Whenever I’ve been scouting around for cheap but good Chinese pens recently, it has been Jinhao that has come most readily to mind. Recently, though, someone suggested the Hero 616 Jumbo. I picked one up for a very reasonable price and here it is: yet another Parker 51 clone – or so it seems. Actually it’s more of a pen than it appears, at 13.9 cm capped. I don’t have a Parker 51 at the moment to compare it with but I suspect that both cap and barrel are longer. It has the usual “Parker Arrow” and the cap has a faint lined pattern. The green barrel and section are made of what seems to be a reasonably durable plastic. Two rings protrude sufficiently to grip the cap giving firm closure but I wonder how long this will last.
It has a squeeze type converter which draws a decent supply of ink. This pen has one problem that recurs: on pulling off the cap there is often ink on the section. This is the old problem of a tight, unventilated cap drawing ink from the reservoir when opened. It’s a problem that was solved by the early nineteen hundreds but it seems that Hero need to reinvent the wheel.
I don’t suppose it would matter with such an inexpensive pen. I could just chalk it up to experience and consign the pen to the bucket. Problem is, it’s an absolutely splendid writer – a real delight to use! I certainly don’t want to throw it away but nor do I want to have ink on my fingers everytime I use it.
I think the answer will be to drill a small hole in the cap to release the vacuum.