August 1, 2013

Baoer 388 Fountain Pen

I was on a family vacation a few months ago and, as luck would have it, there was a fountain pen proprietor relatively close to where we were staying. I decided to go "souvenir" shopping with my son, and for some odd reason my Garmin navigation system guided me right to the pen shop's doorstep.

I was able to resist the urge to buy another pen for myself, but I caved when my son asked me to buy him something as a souvenir. I gave him an allowance of only ten bucks and was surprised when he actually found a decent fountain pen for only nine dollars:

Baoer 388
The pen looks somewhat pleasing to the eye, and it has a body that is made of metal. The pen was not offered in different nib sizes, so I assume that it has a medium nib on it. It came with a converter, and it accepts standard international ink cartridges. The pen feels pretty solid in the hand, and it weighed in at about 25.2 grams with the converter inked up.

The nib performs in a satisfactory manner. It's not the best nib I've written with, but it's certainly not the worst. It has decent flow and writes smoothly most of the time. I have experienced some skipping incidents, but nothing out of the ordinary for a cheap pen.

My kid likes the converter and the gold tinted nib of the Baoer 388. I think its a great pen for him because I won't lose any sleep if he breaks it, trades it for a Pokémon card, or loses it. That said, he may be over this pen already because I recently overheard him saying: "I wish I had a GOOD fountain pen, like one of yours."

Anyhow, my takeaway is this: the Baoer 388 is a decent choice for a beginner fountain pen. It's a "real" fountain pen with a converter, and it's compatible with standard ink cartridges, which makes it convenient. I would still recommend the Pilot 78G as a first option (I think the 78G writes better), but the Baoer 388 is a nice alternative.

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