I have a number of Jinhao and Wing Sung pens but only one Hero so I thought I would try a second Hero. Sorry about the poor quality pictures that do not do justice to the pen.
It came in a nice looking little blue box with a ribbon. The pen created a good initial impression, glossy black and well proportioned.
• Appearance & Design
When I first looked at the pen it reminded me of a Waterman Laureat but just a fraction smaller. The finish is glossy black with a gold clip and fittings. The cap has Chinese characters in white plus “Hero 182” The cap snaps shut with a noticeable click audible from quite a few feet away (as I found out in a large meeting). When I first tried to pull the cap off I thought it must be a screw thread because I could not get the cap off. However, it is just very stiff. I would be very surprised if this cap accidentally came of in a pocket. I would be interested to hear from other 182 owners to find out if this is a design feature or just a quality control issue.
The pen seems to be mostly of metal construction, it feels very solid with no flex in the barrel or cap. It is well made and well finished. The section is silvery metal which marks easily.
I find many Chinese pens too showy for my liking, but not this one. It is a pen I would be happy to use anywhere.
• Weight & Dimensions
Capped 134mm Diameter 10mm (it might be 9.5mm) posted 155mm. The size of the 182 is on the small side of medium and because of this even though it is largely made of metal it is not a heavy pen.
• Nib & Performance
A small stiff steel Chinese F nib.
Out of the box I was immediately pleased with the smoothness of the nib but it was a dry writer; too dry. After a couple of pages and cleaning with soupy water no change, still very dry. I decided to experiment with nib pressure and after putting much more pressure on the nib than normal the tines sprang back. The tips were now splayed apart and curved up. I said a naughty word thinking that I had just broken my new pen, but turning it upside down and pressing slightly caused the tines to spring back into position. The ink flow had changed from dry to perfect. The nib now produces a reliable, slightly wet line with no skipping
• Filling System
The pen came with a converter, but not a type I have seen before. There is a slider button that is pulled back to fill the pen. I found it slightly easier to use than conventional converters.
• Cost & Value
£5.00 including shipping from China represents very good value.
I am not sure what conclusion to draw. Had I not accidentally fixed the flow problem I would have said a well made pen, with a smooth nib let down by poor ink flow. I would not have recommended the pen.
However, after its mistreatment it changed into a little gem of a pen. I have just come back from a business trip where this was the only pen I used over quite a few days of extensive note taking and it is a joy to use. Well balanced, solid but not heavy, laying down a lovely solid line using Waterman Black ink. It is small enough to slip into a pocket with no fear of the cap popping off. A workhorse of a pen
Top Hero 182 bottom Waterman Laureat
Edited by vans4444, 11 March 2010 - 19:26.