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Best Inexpensive Chinese Pens


Mister John
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I'm interested in acquiring some of the best of the inexpensive (<$35) Chinese fountain pens. There are so many pens that fall into this category on eBay that it's hard to know what to choose. Are there any especially good models out there? My main interests are pens that are reliable and made of reasonably attractive materials. I'd don't like blinged up pens. Just simple designs using good materials (considering the price). I already know of leading brands like Jinhao, Duke, Kaigelu, etc. so I'm much more interested in recommendations of specific models. Any help?.

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  • richardandtracy

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Kaigelu 356, The Parker Sonnet Inspired pen isn't bad. I think I paid £3 for it. I prefer it to my Jinhao X450 buy a long way.

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I've found the Baoer 388 to be a great pen, and many others on FPN concur. The nib is smooth and it flows ink very nicely without being too wet. As a Parker Sonnet knock off, the look is rather understated, which may appeal to you given your aversion to bling. Typical of Chinese pens, only one nib width is offered, and this pen is most commonly described as a solid Medium. Wetter inks may make a line just a tad wider.

 

I also really like my Baoer 100, although the design on this pen is a little more fanciful. As a Chinese pen with a hooded nib, the point is equivalnet to a fine or extra-fine, so the nib gives feedback accordingly, and may not be your cup of tea. If it is, however, and you like extra-fine nibs, then I would suggest you get some Hero 616 Jumbos from a reputable seller so that you can get both originals (vs counterfeits) and pens that the retailer will stand behind. I have two of the Heros, a burgundy one and a green one that I keep inked up with Waterman's Audacious Red and Noodlers Green, respectively. These pens have been in use as part of my permanent EDC for over a year, still look great, and never fail to start on the first stroke even after 4-5 days of sitting with the nibs up, something I cannot say about the modern Kaweco Dia I paid many times more money for and am frustrated with at the moment!

 

As you peruse the pages of the Chinese pens forums, you'll see that there are many pens people like, but perhaps two of the most cited are the Kaigelu 316 and 356 models, which are knockoffs of the Parker Duofold Centennial and Sonnet. Both these pens are on my Chinese pen bucket list, but I always get distracted and keep ending up getting something else, like the Jinhao X750 I have coming in the mail :)

Edited by mknoblauch
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I own a jinhao x750 and i I would definitely recommend it. The black on silver or black on gold are pretty laid back designs that are not what I would call "Bling." You may not like the wetter medium sized nib that the jinhao comes with so that could be an issue, but all in all the pen is a steal for $10<

I am the artist formally known as Ambrose Bierce (I recently changed my username from that). If you love me you'll check out my blog http://fpinkgeek.blogspot.com/ or follow me on Instagram and Twitter @Fp_Ink_Geek :D

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Jinhao 250 are also amazing and many times you can get them for less than 5 dollars shipping included. Another favorite of mine are these. No affiliations though I will say I have purchased this item from this seller before and have been very happy with both the seller and the product. I have three different colors in this style and they write amazing with every ink I have put in them.

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Kaigelu 356, The Parker Sonnet Inspired pen isn't bad. I think I paid £3 for it. I prefer it to my Jinhao X450 buy a long way.

 

Brought two Kaigelu 365, neither worked. I think maybe based on reviews will give a chance to Jinhao X750 or X450... but if no luck, than personally I will burry my interests for Chinese, not be hard, its barely reach the minimal level.

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Jinhao x250 & x500 are good value. The ink reservoir can keep up with the smaller nib/feeds.

These two will write smoothly and continuously, until the ink supply is depleted. They are made

of tubular brass. Choose "free shipping" on Ebay. Bid $5.00 on as many as you can find. If you

are patient, you will get one or two for the $5 bid. I did.

Auf freiem Grund mit freiem Volke stehn.
Zum Augenblicke dürft ich sagen:
Verweile doch, du bist so schön !

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There is a good thread here:

 

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/274033-best-quality-chinese-fountain-pen/

 

but the usual suspects that always bubble to the top are:

 

JinHao x450/x750

JinHao 159 (which is totally not a 149 clone)

Kaigelu 316/356

 

there are innumerable others, but these are the tried and true favorites.

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@VivienR

 

I'm really sorry you had such bad luck on the Kaigelu 365, which is an entirely different pen from the much loved 356 and is a knock off of the Parker IM. I can empathize with you --I would be upset if both pens of the same model were total duds as well!

 

However, I still recommend you try the Kaigelu 356, the Sonnet clone from a reputable eBay seller. I personally find that WHO you buy the pen from means more than WHICH Chinese pen you buy. I am not affiliated, but am a satisfied customer of both yc_guo and jewlery_sh, and will be buying more pens from them. They normally do "Buy It Now" listings, for $8.00 or less, and guarantee the quality of their products. Yc guo's current listing is below, and you can get the 356 in one of three finishes for $6.00, shipping included.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Kaigelu-kangaroo-356-Fountain-Pen-Without-Box-/331240354715?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4d1f76b39b

As mentioned above, the 356 is high on my Chinese pen bucket list, but since I already have and love the Baoer 388 --another Sonnet lookalike-- I just haven't gotten around to picking up the Kaigelu yet.

 

 

 

Brought two Kaigelu 365, neither worked. I think maybe based on reviews will give a chance to Jinhao X750 or X450... but if no luck, than personally I will burry my interests for Chinese, not be hard, its barely reach the minimal level.

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http://n4.sdlcdn.com/imgs/a/o/i/Wingsung-Vintage-Quality-Goods-Wing-SDL342437015-1-5109b.jpghttp://www.hisnibs.com/images/Wing%20Sung/WingSung237Group.jpg

 

I love my Wingsung 380 and 237, Great pens, eye catchers, good writers and ...... So cheap ......

 

My only question with those pens is : which one will be my next one ?

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/267952-which-one-will-be-your-next-fountain-pen/

Edited by Thier.
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I too have a jinhao x450, and it is a nice pen to write with, but I'm not really keen on the overall look/shape.

Mine is the red twist one with gold coloured trimmings and to me it's a bit "blingy".

I much prefer my Baoer 3035, which doesn't seem to be mentioned often when recommendations are given, which surprises me, as I think it is a fabulous pen. It looks great (black and chrome) has an understated but classy appearance and writes beautifully.

I have mine inked up with diamine onyx black and use it daily.

If I remember correctly, I paid £2.50 inc. shipping for it and at that price it's an absolute bargain.

 

Well worth a go.

Ian

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http://n4.sdlcdn.com/imgs/a/o/i/Wingsung-Vintage-Quality-Goods-Wing-SDL342437015-1-5109b.jpghttp://www.hisnibs.com/images/Wing%20Sung/WingSung237Group.jpg

 

I love my Wingsung 380 and 237, Great pens, eye catchers, good writers and ...... So cheap ......

 

My only question with those pens is : which one will be my next one ?

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/267952-which-one-will-be-your-next-fountain-pen/

 

Those are stunning! I especially like the Triumph-style nibs.

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Thank you all for your suggestions. I set for myself a budget of $20 and, based on the responses, purchased today a Jinhao 149, X750, Baoer 288, and Kaigelu 356. We'll see how these turn out. Quite amazing how much you can buy for twenty bucks.

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x450 + JOWO nib + FC STD Converter = Boss pen

 

I find Chinese pens to have issues with QC'ing their nibs so I always just swap them as their bodies are great.

#Nope

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I have really enjoyed using the Fuliwen F80. I like the size and weight, the colors, and the way it writes. I currently use my red Fuliwen as my "keep next to the keyboard in case I need to jot down a note real quick" pen.

 

I bought a Kaigelu KG06 in oxblood red because I really liked the look of it. Sadly, it writes for (bleep). Based on what some other FPNers have said here, though, maybe I just got a bad one.

 

I've had mixed luck with Jinhao, primarily the X250, 450, and 500. Some of them seem to work really well, others skip or have other problems almost from the get-go. I do like the look and feel of them, though, especially some of the X250s.

MrThoth

Scribe, Master of Mystic Lore, Young Curmudgeon

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