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Sheaffer 330 (nos) Review


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9 replies to this topic

#1 larryinpa

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 16:04

Hi All,
I wanted to post a brief review of my latest purchase, a Sheaffer 330 (NOS) with fine nib. While this may be more of a sumary review, I did want to share my thoughts and impression. This is only my second pen, with my first FP being a Lamy Vista, XF nib, inked with PR Lake Placid Blue.

Feel and Appearance
For some reason (my own preconceived ideas), I exprected the pen to be larger and heavier. What I got, was a rather small pen that was difficult to write with unposted (and I don't have large hands). Additionally, the pen is so light with little to any heft. My Lamy is a heaftier, more substantial pen - easier to write with unposted. I immediately loved the style of the pen, which is what attracted me to the pen in the first place - classic design and inlaid nib is quite attractive. The cap fits via friction. I would have preferred a nice "click" to cap.

Filling System
Very intuitive; squeeze the converter and it fills with ink. However there is no window and no way of knowing how much ink is in the converter. I must have done it correctly because it's still writing, lol.

Nib and Writing

Ah, this is where if any redemption is needed - it is given. The nib is super smooth, so smooth. My Lamy can be a little scratchy (but still enjoyable), but this Sheaffer is a different experience. I don't know what effect the ink has on this. I have it filled with Noodler's Sequoia (love the ink, BTW. Dark enough for business use; lays down nice and wet. Almost too wet for the Moleskin book I'm writing on - I've noticed smufges in excess of 30 seconds, but that's another review :rolleyes: ). The F nib on this pen compares to the XF Lamy nib; same line thinckness. I would have expected a broader line.

Conclusion

This pen is all about the nib. It writes very well, no skipping or problems starting. I would recommend this pen to anyone with smaller hands, who likes a light pen and an excellent performing nib. All for $35.

Larry

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#2 hecya

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 19:45

You are absolutely right. I also found the pen too light at the beginning and I was somehow disappointed because I associated light weight with cheap but as you say, the nib is superb and the design is very classy, perfect for business meetings. I feel that bringing an obviously expensive pen to a meeting, such as a Montblanc, is to be seen as too flashy.

#3 tonybelding

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 18:03

For some reason (my own preconceived ideas), I exprected the pen to be larger and heavier. What I got, was a rather small pen that was difficult to write with unposted (and I don't have large hands). Additionally, the pen is so light with little to any heft.


This is a pet peeve of mine. It's not really a "small" pen by historical standards (and this is a vintage pen we're talking about, albeit recent vintage). It's only small compared with the swollen, oversized pens that are so fashionable today.

They way I figure it, when fountain pens stopped being utilitarian writing implements for most people and became a fashion statement -- then you want your fashion statement big enough to be seen and look impressive. Some weight is good too, in case somebody else picks it up to admire it. If it's a luxury item, then it should have metal parts!


Very intuitive; squeeze the converter and it fills with ink. However there is no window and no way of knowing how much ink is in the converter. I must have done it correctly because it's still writing, lol.


I'm not fond of those converters either. A standard Sheaffer piston converter should fit, and I'd consider it a worthy upgrade.

#4 ThirdeYe

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 05:11

I just got one of these NOS as a gift from my girlfriend, but with an XF nib. Mine is pretty scratchy, so I'm going to have to look at it under my loupe and see if the tines are off. Is it just me or do the nibs on these pens look a little "bent"?

Edited by ThirdeYe, 21 January 2011 - 05:11.

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#5 anderl

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 12:09

... but with an XF nib.

May I ask how you guys figure out whether the nib is an F or an XF? I haven't been able to discover any markings on my 330 (though it sure writes a very fine, and also smooth line).

#6 tonybelding

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 13:13

May I ask how you guys figure out whether the nib is an F or an XF? I haven't been able to discover any markings on my 330 (though it sure writes a very fine, and also smooth line).


Some of them have a mark on the section, but it's very light and can easily wear off when the pen is used. My 440 has a faint F. My 550 doesn't have any visible mark. Most of the time you'll have to estimate it. You might try printing up Richard Binder's chart from his website for comparisons.

Incidentally. . . My 440 and 550 both have F nibs, but they write very differently. The 440's steel nib is firm, smooth and wet. The 550's 14K gold nib is semi-flex. It's rather dry until you apply a little pressure (let's say similar to using a ballpoint), then the ink flows freely.

#7 corniche

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 15:43

May I ask how you guys figure out whether the nib is an F or an XF? I haven't been able to discover any markings on my 330 (though it sure writes a very fine, and also smooth line).


Some of them have a mark on the section, but it's very light and can easily wear off when the pen is used. My 440 has a faint F. My 550 doesn't have any visible mark. Most of the time you'll have to estimate it. You might try printing up Richard Binder's chart from his website for comparisons.


Yes, on the Imperial, look on the underside of the section, towards the base where it screws into the barrel. The gold print is often worn away; however, if you hold it under a bright light and use a magnifying glass, you can usually see the trace impression left behind from the stamping machine. I can still see that mine are both an M, even though the gold print is long gone.

All the best,

Sean :)

Edited by S. P. Colfer, 21 January 2011 - 15:44.

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#8 anderl

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 01:33

Tony, Sean: thank you. I think. I took the loupe to the section and discovered -- no factory markings but that micro scratche is just another word for deep gouge.
But I stand by my 330 workhorse.

#9 krokens

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 17:43

Hi All,
I wanted to post a brief review of my latest purchase, a Sheaffer 330 (NOS) with fine nib. While this may be more of a sumary review, I did want to share my thoughts and impression. This is only my second pen, with my first FP being a Lamy Vista, XF nib, inked with PR Lake Placid Blue.

Feel and Appearance
For some reason (my own preconceived ideas), I exprected the pen to be larger and heavier. What I got, was a rather small pen that was difficult to write with unposted (and I don't have large hands). Additionally, the pen is so light with little to any heft. My Lamy is a heaftier, more substantial pen - easier to write with unposted. I immediately loved the style of the pen, which is what attracted me to the pen in the first place - classic design and inlaid nib is quite attractive. The cap fits via friction. I would have preferred a nice "click" to cap.

Filling System
Very intuitive; squeeze the converter and it fills with ink. However there is no window and no way of knowing how much ink is in the converter. I must have done it correctly because it's still writing, lol.

Nib and Writing

Ah, this is where if any redemption is needed - it is given. The nib is super smooth, so smooth. My Lamy can be a little scratchy (but still enjoyable), but this Sheaffer is a different experience. I don't know what effect the ink has on this. I have it filled with Noodler's Sequoia (love the ink, BTW. Dark enough for business use; lays down nice and wet. Almost too wet for the Moleskin book I'm writing on - I've noticed smufges in excess of 30 seconds, but that's another review :rolleyes: ). The F nib on this pen compares to the XF Lamy nib; same line thinckness. I would have expected a broader line.

Conclusion

This pen is all about the nib. It writes very well, no skipping or problems starting. I would recommend this pen to anyone with smaller hands, who likes a light pen and an excellent performing nib. All for $35.

Larry



I'm fully agree with your review. My feelings with the pen are very close to yours, especially in the weight of the pen and the incredible smoothness of the nib. Mine is M and writes incredibly well.

#10 Mick_P

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 09:53

A late addition to this thread, just to say that my 330 has had extensive use since it was bought for me, new, in 1981 and it's still writing beautifully and effortlessly 33 years later. Lovely pen. 


Edited by Mick_P, 09 September 2014 - 09:53.







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