Review: Jinhao x450


PB088412

It’s been a while since I last tried a Jinhao pen. Since Everything Calligraphy is now carrying three kinds of Jinhaos, I thought I’d try them out. First up is the Jinhao X450. I got to check out a few colors before I picked out which one I liked best.

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I think the one on the left is called Blue Sky. The one on the right is the pen I picked–Oriental Red

My first impression of the X450 is that the colors are quite interesting. There’s a lot of variety, lots of different colors to suit your personality. Some may like the vibrant sky blue color, others (like me) may like the more subdued colors like dark red or black. There’s lots of colors to choose from.

It’s interesting how Jinhao can keep these pens cheap considering that they feel heavy, and the designs are good.

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I think the one in the middle is Grey Tortoise, also a pretty nice color. Looks like marble.

I decided on taking the Oriental Red color, which is a translucent red with very subtle spots of gold. I like it because it’s simple, understated, and the gold spots looks a bit like those shimmering ink blots. I think it looks very pretty. Reminds me of a red silk kimono.

This pen is heavy, but not uncomfortably so. I don’t think it’s meant to be posted. You can post the cap but it feels loose. Besides, posting it makes the pen top-heavy, and throws the balance off. I prefer it unposted, and I think the weight is quite comfortable.

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Isn’t it lovely? The pen is shaped like a torpedo or a cigar. It’s not excessively fat and it tapers on both ends. The ends of the pen are black, which is a nice touch to tie up or unify the design. The cap snaps on and off and has steel trimmings.

PB088414    PB088416

I like that Jinhao kept the trimmings of the pen simple so that they don’t look gaudy. Around the cap band is the brand name Jinhao and the model X450. The clip seems sturdy but is not what I would call springy.

The section has a tripod grip made of hard rubber. Some parts of the section are ribbed, but it’s not uncomfortable. It makes the pen easier to hold, at least.

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The pen comes with a converter, and since the body is made of metal, it cannot be converted to an eyedropper.

The pen writes very well. It wrote without hardstarting, I just filled it with a little bit of Rohrer & Klingner’s Alt Bordeaux, put it on paper and off it went! My first Jinhao (which I reviewed last year) took a little fiddling to make into a wet writer, but this one really had no problems with the nib. I was ready to do a little tuning to make it write wet, but I’m glad it turned out that I didn’t need it at all. Check out the writing sample below:

I mentioned earlier that I inked it with a bit of Alt Bordeaux to try out the nib at first, but the ink color just did not feel right to me. I flushed it out, cleaned it, and filled it up with Diamine Oxblood…and all is right with the world again. 🙂

PB088450
Overall, my experience with this pen is really positive. For the price of P499, you really get your money’s worth. The nib is smooth and writes wet, it’s so pleasant to use. I don’t really mind whether I’m using a steel or gold nib (some people prefer only gold nibs and I say to them…whatever floats your boat), all I really want is a smooth writing experience. I like this pen a lot. It’s an entry level pen, but it writes better than other entry level pens three, even six times its price.

If you’re in the Philippines and you’re looking into cheap fountain pens that write well, I would highly recommend this. Check out Everything Calligraphy and find out how to order. Yes, they do ship all over the Philippines. 🙂

Tip: Some adventurous fountain pen users have tried to turn their Jinhao x450 into flex pens. Here’s a nifty tutorial on how to do that. Just a reminder, be sure to follow the directions carefully and know that MacGyvering with your pen can break it. So, hack at your own risk. 🙂

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3 thoughts on “Review: Jinhao x450

  1. SteveD says:

    My first thought about these pens was “slave labor,” but it is much more likely that Jinhao is a very heavily subsidized company, helping China break into new markets. But quality control was an issue to me, and some of my fears seem borne out by the 450 I just received. I gave my young daughters each a 250 as their 1st FP and they like them and they write beautifully; my 450 definitely did not, however, with a muddy line and a leaky converter. And don’t get me started about the fight my poem and I had during the flex nib hack. .. ugh…
    It works, finally, (and frankly unsatisfactorily) but if it weren’t such an inexpensive item I’d have been screaming in misery.

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