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

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Review: Sheaffer 300 Fountain Pen

  1. Nice review Ray thanks. I own a 300 and our reviews reflected similar adoration. I got the red marbelized finish with a medium nib. I really like it. I did pick up from your review about the nib size. I didn’t notice that until you pointed it out but it does look a but squatty.

    • Hi Bob,
      I missed your review until now but just read now and added it to the Additional Reading links in the article. I like the look of the marbleized red too. Also glad to read it was good out-of-the-box for you too just because it’s another data point that there’s some QC and mine wasn’t luck of the draw.

      I’m probably more sensitive to the nib since I really love the look of the vintage Sheaffer nibs and this nib doesn’t fit the picture in my head. But that doesn’t make it a bad nib. Hopefully I didn’t ruin it for you 🙂

      Thanks for reading,
      Ray

  2. Pingback: Just another pen ?!Blick über den Tellerrand vom 19. July 2014 » Just another pen ?!

  3. Pingback: FOUND AROUND FRIDAY | Pentulant

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s