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Baoer 508


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#1 thefenlander

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 12:33

This is my first review, so please don't be too harsh on me! I have been using this forum for a while now and thought it was time I started contributing. I have a number of pens that so far have not been reviewed, so I will try and fill in the gaps.

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Baoer 508


So my (paper thin) justification for buying this was that I needed another pen to take with me to formal events because with the best will in the world to my Rotring Core (my daily driver for 9 years now) it does not really fit into that environment! As a cash strapped student that lacked the confidence to buy vintage I decided that one of the Chinese pen vendors on fleabay would probably furnish me with a suitable amount of pen for my money. While avoiding the gaudy tat that seems to be all too prevalent among Chinese pen manufacturers this little gem rather took my fancy and a month later a package turned up with the 508 inside!

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Appearance and design (8/10)


First an foremost the usual disclaimer about looks being a very personal thing. I know I have my own idea of what makes a pen look good, but you are free to disagree .The Baoer is classically styled and my pen is finished in glossy black lacquer with chrome trim. The cap bulges in the middle with a ring either end and then the barrel tapers gracefully to a third chrome ring at its thinnest point before thickening slightly at the end. There is a single metal "jewel" on the top of the cap. I like flat top pens and the changing diameter looks very nice to my eyes. Removing the cap reveals the section has the same finish as the barrel and tapers out at the end. The nib is steel and engraved with the Baoer logo and some patterning. While not ornate I think it strikes a good balance. The clip is nicely shaped too, all subtle curves like the barrel. I find it makes for a very nice looking pen overall.

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Construction and quality (8/10)


The cap, barrel and the section are made from the same metal coated in lacquer. I think it is aluminium because of the light weight, although it could be thin brass. In either case it feels solid and I don't have any worries that it will get broken. The threads between the barrel and the section feel solid but there is some slop. Because both are metal I am not worried about cross threading, a pet peeve I have with a lot of pens. The clip slides well over the material of my shirt pocket, with no snagging. Externally the finish is excellent, with no flaws in the lacquer or flaws in the chroming, internally there is a ding in the lacquer on the thread section. It does not bother me, especially considering the price. While it maybe doesn't feel as tough as the Rotring I am not worried about taking it out an about with me.


Weight and dimensions (7/10)


Overall this pen clocks in at 5 ¼" capped, 4 ¾" uncapped and 6 ¼" posted. The barrel is about ½" in diameter and the section tapers with an average diameter of 3/8". It weighs 30 g capped but only 16.7 g uncapped. I get cramp using heavy pens for extended periods, so this suits me. Quite a lot of the weight is in the cap so the Baoer feels light and well balanced in the hand when not posted. However, when you post the cap (which slides home with a reassuring click) it becomes rather top heavy for my liking. I would say it is a medium sized pen. I find the section pleasant to hold and although I have not used it for an extended period yet I don't think it would be uncomfortable to do so.


Nib and performance (7/10)


I got this pen with a fine nib, I don't know what other varieties are available. The nib is steel and has no flex to it and initially I thought it was rather scratchy. However, I now realise the nib was starved of ink, I washed out the converter with a little detergent and it now produces a medium wet line with royal blue quink. The pen starts easily after being left unused for a week or so and it can be left with the cap off for a couple of minutes and pick up without trouble. I don't get any bleed-through or feathering. I must admit I tend to use medium nibs more so it is not so good for me, but it still gets a place in my rotation.

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Filling system and maintenance (6/10)

The pen is fitted with an utterly bog standard c/c system, I am using the piston converter that came with the pen and it works fine after flushing. However I can only get 2/3 of a full tank of ink, so I might replace it with another in the future. I also mark it down on the capacity, which is obviously less than your average piston or eyedropper.

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Cost and value (9/10)


I got this pen new on fleabay for $1.98 plus $5.98 shipping from China, which I reckon is pretty good going! I have no idea what the going rate for it would be but a pen of this quality for $2 is pretty difficult to argue with whichever way you cut it!


Conclusion (45/60 overall)


I am very happy with the Baoer! It fulfills all the specifications I had for it, namely looking good, being cheap and working reliably with the minimum of fuss. The only thing that stops it getting more use is the large number of other pens I have that also cry out for some use! I would certainly buy it again and would thoroughly recommend it, although I can't vouch for quality control and I have heard it can be a bit suspect on Chinese pens.

Edited to include photos, 5th May 19:33

Edited by thefenlander, 05 May 2012 - 18:35.

Rotring core, Pelikan Pelikano School, Ohto tasche, Parker frontier, Duke carbon fibre, Hero 3266, Duke 962, Baoer 508, Parker 25, Parker Arrow

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#2 Uncle Red

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 14:18

:W2FPN: Good review. You covered all the bases. Is there any chance of some pictures of the pen and maybe a writing sample?

#3 thefenlander

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 14:50

Thank you very much, glad it is not awful!

I tried to upload some pictures following watch_art's instructions, but when I click on the "upload" tab there is no "browse" button to select them from file system. If someone could explain this to me I would gladly post some photos.
Rotring core, Pelikan Pelikano School, Ohto tasche, Parker frontier, Duke carbon fibre, Hero 3266, Duke 962, Baoer 508, Parker 25, Parker Arrow

#4 RockFL

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 17:24

Nice review on a very good low-price pen. I have one of these in the red finish.I purchased it specifically to be my first dedicated 'Baystate Blue' pen. It's been a very reliable everyday writer that performs very well. The only complaint would be that the finish is a very thin plastic coating over a chromed body and it scratched away where the clip meets the barrel. Although I must admit that I put my pens into my pocket repeatedly throughout the day, which definitely contributes to the wear.

As stated, though, how much more could you ask for a $2 fountain pen? It's definitely a decent value.


Edited by watch_art, 06 May 2012 - 02:53.


#5 thefenlander

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 23:51

Thanks, glad you liked the review! I have also managed to get some photos of it posted, my apologies for the quality.


Rotring core, Pelikan Pelikano School, Ohto tasche, Parker frontier, Duke carbon fibre, Hero 3266, Duke 962, Baoer 508, Parker 25, Parker Arrow

#6 sajiskumar

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 11:09

Good Review and Welcome to FPN

Edited by sajiskumar, 07 May 2012 - 11:11.


#7 bicfan

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 15:23

Excellent review.

I have one of these and the cap is SOOOOOOOO tight. I can't get it off when my hands are least bit moisty or oily.

#8 wastelanded

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 17:40

Great review...I have had my eye on this one and now I think I'll pull the trigger. I have a Baoer 519 and I am *immensely* pleased with it, best $7 I ever spent :)

Edited for grammar

Edited by wastelanded, 07 May 2012 - 17:41.

"I was cut off from the world. There was no one to confuse or torment me, and I was forced to become original." - Franz Joseph Haydn 1732 - 1809

#9 thefenlander

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 22:46

wasteland - Glad you have had good experienced with Baoer too! I am glad my review has been of use to someone.

bicfan - Mine is tight too, never had a problem operating it but you need quite a bit of force and it does make a very satisfying 'snap' when it hits home!

sajiskmar - Thank you very much for your kind welcome.




Rotring core, Pelikan Pelikano School, Ohto tasche, Parker frontier, Duke carbon fibre, Hero 3266, Duke 962, Baoer 508, Parker 25, Parker Arrow

#10 ianmedium

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 05:25

Excellent review and lovely pen. I have noticed since myself getting some Chinese pens that when I read reviews the marks are always high for the most part. Nothing beats value and performance and it seems a great many of the Chinese pens excel in that, can't wait for my next one to arrive!
All the best.
Ian



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#11 goldiesdad

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 14:27

Great review ... their is something about finding a low cost gem that produces ...

Scott and good luck in school ...

#12 richardandtracy

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 12:40

Great review. It would be useful if you could give an update on how the surface finish is holding up after a year of use.

Regards,

Richard.

#13 Fabius

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 13:26

Like the reviewer I also buy a pen that looks good, is low cost and works reliably with the minimum of fuss. I bought a blue Baoer 508 on Ebay based on the review. Thanks. Cost $7.53 US

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#14 BookCat

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Posted 09 December 2014 - 10:11

I've just bought the flash red version of this with a medium nib; it cost me all of £2, the shipping was free! Not much to complain about so far. I have the 388 and love that pen.



#15 Jimmy Joe

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Posted 11 December 2014 - 02:55

I was not expecting to see the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations in various coordinate systems in a pen review, but it seems oddly appropriate. I do like the look of this pen, so now I am trying to convince myself not spend $5 and get yet another pen.



#16 BookCat

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Posted 19 December 2014 - 18:08

I've just receive my Baoer 508 from the ebay seller. I'd ordered a medium, but to me it looks like a fine. It's reasonably smooth, for a fine nib, and I'm debating whether to work on the nib or just leave as is. One of the reasons I purchased this pen is that I have a wonderful Baoer 388, which is butter-smooth and a pleasure to write with. The only thing I remember doing to its nib was aligning it, I'm sure I didn't smooth it at all.

 

To smooth or not to smooth? That is the question.



#17 mmusicante

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 07:02

Hello,

 

Thanks for the review! I have just received a snow "white and black" version of the pen (got it on ebay for about 2 euros).

 

I agree with you in general. However, the nib that came on this pen is a crappy one: It bends *very* easily, getting the tines apart from each other (I'm not a heavy-handed writer!). The good news is that unbending the nib is just as easy :).

 

M.


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