Jinhao X450: A Beginner’s Fountain Pen Review

Start your fountain pen journey with the Jinhao X450. It’s inexpensive, aesthetically pleasing, durable, and extremely functional. This Chinese manufactured game-changer is ideal for beginners, but it can also hold its own against fountain pens landing at twice the cost!

Jinhao X450 Fountain Pen in Marble Red

Price

At $9.90, the Jinhao X450 is hard to beat, especially when you remember that it comes with an ink cartridge converter. Some other manufacturers would require customers to buy this part separately. Converters allow fountain pen users to fill their instruments with bottled inks instead of using cartridge refills, so they’re handy tools to have available.

While the Jinhao X450 may come with a bonus converter, however, it does not ship with any sort of box or fancy packaging. The company has clearly put more thought into design and construction than product presentation. Still, how Jinhao X450 pens are so well made at their price point is something of a widespread mystery.

Materials

The most noteworthy aspect of this pen’s construction is its weight. One might expect a fountain pen selling for under $10 to be lightweight or breakable. Not so, the Jinhao X450 weighs 1.5 ounces and is impressively durable.

The cigar shaped body is made from lacquered metal, not plastic, and its nib is stainless steel. Jinhao X450 pens are fitted with medium nibs, and their caps pop on and off with a satisfying click. Even the grip and clip on this fountain pen are made to last.

Jinhao X450 Fountain Pens All Color Options

Aesthetics

Available in 7 color choices, this fountain pen also appeals to beginners because it’s both sturdy and stylish. You can get it in bright red, frosted black, lightning blue, marble blue, marble red, royal purple, or sand gold. 

There’s something for everyone, daring or sophisticated; there are textured and solid options.  Plus, nothing about the Jinhao X450 design is brash or gaudy. The gold accents and two-toned nib look chic, and “Jinhao” is elegantly etched onto the pen’s body hardware.

Honestly, the Jinhao X450 stacks up pretty well against some really expensive alternatives as far as looks go. Sure, it might not have any solid gold pieces, but in my opinion, my $10 fountain pen looks about as nice at a glance as one from much more expensive collections.

Function

In terms of function, again, the Jinhao X450 performs shockingly well. The manufacturer did not fail to overlook small design elements that really make this fountain pen perfect for beginners. For starters, it has a triangular grip section with grooves that intuitively tells users where to rest their fingers to correctly align the pen’s nib with the paper underneath.

The internet is littered with glowing reviews for this pen. It can be posted. It doesn’t hardstart. It doesn’t leak, and it just feels luxurious. Personally though, some things that struck me about this pen were how evenly ink flowed out of its nib and how easy it was to refill.

I guess, never having used a fountain pen before, I expected to have to need some degree of skill to write with one. I anticipated making uneven strokes or blotchy puddles on at least my first few pages of practice characters, but I actually found myself writing quite normally in my journal within an hour of buying my bright red Jinhao X450.

Standard International Fountain Pen Ink Cartridges

Ink

Still, my favorite thing about my fountain pen apart from its styling is how easy it is to fill with ink. Jinhao doesn’t make things complicated by producing proprietary cartridges. This means the X450 is compatible with standard international cartridges which are both inexpensive and easy to use. You literally just pop in a new one each time your fountain pen runs dry, and there are plenty of colors available.

If you wanted to use a specific color of bottled ink,you could just switch out a cartridge for your converter and fill your pen that way. Although, it is more messy, doing so is not complicated. I did it right the first time with no trouble.

Essentially, you just insert your converter into the body of your pen, dip it into your ink bottle until the nib is completely submerged, and twist the plunger on your converter to draw ink up into your pen. Once your converter is full, wipe any excess ink off of your pen, and screw your body panel back on.

Jinhao X450 Fountain Pen in Blue

Final Thoughts

Overall, the Jinhao X450 is a gem! It’s absolutely ideal for someone like me who is brand new to fountain pens and wants her first experience to be as simple as possible. It’s aesthetically pleasing, durable, affordable, and works well.

It also competes, in my opinion, so well against some more pricey pens that even avid collectors might like to invest in one for their car glove compartment, desk drawer, or travel bag.  It’s just a good fountain pen… for anyone really.


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