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Baoer 388 Or Kaigelu 356 Or..


antichresis
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Hi, I've come across these two pens and was hoping someone could provide their comparative experience with both pens. I've gone over reviews of both and both seem fine. Which over the other should I get though? Or are they virtually identical?

 

For personal criteria, I like the looks of both. They're cheap pens and they're not "flashy". They also seem to have just the right size. I've borrowed the Jinhaos of friends and while they write well (if a bid broad-ish) they are too large and heavy and I'm not much of a fan of their designs.

 

I have a Baoer 801 (Vector copy) and I like it. Writes very well without needing to be tuned. One thing though is that the gold plating n the clip, etc. does wear off. I'm not sure if that is an effect of my use, since I don't put it in a pen sleeve just a pencil case with my other pens, but the barrel is still very nice it's just the gold finishings. The Baoer 388 has similar gold trim and there is a chance it is of the same less-than-stellar quality. The Kaigelu is silver so it should (maybe?) not have the same problem.

 

The last consideration is the nib width. My Baoer 801 is, I think, a fine. It's about the width of my Safari Fine and my Metropolitan Medium. This is my ideal width. How would the nib from either compare?

 

 

Lastly, I see that both of them are stocked by YC Pens on eBay (a seller that is recommended). He lists them on Best Offer. What is the Best Offer?

 

EDIT: I just remembered that there is a Jinhao 601. A tiny bit more expensive. Is it better?

Edited by antichresis

Hero #232 Blue-Black is my Waterman Florida Blue.

 

Your Kilometrage May Vary (#ykmv), a Philippine blawg about ink and fountain pens.

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You have listed some good pens and the final choice is very personal. I have enjoyed pens from Baoer and Kaigelu-- Kaigelu might have a tad better nibs but the choice often boils down to aesthetics.

"It's funny; in this era of email and voice mail and all those things that I did not even grow up with, a plain old paper letter takes on amazing intimacy."  Elizabeth Kostova

 

 

 

 

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I did a comparative review of 4 pens including those two, with my Sonnet: https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/222537-sonnet-comparisons-with-lookalikes/

 

Came to the conclusion the Kaigelu 356 was the best of the 5 I reviewed, just, provided you only wanted Medium nibs.

 

Regards,

 

Richard.

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I've owned all the pens referenced in richardandtracy's post. My conclusion is different. I actually prefer my Sonnets! But among the Chinese pens, my favorite is the Hero 5020. The finish is sharper and I like the nib - mine is a tad wider than than the others, which are finer nibs. A lot of people like the 388, but I don't, mainly because of their finish (or lack thereof) - perhaps I was just unlucky. Of all the big Chinese brands, the one I've had the most problems with is Baoer, over many models (388, 516, 517 and others). Good luck!

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The Baoer 388 comes in F and M. Though as I remember, the M is the most common, but check the listing. Remember the Chinese nibs run narrower so a Chinese M is like a Lamy F. As I recall the M in the 388 is a little narrower than the M in the 801.

 

I don't know if the QC has improved but in the past 4 out of 5 of my 388s needed to have the nib adjusted to get it to flow decently. Not a difficult task, but something that had to be done. Once adjusted it writes well.

 

I like the 388 enough that I keep it inked with Noodler's Lexington Grey, for regular use.

 

I don't know about the cap of the others, likely similar.

The Baoer 388 cap may get loose. The fix is easy. Look for YouTube of Steven Brown's repair of a Chinese cap. Same problem, the inner cap cracks and ONE layer of electrical tape is all that is needed to make it tight again.

San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California

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The Kaigelu 356 is a slightly wider pen and wider nib than the Baoer 388.I like and own both, but when I want more ink on the page, I go for the Kaigelu 356.

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Parker Sonnet clone pens by Chinese makers were

Baoer 388

Kaigelu 256

Luoshi 809

etc.

New addition to this list are

Jinhao 601

Hero 9315.

I have all these pens and have studied them closely out of my interest. All these were launched as low cost alternatives to Sonnet and are nice pens in their own way. The relevance of these pens were that Sonnet used to be way more expensive. The section design is the area where the designer has made various iterations while the pen body remains quite similar to Sonnet.

When compared to a Sonnet all these pens fall way behind in user comfort and balance.Sonnet remains the best ever.

 

The interesting development however are the launching of Sonnets from AliExpress. These are

Priced from six to thirty USD range and are dimension wise same as the original Sonnet in each part.nib option remains steel, iraurita and gold. Working feel and comfort are same as the made in France USD 150+ Sonnets and all parts are possible to interchange.

I do not know if these are made under license or illegally. But with these available the other clones have no more any relevance left. I have three of these and five more waiting in mail. Even the cheapest of these feel better than the best clone IE Baoer 388!

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Parker Sonnet clone pens by Chinese makers were

Baoer 388

Kaigelu 256

Luoshi 809

etc.

New addition to this list are

Jinhao 601

Hero 9315.

I have all these pens and have studied them closely out of my interest. All these were launched as low cost alternatives to Sonnet and are nice pens in their own way. The relevance of these pens were that Sonnet used to be way more expensive. The section design is the area where the designer has made various iterations while the pen body remains quite similar to Sonnet.

When compared to a Sonnet all these pens fall way behind in user comfort and balance.Sonnet remains the best ever.

 

The interesting development however are the launching of Sonnets from AliExpress. These are

Priced from six to thirty USD range and are dimension wise same as the original Sonnet in each part.nib option remains steel, iraurita and gold. Working feel and comfort are same as the made in France USD 150+ Sonnets and all parts are possible to interchange.

I do not know if these are made under license or illegally. But with these available the other clones have no more any relevance left. I have three of these and five more waiting in mail. Even the cheapest of these feel better than the best clone IE Baoer 388!

Hi, I went over to eBay after reading your reply (I don't think AliExpress will ship to my country). This looks promising. Thoughts?

 

If you have an eBay supplier for these please do PM me or share here. :)

Edited by richardandtracy
Edited to remove link to ebay sale of fake pens.

Hero #232 Blue-Black is my Waterman Florida Blue.

 

Your Kilometrage May Vary (#ykmv), a Philippine blawg about ink and fountain pens.

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antichresis,

 

At that price, $9.50, they cannot be genuine Parker pens. But they are branded 'Parker', so must be fakes. And fakes (ie copyright theft) are both illegal under national & international law and strongly discouraged on FPN.

If you buy one - please do not as you will be breaking US law whether doing it knowingly or unknowingly - then don't tell us or show us, as it will be putting FPN in a position where it too could be prosecuted.

 

Regards,

 

Richard.

 

Edited to add that EBay has now been notified they are probably fakes. The sale may disappear.

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antichresis,

 

At that price, $9.50, they cannot be genuine Parker pens. But they are branded 'Parker', so must be fakes. And fakes (ie copyright theft) are both illegal under national & international law and strongly discouraged on FPN.

If you buy one - please do not as you will be breaking US law whether doing it knowingly or unknowingly - then don't tell us or show us, as it will be putting FPN in a position where it too could be prosecuted.

 

Regards,

 

Richard.

 

Edited to add that EBay has now been notified they are probably fakes. The sale may disappear.

It's too bad that they are probably and likely fakes (we can't know for sure). I had hoped that they were one of the Luxor Parkers.

Hero #232 Blue-Black is my Waterman Florida Blue.

 

Your Kilometrage May Vary (#ykmv), a Philippine blawg about ink and fountain pens.

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My understanding is that Luxor has the licensing rights for low end Parkers, such as Vectors, Frontiers, etc. Not the higher end stuff (like he Sonnet).

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  • 7 months later...

Just received my first two Baoer 388, ordered during Aliexpress's sales few weeks ago. Only USD $1.54 per piece shipped.

 

Did not have very high expectation for these pens, as few reviews pointed out that there seems to be problem with the tight cap. But I think they have improve their design, the capping action is similar to Pilot's Prera with some smoothness to it.

 

The nibs are about same wide as Al Star F, very smooth without needing any fine tuning. These are very good pens. Three more coming on the way from China.

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