Review: Jinhao Fountain Pens

Jinhao 886 fountain pens

I received these two little lemon-lime treats from a Desk reader to try out and I’ve been delighted to take them for a test drive. They are the Jinhao 886 “bullet” fountain pens. They are small well-weighted, metal enamel fountain pens at a budget price. They kind of remind me of jelly beans. It looks like they can be purchased through Amazon for about $7.99 a piece with Prime Shipping though the bright yellow color isn’t shown. Alternately you can find the Jinhao for even less on Ebay if you’re willing to brave it.

Jinhao 886 fountain pens

The nib is labelled “18K GP” but I don’t think it means what they think it means. Not for the prices. Maybe the nib is gold plate but that’s not really why someone is going to buy a Jinhao 886. Its a stiff, steel medium nib and not purchased for its “poshness”.

Jinhao 886 fountain pens

The pens are just 5″ long capped and 5.5″ posted. And the caps do post nicely without adversely affecting the weighting. The whole pen weighs 21 gsm capped and filled which is pretty weighty for the little guys. Compact and solid.

Fountain Pen Weights

As for the nibs, stiff. Stiff, stiff, stiff. And a solid medium nib. Which is a perfectly acceptable size and feeling but I have been using so many fine and extra fine and slightly softer nibs that the Jinhao 886 was noticeable nail-like. But I suspect these pens were specifically designed for students and kids so a sturdy nib is probably quite up to the task of grade schoolers learning to write.

But I was really quite charmed by the pens overall. They feel nice in the hand, wrote pretty well right out of the package. I had to do a little light sanding on one nib on a nail buffer but it was cursory at best. And the size and shape is quite nice for we of small hands. Kids and ladies of dainty hands might quite enjoy having one of these pens in their collection. And at the price, there’s no reason not to try them out if the opportunity presents itself.

These would make good pens for experimentation as well. If you are looking to learn to do a little nib grinding, this would be a good pen to test that out. Or want to have a pen with some less-than-well-behaved ink (like Emerald of Chivor or bulletproofs or such), filling a Jinhao 886 would be a good way to have you pen and use it too without concerns about damaging a more expensive, rare or collectible pen. Consider a “play” pen.

Big thanks to MJ for sending these little bon bons!

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6 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I use my x750 pretty much exclusively for the shimmery inks. It puts down a wide enough line that the gold really shows in both Emerald of Chivor and Rouge Hematite!

  2. You can get most of the Jinhao line for 3- 5 USD directly from china using

    I’ve been using the Jinhao 159 – a colorful, full-sized pen that was inspired (yeah, right…) by the MB149.

    While I agree with Ana that the nib might have seen a photo of gold plating rather than being gold plated (let alone 18kt), I find the 159 to have a very well behaved nib, not scratchy at all (as opposed to some previous chinese FPs I’ve tried).

    The price is a great selling point – I now own 4 Jinhao 159’s – a blue one, a green, a yellow and an orange; some of the 866 are on their way to me – and on some occassions, when friends complimented me for my pen, I could just hand them the pen, and gift it – right on the spot!

    1. I like the idea of gifting a pen right on the spot. I purchased a 4-pack of the Jinhao 250 via eBay for less than 12 bucks, including shipping, so I can now do just that. Jinhao pens are a go right out of the box. I find them reliable, stylish with sturdy nibs that do not skip or falter.

  3. Well, thanks for the review. After reading it, I went out and got one. I already have several different chinese pens that I am really happy with and this one is no different.

    Great little pen that is very inexpencive, light and very usable. Really liking it.

    Thanks so much for dragging pens like the Jinhao into the daylight. I can read a thousand good reviews on the new Pelikan M whatever… but the little knock-about, user pens that are fun don’t always get much press. Thank you for giving us these kind of reviews too…

    Love your page anyway… Thanks for all the great work.

  4. I have the 159 with the JoWo 1.1 nib.
    It’s my favourite pen.
    In fine writers I love the Jinhao 15 which is a lovely shape, and the Jinhao 911 which is all round beautiful and only £1.00!

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