This is a $12 dollar pen, the shipping was $14. All major European, Asian, and American pen companies should take a look at the presentation of this pen. This Jinhao comes in a simple paper outer sleeve imprinted with those clay soldiers that were found buried in an Emperors tomb a few years ago. Inside this box is a neat wooden presentation box with brass hinges and a magnet lock to hold the cover down. On the top of the box lid is wood burned a scene of the Long March. Inside, on the underside of the lid, a burned map of China. It has Chinese writings around it. I believe this is the route of the Long March. There's an owners manual in English and Chinese and two cards written in Chinese. I don't know what these are telling me. For a $12 fountain pen, I already got my money back just on the box. The pen sits on a snow white bed of velvety material and there's a hang tag on the clip a la Parker. One side says Jinhao in English, the other side I assume says the same in Chinese.
On to the pen. The first thing that struck me when I picked it up was how heavy it is. It appears to be a brass barrel and cap overlaid with a black lacquer. It has gold fixtures and Chinese writings on the cap. I have no clue what the writing says. One thing though, on my pen, these characters aren't crisp so the writing doesn't look attractive on the cap. If I take a magnifier and look at the letters I can see more details. This lettering is done in gold also. There's a wide band of gold plated metal on the cap bottom with the word Jinhao on it. As for the clip, it has some symbols on it, they look to me like a river and mountains. That would make sense in this case because of what the theme is. The clip is held in place by a thin, circular ring around the cap. One thing I hate about the clip is the little gripper thing on the underside of the clip. It's just a protruding piece of metal that's not tapered in any way so you'll probably snag and rip your shirt pocket. Pocketing this pen is a two handed operation because you'll have to spread the clip with the other hand. The clip is stiff but it does have some spring to it. I see the clip breaking in time. When the section is unscrewed, there is some gold colored plating on the male threads on the section side. I don't know if under this plating it's brass. This adds more weight. Finally, we have another gold plated ring on the end of the barrel to finish things off. The pen is fairly rotund and when all is said, it's an attractive unit. I was thinking that it's so good looking it could just as easily be the base pen for the next MB LE.
The CRALMFP is a C/C fill pen. For the 12 dollar cost of the pen, the converter is included, and it's a press fit. The Jinhao name is etched on the silver trim of the converter. How's that for detail? Now, one snag here. There was an oily film of something inside the converter that had to be washed out with a dish soap/water solution. The good news is the converter sucked up a full load of ink without hesitation. This converter works smooth while screwing the knob, no hesitation.
The ad said the nib was 18K. I suppose it meant a steel nib that was 18K gold plated. Looking for an 18K nib on a 12 buck pen is asking too much. The nib is two tone. There are mountains engraved onto my nib with two Chinese characters, one on either side of the mountain scene. The company name in English, Jinhao, is engraved at the base of the nib. The mountains are not plated and were left a silver color, hence the two tone nib. The nib is a medium but I don't see a marking for that designation on the nib. My nib is not too heavily polished so it's rather dull, but still attractive enough. I'm guessing the gold color on the nib is so thin it would come off if buffed to vigorously to produce a sheen. And my nib is different than the one shown by lightweaver in that review and what's shown in the advertisement photo.
Now the important part. How does it write? I would not be kidding you if I said this pen was up there as one of the better writing pens I've ever used. It's wet, maybe 6-7 on the scale so you know it glides on a river of ink. There's no drag, tooth, scratching, or what have you. I'm thinking hot knife through butter smooth. No skipping, downstroke BS, or hard starting. This guy just writes. Despite all the ink flow, I don't think the line it puts down is too out of line for what you'd expect a medium to look like. If one of the big deal pen makers could consistently put out a nib/feed combination that worked like this we'd all be ecstatic. And yeah, remember this is a 12 dollar pen! I don't guarantee your nib will be as good naturally, but it's a 12 dollar pen! Have I stressed it's a 12 dollar pen?
This pen was a wonderful buy and exceeded my expectations by so much I'm still shaking my head. With the postage more than the cost of the pen, it might turn people off. But I'd recommend it to someone wanting a nice writing pen for short money. The question on my mind is why can't the big boys get their pens writing like this?
And I also got this pen from comeon1788 on eBay. The meager photos were taken from the eBay listing I got the pen from.
This is the photo from the eBay listing, I know it's not much to go on, kind of small. I'm off to work in 15 min but when I get off tonight, I'll try to take better ones of my box and the tag on the side panel.
Edited by MYU, 18 November 2008 - 00:31.