Followers of this blog will know that I like, and use, fountain pens for my writing. They are economical on the ink, friction-less and beautiful writing tools. They are also temperamental, get ink on your hands and cost a lot depending on what you buy.
Instead of talking about my most expensive pen, a TWSBI Diamond 580, I am going to talk about my cheapest pen, because it is one that I use daily and is a joy to write with.
Chinese pen manufacturer Jinhao has been making many interesting and affordable pens that you can find on sights like eBay. Some are outlandish, others classic. The pen that I heard about was the Jinhao 159.
This pen is big! It’s also heavy and made of metal-every bit of it except the pistol ink compartment which is better left to plastics anyhow. If you are a person who likes FAT grip pens then this is one you might like. The best thing about this pen? It only cost $2, which included shipping!
I’m not sure what they are going for now, but that is what I ordered mine for on eBay about 4 years ago. The nib is nice and has the Jinhao chariot engraved on it, but for myself I wanted a thinner line and swapped it out for a Velvetouch nib from the 40’s. It takes the standard big #6 size nibs which are fairly common so swapping out and experimenting means you can find the combination that works for you. The grip, feed, nib and ink pistol all come apart effortlessly so you can clean or change something yourself.
Since it is a copy of the well known Mont Blanc signature pen used when presidents and prime ministers are signing treaties, it can fool people into believing you have a much more expensive writing tool.
For $2 how can you lose!
Keep writing, no matter what you write with, just keep writing.