeds in giving the idea of coming from those days, but it is not a true replica.

Construction & Quality (7/10)
Holding the pen gives a nice feeling of robustness and consistence, the glossy finishing does not annoy when handling it: I have been using it for some days in taking notes at work, without getting tired for that reason; the writing of this pen is another topic to be analyzed in its details.

I studied for some time how to completely disassemble the pen – for maintenance reasons, you never know … it seems to be a rather difficult task: if I have news on this matter, I will tell.

When looking better, some little defects arise: the nib is not perfectly aligned with the section, as can be seen in the picture below:

Posted Image
Baoer-100 009 (nib bottom view) di S.R.GE, su Flickr


on the contrary, the feeder is correctly positioned relative to the nib itself.

The whiskers are made of a chrome part inlay and their contours are a bit jagged and not well sharpened.

Posted Image
Baoer-100 007 (detail) di S.R.GE, su Flickr


Weight & Dimensions (8/10)
When capped, the pen seems to me somehow less proportioned:

Posted Image
Baoer-100 006 di S.R.GE, su Flickr


Handling the pen uncapped, as I am used to, it feels comfortable enough and light, even if I handled much more lighter fountain pens, like for instance the ONLINE I recently bought.

Writing with the pen capped is not unpleasant, since the cap is lighter than the body and does not unbalance it too much; moreover, the cap rests on my hand when I hold the pen in this configuration.

I would classify the size of this unit as medium-small: capped it is 5 mm shorter than a Lamy Safari and considerably thinner. That's good for me: I do not like king-size pens anyhow.

Filling System & Maintenance (8/10)
The Baoer 100 can be equipped with international standard cartridges and, as anticipated, it comes with a screw-type converter.
I use converters in normal fountain pen operation for many reasons, but I have to say often they can carry few ink and the ones provided with Chinese pens make no exception on this side.
Recently I bought some converters from a supplier in the U.S.A. and the capacity of that ones is significantly greater in the same size.

In the case of this specific pen, the filling operation works easily, correctly and clean, with just one drawback due to the particular shape of the section near the nib: when dipped into ink bottle for supply, the shark mouth retains a remarkable amount of ink (I mean in a relative sense to the quantities involved), that must be carefully repulsed into the bottle, worth a disaster of ink on the fingers at the first use.

Nib & Performance (6/10)
The pen comes with just one point size: the fine one, at least, so I checked at each eBay shop that sells this item.
The nib seems to be a steel one, but its color has also a slight bronze effect; the eBay supplier indicates it as a “gold iridium” one, I can hardly believe.
Considering that iridium is told to be virtually absent from points, this one is definitely steel or similar.

When the pen arrived at home, I prepared a cup of warm water with some dish soap, filled both converter and nib/feeder with that solution, soaked the nib and section in the cup and let them rest the whole night.
The next morning I rinsed all the stuff with fresh water, then I washed it again with warm water and ammonia using the converter and deeply rinsed them once again.

Then I filled the pen with Pelikan 4001 blue-black ink.

Now, after this long lasting preparation, let's talk about the most important feature of a (fountain) pen: how does it write?

Well, from this point of view my feeling is mixed, I am trying to explain what I mean.

As seen in the pictures above, the nib is very thin.
It feels quite rigid, but at first use the pen started writing with a thin but regular and contiunuos mark, even when making a long series of 8 shapes and different curvy twirls.

Analysing it in depth, this is my impression on the nib:
  • it runs drier going along writing, but neither skips nor starves; this is most important, of course, but not so obvious in my experience with this class of fountain pens
  • as told, it is quite rigid
  • it is remarkably sensitive to rotation on roll and yaw axes, but not on the pitch one
  • it is very sensitive to the kind of paper, being better on raw and going worse when paper becomes smoother
  • no startup problems, just keeping the pen capped when not used: being the slit very thin, it dries rather quickly
  • the mark is definitely thin, in line with an F-nib.

The picture below shows a short text written by me using the Baoer 100 (words are not mine, but belong to a poet of my town, the 1975 Nobel Prize Eugenio Montale).

Posted Image
Baoer-100 (writing) di S.R.GE, su Flickr


Summing it up, the most annoying issue is the sensitivity to rotation on roll axis, that compells to hold the pen exactly in a precise position.
The pro's are the prompt start and regular flow, even if quite thin.

A note on the sensitivity of position on the roll axis: enlarging one of the nib pictures, the point seems to have a slightly oblique shape on the plant view.

Cost & Value (8/10)
The Baoer 100 can be found on eBay at $ 6,89 standard international shipping included, from some Chinese suppliers; I paid it that price brand new with a small black pen bag.

Compared with the Aurora Ipsilon and the Baoer 388 I am used to write with, it classifies behind both of them.

I think that it is an average quality item from an absolute point of view, but a good bargain when its value is related to its price.

Conclusion
In my opinion the Baoer 100 is a beautiful object from a purely aesthetic point of view, but it is clearly a pen for writers that like a thin mark from their instruments.

At the moment this pen does not completely satisfies me, but considering that I definitely do not like fountain pens that leave a bold mark on the paper, if I will trim some issues with the nib, I think I will be happy with the Baoer 100.

Final (personal) score: 7,5/10

P.S.: any suggestion on how trim this nib will be greatly appreciated.

Sergio

Edited by ser.rep, 28 March 2012 - 16:09.

Fatti non foste a viver come bruti ma per seguire virtude e canoscenza

--
(Dante Alighieri - Divina Commedia, Inferno Canto XXVI)


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#2 Scribblesoften

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 11:54

Thank you for the excellent review of a pen that I have not seen before.

#3 Flounder

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 16:48

Many, many thanks for your review of this curious pen! What an interesting oddity you have discovered.

The section does indeed look like a shark about to bite, I wonder what its purpose is? You would think with such a huge opening, you could have a very free exchange of air and ink so I'm surprised yours writes so dry. Perhaps there are manufacturing oils still present, or perhaps the tines could be a little further apart.

The cap rather reminds me of the Sheaffer Valor, that and the crude chrome section inlay makes me wonder if we're seeing the first shakey step towards Chinese pens with inlaid nibs? Fingers crossed!  


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#4 M@rtin

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 17:16

great review...

#5 ser.rep

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 22:44

Many, many thanks for your review of this curious pen! What an interesting oddity you have discovered.

The section does indeed look like a shark about to bite, I wonder what its purpose is? You would think with such a huge opening, you could have a very free exchange of air and ink so I'm surprised yours writes so dry. Perhaps there are manufacturing oils still present, or perhaps the tines could be a little further apart.

The cap rather reminds me of the Sheaffer Valor, that and the crude chrome section inlay makes me wonder if we're seeing the first shakey step towards Chinese pens with inlaid nibs? Fingers crossed!  


Thank you Flounder.
I tried to look at the bottom of the pen's mouth, but I am afraid there is nothing different than in a conventional fp: the feeder closes completely the section hole, so the air flow inside the body should be more or less the same of another fp.

Talking about ink flow, I washed and rinsed the pen twice as it came: with water and dish soap and with water and ammonia, so I hope oils should have hardly remained inside, but it could always happen.
I am more inclined to think, as you suggested, that the tines are too near and then the slit remains too thin: the problem is that the section leaves little of the nib uncovered, then taking the tines apart turns to be a rather challenging task.

I will try something in the short time and let you know, if you like

Sergio

Fatti non foste a viver come bruti ma per seguire virtude e canoscenza

--
(Dante Alighieri - Divina Commedia, Inferno Canto XXVI)


#6 JPING97

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 23:17

great review

#7 JPING97

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 23:18

as a review i rate it 10/10!!!!
and welcome to FPN :W2FPN:

#8 ser.rep

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 23:37

as a review i rate it 10/10!!!!
and welcome to FPN :W2FPN:


Many thanks, JPING97.
I am glad you enjoyed my review and I hope it can be useful to the community.
I tried to be as much neat and clear as I can, although I expressed in a language that is not my mother tongue.

Best

Sergio

Fatti non foste a viver come bruti ma per seguire virtude e canoscenza

--
(Dante Alighieri - Divina Commedia, Inferno Canto XXVI)


#9 daikatana

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 12:47

as a review i rate it 10/10!!!!
and welcome to FPN :W2FPN:


Many thanks, JPING97.
I am glad you enjoyed my review and I hope it can be useful to the community.
I tried to be as much neat and clear as I can, although I expressed in a language that is not my mother tongue.

Best

Sergio



Were you able to increase the flow through this pen? You mentioned you were going to try to spread the tines somehow... I am getting 10 of these in the mail and would like to know as I am going to be handing them out and don't want to be embarrassed by a pen that doesn't have a good ink flow...

#10 ser.rep

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 09:03

Were you able to increase the flow through this pen? You mentioned you were going to try to spread the tines somehow... I am getting 10 of these in the mail and would like to know as I am going to be handing them out and don't want to be embarrassed by a pen that doesn't have a good ink flow...


Hi Daikatana,
I have many doubts about how to intervene on this nib: as I wrote, it is a very little one, even for an F.
The flow is thin but regular: prompt start and no skips, so I am a bit afraid of making things worse.

Sergio

Fatti non foste a viver come bruti ma per seguire virtude e canoscenza

--
(Dante Alighieri - Divina Commedia, Inferno Canto XXVI)


#11 Flounder

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 18:42

It may be best to leave it alone, without knowing how the section dismantles first.

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#12 breaker

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 14:26

nice review!
thanks!
Cogito ergo sum

#13 nima.afsarinejad

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 04:27

Hi all,
I'm not an expert or anything but I do own a Baoer 100 and have messed around with the nib quite a bit to enable better flow. As with the other Chinese hooded nib pens that I have (Hero 616, Hero 91, Yiren 3050) I cannot take apart the section. However, I can pull the nib and feed assembly part-way out of the section by about 1cm. This is not necessary in order to adjust the flow of the nib seeing as any adjustment will need to be done to the part of the nib which protrudes beyond the feed (the feed is firmly attached to the nib so that only leaves a few millimeters of the nib to play with) but once the nib is pulled part-way out it can be rotated and pushed back in so that it aligns better with the section. To pull the nib out just grab the tip very firmly with a folded piece of tissue paper and pull firmly but not suddenly. Obviously don't do this if you don't trust the steadiness of your hands because it takes a considerable amount of force to get it out.

Now, to the nib! What I do to any pen that needs improved flow is to separate the tines using a razor blade (a double edged razor refill). This takes a steady hand and good eyesight seeing as it's easy to damage the nib because the razor is a harder steel than the nib and can scratch/cut the nib if you don't place it exactly between the times and just try to force into wherever. Just insert the razor in as far as possible, being very careful not to cut the feed by pushing the razor in too far. Just this will usually separate the tines of a fine nib Chinese pen, but if its insufficient you can ever-so-slightly move the razor blade side to side to push the tines apart. Be sure not to exert rotational force seeing as this will obviously miss-align the tines and then you have another issue to deal with. But even that is easy to fix, just twist them back into place with your fingers!! These are non-flex steel nibs after all, they are very easy to manipulate and adjust.

I have a few Chinese pens that I am always messing with. Given that Chinese pens can be had at such affordable prices on eBay, I never hesitate to make adjustments to the nibs. Sometimes they do turn out to be quite good right out of the box and not in need of adjustments. But if not then what's the harm in giving adjustments a go? Just improvising and seeing how it goes! One of the things I like about fountain pens is the fact that I can play with them like this. I wouldn't dream of taking a razor to a prestige pen. But with affordable pens it only becomes exclusive and becomes mine when I've had a good mess around with it and adjusted it over time until it's the most perfect thing that I can make out of it. Otherwise I'd just go back to using roller-balls some of which flow just as well as a fountain pen but just have no character...at least not a character that agrees with my hand.

Sorry I went a bit long!!

Great review by the way! Thanks!

#14 nima.afsarinejad

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 04:54

...and some very obvious adjustment techniques as endorsed by TWSBI on their facebook page:
http://www.facebook....61669570&type=3

don't be afraid to press!

#15 ser.rep

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 14:15

Hi all,
I'm not an expert or anything but I do own a Baoer 100 and have messed around with the nib quite a bit to enable better flow. As with the other Chinese hooded nib pens that I have (Hero 616, Hero 91, Yiren 3050) I cannot take apart the section. However, I can pull the nib and feed assembly part-way out of the section by about 1cm. This is not necessary in order to adjust the flow of the nib seeing as any adjustment will need to be done to the part of the nib which protrudes beyond the feed (the feed is firmly attached to the nib so that only leaves a few millimeters of the nib to play with) but once the nib is pulled part-way out it can be rotated and pushed back in so that it aligns better with the section. To pull the nib out just grab the tip very firmly with a folded piece of tissue paper and pull firmly but not suddenly. Obviously don't do this if you don't trust the steadiness of your hands because it takes a considerable amount of force to get it out.

Now, to the nib! What I do to any pen that needs improved flow is to separate the tines using a razor blade (a double edged razor refill). This takes a steady hand and good eyesight seeing as it's easy to damage the nib because the razor is a harder steel than the nib and can scratch/cut the nib if you don't place it exactly between the times and just try to force into wherever. Just insert the razor in as far as possible, being very careful not to cut the feed by pushing the razor in too far. Just this will usually separate the tines of a fine nib Chinese pen, but if its insufficient you can ever-so-slightly move the razor blade side to side to push the tines apart. Be sure not to exert rotational force seeing as this will obviously miss-align the tines and then you have another issue to deal with. But even that is easy to fix, just twist them back into place with your fingers!! These are non-flex steel nibs after all, they are very easy to manipulate and adjust.

I have a few Chinese pens that I am always messing with. Given that Chinese pens can be had at such affordable prices on eBay, I never hesitate to make adjustments to the nibs. Sometimes they do turn out to be quite good right out of the box and not in need of adjustments. But if not then what's the harm in giving adjustments a go? Just improvising and seeing how it goes! One of the things I like about fountain pens is the fact that I can play with them like this. I wouldn't dream of taking a razor to a prestige pen. But with affordable pens it only becomes exclusive and becomes mine when I've had a good mess around with it and adjusted it over time until it's the most perfect thing that I can make out of it. Otherwise I'd just go back to using roller-balls some of which flow just as well as a fountain pen but just have no character...at least not a character that agrees with my hand.

Sorry I went a bit long!!

Great review by the way! Thanks!



...and some very obvious adjustment techniques as endorsed by TWSBI on their facebook page:
http://www.facebook....61669570&type=3

don't be afraid to press!

Great! Many thanks Nima ... we are on the same page.

I had the same experience as you with Chinese pens, that I am buying in numbers: some did work just off the pack, others required some tuning (one or more of micromesh, tine alignment, slit widening), others are not working even after several attempts, so I dismissed them.
To widen the tines I am using a cutter, but I was thinking about using a double edged razor refill for a while, actually!

As I told, I am a bit in doubt on how to work on the Baoer 100 nib, because it works on the edge between to say it's ok and decide to tune it up.
I experienced some troubles using micromesh to smooth nibs, because in some situation I obtained a "gummy" point writing too thick, even if I used a very fine surface and I did not insist to much time in griding it.
Moreover, even if I could buy another one (I paid this pen 6,89$ shipping included, after all), I could receive one with a worse nib, so then I have abstained from intervening up to now.

The link you posted is also very interesting ... now I think I will buy a razor blade and try the trick.

Sergio

Fatti non foste a viver come bruti ma per seguire virtude e canoscenza

--
(Dante Alighieri - Divina Commedia, Inferno Canto XXVI)


#16 goldiesdad

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 14:32

Thanks for the review ... I heard these were a go to pen for alot of folks ... enjoy yours ...

Scott

#17 ser.rep

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 15:19

as a review i rate it 10/10!!!!
and welcome to FPN :W2FPN:


Many thanks, JPING97.
I am glad you enjoyed my review and I hope it can be useful to the community.
I tried to be as much neat and clear as I can, although I expressed in a language that is not my mother tongue.

Best

Sergio



Were you able to increase the flow through this pen? You mentioned you were going to try to spread the tines somehow... I am getting 10 of these in the mail and would like to know as I am going to be handing them out and don't want to be embarrassed by a pen that doesn't have a good ink flow...


Hello Daikatana,
a lot of time has passed after you issued this question, but I was very busy and I have not succeeded in updating the forum.
At the end, a couple of months ago I have used a modified version of the trick suggested by nima.afsarinejad (see in this thread a bit above): I widened the slit a bit using the blade of a cutter and using the back of the same blade and a magnifier I lined up exactly the tip.
That made the Baoer 100 one of my favourite pens: a very reliable writing tool, with a continuous, homogeneous mark, that starts up immediately even after a week of rest and that neither skips nor starves.

Sergio

Edited by ser.rep, 29 October 2012 - 15:20.

Fatti non foste a viver come bruti ma per seguire virtude e canoscenza

--
(Dante Alighieri - Divina Commedia, Inferno Canto XXVI)


#18 zunoon

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 14:27

Hello Ser.rep

 

What a great and detalied review and the great pictures. I'm using one at the moment, so far I am very satisfied wit this pen.

 

Just wanted to ask you if its possible to use your pictures. I am a small FP trader and your pictures are great. See I tried taking my own pictures, but because I don't have a good camera they all come out in a blur.

 

Hope to hear from you soon



#19 ac12

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 18:43

Thanks for making me aware of a neat looking pen.


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#20 Cyclopentadiene

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 18:56

Cracking review! I'll pick one of these up when I can.  :)








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