I'm not talking expensive vintage fountain pens, either. (Although, to be fair, I do have a number of very beautiful mother of pearl dip pens, and carved bone crochet hooks, too.... huh.. )
Anyway, I'm talking about inexpensive, new, Chinese manufactured fountain pens.
I LOVE them! They are fun to write with, they look nice, and they are extremely ( and I should stress that in caps & bold ) EXTREMELY reasonable to acquire. My most expensive pen is a Jinhao 5000, and it came in at under $17, with free shipping. The next most expensive one runs me about $3.99 ~ least expensive ~ $.86 cents, WITH free shipping. :-D
Folks, that is some fun pen collecting at an even more fun price! My whole entire Chinese pen collection comes in at under $70, and I have a LOT of these pens. Why am I telling you this? Because you should know that you can buy these awesome pens for extremely awesome prices. It is a cheap, fun hobby, AND they don't take up a lot of space!
And since I have so many of these, and I do use them to write with quite regularly, I thought I might make up some reviews for all of them, especially since when I was trying to find reviews on many of them, there just weren't any to be found.
Ok, now on to the reviews. First, I am only going to review 12 pens in this post, & I will make reviews for more of them as I have time. The reviews included in this post are:
Fountain pens ~
Jinhao 8 Horses Embossed
Hero 125 Fountain Pen Review
Check out the grip ~ isn't it pretty? It also has a partially hooded nib ~ which is nice. I never used to understand why anyone would want to hood the nib. In fact, I only bought fountain pens that didn't have a hooded nib ~ (back in the day, 4 or 5 yrs ago) ~ so of course, I was naturally a bit dis-enchanted with fountain pens in general for carrying around, and I figured it was just part of the game that the ink would dry out rather quickly. I thought that was simply a hazard of using fountain pens. (Much like the inevitable inky fingers after a session of refilling.)
I actually came into a hooded nib a bit accidently. I put a bid on one before I realized that it was hooded, and then I won the thing! :-D Of course, that was a most fortuitous and happy mistake ~ :-D
Anyway, all of that to say ~ hooded nibs can be your friend when dealing with fountain pens, as they work to keep the ink right up near the ditch of the nib, & protect it from drying out. And this Hero 125 has a beautiful grip and hood. You can use either pre-filled ink cartridges or the empty but fill-able & re-useable cartridge that comes with it.
The cap snaps on & off easily, & yet should there be a spill, you could probably rely on the cap to keep it under control till opened. The clip on the cap is not as easy to use, however. It would probably require a bit of pulling on to help it ease up a bit.
The shape & design of the pen is quite nice ~ very classic. It fits quite well in my small hands as well as in my husband's larger hands. It doesn't cramp his fingers up trying to hold it.
Now for the writing. Ok, this pen is AWESOME to write with! Smooth & easy, she gives her ink up at the slightest touch. The nib is somewhere between fine & medium, and there isn't a scratchy bone in it's tines.
Yup, I LOVE it!
A writing sample, using Noodler's Navajo Blue, written on regular old plain jane lined school notebook paper. (Because that's what I had hanging around at the moment.)
Hero 9026 Fountain Pen Review
Check out the lines on this baby! Can't you just envision the chromed out fenders of a '51 Chevy?
Boy, I sure can!
And the nib is hooded with a fish mouth. I like it!
It makes me think of a fishing trip in an old pick-up or something. (Yah, yah, I knooooww, '51 Chevy was a sedan. So what, don't mess wit my vision, eh?) :-D
I like the grip, it's comfortable, with three indents for gripping, and those lines on the grip aren't an issue, they are comfortable. Writes smooth & easy, ink flow is moderate, nib is somewhere between fine & medium.
The cap snaps on & off easily, & the ink source can either be converter cartridge or ink cartridges, so it's easy to use.
It's not too small or too big for my husband's big hands and my small hands ~ a nice sized pen.
It has all the quality I've come to expect from Hero pens.
This is a writing sample done in Noodler's Army green, again written on that plain old lined school paper. In fact, all of the reviews today are going to be written on that lined paper.
Cuz' I'm a little cheap. Or lazy. Or yah, maybe both.
Maybe I'll pull out the heavy 100wt cotton or linen paper one of these days ~ but not today. :-D
Jinhao 5000 Fountain Pen Review
Ok, so this is my most expensive pen ever. It even cost more than my mother of pearl with real gold nibs dip pens. (How can that be, you may ask ~ I am quite good at bargain shopping, I may answer ~ )
Get ready for this ~ it was a whopping $16.20!!
Yes, I know, that's quite a bit when you normally pay $1 -$4.
But I splurged, because I REALLY liked the whole dragon cut-out design.
Was it worth it?
Yeah ~ if for nothing else than it's a gorgeous pen ( I still cant believe I got it at that nice of a price!)
The cap snaps on & off nice & easy, the grip is easy for large or small hands, the cut work dragon design doesn't affect balance or writing ability, & the nib is beautiful to look at. The clip on the cap is easy to use, not too tight. It's a converter cartridge or ink cartridge ink system, & the one provided is a little bigger than you get in the usual pen.
But uh-oh, can you feel a ~HOWEVER~ coming on?
Yeahhhh, so if you look at the writing sample, it was having flow issues to begin with, and then I had to jimmy the nib a little in order to improve the ink outlay. I will say this ~ the nib is smooth as butter, it's just frustrating to have to jimmy it around when you pay a 4 to 15 times as much as you do for any of the other Chinese pens. For some reason I expected ALLLL the bells and whistles to be ringing if I paid that much for it. I mean, If an $1.25 Jinhao, Baoer, Shanhai, Hero, etc, etc, can work beautifully on the first try, I think it's reasonable to expect the $16.20 to work EXTRA special on the first try. Call me a cynic.
Here is a writing sample ~ you can see the ink flow issues, as well as the outlay issues ~ it looks scratchy and sad. It WASN'T scratchy, but it sure skipped around making it look as though it were.
All in all, I still like this pen for it's style and cool factor, and once fixed up, it wrote quite nicely, & to be totally fair, other ~ name brand ~ pens that look this awesome will cost a heck of a lot more than $16.20......buuuutttt....yeah.
So it was worth the price, but be aware ~ you may need to fix it a little.
Jinhao x750 Fountain Pen Review
First ~ sorry about the ink on the nibs ~ that's the ~in-use~ look. :-D
Why is it in use?
Because I love it SOOO!!
This pen is one of my all-time FAVORITES!!!
(And actually, I should note that I've only met one Jinhao that I wasn't totally impressed with...yup, you guessed it, that expensive red dragon 5000 up above....)
The Jinhao x750 comes in several styles, but this one is a favorite ~ it is a fat, heavy stainless steel beauty, rather elongated bullet shaped. It feels nice to hold, and the brushed stainless is sleek and clean. The nib is a full-on medium, maybe even large. The ink outlay is wet & consistent.
I suspect that the moment you ink this pen & start writing, you are going to suddenly have an urge to fill up an entire sheet in large, scrawling script, with little doodles here & there. It's true, it happened to me. :-D
The cap snaps on & off with ease, and yet is on to stay ~ it posts nicely, and the weight is still balanced very nicely, posted or not. The clip works beautifully, just as a clip should, ( not too much spring, not too tight) & the grip is comfortable. It comes with a re-fillable ink cartridge, or you can use pre-filled ink cartridges in it. It also sports a beautiful, fat nib, with a cool Jinhao horse & cart design engraved. You will LOVE this pen!! And it can be yours for around $3 to $4 ~
Writing sample in Noodler's Army green, on ~ you guessed it! ~ that same old plain jane ruled school paper.
Jinhao 250 Fountain Pen Review
Another fat, heavy beauty that inspires lovely flowing script!
A nice grip, with a medium-large engraved gold & silver (18 kgp! ;-D) nib & a sleek, classic pen design. The cap snaps on & off nicely, & posts just as nicely. The clip is a tad tight, however, and will need a bit of pulling to make it more useable.
It comes with a converter cartridge that you can fill on your own or you can use pre-filled ink cartridges.
Writing sample done in Noodler's Army green.