Curious about fountain pens but think you can’t afford them?

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Jinhao 159 1

NEWS – Have you ever wanted to get into fountain pens but thought they were too expensive or too inconvenient? If you’d like to dip your toe in, or your pen, you might consider the Jinhao brand of fountain pens. This brand is sold at Amazon, the famous Goulet Pen Company and other places. 

Jinhao 450 2

I own a Jinhao 159, a 450, and a 51A fountain pen and purchased them myself over time. The links show the colors of my pens but there are several color choices for each. My Jinhao pens have all been reliable, have never leaked in a pocket or ‘burped’ when writing (that can sometimes happen even with pricey brands) and each of them was under $20. The 159 and 450 are under $10.

The finishes have held up great on each of these but I carry them in a felt pen sleeve when they go in a pants pocket with other stuff. 

Part of the challenge of getting into fountain pens is that every ink doesn’t work well in every pen. One ink comes out of some pens perfectly and the same ink will feather or bleed on the same paper with a different pen. Then there’s the paper. One pen writes well on copier paper and another will feather or bleed with it. 

Finding a pen, ink, and paper combination is the fun of the fountain pen hobby. 

Jinhao ink 3

I can help you get up to speed here. Each of my Jinhao pens has handled Pilot Namiki Blue and Pilot Blue Black inks well. This is the same Japanese company that makes the Pilot pens sold in most office supply stores. 

Jinhao nibs tend to write one width wider than their width claim, so if it is called a ‘medium’ nib it’ll probably write a fairly bold, wide-ish line. My 51A nib is said to be ‘Fine’ but it’s between fine and medium on most papers. 

If you’ve never taken the fountain pen and ink plunge, you aren’t risking much to give a Jinhao pen a try. 

3 thoughts on “Curious about fountain pens but think you can’t afford them?”




  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. Nice. I fell into FPens years ago, and sadly (?) am now drowning in pens, inks and papers that work well.
    4 other companies that have great pens that deserve mention are Pilot, TWSBI, Moonman and Platinum.

  3. Nishan Fernando

    I’m a left hander, a surgeon (very particular about kit), an educationalist and I tend to jot things down as they fly across my head… (Having to use awful paper at times)…
    My grandmother was a school principle and I’ve used fountain pens since I was 5 years old (over 40 years.
    I’ve owned and used very expensive pens from Waterman, Montblanc, Cross and Parker. All had issues.
    I am a huge fan of Jinhao and I always change the nib to their fude nib. I have 7 of various models, all under £20 but they all consistently write great. Their friction fit nibs can be easily changed and the feed cleaned fully without issue.

  4. One of my absolute favorites is the pilot metropolitan. Under 20 bucks, and it’s a great writer. Never had one that wrote poorly.

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