Monday, August 23, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 244

"Back to School" Pens ~ Part 2

Today's featured school pens are a couple of very inexpensive fountain pens I recently acquired--the Jinhao '993' model, commonly referred to as the Jinhao 'Shark"...

(please click on images to enlarge) 

I first saw one of these pens back in September 2017, when VPCer Mindy brought hers to our pen club meeting, The second time was at our April 2019 meeting when Candice and Dana both brought in their Jinhao 'Shark' pens for our topic "Fountain Pens with Animal Themes". I love sharks but I thought the cap design was a bit goofy, so it kind of put me off buying one for myself...

Fast-forward to July 2021, when I got an email from Goulet Pens advertising the pens during "Shark Week" (nice tie-in!) and finally decided to buy one. I didn't have anything else to buy from the Goulets at the time (and I didn't want to spend a lot of money on shipping), so I bought my "Shark" pens from Chinese seller 'jewelrymathematics' on eBay. I actually ordered two---the light blue one shown above, and its jet black counterpart in the photos below. Total cost including shipping for the two pens was just $7.90 USD. The pens arrived safe and sound, carefully packed but without a Jinhao box (not surprising, given their low cost!).

(If you've ever seen a Pilot 'Penmanship' or Pilot 'Plumix' fountain pen, you'll be instantly reminded of those two models when you see the Jinhao '993' :)

Like the Pilot pens, the Jinhaos are entirely made of resin--except for their nibs, of course--so they're very light (weight of each Jinhao = 11 grams). The capped length of the Jinhaos is 15.4 cm/6.1 inches. The posted length of the turquoise one is actually the same as its capped length, but th
e black pen is slightly longer when posted because its nib is a tiny bit longer (it has an open nib vs. the turquoise's hooded nib). At ~4.9 inches uncapped, however, both fountain pens can be used comfortably without their caps on...unless you prefer a longer pen, of course. 

The pens post very securely, and their caps (being made of a light plastic) don't add much weight to the barrel ends. The end result is two light, well-balanced writing instruments that can be used posted or unposted.

I switched the sections on the pens (photo directly above) just to see how they'd look. Turns out I prefer the sections to match the pen bodies ... which shouldn't have been a shock as I've always liked pens with matching sections! The two sections are perfectly interchangeable with each other, though, so if you want to swap them around, it's easy to do. The fountain pens come in a wide variety of colours (currently twelve colours, I believe), with clear sections that match the colour of the cap and barrel.

Unlike the sandpaper-y texture of a real shark's skin, the Jinhao "Shark" fountain pen is very smooth and feels nice to the touch. The sections are triangular and really comfortable to hold, and paired with the pens' light weight, make them ideal for long writing sessions.

When I looked on eBay, I noticed that the pen was available with two different types of stainless steel nibs---a hooded nib and an open nib---so I chose one of each. Both the hooded nib and the Jinhao-branded open nib (marked F) wrote well. The F (Fine) open nib did write more like a Western XF (Extra Fine), though, but I expected that. The open nib can be pulled out easily from the section (it's friction-fitted) and replaced with another nib of the same size, if you so choose (the same nib can be found on the Jinhao '992'). I haven't tried to remove the hooded nib on my turquoise pen because I don't want to damage the pen, and I really like the way it writes (it's /very/ smooth).

The pens take short international cartridges or standard converters (both of mine came with Jinhao converters), but can also be converted to eyedropper fillers.
A word of warning regarding using them as eyedropper-fillers : Take care when unscrewing the cap that you don't accidentally unscrew the barrel. It's a very easy (and very messy) mistake to make!

My new Jinhao with my new Laurige zippered pen pouch in black leather that I bought from's Warehouse recently for $10.76 CAD (more than 50% off because it was listed as "Used - Very Good" condtion). The pouch measures 6.75 x 1.5 x 1.375 inches, and can hold the two Jinhaos and a Lamy Safari fountain pen comfortably inside when zippered. I couldn't find any damage to the leather pouch at all, so I think I got a great deal :)

"He ain't heavy, he's my brother (or a distant marine cousin)???"

The only indication that this pen was made by Jinhao is the Jinhao name and chariot logo tastefully embossed on the underside of the cap (not shown in photo above). The cap has a simple rendering of a shark's head (complete with gills) and its streamlined shape nicely complements the sleekness of the barrel. The dorsal fin on the cap also doubles as a roll stop to prevent the pen from rolling off a desk. Although I was put off by it years ago, I now think the cap is a fun, playful design (the cap design actually looks a bit more subtle in real life than it does in my photos).

All in all, I think the Jinhao '993' "Shark" fountain pen would make a nice, inexpensive gift for a young shark fan (or his/her adult counterpart)... or a younger student looking for a cheap fountain pen. It's light, easy to carry, reliable...and it's definitely a conversation starter!

Interested in learning a bit more about these graceful endangered species? Here are 7 fascinating facts about sharks - link to World Wildlife Fund page

~ Review & photos by Maja ~

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