Pen Review: Jinhao X450
I’m a guy who likes expensive things. I always have. It used to drive my parents crazy. We’d go out to a restaurant, and without even bothering to look at the prices, I would somehow end up picking the most expensive thing on the menu. As I have matured, I wish I could say that I have grown out of this deep desire to have expensive things, but that would be a lie. So, when I come across a budget pen, I tend to approach with a little bit of skepticism. In the case of the Jinhao X450, however, I have to say that I am completely floored by the quality to value ratio.
I have had as many as 5 of these Jinhao X450s in my collection at one time, and not a single one of them has cost me more than $7–a price that includes shipping from China. The pen hefty and solid, and feels well made. I have many far more expensive pens that don’t feel as well made as these do. They come in a whole plethora of colors. The Jinhao-branded nibs give a surprising amount of line variation, but they aren’t particularly flexible. They can also be a bit inconsistent.
However: by switching out the Jinhao nib for another standard #6 nib (such as nibs from Goulet Pen Company, as I have done), this pen can become pretty stellar, pretty quickly. A $6 pen combined with a $15 nib will give you a pen that writes like a pen orders of magnitude more expensive. My red Jinhao X450 has skyrocketed up into the top 5 pens in my collection, and in my estimation, far outstrips pens in the same price range like the Pilot Metropolitan or the Lamy Safari. This feels like a nice, expensive pen. And I love that.