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Jinhao 159 And Baoer 388 Reviews


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#1 MrSpiffy

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 16:24

Last night I inked up my Jinhao 159 with Private Reserve Midnight Blues to try it out for the first time (both ink and pen, if that matters). I'm still fairly new to FPs and don't have much experience with inks or pens, so this review is more from the point of view of a newbie. The only thing I forgot was to take pics of the pens, themselves. Maybe I'll add them later, when I can.

Overall looks/fit/finish: Awesome, for what it is. It's obviously not a really-high-end pen, but at a glance it looks like it could be. It has a nice, glossy black finish to it, with chrome accents. The chrome is pretty nice. It's not the really high-quality chrome that you'd see on a better pen, but it's shiny and nice. It's a large pen with a heavy barrel for heft, so it has that executive look and feel to it. Just makes me wanna say, "Like a boss!" One minor gripe is that the threads for the cap or barrel are a bit rough. Nothing major, but gritty. Not nice and smooth. But the cap does screw on, which is nice. I don't want to worry about a loose cap coming off in a pocket and ink getting on my pants.

Filling/converter: I didn't really have any trouble with filling the pen, as I used a syringe. The PR Midnight Blues was a sample, so it was in a small vial. Even if I could fit the pen into it (which, I can't), I couldn't get the nib under the ink far enough to draw it up into the pen. So, this was easy. I think I'll use this method for filling pens, from now on!

Nib: It's a large nib. The largest I've used, so far. It's pretty stiff, too, being a steel nib. It's a medium line, and writes fairly wet. But, the PR MB didn't bleed through the paper, amazingly. The nib is pretty smooth, though I wonder if a little polishing could really smooth it out. The lines were nice, with no skipping at all, even on the first stroke of the pen.

Overall impression: It's a great pen for the money! I paid roughly $10 for this pen, including shipping. And it was worth every penny, if not more. It'll be a great everyday kind of pen. Something I can carry in my pocket without worry of inking myself. And I don't have to worry about losing or damaging it, because it's so inexpensive. But it looks and feels awesome. It would certainly look great in an interview or meeting. It writes reliably, too, and lays down a nice line, without soaking the paper. I wouldn't hesitate to buy more of these.

Here's a small writing sample:
Posted Image


The other pen that I tried out last night was a Baoer 388, in silver with gold trim with a fine nib. I inked it up with Aurora Black.

Overall looks/fit/finish: It looks fantastic. It has a brushed silver look with gold trim, and a two-tone nib. It has a nice weight to it, with metal construction. But it's a bit small in the hand. Perhaps a good pen for those with smaller hands. The trim is polished and shiny. And the cap snaps on firmly, requiring a decent push to snap it on. It also posts fine, but I might be concerned about marks from posting the cap, being metal-on-metal.

Filling/converter: Again, as above, I filled with a syringe. So, no idea how it fills when drawing up ink through the nib. But it uses a standard converter.

Nib: Writing required some pressure to get ink to flow and the nib felt scratchy on the paper. Because of the required pressure, I found the pen skipping at times, which you can notice in the writing sample below. So that fine nib may need a little tweaking. Not too impressed, but can't be too disappointed for the price I paid for the pen.

Overall impressions: Not a bad pen. Too small for me, but feels nice and heavy in the hand. It's solid, so no worries about breaking it when dropping or hitting it on anything. And it's very inexpensive, too. I'll need to work on the nib, which I understand is common of Chinese pens. But, if I can get it to smooth out and flow well, it'll be a good writer.

Writing sample:
Posted Image

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#2 Striated

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 16:31

Good job. :thumbup:

My 388 of the same style was perfect from the start. Lucky, I guess. ;)
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#3 MrSpiffy

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 17:36

They were good suggestions for pens. Thanks again! I'll have to see what I can do to tweak the 388. But the Jinhao 159 is good, as it sits. I do have some polishing/honing film that I can use to smooth up the nibs a bit, though. I believe they are 12, 5, 3, and 1 micron grits. So, quite fine. I can try the 1 micron and see how it goes.

#4 Bearcat

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 23:37

Mr. Spiffy:

Can you tell us where you got a Jinhao 159 for $10 shipped, please. TY.
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Inveterate trader. Send me a note for my list of pens, watches, knives and other fun things for sale or trade....

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#5 MrSpiffy

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 01:30

Sure can! I got it from the seller "share.enjoy" on eBay. Link still works, and he has plenty of them left.

Jinhao 159 from share.enjoy on eBay

#6 Striated

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 06:37

Sure can! I got it from the seller "share.enjoy" on eBay. Link still works, and he has plenty of them left.

Jinhao 159 from share.enjoy on eBay



I think 'he' is a she. I bought a couple from her as well. Good seller.
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#7 John Cullen

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 12:28

regarding the 388, if your own smoothing does not satisfy you, you might think about getting a Knox nib from xfountainpens.com to replace the nib you have.

See if anyone else has done the swap first, to make sure it will fit. But it looks like the smaller Knox nib would fit.

just a thought

#8 reval

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 12:54

The Jinhao 159 proved to be very reliable to me. It is not in the same league as pens that are 10-100x more expensive, but it really is a joy to write it. And not having to be afraid to lose it or that it gets stolen is a bonus for an everyday pen.



#9 MrSpiffy

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 13:21

I would completely agree with those statements.

I did notice a bit of skipping yesterday, but I think that's either due to the cheap notepad paper I was using, or the ink is a fast drier. I'll have to do a little more testing...

#10 51ISH

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 22:02

I would completely agree with those statements.

I did notice a bit of skipping yesterday, but I think that's either due to the cheap notepad paper I was using, or the ink is a fast drier. I'll have to do a little more testing...


Great review :thumbup:

Give it a good flush through if you haven't already :thumbup:

#11 Malcy

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 22:10

Both these models have gone down well with the kids at school and one 159 and five 388s are in use.

The 388s were medium and contrary to the OPs experience were all very good writers.

The smallish size of the 388 was mentioned, put it next to a real Parker Sonnet and you will find that it is actually a bit larger while looking the same.
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#12 MrSpiffy

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 01:37

I would completely agree with those statements.

I did notice a bit of skipping yesterday, but I think that's either due to the cheap notepad paper I was using, or the ink is a fast drier. I'll have to do a little more testing...


Great review :thumbup:

Give it a good flush through if you haven't already :thumbup:



You know, I always see people say this, and I keep forgetting about it! I'll have to do that and see if it improves. Same thing with the 388. I really do like the pen. Can I keep the ink and reuse it? Or should I dump it, now that I've filled before flushing it out?

Edited by MrSpiffy, 13 October 2012 - 01:38.


#13 51ISH

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 18:56

I would completely agree with those statements.

I did notice a bit of skipping yesterday, but I think that's either due to the cheap notepad paper I was using, or the ink is a fast drier. I'll have to do a little more testing...


Great review :thumbup:

Give it a good flush through if you haven't already :thumbup:



You know, I always see people say this, and I keep forgetting about it! I'll have to do that and see if it improves. Same thing with the 388. I really do like the pen. Can I keep the ink and reuse it? Or should I dump it, now that I've filled before flushing it out?


I'd just use it up first....you may find with the ink sitting in the pen, and the extra use, it sorts your problem....my first motto is "If in doubt...do nowt (nothing) "

Here are a couple of links...

http://www.fountainp...about-ink-flow/



Good Luck

Edited by 51ISH, 13 October 2012 - 18:57.







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