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Review: Hero 5020


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#1 majorworks

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 19:57

First try at a review... be gentle, please!

A few months ago, when the FP bug first hit, I read this board avidly for advice on where/what to look for in the way of pens. The Hero pens were discussed widely, especially the Hero 100, 616, and other P51 knockoffs. Their low cost made them attractive but I didn't want to blindly order a Hero pen from an online seller. So being that I'm in Manhattan, I made my way to Chinatown to find one (walked there and back from W. 17th St... don't ask).

After perusing the offerings at Oriental Cultural Enterprises on Elizabeth St., I came away with the Hero 5020, a flighter-style C/C pen. You can see a small set of photos here, including a writing sample:
http://s706.photobuc...rent=capped.jpg

Size-wise, the pen is very similar to my P51 aero. Capped and uncapped, it's a hair shorter. The barrel is also a slightly smaller diameter. The weight is about the same.

The pen body is fashioned entirely of finely-brushed stainless steel. In terms of fit and finish, it's almost all good. The cap snaps on with a nice audible click and is secure. However, the barrel doesn't sit straight in the cap; consequently, the pen has a little bit of wobble if you rotate the barrel in the cap. It's subtle and hard to notice unless you're looking for it. The pen posts securely but it's a tad top-heavy when posted.

There's a fairly tight arrow-style clip and a glossy black, rounded cap jewel. Around the rim of the cap is the stamped Hero name/logo under the clip. Around the back of the cap rim is "5020." The cap has an inner liner of white plastic.

It's a typical Chinese-made cartridge/converter pen with a typical twist-type converter. Nothing much remarkable about it. It works and the capacity is ordinary.

The steel nib is nail-stiff and is unmarked in terms of size. I'm guessing that Hero would call it medium, making it more or less a fine. Writing is not buttery-smooth but smooth enough. It's also a moderately wet writer. I've tried two or three different Noodler's inks in it and they all flow fine. The black section is comfortable for me and has slight flare at the end.

Having paid all of about $12.50 for this pen, I'd say it was good value for the money. At least one FleaBay seller has it for $7.50 shipped! At that price, it's a steal.

Edited by majorworks, 01 December 2009 - 19:59.

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#2 lovemy51

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 20:13

thx for the review. to me, it looks just like the Sonnet w/o the cap band. to some, it might even write better than the sonnet!!:lol:

thx again!
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#3 majorworks

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 20:50

I don't own a Sonnet, but now that I found a photo of one, I agree.
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#4 Gojira

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 08:37

I actually recently purchased a 5020 just because I suddenly wanted a pen with the Sonnet-look but without the cost and problems. Looks quite similar to a Baoer.


#5 dimeotane

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 01:18

Thanks for taking the time to post this review. I've been curious about this pen.
It sounds pretty good for the low price. In the photos the grip section appears to be made of plastic. Is that true? If so does it feel solid enough? I'm just wondering if perhaps it's worth spending a little more to get something more durable.
my top picks:
favourite writers: Hero 100 & 200a, Sheaffer Imperial 444, Rotring 600
favourite inks: Noodler's Baystate Blue, Noodlers Violet Vote, Lamy Blue

#6 majorworks

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 01:53

Thanks for taking the time to post this review. I've been curious about this pen.
It sounds pretty good for the low price. In the photos the grip section appears to be made of plastic. Is that true? If so does it feel solid enough? I'm just wondering if perhaps it's worth spending a little more to get something more durable.


I'm pretty sure the section is metal, maybe brass? It's not plastic, though. Yes, it's fairly solid feeling.
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#7 vans4444

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 08:38

Thanks for the review, an interesting looking pen.

#8 Ed Ronax

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 11:40

Thanks for the nice review.
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#9 andy1m

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 05:02

Thanks for sharing this nice and simple looking pen. Sure will get one for my collection :)

#10 mishugina09

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 00:03

Thanks for sharing, it is a nice looking pen, and maybe one I will add one day. Always looking for pens that are durable for travel.
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#11 kennypacker

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 09:49

I recently got a hero 5020 , I have found that if I don't use it for a couple of days it just doesn't start, suffers from nib dry out and hardstarting.

any of you have had similar experience ?
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#12 fiberdrunk

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 19:41

I recently got a hero 5020 , I have found that if I don't use it for a couple of days it just doesn't start, suffers from nib dry out and hardstarting.

any of you have had similar experience ?



I just got one off eBay (seller ahai006) and had the same problem with it not starting if I didn't use it for a couple days. It took quite a bit of effort to get it going again, too (I kept dunking the nib back into the bottle of ink). I'm using Magic Color acrylic ink (which is a waterproof ink), so that might have something to do with it. It writes nicely otherwise. I only paid $7.50 for it (including shipping) so I can't complain too much. It feels like a nice solid pen in the hand.
Find my homemade ink recipes on my Flickr page here.

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#13 mooshi

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 02:29

I just got one off eBay (seller ahai006) and had the same problem with it not starting if I didn't use it for a couple days. It took quite a bit of effort to get it going again, too (I kept dunking the nib back into the bottle of ink). I'm using Magic Color acrylic ink (which is a waterproof ink), so that might have something to do with it. It writes nicely otherwise. I only paid $7.50 for it (including shipping) so I can't complain too much. It feels like a nice solid pen in the hand.


Magic Colour? Isn't that paint meant for air brushing and such? "No bueno" for fountain pens, I don't think... I guess if you're using it as a dip pen and cleaning out the feed properly afterwards though, you're good to go.

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#14 fiberdrunk

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Posted 16 May 2010 - 22:10

Magic Colour? Isn't that paint meant for air brushing and such? "No bueno" for fountain pens, I don't think... I guess if you're using it as a dip pen and cleaning out the feed properly afterwards though, you're good to go.

-- Moo
[/quote]


I've been using Magic Color in my fountain pens for years without the slightest problem. They used to be Rotring ArtistColor, but I believe they were bought out and renamed Magic Color. The colors are the same (though named differently). Yes, they're used in air brushes. It is an acrylic waterproof ink. Only use the transparent inks for fountain pens and not the opaque ones. The opaque ones probably would clog a fountain pen. I'll have to do an ink review of Magic Color some time. They're very permanent and I use them more than any other ink so far.

ETA: I forgot to add that the fountain pen I use the most with this ink is Rotring ArtPen 1.1 mm, but I've also used it in a cheap Sheaffer calligraphy fountain pen with excellent results, too. No clogging with either one.

Edited by fiberdrunk, 16 May 2010 - 22:14.

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#15 mooshi

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Posted 16 May 2010 - 22:32

Oh that's a good thing to know. :) Writing samples/reviews sound awesome. :D

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#16 dimeotane

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Posted 01 June 2010 - 02:38

I enjoyed this $8 pen. It has a solid feel, and the nib is smooth writing. For the price I thought it was excellent value... except for the problem I encountered. I think the plastic tube the cartridge or converter slips over is too soft and breaks too easily.

The grip section is brass with an enamel black paint over it. However inside the grip section is a plastic sleeve that finishes as a tube that the cartridge or converter is slipped snugly over. One day I found my lovely 5020 to have a loose converter rattling around inside the barrel. Somehow, perhaps due to pulling or twisting off the converter or some other reason, this feed tube had snapped off inside the mouth of the converter.
Anyone else have this problem? Maybe a little epoxy or crazy glue can fix it?

In the mean time, I've switched to my $6 Classic 240 which is a pretty solid every day use pen which was shipped with my Hero 5020.
my top picks:
favourite writers: Hero 100 & 200a, Sheaffer Imperial 444, Rotring 600
favourite inks: Noodler's Baystate Blue, Noodlers Violet Vote, Lamy Blue

#17 watch_art

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Posted 01 June 2010 - 03:27

Magic Colour? Isn't that paint meant for air brushing and such? "No bueno" for fountain pens, I don't think... I guess if you're using it as a dip pen and cleaning out the feed properly afterwards though, you're good to go.

-- Moo


I've been using Magic Color in my fountain pens for years without the slightest problem. They used to be Rotring ArtistColor, but I believe they were bought out and renamed Magic Color. The colors are the same (though named differently). Yes, they're used in air brushes. It is an acrylic waterproof ink. Only use the transparent inks for fountain pens and not the opaque ones. The opaque ones probably would clog a fountain pen. I'll have to do an ink review of Magic Color some time. They're very permanent and I use them more than any other ink so far.

ETA: I forgot to add that the fountain pen I use the most with this ink is Rotring ArtPen 1.1 mm, but I've also used it in a cheap Sheaffer calligraphy fountain pen with excellent results, too. No clogging with either one.


http://www.artifolk....f_8_bottles.htm

this stuff??? i'm also very interested in a review.

Edited by watch_art, 01 June 2010 - 03:27.

fpn_1405136194__fpn_1404594699__sg_tag.j sigpic14481_1.gif vanness.jpg?t=1321916122


#18 Spector

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Posted 01 June 2010 - 05:59

Thanks for the review, I was interested in this pen.
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#19 iroshizuku

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 20:27

I have used lots of Heros in my life, I'm always very pleased with their nibs, which are smooth and elastic, but unfortunately none of them could last long enough before they died.

#20 Fabius

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 17:48

Thanks for the review. I am looking for a low cost stainless FP and I was comparing the Hero 5020 and the Hero 704. They look similar and the specs (length, weight, etc.) are either the same or very close. The 704 costs about $2 more on EvilBay but the reviews seem to indicate that the 704 is somewhat better pen. Pictures are of the 704 and the 5020. The 704 is the top pen. Comments welcome.

Attached Images

  • HERO704.jpg
  • HERO5020.jpg


#21 Mags

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 19:11

These look like pens of substance that will last for years. I often wonder if feeds and nibs could be swapped from more expensive european pens and placed in these solid bodies or not.
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#22 sebastel23

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 02:31

hi.
i use a 704, and i find it quite a good pen. the nib is on the medium side of "F", not completely stiff and just the right amount of smooth. i still prefer the kaigelu 356, because its section has a different shape and a little bit more diameter, which suits my (rather big) hands better.

however, i can't comment on the 5020, as i never saw that one yet.

cheers
s.

#23 nima.afsarinejad

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 04:33

I don't own a 704, but from my experience with Chinese pens, Hero in particular, the gold will wear off quite quickly from the trim on that pen.
I do own multiples of the other Sonnet lookalikes though. Namely the Kaigelu 356, Baoer 388, and Hero 5020. The Baoer has a "gold" clip which tarnishes quickly, the nibs are usually in need of some adjustment, and the cap is far too tight. The Hero is just not very good, it's uninspiring. But the Kaigelu is an amazing pen. I recommend you look into it. It can be had for the same price as the others and it won't disappoint.

Cheers

#24 richardandtracy

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 17:15

Did a review of the 5020 and others here:
http://www.fountainp...ith-lookalikes/

Richard