Jump to content
Classifieds is broken, please do not submit any new ads ×

Chinese Pens: Which To Avoid And Which To Try?


Slpederson
 Share

Recommended Posts

I like fine nibs, extra fine as well. Most of my pens are Waterman which offers very few extra fine and only a few fine. And they tend to be broader than other fine or medium nibs. I like the Pilot and Sailor extra fines, but the decent bodies start to cost more than I'm willing to pay for a plastic pen. So with that long introduction, I'm looking at Chinese pens like Hero and Jinhao. And Nemosine which claims a German nib. What should I look for and what should I stay away from? Do most take international standard longs and waterman converters? And then there's this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/331857902826?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

 

Thoughts anyone? Thanks.

Edited by Slpederson
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 42
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • richardandtracy

    2

  • Kev

    4

  • Kenlowe

    3

  • WJM

    3

Well there are the usual suspects. Jinhao 599, X450 X750. The Baoer 388 is lovely but the fine writes more like a western fine. A Wing Sung 237 is a favorite of mine, and the Hero 616 is beloved by many. Those should get you started, and none of them should be more than a few dollars each.

The praise of the praiseworthy is above all rewards.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Buy two: Jinhao 601 (costs around 6-10 USD) and a Jinhao 599 (with a no. 5 nib). This Jinhao 599 comes with a fine nib. This nib writes suprisingly smooth. Swap this nib with the nib in the Jinhao 601 which is a pretty broad medium by default.

 

This two ebay links:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/jinhao-601-Matte-Black-fountain-pen-Medium-nib-new-free-shipping-/141880523863?hash=item2108bcfc57:g:Bh4AAOSwqYBWnM6A

 

The one above is the Frost Black (matte) version, which I really like. It looks more luxurious than the normal shiny version. But that is just my opinion. The shiny one costs 4 USD less though.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Jinhao-599-A-Black-Medium-Nib-Fountain-Pen-Silver-Trim-Fashion-/201607528719?hash=item2ef0bec10f:g:Q4UAAOSwbYZXVmEV

 

This one SAYS it has a medium nib, but when you get it, it is a fine nibbed fountain pen. At least, that was my experience, and photos of this item on ebay indicate it is a fine nib.

 

Cheers!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

generally speaking, contemporary models like the Jinghao and current Hero ( not their retro and vintage range ) are no more different than their European or Japanese counterpart. Fountain pen is after all, a mature technology. That said, Chinese fountain pen do tend to excel at EF and F nibs simply due to the nature of the writing required ( fine text of complex structure utilizing multiple strokes that required well defined line within the character and that square / circular spacing each and every character presented ).

 

If you are not one who like to tinker, than the vintage / retro range of pens might not be much for you , and you might want to try some of newer model like the hooded nib EF Jinghao 911 / Piston filler Wing Sung 698 / normal converter fill Lorelei EF / New Moon EF ( yes that's the model name of the pen ). Their EF nib are ground to a ( towards hard ) EF point ; without knowing what your source might be, its kind of hard to specifically terming anything but in general, I would advice asking around and consult your shop / supplier / online seller before committing. Fine and Extra Fine is somewhat personal and what's fine enough for a brand and an individual might not be so for others.

 

If I must name a couple, I stay with the Jinghao 911 and the New Mood, both are specifically tailored EF nib pen and they come only with EF nib anyway ; fellow by the EF option of Wing Sung 698 and the Lorelei ( both only had EF in a demonstrator ), if fine is fine with you, then go for the Lorelei

Edited by Mech-for-i
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've generally had pretty good experiences with most of the major Chinese brands like Hero, Jinhao, Wing Sung, Baoer. Most expensive being $12.99 USD. Jinhao seem to be most popular.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From some experience, the Chinese pens can be a mixed bag as far as the nibs go. I've swapped a few nibs in order to get a fine writer with some of the Baoer's that I have . The Baoer 388 is a magnificent pen and is perfect in so many ways. But it really could use some TLC on the nib. My solution was to replace the standard #5 nib that comes in the pen with a Knox #5 Fine nib from XFountain Pen. The difference is amazing and well worth the additional investment. I felt that the Baoer 388 was worth putting the extra money into it making it a superb fine writer. Also, some of the NOS Wing Sung celluloid pens that are available are extra fine and write well but with a bit of tooth. Hope this helps. Besides, having fun with the journey is a good part of the whole experience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I favor JinHao, and wing sung 233 of the Chinese pens. The quality control, started off pretty bad. So I'd stay away from most vintage Chinese pens. But over the years you can clearly see that, at least Jinhao has made great advances in their fit, nibs and durability. Any Jinhao that takes a #6 nib can be easily upgraded to an Extra Fine Jowo nib that can be obtained very reasonably from places like Goulet's. once done, you get a very well made pen body with a great nib.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

my experience with jinhao, wingsung, hero and baoer...is very bad.

Approx. one pen in 3 is not working properly out of the box, leaks cracks and skips.

compatibility with converters and cartridge is often..randomic.

 

And never found a broken pilot or a pelikan, even cheapest ones. Maybe need of a quick wash, but no structural defects.

 

my advice is at least to switch to other chinese brands, not the ones I mentioned, if don't like to throw away a pen every x orders, or do some work (on nearly every pen you buy)to make it work properly.

My choice has been to totally avoid chinese brands, and go back to western+japan

Edited by Kev
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I concur with Old Salt, generally (and it is likely there are exceptions, though I have not come across any myself) quality has improved. Particularly so with Jinhao/Baoer and Hero.

 

I wonder - if the experience is recent - whether Kev's problem pens were from amongst the multitude of Chinese fakes. Hero is known to be faked regularly, and I'd be surprised if Jinhao is immune. If Kev's problems were not recent, then it would fit with the general lack of quality in the past.

 

Regards,

 

Richard.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a rule of thumb I really would not advice anyone who do not want to get their hand dirty to go with any Vintage / Retro models. Instead current production and contemporary production models tend to be a safer bet. Brand like Hero and Wing Sung are big names alright but they also had a long history and that typically means you should look at specific models and range instead of just the brand. I have a habit of cleaning my fountain pens before using them ( that goes with all made and country of origin ) and if I see anything wrong with them I would tune them for the fit. I suppose that's why I've been having much better luck with these pens. Its all down to a question of expectation, and very much user habit and usage.

 

If one want to just go out and get a pen that work without fuss, its better off staying with Japanese pens. With Chinese pens, the current contemporary models are generally OK ( exception being retro and vintage models still in production like the Hero 616 ). Without knowledge of what specific source, pen models are involved; I cannot comment on Kev's experience but such is not unheard of. There are certainly much advance in QC in recent production and current productions. Especially some of the newer names, but also with old names like Hero and Wing Sung.

 

One other concern, some time its not the QC, its just how the pen are designed, to write a language that's not written as in most case cursive Latin based language. A dry nib for many here is to many Chinese writing fountain pen user none a issue at all. Some specific models exhibit this design goal way more than others where others might strike a good balance between being wet ( enough for writing cursives) but constrained ( enough for Chinese writing ); and yet some are just not very good at writing the language their home market dictate

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My favorites are Jinhao X750 and 159, Baoer 517, 79 and 68. My husband loves his Baoer 801; it has a fine nib and he uses it to write daily. My son uses his X750 daily for his Bullet Journal. I have Nemosine and Knox nibs that I have swapped into some, but I have only had 1 nib that didn't write. I usually wash my nibs and c/cs before I fill a pen with ink.

Edited by richila
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My experience with this brands is recent, 2016. Just bad luck? I don't know, but enough :(

 

the sellers were high-feedback-ed, amongst the best ones according to this forum...faulty ones were present in all the models I tried: ws659 (one and enough) baoer801 (3-pack, one cracked feed and a misaligned nib) hero(dont remember the number but cap and hooded nib. 2/2 self-detaching nibs and massive leaks).

 

So, I think it's an exceptional sequence of bad luck...or just bad quality brands.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

post#2: of the dozen different pilot I currently own, a half dozen of parker vectors f m, a pair of watermans, some pelikans, papermate, lamy safari, platinum preppy (of which just one is more expensive than 30)...NOT a single faulty unit.

 

To me, it is not just a matter of luck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My experience with this brands is recent, 2016. Just bad luck? I don't know, but enough :(

 

the sellers were high-feedback-ed, amongst the best ones according to this forum...faulty ones were present in all the models I tried: ws659 (one and enough) baoer801 (3-pack, one cracked feed and a misaligned nib) hero(dont remember the number but cap and hooded nib. 2/2 self-detaching nibs and massive leaks).

 

So, I think it's an exceptional sequence of bad luck...or just bad quality brands.

Weird, I have 6 Baoer 801s and all of them wrote out of the package. After the first 3 wrote without washing, I didn't bother washing the rest. I use 5 of them for student borrow pens in my classroom.

Edited by richila
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Other than a Jinhao 599 that had a cracked barrel, I've had good experiences with the chinese makers mentioned. The ones that I found needing the most nib tuning were the Wing Sung pens, and even those were easy to work with and give good service.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It was a post like Kevs original post, advising me to steer clear of Chinese pens, that almost.....almost, had me giving up fountain pens before I even started.

Thankfully, I decided to find out for myself.

I have since amassed quite a wee bundle of Chinese pens, the result of which being...67 good, 1 bad.

The 67 all write as they are supposed to, with nothing more than the odd polish to get the nibs exactly as I like them, if they weren't already.

I have ground a few, but not because there was anything wrong with them.

The 1 bad was a "Boxue", a brand I've never heard of before or after I bought it, so there's probably a lesson there.

 

My advice (wink)....If you order a pack of 6 Hero 616s and expect 6 Parker 51s, don't bother! Save up all the money you would spend on Chinese pens for the next 2 years and buy a used Pelikan.

 

In saying that, the cost of my last 2 years Chinese pen purchases would probably still struggle to pay for a Pelikan....and I've bought 68.

 

My genuine advice.......Buy whatever you fancy, and ENJOY.

 

Ian

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ian:

Sixty-eight Chinese pens in two years? That certainly gives you the right (maybe obligation is a better word) to share your data. That's an outstanding collection.

Do you find that you have any lasting favorites from that horde? Or are they all pretty much equally enjoyable, each on its own terms?

My hat is off ...

ron

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In saying that, the cost of my last 2 years Chinese pen purchases would probably still struggle to pay for a Pelikan....and I've bought 68.

And Mrs the Jock thinks you've got a dozen or so? I guess she doesn't frequent this site. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Buying Chinese pens is good fun. The cost is pretty negligible really and if you get a lemon every now and again it's a good pen to experiment with. By experiment in my case is to practice and perfect "stubbing" and nib swaps. Thanks to a few Chinese pens I practiced on...I have now even stubbed a Pelikan...all be it only a M200 with a steel nib :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share








×
×
  • Create New...