Nib Notes: Esterbrook #9550 Firm Extra Fine

Esterbrook #9550 nibNext stop for the Esterbrook nib train is my Esterbrook #9550 Firm Extra Fine nib. As I’ve mentioned before, my favorite three nib related words are firm, extra and fine, preferably in that order. So this nib has a lot of promise.

Like other 9xxx series nibs the #9550 is osmiridium tipped and part of their Master DuraCrome Point line.

My particular nib has quite a bit of feedback, especially when writing on paper that’s not smooth. I say not smooth, rather than rough or coarse, because I don’t consider Doane Writing Pads to be coarse or rough paper. But the feedback on this paper makes the writing experience less than enjoyable. The line put down on Doane paper, at least the writing pads, is much thinner and I have to press harder to get a good solid line.

On the other hand, writing on smooth paper is a much more pleasant experience. It’s still a dry writing pen on smooth paper but a light touch can be used and the line is consistent. No skipping, but not an abundance of ink either.

There’s not much more to say about this nib, It’s name covers everything you need to know – Esterbrook #9550 Firm Extra Fine. I enjoy the nib on smooth paper but it’s not enjoyable on the types of paper I typically use during the day. It’s just too thin. Next time I ink it up I may try a more lubricated ink to see if it helps smooth the writing a bit. But I’m not hopeful. The Esterbrook #9550 Firm Extra Fine, at least the one I have, doesn’t live up to the potential of its great name.

Additional Reading

This FPN thread mentions some smooth 9550s

Grandmia Pens shows an Esterbrook with the #9550 nib on YouTube. The nib is unveiled at the 4:48 mark.

Gallery

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Review: Esterbrook Dip-Less Pen and #7550 Firm Extra Fine Nib

Esterbrook Dip-Less_pieces-on-mirrorThis pen changed my life. Well, not really. But I was surprised at how much I’ve loved using this pen. I bought the pen over a year ago and it sat unused until about two weeks ago. I’ve used it just about every day since then.

This nib review is a little different than my previous Esterbrook nib notes. That’s because this nib is different. Unlike the previous Esterbrook nibs this one is for an early Esterbrook Dip-Less pen. Since I’ve only got one nib for the pen this will be a combined nib and pen review, even though the nib is interchangeable. (Technically, any of my Esterbrook nibs will fit, but I’ve only got one nib that’s specifically for this pen.)

I purchased the pen on eBay about a year ago. It came with the #7550 Firm Extra Fine nib. The pen box was in very good shape and included the original instructions. It was listed as New Old Stock (NOS) and I liked the color so I made a bid and was surprised when I won the auction. I obviously wasn’t too excited because the pen sat for a year.

Thanks to modern marketing, when I read “Dip-less” my first thought was that the pen didn’t need dipping. Was it just a marketing name for a fountain pen? Obviously that’s not the case. “Dip-less” means it can be dipped less often since, unlike early dip pens, this one includes a feed. My only other dip pen was my glass dip pen, so I can’t really compare this one to other dip pens. What I can say is that the feed holds a surprisingly large amount of ink. Sometimes it seems like it can go on forever.

What I Got

Esterbrook Dip-Less with nib installedThis nib is unlike my previously reviewed Esterbrook nibs. It doesn’t screw into the pen. A lever is used to unlock the feed and slide it, and the nib, out. The nib and feed are two pieces. A nib swap just replaces the metal nib, the same feed is used. The feed is designed so that the nib slides into the right place. There a small ridge where the back of the nib butts into place. The nib and feed then slide easily into the pen. It’s hard to insert the nib incorrectly.

The pen also takes the regular Esterbrook screw in nibs (Renew-points), such as the ones that are also used in the Esterbrook J pens. Other than screwing a nib in to make sure it fits I haven’t used one of the screw in nibs. The #7550 nib will only work in this pen (among the Esterbrooks I own) and I love the extra fine line it puts down so I’m not looking to swap it.

The pen barrel is engraved “Esterbrook PAT.PEND. MADE IN U.S.A. DIP-LESS UNIVERSAL”. The black taper can be unscrewed and replaced. I’ve also seen clear and red tapers. The “Universal” means the pen can take either the original two piece nib (such as the #7550) or it can take one of the screw in nibs.

Esterbrook Dip-Less feed - openI’m still not used to removing the nib. The nib (and feed) are a little hard to slide out and I’m afraid I’ll break the lever, or the plastic around the feed. From what I’ve read this wasn’t uncommon (the breaking that is). While removing the nib and feed allow a thorough washing, it’s not necessary and it doesn’t take much longer to clean the feed while in the pen. I’ve been cleaning it a lot lately since I’ve been using dozens of inks with it and I haven’t had to take it apart.

The #7550 is another manifold nib, intended for carbon copies. This seems like a good choice for a desk pen that would be for public use. At a bank counter for example.

The nib is Osmiridium coated which would provide added durability and smoothness. My particular nib was NOS and was in good shape. There is some feedback from the nib, but this is expected from an extra fine nib. I would say this nib is near the top, if not on the top, of the smoothness list for my Esterbrook extra fine nibs.

Esterbrook #7550 Firm Extra Fine nib topMost 7xxx nibs had the Sunburst pattern. Mine doesn’t. It’s has he imprinting vertically along the nib and boxed in by three lines. I didn’t know it at the time but this nib is considered rare. I was thinking the sunburst pattern would be more desirable until I read this article by Brian Anderson.

Based upon the instructions that were included with the pen it was intended for use with the No. 407 inkwell (or at least one that looked like it). The instructions lists nine 5xxx series nibs as designed for the pen (The #5442 is not listed). The instructions also say Renew-points in the 2xxx and 3xxx series can be used. Since there’s no mention of 7xxx series nibs this would seem to indicate that my #7550 nib, the pen and the instructions were not originally packaged together. But some research (mainly reading Paul Hoban’s “The Fountain Pens of Esterbrook) makes it clear that the 7xxx series nibs were available when the instructions were printed and they were intended for Dip-less pens. The 7xxx series nibs are in the c.1939 catalog. The 3xxx series nibs were introduced around 1938 and phased out around 1944 which would put the instructions in that date range. The 7xxx series nibs are the Osmiridium tipped versions of the 5xxx series nibs, although there are only four 7xxx series nibs. I would have expected any instructions to mention the 7xxx series nibs since they were available at the time, especially if the nib was sold with the pen. The nib obviously works in the pen. I was just curious, not concerned.

The Numbers

  • Length: 6.3815″ (162.09 mm)
  • Diameter (near nib): 0.39″ (9.90 mm)
  • Barrel Diameter: 0.4185″ (10.63 mm)
  • Weight: 0.2 oz. (6 g)

Writing with the Pen

Esterbrook Dip-less in an empty #407 inkwell

Esterbrook Dip-less in an empty #407 inkwell

I do have a couple Esterbrook #407 inkwells but I didn’t start cleaning them up until I learned how much I liked this pen and that I wanted it on my desk.I used the cleanest parts from both to get a working inkwell. I just filled the inkwell with Sheaffer red as I was getting ready to publish this post. (I also have a 447 “hockey puck” inkwell and the pen does not fit as snugly as it does in the #407.) The 407s hold a lot of ink – a full 50ml bottle of Sheaffer Red fit with room to spare. Because I just filled the inkwell last night all my writing has been done bottle dipping. This results in a coating of ink on the top of the nib. While it looks nice, it could result in errant ink drops so I wipe the ink off on the edge of the bottle. This takes a little longer but using the pen was very enjoyable. The inkwell to solves most of this problem although there’s a little ink on top of the nib.

Despite getting the pen over a year ago this is the first time I’ve dipped it in ink. And I’m kicking myself for waiting so long. I used the nib when I swabbed/tested my Private Reserve and Noodler’s inks and the writing samples are in the Gallery. There weren’t any problems, although the inks are very old and a couple of the colors obviously haven’t aged well. That’s not the fault of the pen. I’ve been on an ink sampling tear thanks in part to this pen and have used it with several dozen inks. Some inks work better than others, just like in a fountain pen, but in general they all worked great.

I don’t know why I expected writing with the pen to suck, but since it was actually pleasant I’ve probably over re-acted on the positive side. It’s rather fun to see how much the pen can write with one dip. (A lot.)

For my first extended writing session (the draft of this review) I picked Montblanc Bordeaux as the ink. It seemed appropriate and was a perfect match. Using a dip pen is a different writing experience. Some of the enjoyment was obviously because it was different, but I’ve continued to enjoy the pen.

If I held the pen in the bottle for a little longer than a quick dip it would take up enough ink so that I could write about 3/4 of a page, including some pauses. I made it through the first draft (a couple lines over two pages) with four dips and the fourth was close to the end but there just wasn’t enough ink without that fourth dip.

Wrapping Up

Unfortunately dip pens aren’t as convenient to use, for obvious reasons. Still, the Esterbrook Dip-less with the #7550 Firm Extra Fine nib is a pleasure to use so I’ll find reasons to use it while at my desk. I started cleaning up the inkwells and plan on putting the Esterbrook Dip-less in a prominent spot on my desk.

Additional Reading

About the Dip-Less pens at Esterbrook.net

About the desk sets at Esterbrook.net

Nib Notes: Esterbrook #9461 Rigid Fine

Esterbrook 9461 Rigid Fine This week’s Esterbrook nib is the Esterbrook #9461 Rigid Fine nib. The nib is also called a Manifold Fine and is the fine version of the #9460 medium nib.

Like every 9xxx series Master DuroChrome nib the 9461 is tipped with an allow Esterbrook called Osmiridium. The nib, at least the one I have, has “Esterbrook” and “9461” engraved the length of the nib. I like this engraving style. It’s nice and simple, yet distinctive.

My particular nib is smooth, especially on paper that is also smooth. There is a little feedback which would be expected from a fine nib. The nib was intended to be used to make carbon copies so I would expect this nib to last a long, long time with regular usage, The nib also does a great impression of a nail for the same reason.

I wasn’t surprised to find I liked this nib. There isn’t a Esterbrook fine or extra fine nib that I don’t like, although specific nibs may not have aged well. In this case, my particular nib has aged well.

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Review: Caran d’Ache Ivanhoe

Caran d'Ache Ivanhoe uncapped on a mirror with the cap standingThe Caran d’Ache Varius Ivanhoe joined my accumulation the same time as my Waterman Edson. I should have bought stock instead of pens back then. Like the Edson, the Caran d’Ache Ivanhoe now sells for over three times what I paid for it. I had been debating between it and the Edson. By the time I picked the Edson I had also saved enough for the Ivanhoe. The Ivanhoe is part of the Varius collection so the full name is Caran d’Ache Varius Ivanhoe but I just drop the Varius.

The Waterman and Caran d’Ache were my first really nice (and expensive) fountain pens. For the next year they were almost always inked together. The Edson was my writer and the Ivanhoe was for marking up documents. Because of this the Ivanhoe almost always had red ink and I grew to associate this pen with red ink.

I’ve been avoiding this pen and it has been over a year since I inked it up. Actually, I can’t remember the last time but I’ve been reliably tracking my inked pens for over a year and this one isn’t in the list. I’ve grown less fond of thin pens and pens with metal sections which is the reason I’ve avoided this pen, But more on this later.

Why I Got It

I was looking for a “nice” pen and the all metal look caught my attention. I loved the chain mail finish. I pulled the trigger and bought this pen in 2003.

What I Got

The Caran d’Ache Ivanhoe has an 18kt gold fine nib that’s rhodium plated. It has a screw on cap with a metal section. Most of the body is a intricate stainless steel chainmail design that’s rhodium coated. The rest of the pen, except the nib, is aluminum coated and very shiny. The nib is very shiny and matches the pen, its just not aluminum plated. Despite the all metal build the pen is still a reasonable weight.

Caran d'Ache Ivanhoe chainmail close up

Closeup of the chainmail finish

The cap takes nearly 2 1/2 turns to remove or tighten so this isn’t pen to reach for if you just want a quick note.

The end of the barrel is designed to accept the cap for posting. It snaps into place and is held with friction. It’s a tight fit and if I posted my pens I’d be concerned the cap would stretch a little over time. I don’t post  my pens so I can’t vouch for the durability of this design but it starts out as a very secure fit.

The pen is still well balanced when posted. This is mainly because the cap isn’t very heavy when compared to the rest of the pen. My biggest complaint when the cap is posted is that it’s so shiny it’s distracting and often reflects light back into my eyes.

The pen is a cartridge/converter and came with a converter. The original converter has proven to be very durable and I still use it.

The aluminum on the pen has picked up some micro scratches over the years and they’re highlighted by the shiny silver finish. Although fingerprints are highlighted even more, so they often mask the scratches. Personally I think the scratched give the pen character and show it has been used. I could do without the fingerprints.

The Numbers

  • Length Capped: 5.1685″ (131.28 mm)
  • Length Uncapped: 4.94″ (125.47 mm)
  • Length Posted: 6.5″ (165.1 mm)
  • Section Length:  0.6815″ (17.30 mm)
  • Section Diameter (near nib): 0.3155″ (8.01 mm)
  • Section Diameter (below threads): 0.34″ (8.63 mm)
  • Section Diameter (mid-section): 0.308″ (7.82 mm)
  • Cap Diameter: 0.424″ (10.76 mm)
  • Barrel Diameter: 0.4305″ (10.93 mm)
  • Weight: 1.1 oz (32 g)
  • Weight (body only): 0.8 oz (24 g)

Writing With The Pen

Caran d'Ache Ivanhoe uncapped on a pen standThe pen is a typical cartridge/converter and takes standard international cartridges, both long and short. I’ve used bottled inks almost exclusively in the pen. I probably used the included cartridge when I first got the pen but that was about it for cartridges. Back in 2003 I was almost exclusively using Waterman ink so it was probably mostly Waterman in the pen. My Waterman Edson was my business pen so always had black or blue ink and the Ivanhoe had a bright color for marking up documents. As I said, I consider red synonymous with Ivanhoe, but I also liked Waterman purple in the pen. It always wrote well and never gave me any problems. For this review I went with a cartridge – Pelikan Edelstein Ruby.

It’s a thin pen with a metal section. Today I wouldn’t consider the pen due to those two reasons. (But that would be a mistake.) Ten years ago neither of those things bothered me. Over the years the pen has ingrained itself into my brain as a very enjoyable pen to use.

I tend to naturally hold this pen higher up, above the section, which avoids the slick metal section. I grip it right on the threads which are smooth and don’t bother me. My fingers also rest on the chain mail body which helps the grip and is wider than the section.

Since I grip the pen at the barrel which is about as wide as the sections on the pens I find comfortable. The chain mail finish allows a firm grip on the pen. So while this is a thin pen with a metal section, my natural grip makes it neither too thin or too slick. I don’t find myself subconsciously gripping the pen too tightly as I typically do with thin pens. I can write with this pen for about 45 minutes before getting fatigued which is standard for most of my comfortable pens.

As for the nib itself, the 18kt gold nib is extremely smooth. It’s one of my wetter fine nibs, although not a downright gusher. The nib has some spring to it (not flex) which give the nib a soft touch on the paper.

Cleaning The Pen

The pen is a cartridge/converter and as easy to clean as most of them are. Flushing with a bulb syringe or its own converter is all that’s been necessary. I’ve never had to take the pen apart to clean it so I couldn’t say if that’s hard or easy. In my case, taking the pen apart has been unnecessary.

Inks Used

A Pelikan Edelstein Ruby cartridge was used for a month before this review. I never had any hard starts, even after sitting unused for a week. Likewise, there wasn’t any skipping.

As I mentioned, Waterman bottled inks were a favorite of mine early on when I got the pen. None of them ever gave me a problem.

Wrapping Up

I have a slight sentimental attachment to the Caran d’Ache Ivanhoe since it was one of my first really nice (and expensive) pens and I used it a lot after getting it. I spent months deciding if I really wanted it and it was even better than I expected once I got it. This alone pretty much guarantees that this pen is a keeper. I’m glad I pulled this out for the review because it reminded me that this pen really isn’t as thin as it looks.

That said, I’d have a hard time justifying the pen at it’s current prices. I’d suggest looking for a used Ivanhoe (but not mine). One area of concern would be how you hold the pen. My natural grip is very comfortable with the pen, but I do grip it across the threads and the chainmail which may bother some people. But if you do like the looks enough to spend the money, you won’t be disappointed with the pen you get.

Additional Reading

Reviewed on FPN

Reviewed again on FPN

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Nib Notes: Esterbrook #9460 Rigid Medium

Esterbrook #9460 writing sample with penNext up on my Esterbrook nib list is the Esterbrook #9460 Rigid Medium Nib. The box also refers to the nib as a “Medium Manifold.” A 1959 nib chart specifically says the nib is for carbon copies. A more specific term for this nib would be “tank.”

The Osmiridium tipping (probably mostly iridium) gives it added durability, if not smoothness. Add to this the extra strength of a manifold nib intended for use with carbon copies and this nib could be used as a weapon and then be used to write a letter.

My particular nib is very smooth, one of the smoothest Esterbrooks I have. It’s almost too smooth, especially on smooth paper. I prefer a nib with at least a hint of feedback. But between the dull medium point (compared to a extra fine) and the tipping this nib glides over the paper.

I do experience some occasional skipping, especially on slick paper. It isn’t enough to be annoying, especially since I don’t use medium nibs very often. The nib tines are just slightly misaligned. It doesn’t really seem to be enough to matter but it might cause the skipping if I angle the pen just right. I hate to tinker with these vintage nibs and since I rarely use a medium nib I can live with the skipping.

The Esterbrook #9460 Rigid Medium is a nice nib, if you like medium nibs. I prefer extra fines and fines so it’s not a nib for me. It does put down a nice line. While these Esterbrook nibs can vary, even among the same nib number, this nib was too smooth, especially on paper that is also smooth. If you like a little feedback this may not be the nib for you.

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Nib Notes: Esterbrook #9450 Extra Firm Posting

Esterbrook #9450 top viewNext up on the Esterbrook nib list is the Esterbrook #9450 Firm Extra FIne nib. At least that’s what it’s usually called by everone except Exterbrook (so it seems). I would consider it an accurate description of the nib. The box refers to it as a “Extra Firm Posting” nib, once with a hyphen, and once without. Both a 1955 and 1959 nib chart list the nib in the Extra Fine section and defines its use as “Posting 1–2–3”.

While I seen several definitions for a nib called “Posting”, the one that makes the most sense to me is that it’s for posting journal entries, as in accounting. The thin, consistent line would be perfect for that. I have no idea what the “1–2–3” refers to unless it also indicates accounting (as in counting). Anyone know?

Esterbrook #9450 writing sampleI was beginning to despair that many of my 9xxx series nibs wouldn’t be any better than the 1xxx or 2xxx series equivalent. These nibs were called Master DuraCrome by Esterbrook and were tipped with an alloy Esterbrook called Osmiridium. The 1xxx and 2xxx series nibs were just rolled over steel. I guess I hit a bad patch where some of my 9xxx nibs were a little rough and the earlier nibs were smoother. This #9450 is very smooth. There’s hardly any friction on smooth paper and the feedback on more fiberous paper comes from the thin nib and not the roughness in the nib.

When I took the pictures for this post I noticed the feed wasn’t aligned. It looks worse in the close-up photo, but it’s definitely misaligned. I had written with it for several problem-free days so I left it alone. The flow is consistent, without any skipping. As the nib’s name implies, it’s stiff as a nail. The nib quickly jumped into the favorite category.

The nib does well with a light touch, although it performs better with a little more pressure than I’m used to. Although it’s not so much pressure that it’s uncomfortable to use. My normal light touch resulted in a thinner, lighter line. In some cases this might be OK, but it made a weak line in my opinion.

The Esterbrook #9450 has “Esterbrook” and “9450” are engraved lengthwise along the nib. Each gets its own line.

The nib is on eBay with buy it now prices from $18 to $33.

The Esterbrook #9450 is a nice nib for those of us who like their nibs to be nails. My particular nib has held up well over the years (looked liked New Old Stock) when I got it although the box was very worn.

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Review: Sheaffer 300 Fountain Pen

Sheaffer 300 uncapped on mirrorIt’s no secret that I’m a Sheaffer fan. Although most are vintage, the Sheaffer 300 is the 31st 21st in my Sheaffer accumulation. The 300 is a modern Sheaffer at a reasonable price (about $80).

Why I Got It

I’d like to thank Rachel Goulet from Goulet Pens for sending this Sheaffer 300 along for review. While the Sheaffer 300 was one of the pens I expressed an interest in, along with a fine nib, I left the finish up to Rachel. The metallic grey with chrome trim would have been my first choice, The 300 is available in a variety of colors, some have gold trim while others have chrome trim.

What I Got

A metallic grey Sheaffer 300 with chrome trim and a fine steel nib. The pen gets just about everything right, both in looks and performance. The pen arrived in the typical Sheaffer presentation box that looks kind of classy. A converter was included along with both a black and blue cartridge.

Sheaffer 300 box and contentsThe pen has a classic shape with a slight taper to the cap and a more tapered barrel. There’s a lot of chrome trim but it complements the metallic grey so it isn’t overwhelming.

The clip design is also a classic throwback, with the same profile as my Sheaffer PFMs. Unlike the PFMs the clip is hinged, but the hinge is built into the flat top of the cap, giving it the PFM clip profile. The open end of the clip is tapered so it can easily slide over material. The clip is spring loaded and securely holds the pen in place. The cutout in the clip gives it more character than a solid piece of metal. Naturally the Sheaffer white dot is at the top of the clip. “SHEAFFERS” is engraved on the front of the chrome cap band, just below the clip.

Not only does the slip on cap look great, it snaps onto the pen with a reassuring click. It’s a clutch cap but clips solidly onto the barrel. There’s no play at all in the cap. I’ve only had the pen for a month so even though it’s been used constantly I can’t comment on the durability other than to say it looks and feels solid.

The cap also fits firmly on the other end of the pen. The end of the barrel has a chrome nub that is both decorative and functional. There’s a ridge that snaps into the inner cap to hold the posted cap securely in place. Even though I don’t post my pens it’s the little things like this that gives the feeling that Sheaffer put a lot of thought into the Sheaffer 300 pen design. The pen does feel top heavy to me, but that’s from someone who doesn’t post his pens.

The pen is a cartridge/converter using Sheaffer’s proprietary system. There’s a collar where the converter (or cartridge) fits into the feed. This gives the converter a solid feel when it’s in the pen. This is unlike the Sheaffer Intensity where I’m paranoid that a careless twist will snap off the spike that holds the converter.

The nib is my least favorite part of the pen design. It looks nice enough, but in my opinion it’s to short and stubby, at least for the pen it’s on. The looks don’t remind me of the classic Sheaffer nibs I’m fond of. So to remind me, the nib has the classic “SHEAFFERS” engraved across it with the classic elongated “S” at each end.

The Numbers

  • Length Capped: 5.5540″ (141.07 mm)
  • Length Uncapped: 4.7470″ (120.57 mm)
  • Length Posted: 6.0640″ (154.02 mm)
  • Section Length: 0.8150″ (20.69 mm)
  • Section Diameter (near nib): 0.3445″ (8.75 mm)
  • Section Diameter (below barrel): 0.4555″ (11.56 mm)
  • Section Diameter (mid-section): 0.3970″ (10.08 mm)
  • Cap Diameter: 0.5170″ (13.13 mm)
  • Barrel Diameter: 0.5140″ (13.05 mm)
  • Weight: 1.6 oz. (44 g)
  • Weight (body only): 0.8 oz. (22 g)

Writing With The Pen

Sheaffer 300 - uncapped on standSo, the pen has classic good looks. How does it write? I was in a hurry to use the pen, so I skipped the initial flush and went immediately for the included Sheaffer black cartridge. The ink had reached the nib by the time I closed up the pen and grabbed a pad of paper.

The pen is bigger than it looks, at least I thought so,although it’s not a huge pen. It fits comfortably in my hand without posting. The section is a comfortable size for me. The step between the section and barrel is smooth so it doesn’t bother me even though my fingers rest on it.

The nib is smooth with just a hint of friction that let’s me know the nib is on the paper. I wouldn’t call it buttery smooth, but there’s nothing to complain about.

The cap does add significant weight to the pen so if you post your pens I would consider the 300 to be on the heavy side. Personally, if I posted my pens the 300 would be uncomfortably heavy for me. Without the cap posted the pen is a comfortable weight.

Even though the section is not metal (it’s plastic) it can still be slick, especially on a hot humid day like today. It’s still not as bad as a metal section, but I’m pushing for something to criticize about this pen. I probably wouldn’t have noticed if I had the air conditioning on.

While it depends on the ink, the nib had no problem staying wet and ready to write after being uncapped and unused for over 10 minutes. (Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun ink). I couldn’t bring myself to let this pen sit unused for 5 days like I usually do, so I can’t say how it would do if neglected for a few days. But I never had a hard start.

The pen is comfortable even for long writing sessions. I used it as my daily driver on more than one occasion which involved writing sessions of an hour or more. The best endorsement if the Sheaffer 300 is that it was the pen I reflexively reached for when I wanted to write, and it’s the pen that I always carried with me whenever possible. I used the pen so much it jumped the review queue having originally been planned for next week.

There wasn’t any skipping or false starts. The nib is also very forgiving of the writing angle. I often contort my hand when trying to write a quick note while reaching across things on my desk and the 300 handled it fine. I’m not a fan of using nibs upside down, but this one puts down a thin but consistent thin line, and it is scratchy. It’s a steel nib so there’s no flex to it. It’s a firm, fine nib which is what I like.

Inks Used

As I mentioned, the included Sheaffer black cartridge was the first ink in the pen. Then I switched to the converter with Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun. Both inks wrote flawlessly. The black flushed easily from the pen. The Fuyu-syogun still has a few drops left so I haven’t cleaned it out yet, but I don’t expect a problem.

Wrapping Up

Sheaffer 300 - uncapped on mirrorAgain, I’d like to thank Goulet Pens for providing the pen for review. That doesn’t affect my opinion of the Sheaffer 300. Although, I am a Sheaffer fan and I have to admit that this may be effecting my opinion. I’m probably a little more positive than most people because I’m so happy to see such a nice modern Sheaffer at a reasonable price point. I love this pen!

While $80 is a little steep for a first fountain pen, the out of the box experience would be great for a first time user. If you’re looking at pens at this price point (or more) then I’d highly recommend this pen. The one caveat is if you must post your pens you may find it too top heavy.

The Sheaffer 300 is a solid keeper.

Additional Reading & Viewing

sbrebrown video review

FPN Review

My Pen Needs Ink