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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sheaffer 300 Fountain Pen Review

I've been looking at the Sheaffer 300 fountain pen since it was announced a while ago, but it was very difficult to find at first. I could find the pencil/ballpoint, but the fountain pen was almost non-existent. I saw that it was finally more available so I decided to buy one on Amazon for around $35 shipped. The price seems to have changed as of the time of writing this, but I would still pay up to $50 for it, IMO.

The first thing I noticed about the pen was how heavy it was. It is very likely my heaviest pen that I own. It appears to be made of steel with a black lacquer coating. The cap clicks on smoothly and effortlessly. I like that in a pen, as I can remove the cap quickly if I need to jot down some notes quickly. The pen is also quite large, something that isn't really noticeable in pictures. I took a picture comparing it to some of my other pens so that you can get a better idea of the size of this pen.

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Pictured from top to bottom: Esterbrook Dollar Pen, Parker "51", Waterman Phileas, Lamy Safari, Sheaffer 300, TWSBI Diamond 530. As you can see, it is about the same size as the TWSBI Diamond 530, which is already a very large pen. However, it is a little more slim than the 530.

I was initially turned off by the fact that it was built in China. All of my other Sheaffer pens were made in Fort Madison, IA. Being that I got it for such as reasonable price, I decided to take a risk and give it a shot. The pictures don't really do the pen justice, it's quite a looker IMO.

The clip has the traditional white dot, and the word "Sheaffer" is etched into the steel band on the cap. It comes in a nice gift box with 2 cartridges (one blue, one black) and a twist-converter. For a pen this price, I was pleasantly surprised that it came with a converter I once spent over $10 on.

The nib is one of the best parts of the pen. It is one of the smoothest nibs I own, and has never given me an issue of hard-starting or skipping. It writes fairly broad for being a medium nib, but I like it anyways. The pen is comfortable to hold, but it gets a little heavy for longer writing sessions and tends to fatigue my hand a little bit after a few paragraphs. That might just be due to the way I hold my pens, however.

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I do not normally post my pens so I do not have an in-depth analysis of the weighting of it posted vs. non-posted, but it does make the pen feel even heavier yet when posted. It clicks onto the end of the barrel with a nice click, so you know it isn't destroying the lacquer barrel by simply slipping onto the end of the barrel and scratching it up.

In conclusion, this is one of the better modern pens I've used, and for the price I highly recommend it. If you like larger, weightier pens this will be right up your alley. Smooth and reliable, don't let the fact that it is made in China deter you like it originally did me, as I do not regret buying it at all. A pleasure to use.

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To purchase the Sheaffer 300 fountain pen: Sheaffer Gift Collection 2 (300) Fountain Pen, Chrome Trim, Glossy Black (SH/9312-0)

-Derek (ThirdeYe)


Note: Coming soon, I'm going to be making a post about the pens I use at work on a daily basis. I always like seeing what people actually use from day-to-day, so I thought it would be somewhat entertaining. :)