Further thoughts on the Jinhao X159 fountain pen.

I am still besotted with these. Following the success of my recent purchase of two Jinhao X159 fountain pens, I found myself tempted to add more, in other colours.

They are available in a variety of editions. Most colours have the option of gold-coloured or silver-coloured trim and a choice of a Fine or Extra Fine nib. Depending upon your preferences the prices ranged from £7.49 up to around £20.00 and the estimated delivery times also vary.

Lingering repeatedly over the online photos, I contemplated adding a couple more to my existing pair. Readers may recall, I had started by ordering a black one, with silver trim and a Fine nib. This was swiftly followed by a blue one with gold trim and Extra Fine nib.

For my next order, I went for a dark orange with silver trim, Extra Fine nib and also a dark red one, gold trim and Extra Fine nib. Two pens in one order. See how this escalates!

A dark orange edition, with silver colour trim.

They arrived within 24 hours of ordering. Again, each pen was packed in its own simple padded envelope. Each comes with a converter fitted. No cartridge is included although they take standard international cartridges.

New pen induction ritual.

Again, I had the happy prospect of inspecting and preparing my new pens. Starting with the orange pen, and in what has become a familiar routine with my Jinhao flock, I started by examining the nib under a loupe. It looked to be set up well. I unscrewed the nib housing, separated the nib and feed and gave them a good rinse in warm water. In each of my Jinhaos from the seller Erofa, I have noticed a little blue ink residue in the water at this stage, a sign that the nib has been tested before sale. This is very admirable for its modest price.

I reassembled the nib, taking care to centre the nib over the feed and to hold it to the feed tightly as I pushed it back into the housing. I like the dark orange colour. It is not bright and showy, but more of a terra cotta.

A lot of nib for your money.

Using cartridges.

I had given some thought to what ink to use, pondering a brown perhaps. But when the time came to ink the pen, I decided on trying a black cartridge. I have a stash of these, having bought WHSmith bags of 30, when they were about £3.00. I found that this ink actually performed very nicely and flows well. Somehow, this humble and inexpensive ink seems right to pair with the budget priced Jinhao – to keep the theme of getting the job done at the lowest possible price.

One big advantage of using these cartridges is that a pen will often have room in the barrel to carry a spare, great if you run dry while away from your supplies. I popped a spare one in the cavernous barrel of the X159. There was ample room for the barrel to be screwed back on, so much so that the spare cartridge could be heard ratting inside.

I thought of cutting a small piece off an eraser and putting it at the back of the barrel. I tried this, but on screwing it back together with the spare cartridge inside, the piece of rubber got stuck in the pen. I had also cut it too large, as the barrel would not screw on all the way. Having something stuck in the pen, or the risk of it happening, annoyed me and after eventually dislodging it, I decided on a different option, that of using a scrunched up piece of kitchen roll paper, (about 1 inch square, rolled into a ball) and placing it between the two cartridges, rather than behind the spare. This worked nicely: no rattle, and it could be removed easily. The cartridge did not get stuck either (a common issue with the Cross Bailey Light, incidentally).

Nib tweakery.

I had saved the red Jinhao for the next evening. When I inspected the nib, it was quite a way off the centre line of the feed, but this is very quickly and easily corrected. Again, I took out the nib housing and separated the nib and feed. I flexed each tine up and down a few times to loosen up the tine gap a bit, before rinsing and drying the parts and reassembling. I took my usual care over centering the nib and put it all back together.

A dark red edition, with gold colour trim and bicolour nib.

I then noticed that the tine gap was a bit wider than it had been. Important lessen to self: make sure the nib is correctly centred symmetrically over the feed BEFORE widening the tine gap. It may be that once centred, the tine gap will be wider.

Now centred on the feed. Tine gap a bit on the wet side, but good for lefty overwriters.

To ink the dark red pen, I got out six bottles of red ink and sampled them all with a glass nib dip pen. I settled on Pure Pens Cadwaladr, a lovely dark red. The colour reminds me of my favourite wax crayon as a child, in primary school “wet play” times!

I now have four Jinhao X159s each inked with a different colour. Here is the collection (so far!):-

Pen colourTrimNib Ink
BlackSilverFineMontblanc Royal Blue
BlueGoldExtra FineDiamine Tavy blue black
OrangeSilverExtra FineWHSmith black cartridge
Dark redGoldExtra FinePure Pens Cadwaladr red

When you buy more than one of a pen, the downside is that you may find yourself liking one over the others. Currently, I tend to bring the orange one if going out, since its spare cartridge means I will not run out, away from home. With the prices being so attractive, it is tempting to gather up one of every colour, perhaps to use with corresponding inks. I would fancy a dark green and a brown next, if I were to buy any more. Then there are the white or ivory editions.

Mixing and matching parts.

There is also the useful option of being able to mix and match the pen parts and make your own colour combinations. For example I could put a black cap on my orange pen, and give it a Delta Dolce Vita vibe. Also the black pen, given an orange section, looks rather special. Mixing has a practical purpose as well as an aesthetic one, in that you can chose what ink colour you want to carry and then put the nib section with its converter or cartridge, into whichever barrel you wish. Don’t want an orange pen in a courtroom? Clothe it in a black cap and barrel!

If you have more than one X159, you can pull off crazy stunts like this.

So, four new pens for me before January was out. The black version is probably the most versatile to take any ink colour but if you want to treat them like a set of colouring pens, with every colour carrying a matching ink, then the Jinhaos are probably the most economical way of doing so.

My Jinhao X159 family.

17 thoughts on “Further thoughts on the Jinhao X159 fountain pen.

  1. Hello Rupert!

    I was so intrigued by your first review of the Jinhao X159 that I purchased one- the dark brown with gold clip and an F nib. I certainly agree that they are remarkable value for just c.£7 pounds! They write perfectly decently, especially for steel nibs.

    The other and slightly unexpected ‘benefit’ of having one to try is that they are virtually the same size as the Montblanc 149 Meisterstuck, a pen that has always been beyond my ‘permitted price range’. The good news for my wallet is that I find the pen too large and bulky (my ideal size being the Sailor 1911 Large or the Pelikans M600s or M800s): as a result, the Jinhao X159 has put me off wanting a MB 149…

    I am enjoying the Jinhao and may, following your inspiring reviews, buy another one soon!

    I wonder if Jinhao do a similar pen of a slightly smaller size?

    Thanks, as always, for an informative review!


      1. Hi Rupert
        From your first review of the X159 I went and brought one for its price it’s an excellent pen. Would I buy another one probably as they make a great work or journaling pen

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Jinhao makes a less girthy pen in their x750, as well as x450. I like them all as in general they are well behaved and priced extremely well! I have bought from Amazon…. I guess I helped fund Bezos’ flight to near earth orbit!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. These pens are typical Chinese junk. They’re made from cheap plastic, and the nibs are low grade stainless steel, and so is the tipping.
    That’s bad enough, but they are also covered in blood, and that blood is on the hands of anyone who buys such a pen. You’re helping to buy the bullets the military uses to commit genocide, you’re help China build thousands of nuclear weapons when the rest of the world is trying to eliminate them, you’re funding the inevitable invasion of Taiwan, and possibly the end of the world.
    But what the heck? None of that is as important as owning a cheap piece of Chinese crap because you’re too cheap to buy something elsewhere.


    1. Thankyou James. You seem to have some experience of this pen, given your comments as to the grade of plastic and steel. I am not sure in what way you find these deficient for their purpose or what more you expected at this price point. Personally I think they are rather good, and I have owned a fair few pens in my time.
      If you prefer a more precious resin, there is an obvious alternative, assuming you have no objections to financing Germany’s possible future aggressions.
      You are of course free to buy whatever pen (or anything else for that matter) in accordance with your own conscience. Boycotting any imports from China must be quite difficult for you, but then I do not know where you are based.
      You clearly have not been paying attention to this blog if you think me too cheap to buy something elsewhere.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. James, since you aspire to a better world I would suggest that you start with yourself and take the energy you spend being hateful and turn it into something more useful, like donating your time to someone in need. While you are at it might as well throw out all the blood-covered tech devices that you used to enter the comment above, toss your television to the curb and donate most of your clothes to a shelter. Wouldn’t want you to support any more nuclear weapon building.


      1. I wonder what happened since the 1970s, when people around the world boycotted South Africa. Strange how so few people call for a boycott of China (though South Africa never was such a danger to world peace as China is today). I’m happy my mobile phone is made in Indonesia, and the previous one in Mexico.


  3. Just a note to say your reviews are helpful, thoughtful, well written, and well photographed (lest you think they are unappreciated). I can’t afford high-end pens like the MB 149, or my frugality won’t allow me to buy one, so I might give these a try, especially the orange. On the other hand, my Pen BBS is fully inked—and unused (the nib has an antic disposition).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I read your review about the x159 and didn’t resist to soon bought one. Very nice writing indeed but a little extra large to my hand, since I’m used to a pelikan (not so good to write) and a couple of pilot 0,4 extra fine and very light marker.

    Now, exploring your blog to find another pearls.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Paulo. It is true, the X159 does have a large girth which may feel strange until you get used to it and then other pens may feel small. It depends what you have been using before.


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