Anyone who keeps up with this blog will know that I only have good things to say about Jinhao. They’re cheap, well made and have surprising longevity. Last time, I reviewed the Jinhao 159, a MB149 knockoff that’s a solid writing instrument (as well as being designed like a solid jump of metal). Today, I’m going for a more … subtle pen, the x750.
The x750 is priced well below £2, and is an excellent pen – one that I’ve used as a spare EDC for a long time. How does it stack up against other cheap (or expensive) pens? Read on to find out.
I am eternally impressed with the nib on the x750. The day this pen arrived, I was having inkflow issues with a significantly more expensive pen (Parker Sonnet, I believe), and my hands were already covered in ink from filling, refilling, cleaning, testing, and repeating to get my Parker working. When the Jinhao wrote straight away, I was delighted. The nib, a faux 18K Gold Plated steel affair, is very smooth, and rarely has skipping issues. Once or twice, it’s hard started immediately after being filled, but a quick twist of the convertor will ensure that there’s enough ink in the feed to get the pen writing. There’s little flex, but it’s smooth enough for long writing sessions. Aesthetically, this is a nice nib, with an engraving of a chariot – the Jinhao logo – along with the brand name, and a repeating square pattern around the edge.
From a distance, you wouldn’t be able to differentiate this pen from a Waterman, Cartier, Parker etc of fifty times the price. It’s a standard elongated shape, with slightly tapered ends, and black lacquer. The steel bands at the top, bottom and section are a nice touch, and a stately metal clip gives this pen a professional look. As mentioned before, the nib complements the look, making the pen seem slick and understated. Unlike the 159, it’s not a clear imitation of anything – in fact, I’d say it’s a more original design than many western pens coming out right now.
The pens comes complete with a convertor, but you won’t thank Jinhao for it. I have never managed to fill it beyond half of its already small capacity, meaning one refill barely lasts beyond a few pages of writing. I think it’s a universal fitting (I’ve never got round to checking), so you could of course use a standard Bock convertor (or equivalent).
I said earlier that the clip looks good, and it also works, attaching the pen tightly to a jacket pocket. The cap fits on tight, with a very satisfying snap. Not so satisfying is posting the pen. Although it extends the length to be comfortable for those with larger hands, the cap doesn’t fit nicely, and often wiggles off of the pen after a few lines. Fortunately, the pen is large enough to use uncapped for most people.
The x750 is an all round good pen, with a modest design and a functional nib, for an absolutely exceptional price. The pen is a consistently good writer, and certainly one of the best EDCs I’ve had in a while. As a spare pen to carry incase your main carry runs out, you could do a lot worse, even at much higher prices. It’s also a brilliant way for people who haven’t used fountain pens to get into them – it’s cheap price and good functionality means it really is the perfect pen for all.
By Oliver Bennett