I have just received and inked a Baoer 517 from eBay. I purchased it for a Dollar and figured what I had nothing to lose at that price.
Appearance & Design (7)
The 517 is a nice looking pen. It is a deep red with a black marble pattern and black and chrome accents. The most unique aspect of the pen is the interesting Clip design which I think will be love it or hate it for many people. The nib is two toned and is pretty enough.
Construction & Quality (7)
The pen seems to be constructed well enough. Nothing jumped out at me upon inspection as seeming fragile or of poor quality. The only real weak spot is that the converter seems a little poor but functions and holds ink well.
Weight & Dimensions (5)
This is a small pen. It is about 2 CM shorter than a Safari unposted and about 4 CM shorter posted. It is very close in size to the Pilot Vpen. The weight is nice and gives the pen a nice feel in the hand. This pen is not for those looking for a large pen.
Nib & Performance (5)
The nib seems to write fairly dry but smooth none the less. I did have some issues after letting it sit, it took some time to start but once started it flowed nicely. When writing there were a few instances of ink skipping but nothing major.
Filling System & Maintenance (6)
The 517 is a C/C pen. The included converter is a little on the cheap side but functional. Seems to hold a decent amount of ink.
Cost & Value (8)
This a decent pen for a great price. I cost me a bit more than a Vpen with shipping but offers far more flexibility as it comes with a converter and requires no hacking to refill. The styling and feel is better than I would expect for a Dollar. I am very satistfied with the product I received at this price point.
I certainly would not tell anyone to rush out and buy this pen but I do not think it will disappoint if you do. It is nice looking and functional little pen that offers a good value.
This review was written for the “out of the box” 517. I have since removed the breather tube adn cut a wider notch in the top to feed more ink to the nib. These modifications have corrected the skips and dry starts.