Fountain Pens, The Good Shit

The Jinhao X750: The pen that started it all

 

I’ve been a fountain pen user for about five years now. The number of pens I had was actually pretty small, and the few times I’d dabbled with “cheap” pens it ended with disappointment. Actually, the first time I dabbled with an expensive pen (the Namiki Falcon) was bitterly disappointing.

But then I read a blog about mounting a flexible dip pen nib onto a cheap Chinese fountain pen. Since the total cost was pretty low, I went ahead and pulled the trigger on a Jinhao X750 and a pack of titanium Zebra G nibs. At the time, the Jinhao pen cost almost six bucks. I really thought I was getting a great deal. And I did get a great deal, but I paid a lot more than I should have for it. This pen started me down the rabbit hole of admiring absurdly inexpensive Chinese fountain pens.

My order arrived and I swapped out the Chinese nib for the Zebra G. It was fun. I did indeed get a flexible nib fountain pen for only a few bucks. But I did ultimately re-install the Chinese nib that came with the pen. Those Zebra G nibs aren’t iridium tipped, and as such they aren’t well suited to actually writing with them. It was super scratchy, and tended to harvest fibers from the paper that got lodged between the tines of the nib.

I was more impressed with the Jinhao pen than the Zebra G nib. This Jinhao X750 was kind of neat in that it’s a very hackable, very standard sort of pen. The finish was chrome, but I learned that it’s mostly brass inside. It uses standard international ink cartridges (or converters), and the #6 nib that has been in wide use on fountain pens since the early twentieth century. I have a bunch of Jinhaos now, and I’ve swapped on Western nibs with no difficulty. Actually, they work quite nicely.

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A writing test of the pen in its factory configuration, using a popular ink. The nib never ran dry, and yet didn’t lay down too wet a line. It’s in that just right “Goldilocks’ Zone”

The Jinhao nib does suffer a tiny bit of nib creep. It’s not enough to really be worried about, unless you’re super worried about a spot of ink on the top surface of the nib. I’m not.

The nib is described as a “Medium”. There can be some variation from pen to pen, but generally the Chinese “Medium” comes somewhere in between a Western “Fine” and “Medium”. I find the Jinhao #6 Medium nibs (and I have many now) to generally be pretty smooth, slightly wet, and fairly well functioning right from the factory.

The nib is capable of a bit of line variation, but I wouldn’t by any means describe it as a “flexible” nib.

It turns out there is a rich array of cheap Chinese fountain pens available through eBay. The Jinhao X750 is merely the one that opened the door to my curiosity. Remember how I paid about six bucks for mine on Amazon? You can have the same pen right now for less than three bucks.

Testing it out with Noodler’s Black, I found it to be a very competent and well-behaved pen. The included converter is an International Standard, but made rather cheaply. It works, but yours may be a little fiddly. I’ve had good luck with mine replacing the Chinese converter with a German made one, or just using international ink cartridges.

Some users may find the weight objectionable. I did not. I did, however, find the smoothly surfaced concave shaped section to be inferior to the X750’s close sibling, the Jinhao X450 which has textured concave spots in its section to ensure a proper grip.

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One mildly annoying thing I’ve noticed with these pens is that the coloration may rub off of the plastic section onto the writer’s knuckle while writing.

The pen has some weight to it, and enough thickness to feel comfortable in my large hands. You can post this pen if you want to, but it’s not necessary. Moreover, the metal cap may add too much weight on the back end of the pen if you decide to post it. Some swear by this pen, and I know of no one who swears at this pen.

Vital Statistics

  • Length, capped: 141.5mm
  • Length, uncapped: 125.4mm
  • Length, Posted: 161mm
  • Diameter, Cap: 15mm
  • Diameter, Body: 14mm
  • Weight (total): 36g
  • Weight, uncapped: 22g
  • Nib: Jinhao #6 Medium
  • Filling Mechanism: international standard cartridge converter

Is this the good shit?

My reviews will always conclude with the bottom line question (and answer): is this the good shit?

My only enduring beef with this pen is with the section. I don’t like the shape or texture, and it rubs off its dye onto my knuckle while I’m writing. The nib and converter are pretty typical for Chinese pens and different than you might be used to from a Western pen. They are kind of growing on me.

For a price of about $3 for an plain X750, and about $5 for a really cool one, yes. Yes, my friends, this is the good shit.

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One thought on “The Jinhao X750: The pen that started it all

  1. Pingback: various nibs on a Jinhao X750 | Chronicles of a Cheap Geezer

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