I got this pen for like $2 because I got lucky in an eBay auction. I have other Baoer pens, but this is one of the best. I got lucky in the nib as well. Some of them can arrive damaged and not work right, or some of them can be scratchy. The quality control is abysmal. But, like I said, I got lucky here.
You may be noticing the Chinese writing on this pen and wonder what that’s about with a company name like Baoer. Well, Baoer is a Chinese company. You wouldn’t know it otherwise, but they do something few western companies do: they stamp their name on a lot of stuff, not just the nib or in a subtle way in the back like on a Parker. This bad boy has Baoer and their logo printed twice in a big ass gold ring at the top of the cap, AND on the nib. Subtle! I’ve had the pen for a while and have been using it for a backup when my beloved Frontier runs out of ink at school due to me being poor at managing that type of stuff. People stare at this mother, or I’d use it a bit more.
Let’s do the quick review.
Performance: 9/10. This pen never leaks, never skips, and is a smooth writer. It’s easily the best performing Chinese pen I own. Yes, that includes Jinhaos, you weirdos who are such big fans of those pens. You know, I have never had a Jinhao work for me very well. They are all hard starters, are too dry, and skip all the time. Those pens suck. Anyway, this one’s great. I’ve literally never had it skip. It writes a great medium fine line that is usable almost anywhere, even for me, someone who really likes big fat…wet…juicy…mmm… Er…right. Even for me, someone who prefers a broad nibbed pen.
While writing with the pen, I haven’t gotten cramped or anything, despite what I would call a subpar grip section. It’s not subpar in size or design, just feel. It feels like the cheapest possible grip section they could have done. Possibly even cheaper than a flat plastic thing. The ribbing is atrocious. I can’t quite explain it. Despite this, the pen is extremely well balanced and adjusted. I don’t post this pen, because I’m not a blithering idiot.
Appearance: 8/10. It gets really high marks for basically looking like a Pelikan M200, but with a much cooler body of the pen. The details on the picture are superb, and also fun to look at. That’s also not plastic, either. That’s metal. What kind of metal, I don’t know, but golly it’s definitely metal. Mine is silver, but it also comes in copper and gold colours, both of which are very pleasant to look at. When other people see the pen and ask to take a look at it, they hold it and examine it much longer than my other pens because there’s so much to look at on this one. However, despite the fact that there is a lot to look at on this pen, because it’s just embossed on the metal with no additional colours, it doesn’t look as gaudy as it might, nor indeed as busy and noisy as it might look otherwise. This pen is perfectly usable in a business meeting while still maintaining a lot of personality.
The only part that breaks down is when you look at the smaller parts of the pen. The clip looks nice, as an inverted Pelikan M200 clip, but the band at the top with the brand name is tacky and really is different from the rest of the pen. That sucks. Also, the ribbed plastic grip section is made out of terrible and cheap plastic that doesn’t look like anything in particular, and feels as cheap as it looks. Furthermore, the gold touches around the grip have corroded and now look like they have been dipped in a pile of poop and left to sit there for a while. I don’t take very good care of this pen, so there is a chance that it’s just ink from the pen getting on the gold and ruining it. But, then, why wouldn’t it do that on the nib? Probably because the nib is actually gold plated and the other pieces of metal are just coloured gold. I can’t really explain it, so I won’t try.
That nib, on the other hand, is pretty attractive. Many gold plated two toned nibs have a lot of decoration on them, but the Baoer nib just has the name and maintains the line theme they have going on from the grip section and the clip in the non gold part. Pretty decent.
Build Quality: 8/10. Despite that crap with the gold plating flaking off, the rest of the pen is built extremely well. It weighs about 30 grams, in line with almost metal pens of this size. It’s also about the same size as the rest of them, too. I must keep returning to that crappy plastic grip, though. Man, that takes it down a point. And, the easily removed gold in the grip area, too. That’s rough. But, there’s a chance that it’s just because I don’t take very good care of a pen I paid $2 for.
Refilling and maintenance: 7/10. This pen has international cartridge support and comes with a converter that’s actually really good. But, this is just standard at this point. It’s hard to get the nib and feed out of the pen, and, while the nib appears that it might be a #5, and therefore kind of easily replaceable, it’s not ideal. But, I wouldn’t replace it anyway.
Value: 9/10. Yeah, I paid $2 for it, but they seem to run closer to $7 on eBay. Now, while that’s cheap for western pen companies, it is somewhere in the middle of the road for Chinese pens. As such, the finish isn’t very good, and you can kind of feel the cheapness somehow, even compared to other Chinese pens. But, if you ignore that, and focus on the big things, like its performance and weight, the pen’s actually a pretty good value.
Conclusion: 8.7/10. Not an average. The pen is really good, and really cheap. But it’s not remarkable in any particular way. Hence, I feel like giving this guy an 8.7. Yeah. What’re you going to do?
Here’s some terrible writing.