Jinhao is on of the many Chinese pen manufacturers that seem to produce fountain pens at seemingly uneconomical prices. Johnathan Deans who writes the Fountain pen econonics blog wrote specifically about this topic of Chinese fountain pen prices. My search for low price quality fountain pens led to many a reviewer pointing to the x450 along with its cousins the x750 and 159.
I have to say I was surprised by the solid feel of the X450 in hand. Its an all metal construction (brass?) body and cap and feels heafty without being heavy. It comes with a clear Jinhao converter included, though as this a standard international style it can be replaced with something with a better build and capacity. The look and feel of the pen belies its sub $10 price tag. The nib is stamped “18ct gp” (gold plated?) but in fact it is a standard steel nib. As with many Chinese fountain pens the nib performance can be hit and miss, some have found their performance to be inconsistent but in my experience of three pens, the X450 is a wet writer. The nib used is a standard #6 nib and therefore replacement nibs are readily available from vendors such as Goulet.
The price point of the X450 means that I didn’t mind trying my hand at some nib grinding. Some sandpaper, nib smoothing kit from the Andersons and half an hour later i have a wonderful medium custom italic / stub nib. The pen that I liked is now one that I love. A year on the lacquer has chipped in some locations on the body and the gold coloured plating. The X450 has been in continuous daily use as my work pen and i don’t see this changing.