I believe in order to give a thorough review of a pen, you have to have something to compare it to. So I'll tell you I own Sheaffers, Parkers, Lamy, Pelikans, Pilots and Montblancs, pretty well rounded. I own cheap pens such as the parker reflex and expensive quality pens such as the 75th Anniversary 149. Just figured I'd give some background to lend credence to my review:
Let me start by saying this is one gorgeous pen and pictures don't even do it justice. I chose this pen in particular because of its ornate decoration. In essence, a scuplted dragon circumnavigates the midesection of the pen protecting a precious cast iron stone. The dragons's eyes are two ruby colored stones and are perfectly placed and well done. This is a heavy pen. 48 grams! That's right. When you sit in a chair and write with this pen, you will feel important. The pen's midsection is a cast iron alloy finish and is a heap of metal. On either end of the pen are black resin caps both of which have threaded gold plated threading. Why you ask? Not only does this pen screw down on the threads to close the pen when you put it away, it has identical threading on top so when you post the pen, it will never dismount, since it screws down as well. Say goodbye to falling pen caps! This pen will make you drool! Lastly, the dragon sculpted into the midsection is gorgeous. It is ornately done. The dragon's raised claws, it's flowing plumes of feathers and its coiling tail: WOW !! The only drawback to this version of the pen is this....DRUMROLL PLEASE....The pen has no clip. Not sure why, maybe its weight but if you plan on carrying this pen, it should be in a secure pocket or a pen case. The good news is, there is a version of this pen that is slightly more money that has a ruby-colored stone and a clip. So that takes care of that.
When I bought this pen, since it wasnt expensive, I didn't expect much, but I couldn't have been more wrong. This nib is quality. It is a 22 Karat Gold Plated Nib decorated with a dragon's head and ornate etchings the quality of a Montblanc fountain. It is sold as a medium nib, but writes more like a medium-fine.
How does it write? Isn't that the only thing that matters? That's what I thought. Well let me tell you this thing can do what it's meant for as well. It's not just sitting pretty. Boy can it write. Ink flow is excellent. It glides on regualar paper and is not too wet. For a pen, at this price it is top draw. Hands Down. No complaints.
Unforuntately as much as I'd like to drool some more over this pen, it is a piston converter. It does hold a reasonable amount of ink. But coming from someone who owns an ink guzzling 149, piston converters are piston converters. The converter is well made, is etched in a rose colored cast iron "Jinhao" and is well constructed. Again very well made.
Ok, you need to sit down for this. If someone handed me this pen and let me look it over, and write with it, not knowing anything about it, I would think it was a high price limited edition pen. It's not....high priced that is. It was....still sitting down?....ready?....ok fine...$36 US dollars including shipping from Japan. Not only was the pen worth it...I'm hungry for more Jinhaos. This pen has the quality of pens hundreds of dollars more and is very well made, heavy and quality. You need this pen.
This pen is an excellent pen for the money. It writes well and is made with pride and quality. The only drawback to this pen and not to me but i'm sure it may be for some people: It is a heavy pen, some people would probably not write for hours on end with this beauty, although it doesn't bother me. The other drawback, again not to me, since I always carry a pen case, not pens in my pocket, is the lack of a pen clip. However, thinking about it...it would weigh down a shirt pocket, this pen belongs in a case! Also, this is a scuplted pen, you "feel" it when you write with it. It's bumps and curves do not affect the ability to write with it, if anything I think it enhances the writing experience. Where to buy this pen? The only place I've seen it, and where I bought it, www.ebay.com search "Jinhao Dragon" which should do it. Great. Super pen.
I hope you enjoyed this review and found it informative. Please post lots of feedback. This is my first review, and if you don't respond, I'll dig a hole in my wall and bury myself inside and never review a pen again. Just kidding.
Edited by hcsk8ter, 28 January 2008 - 17:59.