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Bookworm 675/ Yiren 601


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#1 richardandtracy

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 19:44

Bookworm 675/ Yiren 601 Review.

This is a little review of the Yiren 601 pen. It appears that both the Bookworm and Yiren trademarks are both owned by the Shanghai Shulong Stationary & Gifts Co. ( http://bookwormpen.en.alibaba.com/ ), and many of the pens are identical between the two ranges, with only the printing on the pen being different. This pen has 'Yiren 601' printed in small letters on the threaded part of the section (visible in the photos below), so that the lettering is covered when the barrel is on the pen. However, the nib has 'Book Worm' indented on it. Just to enhance the confusion it was sold as a 'Jinhao' by the e-bay vendor (obviously not true as there is no Jinhao logo or lettering). I have seen these pens advertised in the past as the 'Dolce Vita Naranja' too. The pen has been around since at least 2009 and possibly earlier, so the pen design was from a few years ago, and this does show in some areas of the design and manufacture of the pen. Chinese pens have advanced noticably since 2007, when I first became aware of them, and the more recent designs are technically and functionally considerably superior to earlier designs. So, this is an older design, almost from a different era.

 

fpn_1516293583__bookworm675photo01.jpg


Initial Impressions.

The initial impression was 'This is a fairly low end pen, trying to look like a high end pen', but it does look quite pretty with the contrast between the black cap & finial, orange barrel & apparent filigree at either end of the orange barrel. The shape is moderately old fashioned, echoing 1920's pens in the same way as a modern Parker Duofold does. A sort of 'homage' to the shape rather than a slavish copy.

There is also a hint of Italian in the colour combination of black, silver and orange - echoing pens made by Delta, though the orange in this pen is more muted than the bright orange used in Delta's pens, it's more of a 'cooked orange' than a 'fresh orange'.

The veins, pearlescence and transparency of the orange part of the barrel are very attractive, and the 'filigree' section adds interest too. All-in-all an interesting and attractive looking pen.

The pen is as below:

Uncapped:

 

 

fpn_1516293656__bookworm675photo02.jpg

The nib & section look nice, as shown below.

 

fpn_1516293740__bookworm675photo04.jpg

The pen dimensions are:

Length, Capped: 137mm (5.39")

Length, Uncapped: 121.5mm (4.78")

Length, Posted: 160mm (6.30")

Barrel Diameter: 12.70mm (0.50")

Weight: 45g

 

Construction

I think this is a low end pen, and it shows in the material choice and finish of the pen.

The only plastic parts in this pen are the polythene cap liner, feed, section and orange part of the barrel. The rest is painted or plated brass. The apparent 'filigree' section appears to be etched brass, with the raised sections thinly chrome plated and the indented areas are painted black. On the furniture the chrome plating seems to be thicker than on the 'filigree' area and is reasonably well applied, though there are blemishes visible where the substrate wasn't brilliantly polished. The black parts of the barrel and cap are painted. The painting is not evenly applied and makes no pretense of being durable. In fact, on the third day of use, the black paint on the barrel finial corner started to chip and moderately large areas of the black paint on the 'filigree' section fell off at the same time, exposing lightly corroded brass underneath. This is shown below (in this state after only 4 days use):-

fpn_1516293695__bookworm675photo03.jpg

The screw thread between the barrel & section is a reasonable fit, and the orange barrel section forms a tenon into the 'filigree' sections at either end, giving a good joint between the two materials. The brass barrel finial seems to be pressed into the barrel, which is a cheap but perfectly durable method of construction.

The convertor is a screw convertor of average quality.

The pen it is moderately well put together, there are no sharp edges and it is quite well designed. The clip is secure and there are no sharp edges. The cap lip is machined to a nice shape and the edge is well finished.

The cap click strength is such that the cap is secure and requires a medium strength pull.

fpn_1516293777__bookworm675photo05.jpg

This pen is a low end pen, and after 3 days, it was showing signs of distress; Which is not a good sign for long term durability.

 

Writing

This is what a pen is for, so is the most important area for a pen.

Oh dear.

After flushing and inking the pen for the first time, it was a bit dry and a bit on the fine side, while being a bit scratchy too. However with a bit of pressure, the line width increased. 'Ooh, a flex pen' I thought. WRONG. Just a very thin and bendy nib that stays bent after a moderate amount of pressure. Not good. So, I had to reset the nib and smooth it off. To be honest, this nib feels like the poor quality nibs found on pens like the Jinhao 5 years ago, and is very unlike the much better quality nibs found on the more recent Jinhao designs.

Despite the brass finials and cap, the pen is well balanced whether posted or not. The size is perfect for my large hands trained to the size of the Parker 61 & 51. The weight is fairly high, but the section shape should prevent your fingers sliding down to the nib. All round, it's comfortable & very well built. Should be suitable for quite a few hours of writing at a time.

 

Value for Money

This pen cost me £3.53 including postage from Hong Kong. That is not a lot of money, and as such it represents fairly good value for money. However, I think you would be better served in getting a more recently designed pen that costs more, but is more durable, such as a Kaigelu of any sort (which may even be cheaper than even this pen) or something like the Jinhao Century pens.

 

Conclusion

This pen is pretty, but doesn't live up to its promise, being let down by a poor nib and poor painting on the metallic parts of the pen. Get one only if you have no intention to write with it, or use it as a knock-around pen that you won't be concerned about if the paint goes.

I hope this is of interest,

Richard.

 



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#2 ianmedium

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 01:43

Excellent review. I have the bookworm version. I have been writing with it for a month now with no issues. All the fixtures and fittings show no sign of wear. I flushed mine before use and would regard it as a wet writer, no flow issues. In fact it is boringly reliable!

I think our two experiences go to show these cheaper Chinese pens can be somewhat of a throw of the dice in terms of quality. Still, at less than a dollar in my case I can't complain too much!

Edited by ianmedium, 03 June 2012 - 01:43.

All the best.
Ian



Mont Blanc Alfred Hitchcock, Mont Blanc 149, Montegrappa Historia Limited editon 410/1000, Sheaffer imperial 777, Prker 51 special, Parker Duofold senior special, Stipula Tuscany dreams piston with 1.1 italic 036/351, incoming: Stipula Tuscany dreams T-flex. Incoming: Parker 51 Vac

#3 guilhermejf

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 02:36

Nice review. I was curious about these pens.
But I have to disagree with you. Unfortunately, I had problems with a Kaigelu 316 and a Jinhao X750. Only after hours of adjusts, they could be set to perform well. The problem with Chinese pens in general is quality control.

#4 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 16:17

Very detailed review!

I THINK I have this pen? Or a similar model, but with a fude rather than a regular nib. I recall it was a hard starter until I traded a converter for a cart, and then it was fine.

I bought it from a seller in the USA, so that may have made a difference.

#5 richardandtracy

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 15:36

I got so fed up with my hands being covered in flakes of paint coming off the filigree section I've decided to strip the black off the filigree & re-paint it myself with some modelling enamels. Even if the enamels don't last long, they'll last better than the stuff used originally, which looks like it's been thinned with paint stripper.

Regards,

Richard.




#6 GHigley

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 01:15

I got so fed up with my hands being covered in flakes of paint coming off the filigree section I've decided to strip the black off the filigree & re-paint it myself with some modelling enamels. Even if the enamels don't last long, they'll last better than the stuff used originally, which looks like it's been thinned with paint stripper.

Regards,

Richard.

 

This is the first FP I bought after having been given a Yiren/Bookworm 679 as my first FP by a friend a year ago.  I got two of them on eBay for about $10 and gave one to a friend as her first FP.  Both nibs needed a bit of tine alignment and smoothing, but have been reliable writers for both of us since.  Having several new inks to try, I pulled the 601 out and inked it with Diamine Autumn Oak this evening and it's writing a little dry, but nicely enough for such an inexpensive pen (I love the ink - can't wait to get it into a juicier nib). 

 

Mine's not had a lot of use as I bought quite a herd of "cheap and cheerful" Chinese pens initially, but my friend has used hers a lot with only the expected failure of the cheesey converter provided that I'm aware of.  I'll ask if the black paint is coming off of hers.  I wish it would off mine, as I'd prefer the acrylic visible through the faux filigree.  How did you strip the paint, Richard?  I thought about it, but was afraid it might affect the finish of the rest of the barrel.


Edited by GHigley, 17 April 2015 - 01:36.







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