Here are some timestamps for the Jinhao X750 video to help you jump right to what you want to know:
- Overview (2:09)
- Details (5:06)
- Posting the pen (9:45)
- Comparisons to other pens (10:49)
- Filling it up (13:27)
- Writing with it (15:02)
I've heard about the Chinese fountain pen brand Jinhao for several years now on places like the Fountain Pen Network, but never personally took much interest in them for one reason or another. It's always had pretty decent reviews, and given the prices of most of their models, they've been touted as a great 'value' pen. A couple of months ago it finally clicked in my head that this is a brand that would be a nice addition to the lineup I already have on GouletPens.com.
Here in the US, we face a reality that a lot of things we buy are made in China, whether advertised as such or not. There's sometimes a stigma that goes with that, especially regarding (low) price and (low) quality. However, Jinhao is a little different in that this is an actual Chinese brand of pen, not just a pen that's made in China and repackaged by another company from another part of the world. There isn't an extensive distribution network or elaborate packaging and branding, so when you shop for a Jinhao pen you're always buying very close to the source, which keeps prices down. Their pens have always been available and very reasonable prices through individual retailers on places like ebay and other such sites, but few retailers like my company have picked up the brand, for whatever reason. I saw this as a huge opportunity to be able to offer a brand that is a solid performer, has really neat colors and designs, is incredibly affordable, and isn't available at many other places.
There are several models of Jinhao pens available, but the one I'm going to focus on today is the Jinhao X750.
Jinhao X750: The Upside
- Value-'real life'.
- Smooth writer- this really surprised me. I was expecting a pen this cheap to write…cheap. But it's smooth, and though there's some starting and skipping issues here and there, it exceeded my expectations.
- Design- it's attractive! There are a ton of color options, which we had to limit in our offerings just because we have some insanely high minimum purchase quantities. We were backordered on 2 of the 3 colors we sought to bring in at the release, so we only have the matte black version at the writing of this post. Still though, the pen looks way, way nicer than you'd expect.
- Versatility– it comes with a medium nib, which performs admirably. The best part though, is that it's a #6 size, which is the same size as the Goulet nibs we offer. You can swab out the Jinhao medium for a German-made Jowo brand Goulet extra-fine, fine, medium, broad, 1.1mm stub or 1.5mm stub, and still have a phenomenal pen for under $25. There are other pen brands that also have #6 size nibs, like Monteverde, Edison, TWSBI, Noodler's, and others that you could potentially put into your Jinhao as well.
- Line variation- they don't advertise the nibs as flexible and I wouldn't (and don't officially) call them flex nibs, but if you want to, by golly you can get some half-decent line variation with these nibs.
- Comfort– If you don't mind the weight, the pen is very well-balanced, the grip is cozy, and the finish of the pen is ever so slightly textured so that you keep a solid grip even when you write for a long period, something not all solid-metal pens can provide.
- No box- I can't really complain too much about this one, because frankly we could sell it with a box if we wanted to…there just isn't one provided by the manufacturer. Since the main appeal of this pen is value, adding in a box and driving up the price to cover it just didn't seem practical to us. It's not at all uncommon for less expensive pens like the Platinum Preppy, and Pilot Varsity to sell without a box. Some retailers carrying the X750 choose to sell it with a box, it's up to each retailer if they choose to do so.
- Nib can skip- I did experience some hard starts and random skips where the ink just didn't flow right away. I don't think it's a feed issue because there's plenty of ink coming out, and the nib itself is really smooth and writes well when the ink is coming. I don't know if this is a widespread issue or just something happening with the pen I'm using, but either way I wanted to disclose it. All in all, the nib does write really well, and since it's so easy to replace with another higher-quality nib, I can't knock the pen that bad for the few issues I had.
- Converter isn't the best– hey, it's a sub-$10 pen, with a converter. Other pen brands' converter cost as much or more than these whole pens do…so yeah, the converter that comes with the pen isn't awesome, but it's functional.
Jinhao X750 nib, stainless steel in medium
Jinhao X750 takes standard international cartridges and comes with a converter
Despite having a pretty extensive pen collection now and access to many different high-end pens, I still have a special place in my heart for value pens. I always appreciate a pen that's higher quality than I feel the price warrants, and the Jinhao X750 absolutely fits that bill. I was excited to be able to offer this pen at GouletPens.com and I'm eager to see this pen become one of the go-to pens for beginner fountain pen users (and veterans, alike!).