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Hero P51 Clone Vs. Real Parker 51?


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#1 Unkas

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 01:47

Hello FPN'ers!

I'm a new member here and I'm also fairly new to fountain pens in general and I've figured out that the Parker 51 is my holy grail at least as far as aesthetics go since I haven't had the chance to test one so I can't judge on the writing capabilities of it.
I love everything about how they look all the way from the hooded nib and the exquisite colours to the gorgeous arrow clip on the cap.

Without rambling on too much I'll get to my question:
I've seen some Hero pens that are a copy of the P51 and I wonder how they feel to hold and how they write compared to a real one as I don't think I could afford one on a students budget.
I've already had to stop buying new items for my other hobby which is traditional wetshaving.

The pens I have now are a Pilot Metropolitan with the standard M nib that comes with it, a Lamy Al-Star with a 1.1 italic+a medium nib (This one doesn't see much use since it has some really weird skipping and starting issues) and a Camlin Elegante on the way from India as a possible gift to a family member.

The reason I mention these pens is that I wonder if any of the pens write anything like a P51 or the Hero copy.

(I searched around a little before making this thread and never really found any direct comparison so sorry if there already is a thread about this because I just couldn't find any!)

Thanks for your time!

//Jonas

#2 nm4

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 01:59

The pens you own are vastly superior to the Heros. The Heros feel flimsier than the real P51 and the nibs are nowhere close - even after they've been adjusted (which most will need).

The P51 is a lovely pen. The Lamy and Pilot you own are quality pens but neither feels like a 51 in my hands.

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#3 psfred

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 02:26

You will never mistake a Hero for a Parker, even the better ones. The "51" clones are by and large school pens. Think Sheaffer cartridge pen circa 1960, not a Parker "51".

They aren't all that expensive if you stay with plain caps and black or burgundy, after all they are probably the pen produced in the most numbers of any quality pen.

Peter

#4 pajaro

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 02:33

You get what you pay for. The Parker 51 is made with a level of material and craftsmanship not equaled by the Hero, so, when people write that they buy a bunch of the Heros to get a couple that work OK, as I have read somewhere here, what you get with the Hero is a wannabe wanting.

The Lamy is a good pen, I have a Safari with the 1.5 mm CI, and it is a great pen, I just bought too broad a CI with it. What you have should be perfection. The Pilot, well, I didn't like the one I used to have. Lost it.

I have bought perfectly satisfactory Parker 51s on ebay for as little as $20 in the last year or so. If you shop carefully and read about the pens, you should be able to find a perfectly good aerometric P51 for $50 or less. If you have to have a Vac, it will cost more, because if will need restoration in all likelihood. I have had a lot of 51 aerometric pens, and have never had one restored, although I have taken the hood off to change nibs or to change the hood if the tip were broken off. The lore about the restoration of a 51 aero being necessary is not necessarily true, and I consider it overly fastidious . . .



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#5 jar

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 02:36

There are no Parker "51" clones. Period.

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#6 welch

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 03:32

The Hero 616 is not not close to a real P51. Get one: a simple areometric (gold nib) or Special ("octanium" nib). Ge the nib you want, or buy one from Ernesto Soler ($35 for gold F amd M; about $15 for octanium versions). Have a good nib specialist...someone like Mike Masuyama or Greg Minuksin... remold the nin exactly how you want it.

Total price, including a good cleaning the replacement nib, and tuning, will cost someone between $100 and $150.

You might buy more pens, but you won't need to.
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#7 inkstainedruth

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 04:50

Someone at a pen club meeting gifted me with a Hero 616 last month, and I used it a fair amount a couple of weeks ago when I went out of town. I also had my Parker 21 and my Parker 51 Special with me on that trip (plus a couple others -- one that I didn't have time to clean out, and my Konrad with KTC). I needed pens that were filled with inks that were at least water-resistant, for the most part, and since I was using the Hero for the first time I put in an iron gall ink (Pharmacist's Terra Incinerata, original formulation). For the sake of accuracy, I will not that at that point I didn't have a regular 51 Aerometric to compare to the Hero (but the 21 and -- maybe -- the 51 Special don't have, as I understand it, "true" aerometric fill systems, so I would rate all three as "squeeze fillers"). As a further comparison, all three pens probably have F/EF width nibs on them, although all had different inks in them.
I will say that while the Hero wrote okay (up to a point), it was nowhere near the quality of even the 21 (which is considered by a lot of people on FPN as a "school pen"). Admittedly, iron gall inks are on the dry side, but by the end of the week of moderate use, I was wondering if I had used up the tipping on the pen because it was quite scratchy. Whereas, even when I did somehow did something to get the hood and nib mis-aligned on the 21, it still wrote pretty well.
Now we're talking about the difference between a pen that costs around $2 US vs. two more expensive ones (I found the 21 in an antiques mall and paid around $18 with tax, and of course the Special was a little more than double that). But there was definitely a difference in quality and in writing ability between the pens.
The 51 I won on Ebay should be arriving the middle of this week, and hopefully I will be able to do a comparison between it and the other three pens (it also has an F nib, IIRC). Since it will officially count as the most expensive pen I've ever owned, it will be interesting to see how it does.
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#8 Unkas

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 08:19

I think that's a resounding no for the Hero!

I'm getting more certain that a 51 is what I want but now I just need to figure out where I should get it from and so on.

I'm not entirely sure how your rules are regarding ebay auction so I'll just say that I've found a seller that's a member of this lovely forum that sells two 51's that I think look like they are in lovely condition for ~$100 each and if I just sell off some of my shaving gear that rarely gets used I can probably afford that cost. The vendor seems to be very reputable and a well liked guy around here so I'll probably go for it!

I can see why people say these things are like pen crack though.. I haven't even bought my first one and I already want more! :roflmho:

#9 Korybas

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 09:01

Hello Jonas,

Sorry for not seeing this post sooner, perhaps the following review will be helpful to you:

Parker 51 vs Hero 616

IMHO, get a real Parker 51, not a "wannabe" pen... As Jar said, There are no Parker "51" clones. Period. :glare:

Edited by Korybas, 25 March 2013 - 09:10.

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#10 WayTooManyHobbies

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 11:22

I think that's a resounding no for the Hero!

I'm getting more certain that a 51 is what I want but now I just need to figure out where I should get it from and so on.

I'm not entirely sure how your rules are regarding ebay auction so I'll just say that I've found a seller that's a member of this lovely forum that sells two 51's that I think look like they are in lovely condition for ~$100 each and if I just sell off some of my shaving gear that rarely gets used I can probably afford that cost. The vendor seems to be very reputable and a well liked guy around here so I'll probably go for it!

I can see why people say these things are like pen crack though.. I haven't even bought my first one and I already want more! :roflmho:


Sorry, I'm probably a little late to chime in with this. I have multiples of both the 51 and the Hero 100, and a single 616, and they are very different pens.

I would call the 616 more of an homage to the 51 than a clone, and a low-priced homage at that. If you get a real one from a reputable seller (I favor Todd at isellpens), it's quite a reasonable pen for the low price. My example writes smoothly but with some feedback, and is really quite pleasant. The cheap (no other word for it) construction mostly detracts from the feel of the body and cap, and certainly no one would mistake it for anything other low end.

The 100 is similar to the 616 in concept, but much better made. It's still a fairly low-cost pen, but the materials and construction are pretty good. I have two of them, and the better writer of the two is one of my most pleasant modern pens. I'd call a good example about 65-70% of the experience of a 51. However, this pen seems to be one of the most counterfeited of the Chinese models, so finding a reputable seller is imperative.

The 51 is generally superb, both in construction quality and use, as long as the pen in question hasn't been abused. It's well worth being a grail pen.

#11 Unkas

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 19:55

Now it is set in stone. I will be getting a P51! Sold off some shaving stuff to make room in my budget and now I've found a P51 that I've set my eyes on so just discussing some with the vendor to make sure I buy the best P51 for me! Hopefully I'll be the proud owner of one before the end of this week :clap1:

#12 TSherbs

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 21:06

Hello Jonas,

Sorry for not seeing this post sooner, perhaps the following review will be helpful to you:

Parker 51 vs Hero 616

IMHO, get a real Parker 51, not a "wannabe" pen... As Jar said, There are no Parker "51" clones. Period. :glare:


Thanks for posting this review. I would have loved to have seen some writing with that P51 stub nib. I am a great fan of the Hero 616 and will be purchasing more. I have tweaked each one and have been very pleased with the results--it is possible to broaden them and increases their wetness without much work.

A P51 maybe some day, when I don't have kids in college and am not leaving pens around and losing them.

#13 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 21:42

Thanks for posting this review. I would have loved to have seen some writing with that P51 stub nib. I am a great fan of the Hero 616 and will be purchasing more. I have tweaked each one and have been very pleased with the results--it is possible to broaden them and increases their wetness without much work.


Well, Tyler's nib is a Minuskin retip/regrind that costs as much as an average P-51 pen but here is mine. It's a Mike Masuyama CI/Stub (kind of both really) that writes about a .6 mm line. It was originally a Gold M nib.

Bruce in Ocala, FL
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#14 J English Smith

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 22:32

A Hero 616 is a nice little pen for the dollars invested, I like to carry them when I don't want to worry about carrying a "good" pen - events, etc. They have the hand feel of a P51, hold about as much ink...just lighter and less of a tactile feeling of quality. I do advise people who are on the fence about the ergonomics of the P51 to get a 616 first...minimal outlay to check the hand-feel.

The real deal is a wonderful pen; some nibs need to be adjusted but in general, a lovely pen can be had for about $35 and up.

Most of the aerometric sacs are still just fine...haven't bought one yet that wasn't working or coax-able.

Happy hunting!
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#15 TSherbs

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 19:07



Thanks for posting this review. I would have loved to have seen some writing with that P51 stub nib. I am a great fan of the Hero 616 and will be purchasing more. I have tweaked each one and have been very pleased with the results--it is possible to broaden them and increases their wetness without much work.


Well, Tyler's nib is a Minuskin retip/regrind that costs as much as an average P-51 pen but here is mine. It's a Mike Masuyama CI/Stub (kind of both really) that writes about a .6 mm line. It was originally a Gold M nib.

Bruce in Ocala, FL
Posted Image


Very nice, thanks!

#16 Flounder

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 19:34

Hello chaps and chapettes
First off, I'm very biased, I absolutely love the 616 Jumbo.

At the bare minimum, it is *the* pen that got me into Parker 51s. QC is all over the place, but put together the best nib, cap and clip from an 8 GBP 3 pack and you won't get a better way to make an informed decision on whether a Parker 51 is for you or not.

I still use a 616 jumbo regularly, even now that I have some 51s. If I am staring into space with pen hovering over paper, trying to figure out if I want to say equanimous or equivocal, then wondering what my train of thought was before I arrived at this dilemma, only the Parker 51 and 616 jumbo can be relied upon to start straight up if and when my brain re-engages.


Sorry for not seeing this post sooner, perhaps the following review will be helpful to you:

Parker 51 vs Hero 616


Judging from the pictures, Tyler is confusing the regular 616 with a 616 jumbo. The Jumbo has a larger ink sac, and the hood is the same size are a P51s. Have a look at Stephen Brown's youtube review for a comparison of the two:


Edited by Flounder, 26 March 2013 - 19:39.

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#17 J English Smith

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 20:47

Yes, the 616 jumbo is far better, in my experience. That would be the one to get.
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#18 TSherbs

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 21:38

Yes, the 616 jumbo is far better, in my experience. That would be the one to get.


I found my latest Hero 330 (the 616, basically, with an arrow printed on the top of the section) to be even nicer yet: slightly broader, wetter, smoother. Each of these is great, IMO.

#19 Unkas

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 23:40

So it happened.. I bought my first P51! :bunny01:

It's a deep dark blue vacumatic blue diamond lustraloy cap with a 14k medium nib (I think I'd actually prefer a F but the pen was just too gorgeous to pass up).

I figured I'd go big on this pen and get something nice since I sold off one of my nicest straight razors to fund the pen :blush:

Now I just have to deal with the torment of being stuck in shipping limbo and I promise you'll get some pictures once the pen is here!

#20 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 02:37

We give you an extra cookie if there's a writing sample in the pic with your pen. ;)

Bruce in Ocala, FL

#21 Unkas

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 12:01

We give you an extra cookie if there's a writing sample in the pic with your pen. ;)

Bruce in Ocala, FL


I guess I'll have to show off my penmanship eventually anyways! Could be good to have a reference point to look back to see how I've improved in the future :rolleyes:

If I don't like the M nib I'll see if I can find a F somewhere since it doesn't look too hard to change that from what I've seen on videos.

I think I got bitten by the vintage bug when I started looking into and finally bought the P51.
I went around looking at antique shops around town and didn't find any fountain pens except for at one store and they seemed pretty overpriced to me.
I did fall in love with a blue Parker Vacumatic I saw however but I won't be buying it since it would need a massive restore and was incredibly expensive but that was a gorgeous pen that just felt 'right'.

Edited by Unkas, 28 March 2013 - 12:03.


#22 TauRho

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 08:44

Hi


recently I purchased a hero 329 (the Star-Trek) pen, compared to my Parker 51 its a little slimmer in the fingers and the nib is finer, it also is reluctant to take much ink.

That said to look at and to write with its very much like the Parker 51 for $7.20 from ebay for two including postage.

if you get one of these and like it your going to love the 51.

#23 Albus

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 12:45

I think the hero 100 and the 110 is a good cheap alternative to the p51.

#24 pajaro

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 13:12

You can buy an inexpensive alternative to a P51. You can also find many P51s at inexpensive levels if you shop carefully. I have used some of the look-alikes. Since I already have several P51s, I can't bring myself to use valuable writing opportunities using an inferior pen. You have just so much time in a lifetime in which to write stuff. When you are young the opportunities to write seem infinite. When you are 64 you might think you have only so much time left, and you might think "why waste a writing opportunity using a cheap pen if you can afford a nicer writing pen?"

Why use a Jinhao or Hero if you have a Parker or another quality pen? Trying stuff out is one thing. Seek writing pleasure otherwise.
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#25 hardyoyo

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 16:53

At the risk of being excommunicated, I have to say I'm considering selling/trading my Parker 51, because my brother keeps brining me back Hero 329s from his trips to China, so many of these dependable aerometric pens waiting to be used... I just can't bring myself to use the much more valuable vintage 51. I will likely post my 51 up this week, I'd like to see if I might be able to trade it for a Vanishing Point, maybe there's someone out there with a VP they aren't happy with? To bring this back on topic, though, I have to say the Hero 329 is a very nice pen, and not really the match for a 51, but it's a dependable pen, and cleans up nice. The thing is, I'm not a big fan of aerometric fillers, so for me it's mostly down to which of these kinda-annoying-to-fill pens would I feel less terrible about losing? The real 51, or one of the 329s from the pile? :embarrassed_smile:

#26 pajaro

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 19:20

At the risk of being excommunicated, I have to say I'm considering selling/trading my Parker 51, because my brother keeps brining me back Hero 329s from his trips to China, so many of these dependable aerometric pens waiting to be used... I just can't bring myself to use the much more valuable vintage 51. I will likely post my 51 up this week, I'd like to see if I might be able to trade it for a Vanishing Point, maybe there's someone out there with a VP they aren't happy with? To bring this back on topic, though, I have to say the Hero 329 is a very nice pen, and not really the match for a 51, but it's a dependable pen, and cleans up nice. The thing is, I'm not a big fan of aerometric fillers, so for me it's mostly down to which of these kinda-annoying-to-fill pens would I feel less terrible about losing? The real 51, or one of the 329s from the pile? :embarrassed_smile:

You can fill a 51 or other squeeze-filler with one hand on the filler and one hand on the ink bottle to steady it. Piston fillers and pens with piston converters generally need two hands on the pen and the ink bottle can move around. So, what is annoying to fill?

I have traded 51s for Pelikans and Vanishing point pens, so there is an option for you there. I used to have more 51s than I have now, so I traded an NOS 51 and two other 51s for a Pelikan M805, a 51 set for a Pelikan M200, and a 51 for a VP. I have done other trades too. I came to be acquainted with other pens without spending more money. So, trade the 51s. Why not? It can save you money.


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#27 Flounder

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 19:37

At the risk of being excommunicated, I have to say I'm considering selling/trading my Parker 51


Vade retro! Vade retro, Satan! I cast thee out!

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#28 pienaar

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 00:54

At the risk of being excommunicated, I have to say I'm considering selling/trading my Parker 51, because my brother keeps brining me back Hero 329s from his trips to China, so many of these dependable aerometric pens waiting to be used... I just can't bring myself to use the much more valuable vintage 51. I will likely post my 51 up this week, I'd like to see if I might be able to trade it for a Vanishing Point, maybe there's someone out there with a VP they aren't happy with? To bring this back on topic, though, I have to say the Hero 329 is a very nice pen, and not really the match for a 51, but it's a dependable pen, and cleans up nice. The thing is, I'm not a big fan of aerometric fillers, so for me it's mostly down to which of these kinda-annoying-to-fill pens would I feel less terrible about losing? The real 51, or one of the 329s from the pile? :embarrassed_smile:


I just got my first 51 a few weeks ago. I got a real nice 51 and 21 at the same time. Both write great and both look great. But I am scared to take them to work. I also really like the Hero 329s (Star Treks) I have them really writing smooth and those go with me to work. They are my scapegoats for my 51.

I am really looking forward to seeing the photos of your new one Unkas.
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#29 ndw76

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 02:42

I used to hate the idea of a hooded nib. To me the whole idea of a fountain pen was the showy nib. But the other day I visited a little Ma and Pah stationery store in Bangkok. Just because it was what they had I bought a Hero 329 for only 40 Baht. That's about $1.30 USD. I have to say that I love it. Maybe some time in the future there could be a real P51 waiting for me.

 

The Hero 329 changed my mind about the P51.


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#30 FPcollection

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 19:17

Hello!

I just saw your post and completely agree with you that Parker 51s are more of a legacy than a mere writing instrument! And, yet, they are also great writers!
My friend got a pen for a great price ....,

http://fountainpencl...fully-restored/

Pen is doing great!


Edited by FPcollection, 30 August 2013 - 19:17.