Hi. My name is Grumpy, and I’m a fountain pen addict.

Within the last week or so, I have ordered five new-to-me pens, and an equal number of bottles of ink. In addition to the three and two of each, respectively, that I already had.

First, I bought the Parker 45 with a medium nib that HH recently rescued. I wanted a nicer pen than either the Pilot or Lamy for more formal occasions. Meaning, any time when a shirt with more than three buttons is necessary. Which is rare for me, but does happen. I am partial to fine and extra fine nibs, but hey, Parker.

While waiting for it to arrive, which took forever – thank you USPS, I looked at some of the inexpensive Jinhao pens that she initially recommend before I insisted on relieving her of the 45. My travels through the amazon uncovered three different models that came fine nibs instead of the usual mediums. One was an x450 that was one of her recommendations, and the others were a 9009 and a 301.

The only one stateside was the 9009, which has arrived and is currently being tested. The other two are probably on a boat by now, and should arrive within a few weeks. Prices varied from $3.81 to $6.80, including shipping.

During my search, I also saw a Lanxivi Yongsheng 052 Century Pioneer with an extra fine nib for a whopping $9.00, shipped. And it was even in country. It had mostly positive reviews, and the design looked very similar to Jinhao, so I had to have it. It, too, is in my possession and undergoing tests.

Shortly after the Parker left HH’s hands, I ordered a bottle of Bernake Blue ink. I figured it was time to branch out from traditional black. At about the same time, reader, commenter, and friend, Jin Chiang pointed me in the direction of a local supplier of bottled writing fluid.

Four bottles meets the threshold for free shipping. So you know what happened. Another black, a red, a medium emerald, and a dark emerald rounded out my selections. I really wanted the purple, but it had been discontinued and they had already sold out.

So, now I have three different blacks, two greens, a blue and a red. To go with my three Jinhaos, two Pilots, Lanxivi, Lamy and Parker pens.

In addition to putting the new arrivals through their paces, I’ve also been switching back and forth between the Lamy and the Pilot, comparing the two.

I will write a review of all four Chinese pens, the Parker, and update my thoughts on the Lamy and Pilot as well as the new inks after I’ve had a chance to wring them out a bit.


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