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What Chinese Pen Would You Buy


River

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If you had to pick one (or a few) inexpensive Chinese pens to buy, what would you chose?

 

Let's assume you are buying them from ebay, and want something less than $25.

 

Also, besides the Hero 616 / Parker 51, are there any that closely resemble famous pens?

Fountain pens ~ a stream of consciousness flowing effortless onto paper.

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While I am not a great fan of Chinese pens and would rather spend the money on vintage/Lamy/Pelikano, the Baoer 388 has impressed me as far as it goes. The Baoer 388 is almost identical to the Parker Sonnet and quite well made. The Pirre Pauls pens are ok (better than a lot of Chinese pens) but the Baoer 388 is quite a lot better. :)

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If you need a Chinese pen, I will send you one for the price of postage within US and save your money till you have enough to buy "something better."

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I am really impressed with a Bookworm 702 medium nib. It was $7.20 delivered (ebay). I got the orange one, filled it with Diamine Pumpkin and it looks and writes great. The converter that came with the pen was rubbish, but easily replaced with a better one. It would easily pass for a $50 pen if you didn't know it was made in China. There's a review here, but with a customized nib, mine just has the stock medium nib which is still pretty nice.

 

Baoer and Jinhao also seem to be reliable brands.

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Jinhao for me. The j031 looks a little like a Mont Blanc "homage" to me. I have three different Jinhao's all of them good wet writing pens.

 

Oops, one of them is a huashilai not a Jinhao.

Edited by KrazyIvan
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Baoer 388 looks very, very similar to a Parker Sonnet.

 

There's also the "Jinhao 360", which wins points for novelty factor because it can write with the nib "sideways" and "upside down", and a Baoer pen that looks nearly identical to the Parker Rialto, but for $5 instead of $50.

 

 

http://img.auctiva.com/imgdata/4/1/9/0/7/0/webimg/429397528_o.jpg

 

 

http://i638.photobucket.com/albums/uu102/kityee_2009/DSCN4750.jpg?t=1257769568

 

 

 

 

Here's an eBay link for the Jinhao 360 and the Baoer Rialto-alike (in a pack of three for $15.) The Baoer 100 also looks interesting - the cap reminds me very much of a certain Sheaffer pen I have. I wonder if they were made using the same tooling. ;)

 

- Lewis.

Edited by lws

Li-aung Yip (Lewis)

B.Eng. (Elec&Electronic) + B.Sc (Mathematics) James Cook University - MIEEE GradIEAust

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I have 2 Jinhaos. One a P51 imitator and one, an X450 or something like that, seems to look like a MB 146. It is actually better than my 146.

"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

 

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I would go for a Jinhao 250 for a first pick, smooth, starts first time every time, never skips, Ebay buy it now with free shipping $7 or if you wait for the right auction 1.50 to 3.30 shipped.

 

I have bought quite a few brands and the Jinhao seem very consistent for me a least.

They are cheap enough to use for experiments such as flex dip pen nibs fitted to them :)

 

I don't know why some people object to them unless they got particularly bad ones?

I always check tine alignment but recent ones have been very good with only minor tweaking that was not really essential.

I have wax sealed some of my Chinese pens but the newer ones appear to have improved in the capping area.

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We have a small herd of real Hero 616 Jumbo pens and they are great.

 

Looking to add a Jinhao 321 and Jinhao 325 Flighter to the collection.

In Ottawa, Ontario? Check out The Ottawa Pen Posse

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As the posts so far have suggested, it's not that easy to go wrong with Chinese pens these days. If you stick with brands well-known here, such as Hero, Duke, Jinhao, Baoer, Kaigelu, Wing Sung, Bookworm, and so forth, most people seem to have had really good experiences. I certainly have. I would suggest that to start out, pay a few dollars more than the rock-bottom eBay price and buy from a US-based dealer who can do an exchange (on the off chance that you get a bad pen) such as isellpens.com (no affiliation--and there are others). But most important, always flush a Chinese pen thoroughly before you put ink in it the first time. The Chinese manufacturers tend to leave residues of various sorts on the nib, converter, and feed that will make the pen start poorly, skip, or just plain not write until it is flushed.

ron

 

(edited to add a few I forgot)

Edited by rwilsonedn
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I have several and would never, that is again never buy a Chinese pen on Ebay. A Hero 200a is a great pen as is my WingSung 237. Buy from HisNibs or Isellpens. (not affiliated but satisfied customer).

PMS

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty -Thomas Jefferson

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I have several and would never, that is again never buy a Chinese pen on Ebay. A Hero 200a is a great pen as is my WingSung 237. Buy from HisNibs or Isellpens. (not affiliated but satisfied customer).

PMS

 

Yeap... Alot of the units are defective and you need someone to check if it is working fine before buying it.. So unless the ebay seller can do that and is trust worthy , I wouldn't recommend getting it off ebay..

 

People often buy packs of 10 of the cheap hero pens and find that 3-4 of them don't work well.

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Baoer 388, as others have said, if you like a medium-weight metal pen. Hero 616 Jumbo if you don't. :)

 

I've been really underwhelmed with the Bookworm pens I've had. One in particular was much more "frustratingly pen-shaped object" than "writing instrument", counting among its dubious virtues a snap-fit cap and threads on the body for a screw-on cap. (Don't think about that too hard.)

 

My wife likes the Uranus 966, which is surprisingly lightweight. I haven't used it, myself.

 

My general experience is that conservatively utilitarian-looking pens from China are significantly more likely to be good, serviceable writing instruments than any of the flashy bling-bling pocket-jewelery export models. As with most things in life, YMMV.

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Ooo, ok let's see what I have here first...

I have Hero:

739 Really heavy, again, but I liked the design...MF line.

895 Really heavy, but nice M line.

285 Can't say much about this one, was one of my first fountain pens...it's died ever since.

73 <- Nice if you like little pocket pens. Pretty smooth, but depends on your luck. My mum has a fantastic one, mine are pretty good.

329 New style (vintage) <- Really nice, on par with the Hero 616, but a finer line.

329 Old style (vintage) <- Star-trek style, slightly wider line, I would probably take one of these over a Hero 616, or any other Hero, for that matter.

331 I haven't tested this one yet...

616 (Four different versions)<- Well, what can I say? The first lot of 616s I purchased to give away and to play around with. 10 pack off Ebay. QC was...meh. Also, they were Jumbo sized.

Second lot came from 3 pack of "vintage" EBay Hero 616s. These had aerometric fillers that actually worked(pretty well). I was stunned.

Third/Fourth versions: My mum purchased them from TaoBao, chinese EBAY, and WOW. Now these are the real deal. Vintage Hero 616s, fill properly, jumbo sized(my preference), and they write really well too! Not sure why, but the sacs seem to stain purple whenever I use Diamine ink in them, regardless of the actual colour of the ink.

 

Wing Sung:

233 Was extremely dry when I got it, I took it apart and did everything I could, and when I opened up the tines, it started writing closer to a medium. Smooth, but a medium. I prefer fine, or an an open nib medium.

234 <-Possibly, but if you can get the 236, it is better.

236 <-

612 <- Very fine line. Finer than the 612A, from memory.

612A <-

220 I didn't like the one I tried...just didn't perform nearly as well as the rest.

 

Duke 209 <- Smooth! You have to like MF nibs though.

 

Baoer 388 <- Smooth as well, the cap is a bit tight though.

 

Jinhao X750 <- WOW. Almost broad nib, lays down a nice thick line, really good ink flow, UNLESS you try to flex it (it has a little bit of flex, but the feed can't keep up).

 

I have left arrows next to the ones I believe are worth buying. I'm sorry for the huge slab? I DO plan on reviewing these...eventually, perhaps after exams are over. :thumbup:

 

As for why I have so many? My mum went overboard when she decided to start collecting NOS chinese fountain pens. I get to snag a few here and there. Yes, only a few. Yes, she bought THAT many. :roflmho:

 

Conclusion:

 

All I can say is, the Wing Sung 236 is a personal favourite. Largish size (equal to about Hero 616 jumbo).

 

If you prefer hooded nibs (and there ARE advantages to having a hooded nib), go for the Hero 616 (make sure you get yourself one from a website other than EBAY, you're more likely to get a good one).

 

OR a Hero 329 (Old style)...or a Wing Sung 612 (It is small...), if you love those really fine lines.

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I don't think that anyone has mentioned the Picasso pen yet?

 

These are very good quality pens, and have an excellent finish and appearance. I have two of these pens, and would readily recomend these pens to anyone. Here is one, the gentleman pen currently available on ebay for about $25.

 

post-42839-0-74804600-1308285388.jpg

 

And also the Kaigelu (Kangaroo) pens are great too. Here's one which looks to be a very good pen, trimmed with abolone (mother of pearl) for about $29, a bit over your limit, but comes with free Postage and packing: I have two of these pens too, and can recomend them

 

post-42839-0-70016800-1308287215.jpg

 

Both great pens :thumbup:

Edited by penguina

[/b ] Penguina[size=5][/size]

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Jinhao and Kaigelu are really pretty amazing for the price. Kaigelu makes a pen that really will stack up to a 400.00 Parker for fit, finish and writing. Jinhao is really pretty amazing. I imported about 7 or 8 for less than 20.00 including freight. Also bought a couple here for maybe 15 each, and of all the pens Omas - MB they get more comments. Are they comparable to a large bock nib 300 or 400 pen? Probably not. But there's a lot of bang for your buck. Its pretty amazing the quality of some of the Chinese pens for the price.

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I am really impressed with a Bookworm 702 medium nib. It was $7.20 delivered (ebay). I got the orange one, filled it with Diamine Pumpkin and it looks and writes great. The converter that came with the pen was rubbish, but easily replaced with a better one. It would easily pass for a $50 pen if you didn't know it was made in China. There's a review here, but with a customized nib, mine just has the stock medium nib which is still pretty nice.

 

Baoer and Jinhao also seem to be reliable brands.

 

+1, the Bookworm 702 is surprisingly good for only a few quid!

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I really like chinese pens. The only one I've not been happy with is a Picasso. Lovely looking pen but mine has always been a hard starter. I've always been pleased with Baoer and Jinhao and also have a couple of Haolilai which are nice. I buy my chinese pens from ebay seller gotoschool888. They are very reliable and a fraction of the price of some non ebay sellers for exactly the same pens. You do have to wait though. they can take up to a month to arrive.

Whatever is true,whatever is noble,whatever is right,whatever is pure,whatever is lovely,whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.

Philippians 4.8

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My humble suggestion would be the Kaigelu 316, similar to the Parker Centennial/International - definitely larger than the International (which I have), but perhaps not as large as the Centennial (which I do not own). Quite hefty weight, but good overall quality.

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