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Best Chinese Pens

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11 replies to this topic

#1 Lugworm



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Posted 02 December 2017 - 19:57

I've tried a Lamy Safari lookalike but it didn't write very well. Then there was a heavy hideous gold and black Hero which wrote well but the paint wasn't going to last.
The Jinhao X450 and x750 are both nice pens. I love the silver x750 but I don't think the finish is all that tough.
My best Chinese pen and the most expensive is the Wing Sung 698. I really like using this pen.
Is there a better Chinese pen I may have missed? Or is the 698 the top of the tree?

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#2 OCArt



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Posted 02 December 2017 - 20:54

IMHO the best Chinese pens are the Kaigelu 316, Jinhao 159 and the fairly new Wing Sung 3008 as long as you replace the nib with one from a Lamy Safari.  I'm really impressed with the 3008--- a piston filler for only $3 or so.

#3 Lugworm



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Posted 02 December 2017 - 21:15

The 3008 looks like an improved 698. I paid a lot more for my 698. At that price I could buy a few. Hmmmm.

My debt he paid, my death he died, that I might live.

#4 FrankH


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Posted 02 December 2017 - 22:56

I have several Dukes, a couple of Heroes and a Jinhao. The Jinhao 500 is the best value for money by a long way but I doubt if that's what you mean by "best". :)


My favourite is a Duke 370 (http://www.dukepen.c...series/233.html), second favourite is a Duke 2009 "Charlie Chaplin", third is probably a tie between the Hero 700 and the Duke 220 (http://www.dukepen.com/Limited_edition/200__10K/229.html).

#5 IndigoBOB


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Posted 03 December 2017 - 00:20

The 698 is better put together than the 3008.  I think the price difference fairly accurately reflects that.  The 698 does fit a Pilot nib if you wish to upgrade it.


But the 3008 does function well, and in my experience is completely dependable OOTB.  It does fit a Lamy nib if you wish to upgrade it, but at that point I'd say to just spend the little extra money and get a Lamy Safari if the grip doesn't bother you.  


The finish on the Steel jinhao x750 of mine has held up very well.  I highly recommend getting a Jowo nib replacement for this pen as it enhances it exponentially and gives it a better feel.  A jinhao x750 (or even x450 or 159) with a #6 replacement, especially a Jowo, is my recommendation.  Put a lubricated ink on that (Sailor) and you can make it write like dream.


The Jinhao 992 has reports of cracks, but also a high functionality and reports of it not drying out.  It can be replaced by Eco nibs, but for that price I'd recommend just buying a TWSBI Eco-T.


I personally wasn't as impressed with the Wing sung 6359, 3003.  I liked the body of the Jinhao 599, it's nib was disappointing, but it did motivate me to buy a Lamy Safari, which can handle anything and is a great value IMO.


The only chinese pen that has stayed in my rotation is the Jinhao x750-Jowo nib, which has written and felt better than $100+ pens.  My Jinhao 599 and WS 6359 were quickly replaced by the Lamy Safari.  My WS 698 and 3008 were quickly replaced by the TWSBI Eco-T.  The WS 3003 and Jinhao 992 felt too insubstantial.

#6 Ian the Jock

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 00:28

Any one of them.
And the Kaigelu 316.
And the Hero 1026,7022.
And the Jinhao 217,500
And did I mention Picasso...


It’s a well kent fact that Scotland (The Land Of The Rising Water) has the most beautiful, picturesque, colourful, history laden landscape in the world.

It’s just a shame that you can only look at it through a rain soaked car window.
Every cloud though,  If there was no rain, there’d be no RAINBOWS.


My top tip:-

If you are walking the dog through mountain bike country.....don't wear headphones.

#7 frankb3



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Posted 03 December 2017 - 08:18

PENBBS 323 yellow with black lines acrylic, F nib, screw cap $13.52 on ebay.  This is the deal of the century.  The acrylic is impressive.  The fit and finish can compete with pens for 20x the cost.



Edited by frankb3, 03 December 2017 - 08:35.

#8 Mech-for-i


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Posted 03 December 2017 - 14:40

I second the PenBBS models, and not just the 323 .. but beyond the 698 , well there's actually a lot ... whether its new or vintage. It boils down to budget, preference ( writing need ), and your usage. Some people prefer weighty pen, some prefer them light. Some prefer them slim, some prefer them with a certain girth. A flat top or a tapered cigar, or something else .. what kind of section ( which is most likely where your finger interact with the pen most ) etc etc ....


Like buying a Bicycle, you alone only can tell if a pen feel right to you , not any of us. So try to nail down the points you like and dislike about the 698 and see if the gang can narrow down a more than just WAG estimate of a list. I would assume you would be wanting something more current and up to date in term of production, filling system, and overall age .. So I would not repeat what others had been recommending but I would also advice for allowing some leeway in your expectation. By that I mean you have to accept that Chinese pens come with its own quirky bits, since they are almost always tailored for a different market and writing a different language. They need the initial cleaning, and they demand the user to run in the nib ( that would usually take around 2 recharge of ink ).


Unlike others I had good experience with the Caliarts EGO-II though I must specify the opaque blue version not the demo. The material difference is enough to change the tactile feed back totally. And I found the material more resilient. Bailab's ( Thebai ) Little Wheat is an unassuming pen but writes rather nice and it can be had with F or M in either Black or White in Gold or Chrome trim. There is also a school of independent store / designer brand that market OEM produced models while tailoring their own flavor on top of the original and plenty of originally designed ones. These are usually based on proven models from the big names. Brands like Live in You , Late coming ( you can buy a pink OEM version of the Hero 616 from them ... yes no joking ). Hero's better range other than their oh so famous and much maligned 100, 616 can really surprise ... ( remind me I am still due some to be shown ... I am lazy OK ).

#9 WJM


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Posted 03 December 2017 - 15:56

Kaigelu 316, 
Kaigelu 356, 
Wing Sung 698,
Jinhao 159, 
Hero 616.
Best? I don't know. My favorites, yes, ones that have in my opinion best quality for the money. But as Mech-for-i pointed, personal preference plays a huge part here.

Jinhaos X450 and X750 are also a great value for their very low price but frankly my initial enthusiasm somewhat dropped with time. The quality control is lacking to say the least and what especially annoys me are those click-on caps which are in most cases either too tight or too loose. 159 avoids this problem by having a screwed cap and also is in my opinion the best looking of the three, despite the material (lacquer/paint on metal) being very prone to scratches.
Kaigelu 316, WS 698 are entirely diffrent stories, those pens are relatively much more expensive and it's clear why, the quality is much higher than that of the Jinhaos. 


There's also the acrylic Lingmo Lorelei (though initially I had some severe problems with the stock nib and ink flow with this one) and Caliarts Ego 2, if you like either demonstrators or brightly blue things.

Edited by WJM, 03 December 2017 - 16:00.

#10 tetto


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Posted 10 December 2017 - 01:26

Wingsung 698 actually have a 14K nib version but the amount is very limited(probably only hundreds), I don't know if it is available outside of China. 

Actually those gold nibs are NOS of Wingsung early product and I think they are no more produced, the quality is quite good.


Find a picture from Internet.

Edited by tetto, 10 December 2017 - 01:29.

#11 KreepyKen


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Posted 21 December 2017 - 03:11

I really love the Wing Sung 3203, Kaigelu 336, Baoer 100, and Jinhao 3005.

#12 ian1964



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Posted 21 December 2017 - 06:56

Dollar for Dollar the Jinhao 159 and the Hero 767 are as good as any pen out there.

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