After looking at some Chinese fountain pens, I finally took the plunge and bought a couple of Jinhao 599 pens. I was skeptical buying cheap fountain pens as there are many online reviews saying it’s a hit and miss with quality control with Chinese products.
After receiving the pens, the first thing I noticed is that the Jinhao 599 looks very similar to the Lamy Safari fountain pen. As far as I can tell, there are only minor differences between the two pens. The body is very similar to the Safari. However the plastic feels a little cheaper and lighter in weight.
The nib on the Jinhao 599 has a imprint of 18k GP which seems unreal for such a cheap pen. So you can discount that right away. The pen does come with a nice converter similar to the Safari Z24 cartridge converter. It is one of the lightest pens that I’ve came across and despite the weight, the pen actually feels good in my hands post or unposted.
I honestly didn’t expect much when purchasing this pen. But after inking up with my Lamy ink and priming it, the Jinhao 599 wrote right out of the box (note that it didn’t come with a box) without any skipping. The ink flowed smoothly. The steel nib is a little stiff and scratchy but was pleasantly surprised how well it wrote. The nib size seems to be somewhere between a fine and medium. In fact I didn’t have any issues with any of the pens except for the ink leak in the middle of the barrel. This doesn’t affect the writing in any way though.
While certainly the Jinhao fountain pens are not the best fountain pen, it is a good cheap fountain pen for beginners or someone looking to try out using a fountain pen. Currently you can get one for under $5.