If you are shopping for a very affordable — as in sub-$20, sub-$10, or even sub-$5 — fountain pen and you want high-end features like screw-on cap, included converter, or piston-filling mechanism then you are shopping for a Chinese fountain pen. Brands like Wing Sung and Jinhao offer incredible value for the money, but do have some shortcomings that we don’t expect from standard fountain pen purchases.
These Chinese fountain pens are very affordable, but they don’t have websites with clear explanations and offer don’t come from vendors we know and trust. Plus that often have very slow shipping times (sometimes 2-4 weeks to the US) so remembering what you bought can be an issue. It was with those challenges in mind that we set up this top Chinese fountain pens of 2019 roundup.
Featured in the top Chinese pens round-up video:
- Caliarts Ego – – Piston-filler that looks like a Twsbi 580. Nice writer and a reasonable starting point for people who are new to Chinese pens. The latest version of this pen is sold as the Caliarts Ego II.
- Jinhao 992 – $11.99 – Basically the Monteverde Monza, inspired by the Sailor 1911
- Kaco Edge – $17.50 – Inspired by the Lamy 2000, German nib from Schmidt
- Wing Sung 3003 – $14.99 – Pilot Prera-inspired, poor writer, scratchy nib
- Wing Sung 3007 – Out of stock – Kaweco Sport clone, but fit and finish are worse. Writes nicely
- Wing Sung 3008 – $15.99 – Piston-filler that looks like the Caliarts Ego and Twsbi Eco. Has a Lamy compatible nib. Probably the cheapest piston-filler you can find.
Other Chinese fountain pens of note:
- Wing Sung 698 – $21.98 – A reliable piston-filler and one of the most highly regarded Chinese fountain pens
- Moonman M2 – $19.99 – A very popular choice for a nicer Chinese fountain pen. This $20 eyedropper is nicely built and really shows of your ink. Watch out for fakes.
- Wing Sung 618 – $17.98 – A Parker 51 clone that is a nice writer and quite good looking. Unlike the Parker it’s a piston-filler
- Penbbs 309 – Out of stock – A higher-end take on the Chinese fountain pen, more akin to the Twsbi Eco than most pens on this list. Piston-filler
- Jinhao 159 – Check on Amazon – An older model but a reasonable choice if you want a larger pen
- Jinhao 51A – Out of stock
- Jinhao x450 – Out of stock – Known for its rubberized grip and a popular choice for people with sweaty hands
- Jinhao x750 –$7.98
- Jinhao 911 – $7.00
- Moonman M2 – $18.99 – Clear body eyedropper
- Moonman N3 – $36.99
- Moonman C1 – $25.98 -A squared-off version of the M2. Can use used with a converter or as an eyedropper
- Wing Sung 6359 – $2.00 – Lamy Al-Star clone
- Full Brass Iraurita – $12.00 – Brass, hexagonal body
Best Chinese Fountain Pen
It is very hard to say one of these is a clear best, but if you had to pick one, I’d recommend the Jinhao 992. This pen is one of the top in this article in terms of build quality and quality control, it has a smooth nib, and it looks like. The 992 writes like a Pilot nib with a nice ink flow and great handling. It’s a little small and it’s not a piston-filler like some of the other pens on this list, but it still gets top marks from us.
If you are looking for maximum bang-for-the-buck then you should be in the market for a Chinese piston-filling pen, which will undercut its Japanese and European competition by a factor of 90%. In this case you should pick up a Wing Sung 3008. This pen is a nice writer with a Lamy compatible nib, so you can really upgrade it if you happen to have a Lamy nib lying around. That said the nib has some strengths of its own so if you can get the flow right people might actually prefer the stock nib. There is also the Caliarts Ego in this category, but quality control on this nib/feed is questionable and the $10+ price tag, while not a lot of money, puts it in a higher price class.
Regardless of any problems, these fountain pens are gaining an incredible following and are providing a lot of value to pen buyers.