Jinhao 950 Noblest Porcelain Dragon

This is another of my “moment of madness” pen purchases.  I bought it for several reasons.  One was that I love blue on white porcelain.  Another was that it was fantastically cheap (an important factor!).  Another reason is that, as Mr Barnum said, “there’s one born every minute”.
Jinhao 950 1.
This pen is quite large at 13.8 cm, and it is immensely heavy.  At 54 g, it makes a good paperweight or, at a pinch, a doorstop.  This is explained by the fact that the barrel and cap are porcelain.  It’s not made any lighter by the hunks of metal that adorn the barrel and cap end and give access to the interior to fit cartridges or the supplied screw converter.  These large lumps of metal, as well as depleting the resources of the planet, detract a little from the overall effect of the pen.  The artwork is extremely fine whereas they are chunky – though not badly cast – and it doesn’t all go together well.

You can have these pens with a variety of different artwork.  There are sailboats, Chinese calligraphy, bamboo, shrimp and horse.  The Dragon version appealed to me and I have no regrets, but the horse version is very attractive as well.  This is not the most delicate porcelain you have ever seen nor, of course, is the artwork original, but the very low cost of these pens is nonetheless quite surprising.  The clip bears a shield with what looks like a chariot.  This relates, I am told, to the terracotta Warriors of Xi’an.  The same symbol is stamped on the converter.  Removing the barrel exposes a most businesslike piece of threaded pipe.  The last time I saw quite such a robust assembly was on the fuel line of a diesel engine.  The Chinese lettering on the cap spells out “Dragon”, I believe.
Jinhao 950 2.
The pen worked as it should on the first try.  No need to flush or dicker with the nib.  The push on cap fits so firmly that it takes a conscious effort to remove it.  The pen can be posted but given its weight, why would you?  The Jinhao nib is a real surprise: it’s very good indeed!  It’s firm, medium and very smooth without being slippery.  I found the pen pleasing to write with despite its weight.  This was not the nib I expected in a cheap Chinese pen.  It’s comparable with the nibs in many more expensive pens.
I bought this pen from eBay seller yougainmore for £7.28 which includes postage from Hong Kong.  It arrived in nine days which seems perfectly satisfactory to me.  He is an excellent and reliable seller and provides a great range of Jinhao and other Chinese pens.  Jinhao, it must be said, is a very large cut above the Chinese pens I used to buy a few years ago.

I seem to have bought and written about quite a number of new pens recently.  I think I’ll create a new category to cover them, probably called, “Moments of Madness” because that’s what they are.


10 thoughts on “Jinhao 950 Noblest Porcelain Dragon

  1. Despite not being the best of quality pens, Jinhao pens serve a purpose, they allow those of us who were not born into money to try different types of fountain pens. Some also have a novelty value. My colleagues at work are amazed when I use different fountain pens on a regular basis.

    As you have pointed out in your review, they tend to work straihght away without the need for flushing or even resetting the nib. You can’t go wrong at £7.28 for the pen plus the postage and packaging from Hong Kong. Thanks for the review, I increase my knowledge of pens from such reviews.

  2. I have a similar “porcelain” pen like this purchased from Hong Kong. It works ok, some skipping but than can be solved by using a cartridge (syringe filled) or a better converter. The problem is the weight of the pen, especially when posted. The pen is useless when posted IMO, way too top heavy. The quality of the materials and workmanship is good though. Like my experience with most of these Chinese pens I’ve purchased (quite a few – you would think I would learn by now), I just wish the manufacturers of these pens would actually understand what makes a fountain pen work. But no. Given the low cost of this pen and the fact that I find it useless as a daily writer, I’m tempted to take a hammer to it and see if it is actually a porcelain overlay on brass.

    Thanks for the look Deb. Best Regards, David

    1. Mine appears to be porcelain all the way through, barrel and cap. I agree that the pen is very heavy, but goodness knows there are much more expensive pens out there weighing as much. Some buyers want that -p I can only assume that they don’t really use their pens. I’ve been using this one a bit. Though I wouldn’t write my Magnum Opus with it, it’s not too heavy for note taking and the nib is really good.

  3. Excellent review! I have a Jinhao X750 but after reading this, I suddenly got the urge to start collecting cheap Chinese pens. I jumped on ebay and started browsing for Jinhaos. I have identified a dozen that look weird/crazy/garish enough to be interesting or novelties. Now I’m wrestling with the decision: should I buy this dozen (and perhaps a dozen others in the future) or should I focus instead on a single, more expensive, higher quality pen such as a TWSBI 580 or Monteverde?

    1. Chinese pens are quite tempting! I can’t really treat them seriously, though. I don’t have any knowledge of the TWSBI or the Monteverde – I’m really about pre-1960 pens, though I have occasional Moments of Madness.

      1. Well, guess what. Last night after replying here I browsed a bit on eBay and managed to snag a Chinese Baoer for $2.50 shipped. It looked pretty good in the images too. I guess that’s the ticket: try to bid as little as possible in the chance you get lucky. I still want to get my hands on one of these porcelain monsters but I’m looking for a good “deal” haha. Don’t wanna pay the full $8 “retail” price.

  4. You’re quite right: Jinhao are far above the other Chinese pen manufacturers. This is especially true for the quality of their nibs. I had another pen with a truly awful nib, like it had been cut from a soup can. £1 and change got me a #6 Jinhao nib (from their behemoth 159 model, I believe) that writes a very satisfactory medium line.

    “Jinhao” may well translate as “value for money”!

  5. I bought one with my dog with me, we like it and it writes really smooth. Sometimes we sit in the living room and look at it to remember good times, I have refills still for it and not one scratch on it yet.

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