"Norman: just received my order of a Baoer Sonata and a Duke 962. Both are excellent with very smooth nibs and both write well. I'm a bit of aficionado of not-too-expensive fountain pens, and I have to say the Duke 962 is my favorite. Far better than Lamy or Nemosine. Indeed, it's as smooth and slick as my Waterman Phileas FP. (By comparison, the nib on the 962 is very slightly wider than the Waterman FP.) The Duke 962 would make a great gift for anyone. One advantage of the 962 is that it takes international size cartridges, so you have a wide variety of inks you can use in it as opposed to the limited proprietary selections of Waterman or Lamy. I currently have Diamine Oxblood in it. The Baoer Sonata is very good as well. One very minor ding: it takes international cartridges as well, but the chamber barrel is a little longer than two short cartridges--so you have to push the cartridge in, just screwing the nib section on to the barrel won't pierce the cartridge. And, if you're using two short cartridges, it rattles a little. No big deal, and not applicable at all if you are using a long cartridge or the piston filler. I'm very happy with both, and would recommend either to anyone wanting a good serviceable pen for a very reasonable price. Hard to believe these pens are only $20 and $25." L. G., Aiken, SC
"I've also inked up the Baoer "388" Sonata in Tiger Green, and I am blown away! It flows much better than any of the Parkers I have that it's styled after, and looks amazing while doing it. From the finish and accents to the nib, grip and weight, I can't recommend that pen in particular more highly, and I imagine I'll be contacting you pretty shortly with a reorder because this particular pen has caught my eye as gifts for friends and family. I've been using Noodler's Ink, I know that you don't carry it, but both have been scribing along quite well with it inked in them. I work in a computer retail environment for a state university, and I like to have my customers use a fountain pen when they sign an invoice detailing their computer purchase. Because there are so few people who have used a proper pen these days, half of the time they don't even know how to hold it (who would have thought so many people would initially think that it's supposed to be held upside down?) so having a reliable pen that works every time the tip come to paper is a must. I'm happy to report a 100% satisfaction with your pens, thank you so much! Lastly I am blown away by the personal touch you put in everything you do." C. D., Storrs, CT
"Oh and I thought you might like to know this:
I went into a Parker store and got them to take a look at the silver Baoer you sold me quite a while ago. I didn't tell them where I bought it and got it appraised. They thought it was a modified Parker with different parts, valued at $200. Said it wrote beautifully, so it's not just me. So, good job :) I'm still very happy with it and take it everywhere with me. The one I'm ordering is for my dad's birthday. Thanks,"
E. B., Melbourne, Australia
I'm going to start my description of the Baoer Sonata by comparing it to another pen -- the Parker Sonnet -- to which it pays homage. The Parker Sonnet has been a very popular fountain pen model, available in a myriad of finishes, for close to two decades now. The Baoer Sonata captures the main design highlights of the Sonnet at a much lower price point.
I've selected the black version of each pen to give you a look at the models side-by-side. The Jinhao Sonata is a touch longer when capped, measuring 5-3/8" (5-1/4" for the Parker), 6-1/8" posted (5-3/4" for the Parker) and 4-5/8" with cap held aside (here the Parker takes the lead at 4-3/4").
The width of the two pens is virtually identical, as are the arrow clips and cap tops. The one noticeable difference is the slightly wider cap band of the Parker -- and of course the 'Parker' or 'Baoer' engraving appropriate to the pen.
Both pens are cartridge/converter style, although the Parker takes proprietary cartridges or converters, while the Baoer uses the more universal International style. The Parker will typically have an 18K or 14K gold nib, while the Baoer has a gold-plated steel nib.
But enough about the Parker Sonnet! We're here to present the Baoer Sonata.
Along with the black, the pen is offered in a steel 'Flighter' version, as well as three lacquered colors -- red, blue and green -- that I've added the appellation Tiger to, as that's what their colored and black stripes bring to mind. It's somewhat difficult to see or capture in a photo those on the dark blue model, but the red and green show up clearly.
Unscrewing the all-metal fittings between section and barrel displays the included piston converter and it's little ink-agitator ball. The pen will also fit international-style ink cartridges, such as those from Private Reserve. As with all new pens, I recommend to run a dilute solution of dishwashing soap (two or three drops to a small bowl of water) through a new pen a few times, followed by water only. Step one is effective at removing manufacturing oils that can tend to make the ink less than enthusiastic in heading from the converter/filler to the nib, and step two removes the traces of the detergent you've used...which tends to have the opposite, diuretic effect.
IMPORTANT SERVICE NOTE: Every nib that ships from His Nibs is closely examined under high magnification and tuned or adjusted if needed. About 85% of modern nibs need some adjustment out-of-the-box from the manufacturer for an optimal writing experience. Most commonly, the tines of the nib are misaligned -- which would cause scratchiness at the minimum; the slit between the tines is partially or fully closed -- which would starve the nib of ink and at best cause skipping; or the slit between the tines is too wide -- which will either again cause skipping, or conversely, flooding. There are other factors -- such as separation of the nib from the feed -- that are inspected and repaired before any pen leaves the Palace.
The only 100% guarantee of course comes when the pen is actually filled with ink and written with for the first time, but our pre-shipping inspections and tunings have eliminated 99.99999 (my finger is getting tired) of the frustrations that a customer experiences when first using a new fountain pen. Although this can be time-consuming on occasion, it affords our customers a much more pleasant experience when receiving a fountain pen from His Nibs -- and saves us the frustration of dealing with returns!
Ordering Procedures & Returns
International customers, please note, we will not falsify shipping documents
Please send your order and shipping address (along with any questions) to:
We will email you back with your order total (PA residents please add 6% sales tax)
Credit cards, for the quickest fulfillment of your order, are accepted through PayPal, a secure site allowing you to use your credit card without us even seeing the information. If you'd like to make use of this credit card service, please let us know when you email your order and address, and we'll email you the appropriate Request for Payment, and instructions for the simple payment procedure (you don't need to join PayPal to use it).
If you would like us process your credit card directly instead, then please email us:
1. Card # (dividing this number in two, between two emails, will
If you'd rather pay by money order or check, kindly make payable to:
ship via insured Priority Mail
Warranties and returns
If an item proves to be defective, in most cases the manufacturer's warranty will apply. However, please email us first so that we can determine the easiest way to resolve the problem to your satisfaction. In the case of fountain pens -- which are a bit more individualistic than other writing instruments -- what may at first appear to be a defect (hard starting or poor flow for example), can in almost all cases be resolved with a few simple 'tweaks' to the nib, which we'll be happy to guide you through or perhaps suggest returning to us for adjustment.
Should you wish to return a non-defective item within 3 days of receipt because it doesn't suit you for some reason, again please email us and we'll arrange an exchange, credit or refund (minus any shipping/insurance charges), if the item is returned in an 'as new' condition. If you've dipped a fountain pen to try its writing characteristics, kindly clean off any ink residue prior to shipping -- to save us both a nasty surprise .
We want you to be happy with your purchase from HisNibs.com and hope to have you join the ranks of our many long-term, repeat customers!
Revised: January 15th, 2017