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Inexpensive Chinese Pens


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#1 dcwaites

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 02:56


Inexpensive Chinese Pens


I think I have bought enough inexpensive Chinese pens for the moment. So far I have two Dukes, three Jinhaos, three Huashilais, one Zhenjue and a Hero 329. Rather than do a separate review of each pen, I thought I would do them as a batch, except for the Hero 329. It has a few of its cousins on the way, so I will do them in a different review.



From top to bottom in the picture -- Duke D1 Blue Spider, Duke D4 Carbon Fibre Red, Jinhao Silver Commemorative, Jinhao Pewter Commemorative, Jinhao Luxurious Gold, Huashilai 3000, Huashilai 2206 and Zhenjue 203.

All the pens, except for the pewter Jinhao, cost me $10 or less.

The two Dukes are a D1 Blue Spider and a D4 Carbon Fibre Red. I chose the D1 because it got good comments on the Web, and I got the D4 simply because I liked the look of it. Two of the three Jinhaos are commemorative models in presentation boxes -- a Silver Dragon's Descendant and a pewter equivalent. The third is a `Luxurious Gold' model with a hooded nib. The three Huashilais and the Zhenjue were a `job lot'.

The Dukes are a cut above the others in every way. The parts fit better, they write more reliably, and just seem much nicer pens. I have not had to tweak the nibs in any way and they filled and wrote first time. There was no problem with wetting the parts with ink. Both nibs would be medium-fine and have excellent flow, so much that they just begin to bleed through the Pukka Pad paper. Based on a sample of two, I would have no hesitation in recommending these two pens.

Of the three Jinhaos, the two commemorative models have the same nib, and write smoothly, with the pewter being the smoother of the two. Both have nibs that I think are on the broad side of medium. The third Jinhao, the `Luxurious Gold', has what I call a fine hooded nib that is somewhat flexible. when assembled, the fit and finish of all three pens is good, but they are all a bit too `blingy' for my taste. All the pens are heavy, and I think the two commemorative models would suit a larger hand. All three pens came with converters that are a bit on the cheap side, although they perform adequately.

Too of my four `job lot' pens are identical except for colouring. They are Huashilai 3000s. They are both slightly on the heavy side, with medium nibs. I can't recommend either of them, as each dropped a large blob of ink as I was using it. The Zhenjue 203 is a smaller pen, with a medium fine nib. Although the nib looks a little strange because it has no breather hole, it writes well, especially after I straightened a small mis-alignment with the tines. The fourth pen, the Huashilai 2206, is the nicest looking. While the barrel is metal like the others, it has an attractive wood-tone pattern. It initially wrote a little dryly, but after opening the tines up a little, it became the nicest writer of the lot with its medium fine nib. This pen has a fixed aerometric filler, whilst the others all have converters.

I have used my own feelings about nib width to describe the lines these pens make. However, in the interests of standard, I compared them to Richard Binder's Stroke Width Chart, with these results --

ChinesePensTable2.jpg

Overall, most of these pens are reasonable value for money, especially if you can get a few at a time to reduce postage costs per item. The Dukes are the best of the lot. Of the others, I wouldn't spend more than $10, and would aim at $5 each if I could. Whilst I had trouble with the Huashilai 3000s, a note on the FPN suggested that the blobbing may be due to loose or leaky converters. I have reseated the converters, and will do some more testing.

Edited by dcwaites, 03 January 2008 - 03:02.

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#2 inkypete

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 03:20

Do you have a reliable site where these pens can be ordered online?

Edited by MYU, 14 November 2008 - 23:22.
removed entire original post quote

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#3 lovemy51

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 04:00

QUOTE(inkypete @ Jan 3 2008, 03:20 AM) View Post
Do you have a reliable site where these pens can be ordered online?


being that you're in australia, i don't know if you want to try this sites

http://www.akideal.com/Dukepen.html
http://stores.ebay.c...se-Pen-Supplier

first one in the USA, the second one is in china

#4 lovemy51

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 04:04

hello dcwaits!

my favorites are the dukes (blue spider inked with PR sonic blue and carbon fiber [i got this one in black] inked with PR shoreline gold)

congrats!!

#5 dcwaites

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 05:14

QUOTE(lovemy51 @ Jan 3 2008, 03:00 PM) View Post
QUOTE(inkypete @ Jan 3 2008, 03:20 AM) View Post
Do you have a reliable site where these pens can be ordered online?


being that you're in australia, i don't know if you want to try this sites

http://www.akideal.com/Dukepen.html
http://stores.ebay.c...se-Pen-Supplier

first one in the USA, the second one is in china

I got the Dukes from Akideal (very happy with them), and the others from YourHomeThings (no longer an eBay supplier) and GoToSchool (not everything was shipped).

I haven't tried Chinese Pen Supplier yet (some domestic disquiet about the number of new pens in the house is limiting my purchases for the moment...), but their website looks impressive (Does that mean anything? Have any other FPNers dealt with them?).

I bought some Heros from ISellPens, but they haven't arrived yet.

I think that dealing with the ultra-cheap Chinese suppliers is a bit chancy. You won't spend much money on the pens, but they make their money on the postage. Overall, I think I got a better deal with Akideal and ISellPens than with the Chinese suppliers. On the other hand, you will find pens there that aren't available in the States.

Regards,
David

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#6 lovemy51

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 09:06

QUOTE(dcwaites @ Jan 3 2008, 05:14 AM) View Post
QUOTE(lovemy51 @ Jan 3 2008, 03:00 PM) View Post
QUOTE(inkypete @ Jan 3 2008, 03:20 AM) View Post
Do you have a reliable site where these pens can be ordered online?


being that you're in australia, i don't know if you want to try this sites

http://www.akideal.com/Dukepen.html
http://stores.ebay.c...se-Pen-Supplier

first one in the USA, the second one is in china

I got the Dukes from Akideal (very happy with them), and the others from YourHomeThings (no longer an eBay supplier) and GoToSchool (not everything was shipped).

I haven't tried Chinese Pen Supplier yet (some domestic disquiet about the number of new pens in the house is limiting my purchases for the moment...), but their website looks impressive (Does that mean anything? Have any other FPNers dealt with them?).

I bought some Heros from ISellPens, but they haven't arrived yet.

I think that dealing with the ultra-cheap Chinese suppliers is a bit chancy. You won't spend much money on the pens, but they make their money on the postage. Overall, I think I got a better deal with Akideal and ISellPens than with the Chinese suppliers. On the other hand, you will find pens there that aren't available in the States.

Regards,
David


I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU.

i only got one pen (duke snow white) from the chinese pen supplier... it wasn't a bad deal being that this particular pen is not available (or hard to find) in the local suppliers. but i'd stick to akideal and isellpens anytime!!!!

#7 Deirdre

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 09:22

I've never ordered Duke pens from him, but I've happily ordered from hisnibs.com before (no other affiliation).
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#8 inkypete

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 11:40

Thanks for the advice - I'll check out the sites.
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#9 FLZapped

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 12:18

You can also check I Sell Pens.

-Bruce

#10 isellpens

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 19:50

I have Huashilai #2361 - Brown for $7.00 on my website at: www.isellpens.com . I also sell many of the Jinhao pens.

#11 monstermaster

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 20:49

QUOTE (dcwaites @ Jan 3 2008, 03:56 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Inexpensive Chinese Pens


The Zhenjue 203 is a smaller pen, with a medium fine nib. Although the nib looks a little strange because it has no breather hole, it writes well, especially after I straightened a small mis-alignment with the tines.



What kind of ink are you using with the Zhenjue? If it's cartridges I would love to where you purchased them.

Thanks,
Marc

#12 donwinn

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 21:13

Just a note, akideal has changed its name to goldquills as eBay seller, and goldquills.com for a web site. Their web site offers free shippping, with only slightly higher prices than the opening bid on the web site, if you count the shipping. Actually lower pricing than the buy it now eBay price. I am probably going to order a Shark and a Silver rings this week from them. Bought a bunch of cheapies from them long time ago, and was satisfied.

Donnie

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke (1729 - 1797)
 


#13 dcwaites

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 21:21

QUOTE (monstermaster @ Aug 7 2008, 06:49 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (dcwaites @ Jan 3 2008, 03:56 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Inexpensive Chinese Pens


The Zhenjue 203 is a smaller pen, with a medium fine nib. Although the nib looks a little strange because it has no breather hole, it writes well, especially after I straightened a small mis-alignment with the tines.



What kind of ink are you using with the Zhenjue? If it's cartridges I would love to where you purchased them.

Thanks,
Marc

At the time I wrote the review, I had no 'exotic' inks, only a couple of Parker Quink and Sheaffer Skrip inks. The Zhenjue has a converter which was filled with Sheaffer Skrip Black. It looks like it would take standard international cartridges.


fpn_1412827311__pg_d_104def64.gif

 

 

“Them as can do has to do for them as can’t.

And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices.”

Granny Aching


#14 monstermaster

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 10:16

[/quote]
At the time I wrote the review, I had no 'exotic' inks, only a couple of Parker Quink and Sheaffer Skrip inks. The Zhenjue has a converter which was filled with Sheaffer Skrip Black. It looks like it would take standard international cartridges.
[/quote]


Thank you. I appreciate the help. Now I'm off to find some.

#15 JSorrell

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 15:27

QUOTE (Deirdre @ Jan 3 2008, 04:22 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've never ordered Duke pens from him, but I've happily ordered from hisnibs.com before (no other affiliation).


I ordered a Duke pen from hisnibs.com and loved it. I really like these Chinese pens. They write pretty well and they're cheap, so if they break it's no harm no foul.

I have two Jinhao pens coming in the mail. I got each pen for a dollar. For that price, I don't think you can go wrong.

#16 shadowsforbars

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 18:57

I just want to add my voice to the others; I don't disagree with any of them.

I have the following Chinese brands:

Haolilai
Jinhao
Naki
Regal
Huashilai
Hero
Jinhao
Baoer
Bookworm
Guigan


My favourite is the Haolilai. For me, the best deals are in the $15 to $35 range. I want to add an example from Duke, Kaigelu and Picasso, but I haven't decided on models yet.

Edited by shadowsforbars, 07 August 2008 - 18:58.


#17 lovemy51

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 07:02

QUOTE (shadowsforbars @ Aug 7 2008, 11:57 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I just want to add my voice to the others; I don't disagree with any of them.

I have the following Chinese brands:

Haolilai
Jinhao
Naki
Regal
Huashilai
Hero
Jinhao
Baoer
Bookworm
Guigan


My favourite is the Haolilai. For me, the best deals are in the $15 to $35 range. I want to add an example from Duke, Kaigelu and Picasso, but I haven't decided on models yet.


i like my two haolilai's. i think you'll be happy with duke and picasso!!! picasso, in particular, is a very smooth pen!!

#18 isellpens

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 16:09

Baoer Skywalker on Holiday special for $5.00 at: www.isellpens.com .

#19 moonriver17

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 16:13

QUOTE (dcwaites @ Jan 3 2008, 03:56 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Inexpensive Chinese Pens


I think I have bought enough inexpensive Chinese pens for the moment. So far I have two Dukes, three Jinhaos, three Huashilais, one Zhenjue and a Hero 329. Rather than do a separate review of each pen, I thought I would do them as a batch, except for the Hero 329. It has a few of its cousins on the way, so I will do them in a different review.



From top to bottom in the picture -- Duke D1 Blue Spider, Duke D4 Carbon Fibre Red, Jinhao Silver Commemorative, Jinhao Pewter Commemorative, Jinhao Luxurious Gold, Huashilai 3000, Huashilai 2206 and Zhenjue 203.

All the pens, except for the pewter Jinhao, cost me $10 or less.

The two Dukes are a D1 Blue Spider and a D4 Carbon Fibre Red. I chose the D1 because it got good comments on the Web, and I got the D4 simply because I liked the look of it. Two of the three Jinhaos are commemorative models in presentation boxes -- a Silver Dragon's Descendant and a pewter equivalent. The third is a `Luxurious Gold' model with a hooded nib. The three Huashilais and the Zhenjue were a `job lot'.

The Dukes are a cut above the others in every way. The parts fit better, they write more reliably, and just seem much nicer pens. I have not had to tweak the nibs in any way and they filled and wrote first time. There was no problem with wetting the parts with ink. Both nibs would be medium-fine and have excellent flow, so much that they just begin to bleed through the Pukka Pad paper. Based on a sample of two, I would have no hesitation in recommending these two pens.

Of the three Jinhaos, the two commemorative models have the same nib, and write smoothly, with the pewter being the smoother of the two. Both have nibs that I think are on the broad side of medium. The third Jinhao, the `Luxurious Gold', has what I call a fine hooded nib that is somewhat flexible. when assembled, the fit and finish of all three pens is good, but they are all a bit too `blingy' for my taste. All the pens are heavy, and I think the two commemorative models would suit a larger hand. All three pens came with converters that are a bit on the cheap side, although they perform adequately.

Too of my four `job lot' pens are identical except for colouring. They are Huashilai 3000s. They are both slightly on the heavy side, with medium nibs. I can't recommend either of them, as each dropped a large blob of ink as I was using it. The Zhenjue 203 is a smaller pen, with a medium fine nib. Although the nib looks a little strange because it has no breather hole, it writes well, especially after I straightened a small mis-alignment with the tines. The fourth pen, the Huashilai 2206, is the nicest looking. While the barrel is metal like the others, it has an attractive wood-tone pattern. It initially wrote a little dryly, but after opening the tines up a little, it became the nicest writer of the lot with its medium fine nib. This pen has a fixed aerometric filler, whilst the others all have converters.

I have used my own feelings about nib width to describe the lines these pens make. However, in the interests of standard, I compared them to Richard Binder's Stroke Width Chart, with these results --

ChinesePensTable2.jpg

Overall, most of these pens are reasonable value for money, especially if you can get a few at a time to reduce postage costs per item. The Dukes are the best of the lot. Of the others, I wouldn't spend more than $10, and would aim at $5 each if I could. Whilst I had trouble with the Huashilai 3000s, a note on the FPN suggested that the blobbing may be due to loose or leaky converters. I have reseated the converters, and will do some more testing.



#20 moonriver17

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 16:35

QUOTE (isellpens @ Dec 6 2008, 05:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Baoer Skywalker on Holiday special for $5.00 at: www.isellpens.com .




I wanted to add my reply to your assessment of the Chinese made FP. I too, have all the Chinese made pens that you mention, plus some! I started a collection of Chinese pens basicly because that is all that I could afford at the time. They run a few each day (I guess as bait) with free shipping. You can bid $5.00 or less and usually get one of these everyday if you wish. The Classic and the Jinhao are the two that I use the most and have had very good luck with each. They write a beautiful wet line! Also, I use personally each day, a SailStar 210. This pen only comes in red (they say they have a blue but I've yet to see a blue one) and is a good, well built, solid fountain pen. Yes, I agree, usually if there is a problem, it is with the ink converter as they are usually equiped with a very cheaply made converter. I keep better quality ink converters on hand and change them out if necessary. The little Hero's that are Parker 21 and 51 copies all have checked out to be good pens for me. Further, I agree with you that the Duke is a degree or two ahead of most of the Chinese lot. However, they are usually priced a little bit higher too. The Kaigelu, the Lanbitou and the Luoshi are all good too! However, something that has always puzzled me is the number of beautiful Chinese made pens that are not marked with any brand name whatsoever!?? Sometimes you can find "China" somewhere on the clip but often there is no clue at all as to what brand the pen is. Many of there pens are great writers and are beautiful to look at and you would think the manufactorer would be proud to place their name on the pen?? I just can't figure that one! But when it gets down to the brass tacks, most of my fountain problems are problems with pens that were not made in China but elsewhere! Personally, I think the Chinese made pen thing is just starting to catch on and they will become more prevelent in the future. I think that, in turn, is going to hurt the big name brand pens! When you can buy a nice looking Chinese made pen that works like a charm, for $5.00, why pay the big bucks for the others? That's just my opinion though!
moonriver17






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