The Jinhao 950 Porcelain Dragon fountain pen is large and heavy, but how does it write? Find close-up photos, a writing sample and video here!
Pilot V Pen (A.K.A. Varsity) Fountain Pen Design
Nib Width: 7mm
Nib Length: 17mm
Pull/Screw Cap: Pull
Capped Length: 135mm
Posted Length: 178mm
Uncapped Length: 122mm
Mid-Grip Width: 7mm
Cap Band Width: 12mm
The Jinhao 950 Chinese Dragon is a good looking pen. It comes in a cute gift box and wrapped again in clear plastic inside the box so it’s well protected. It feels almost stately for a cheap $10 pen.
When you see the classic porcelain finish, it is appealing and not overdone. I like the blue dragon detailing wrapping around it and the shield on the clip is a charioteer driving two horses bucking wildly. I love the little details like this! When you look at the underside of the clip it’s cheap design is readily apparent. You can see where the metal was just folded and pressed into place and it doesn’t meet in the back, there are large gaps where the three pieces fold to form the end of the clip.
The clip is extremely stiff. I wouldn’t carry this in a pocket or attach it to anything of value because it’s not going to release easily.
The nib is gold plated steel. So there’s an 18K GP stamp on it, but it’s steel with some thin electroplate. This nib is not stamped with the size, so I’m assuming they’re just one size: medium.
It did come with a screw-type converter. This thing was the bane of my existence for a few hours because it was shipped broken. It drew NO ink and fell apart. FRUSTRATING!
I eventually reassembled it and used it like a cartridge, I just syringe filled the converter with ink since it holds ink, it just wont draw any from the bottle. I wanted to get this thing to write for you so that worked. The ink capacity on the converter is about half of what a international long cartridge would hold and 3/4 of what a short would hold so you’ll need to re-ink often. But the nib, the part that matters most, is typical JINHAO: smooth!
The photo below is showing my frustration in the form of ink. I worked hard with this converter before finally admitting defeat and just syringe filling the converter. The part that holds the screw portion of the converter to the body was not holding so when you screw it, it would pull away from the converter, leaving an inky mess. I kept adjusting it and it still gave me heartburn. So finally filled it with a syringe and accepted that it wasn’t going to work.
How Does The Nib Perform On Different Papers?
Well, where the rubber meets the road is the nib. But before we get there let me continue my broken converter story because I know you’re fascinated and won’t get anything else done today until you know the rest of it…
So once I filled the converter with ink the hard way, it wouldn’t write. Yep, would NOT write. I flipped it cap down and left it for thirty minutes thinking it needs time to gravity fill the feed since scratching all over a paper didn’t pull the ink down as I’d hoped. After thirty minutes? Still no sign of ink to page.
Now I’m wondering if I screwed up this pen.
So I took matters into my own hands again, took the pen apart to reveal the converter and pushed the plunger in until it dripped ink on my page. Now I knew it was primed to write and write it did!
Can I tell youhow irritated this can make you when you just want a pen to write?
Okay, but I have to forgive Jinhao because it’s hard to find a nib this smooth at this price point. This is an amazingly smooth pen when it has ink! The nib writes beautifully, no stops and starts and no ink delivery issues once you force the ink through it.
Because it’s a steel nib, it’s not a soft ride, it’s stiff just like other cheap pens, but it’s a fun ride.
This pen is a bit heavy for an all around daily carry pen but would be a great desk pen if you receive one with a working converter or just break down and buy a new one. Due to publishing pressure to get this article out on time, I didn’t contact the manufacturer for a replacement of the broken part, but you might try that if yours were to come broken too.
The Cap – Screw/Pull/Post and What That Means
The cap is a pull off style and it’s a bit stiff, but that’s good. I also know from experience that the inner liner of this cap holds a goodly amount of ink. (I may or may not have shaken this thing violently in frustration with the cap on when it wouldn’t initially write.)
The cap is a bit heavy for the pen and when writing posted, my hand was uncomfortable after a short time as it’s top heavy. But the cap does stay put when posted, it doesn’t rattle or want to fall off.
Who is the Fountain Pen Good For? Is It a Good Overall Value?
Well, I’m going to assume you will receive a working converter. I can’t imagine everyone receives a broken one as I did or this pen wouldn’t have 35 glowing reviews on Amazon. So, who is this good for? Anyone that likes the Chinese inspired design, likes a somewhat heavier pen and doesn’t write posted.
The nib is fantastic and you won’t find a smoother one for this price. Just be ready to re-ink as the converter is on the small side. What have you go to lose? This pen will outlast the Starbucks you bought last week and won’t cost you anymore than a cup of coffee and a pastry.
Get the price of the Jinhao 950 Porcelain Dragon fountain pen now on Amazon.