If you’re not a hobbyist, then all you need to know is this: this pen is well made and is wonderfully functional, with a very satisfactory nib. The grip section is fairly large, so it may be uncomfortable for those of you with smaller hands (or large hands, for that matter), but if you like big grips, it’s a good shape… nothing wrong with it. Otherwise, if you don’t care that this isn’t an expensive European brand that will impress people, it will probably serve you well for years and years.
If you are a hobbyist:
Like so many fountain pen fans, I was very interested in the Jinhao x159 when it came out last year, with its big, #8 (ish) sized nib, but I was a little underwhelmed by the pen in the end. Just a week or two ago, I saw that Jinhao had released a new pen with the same, large nib: the 9019 Dadao, and it looked like an improvement over the x159, so I gave it a try.
First of all, the dark blue version that I got is the same blue material that the blue x159 is made of, and it’s the same glossy finish (some photos of the 9019 make it look matte… it’s not). The nib is the same size but I like the two-tone finish (my x159 was just steel).
Now that I have the two pens next to each other, I really prefer the look of the ball-end clip on the new 9019, but that’s a matter of taste. I also like the more delicate cap ring, but again, it may just be that it’s new.
The most important objective change (and I’d say improvement) with the 9019 is that it comes with a much larger cartridge converter, which looks as though it would hold two to three times the volume of ink as the one that ships with the x159 (though I haven’t measured yet) and it screws into place in the grip section. But if you prefer, it still also accepts the standard, smaller converter or cartridges. It’s an excellent system.
My medium nib in this pen was better than average: not super smooth, but not scratchy at all. Flow was fine, too… a little on the dry side, but might improve with a couple of flexes (like a PenBBS nib). All in all, I’m pretty happy with the pen.
If there’s a downside, it’s that the grip section is slightly thicker on the 9019 than the x159, and I already thought that the x159 was bordering on too big for my taste. I imagine that I’ll get used to it if I use it frequently.