Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Review of the Baoer 388 Fountain Pen

First Impressions (7)
Normally, the combination of gold and silver (even just a silver color) is not something of which I am a fan, yet this pen has something striking about it.

Appearance (8)
Gold accents highlight brushed silver. If there were no engravings on the pen, I would term it one of the most nondescript fountain pens that I have ever seen. Yet, even in its nondescript fashion, it maintains an air of elegance. The engravings of the “Baoer” brand and “388” model number draw the eye to the cap, where the gold cap band is joined by a decidedly Parker-looking, arrow shaped clip, topped with a black cap jewel. Removing the cap, the gold accents continue, interrupted by a black, plastic grip, which actually appears quality. (My past experiences with black plastic grips on Chinese pens have been less than desirable.) Possibly the most impressive aspect is that it appears the gold plating on the two-tone nib is actually done well, keeping with the engraving lines.

Design/Size/Weight (6)
As I have found with other Baoer pens, the weight is nice and balanced. It is not very heavy, but there is enough heft to let one know that it is there and avoid feeling like a feather in the hand. Unfortunately, the cap is made so that it is quite a bit too tight, taking some effort to pull off and snap back on the pen.

Nib (8)
This relatively nice looking nib holds some interesting surprises! Other Baoer nibs, both fine and medium, have provided smooth operation and pleasant experience. This one is no different those regards. Beginning to write with it, I exert a bit of pressure and suddenly - flex! The flexing is not large, yet it is unique and unexpected.

Filling System (7)
The Baoer 388 takes both long and short standard international cartridges, and it comes with a converter. Sadly, it seems that not all Baoer converters carry a good quality, as this one is less than well made, having a cheap feel and a rough turning mechanism. However, this deficiency does not render it unusable nor does it affect the pen’s functionality.

Cost and Value (9)
I would say that this Baoer is an excellent pen for the cost, writing quite nicely straight from the package. It has a few points that could be improved, but at such a low price point these could easily be overlooked.

Conclusion (7.5)
In conclusion, I think that Baoer has crafted another good quality pen that is easily affordable for fountain pen users with all budgets. Its semi-elegant looks would make this pen a great gift for writers from the high school class room to the corporate world.

Please feel free to post questions or comments!
This post was neither compensated nor solicited.


  1. I bought a Baoer 388 yesterday, and this will be may first Fountain Pen!

  2. Bought a few others...

    Other chinese pens have mostly tight caps - but I dont think its an issue at all. - the jinhao X750 is even more tight so I prefer it for carrying around, Who wants a Fountain Pen with a loose cap in his pockets? For opening just put your thumbs together.

    The baoer 388 is great for heavy writing und use, I can wirte several DinA4 pages without cranks (i have glove Size 9,5-10).
    The Nib writes more like a F-Nib but I prefer this also for my handwriting.

    Writes "out of the box" just as good as my Jinhaos converted to F Bock nibs or a Pelikan M200.
    And way better then any lamy safari, pelikano etc. I used in school.

    Put a big Pelikan 4001 Cartridge in it... works just excellent.

    Just ordered a whole box of 388.

    1. I am quite glad it has worked so well for you! Thanks for sharing your experience, Anon.

  3. Has anyone more impressios after using Baoer 388 for a year or so?

    1. I gifted this one to a friend, who has been using it for the past nine months or so with no problems whatsoever.