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Sheaffer Petite Balance

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#1 Tommy



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Posted 14 July 2011 - 01:44

A while back, a friend at work showed me a Sheaffer that he inherited from his mother. It was a petite balance in pearl & black. The cutest little pen I ever saw. So when I saw this set on Ebay recently, I bought it. I restored the pen with a new sac and solvent welded a crack in the cap lip. The pencil had some shrinkage; there was a gap between the cap and barrel. I fixed that, and polished them up a bit.

Appearance and Design. 10/10

It doesn't get any better than a vintage balance. In my opinion, they are gorgeous. Even in this miniature size, the proportions and design is perfect. The black celluloid with gold trim is classic.

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Construction and Quality. 8/10

Had to deduct a little for the shrinkage. But I guess that's to be expected in an 80 year old pencil. The crack in the pen's cap lip is somewhat expected too, considering how thin it has to be on a pen this small. All things considered, these were made pretty well to survive this long.

Weight and Dimensions. 4/10

These are really too small to use comfortably. Both the pen and pencil are 4 1/8" capped. Unposted, the pen barrel doesn't even reach the web of my hand. Posted, it's not too bad, but I really don't want to do that with the repaired cap. The pen is only 11.9 grams in weight. I'm not sure who these were targeted to as customers, but anyone with an adult sized hand would find it too small for extended use.

Here's a picture next to it's big brother, an oversized balance. And the picture in my hand gives an idea just how tiny this pen is.

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Nib and Performance. 8/10

This one is an extra fine with some flex. Normally, I don't like a nib this fine, but this one is pretty smooth and wet, and it feels soft on the paper, due to it's flex. Not enough flex to give much line variation, but definitely not a nail.

Filling System and Maintenance 9/10

Very easy to restore, the lever filler is hard to beat. With a new sac, it still works well. The sac is tiny, but how much ink do you need in a pen this small? I don't plan to use it a whole lot anyway.

Cost and Value 10/10

This set was $22, shipped. You don't see a lot of them come up on Ebay, so I don't know what they generally go for, but I'm sure it's less than the larger balances.

Conclusions 49/6 = 8.1

These are neat little pens from a collector/novelty point of view. They're really too small to be a daily user, but mine writes well. If my last name was Thumb, I'd probably like it a lot more.


Edited by Tommy, 14 July 2011 - 02:58.

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#2 Joe in Seattle

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 01:49

Fun post!
"how do I know what I think until I write it down?"

#3 jar


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Posted 14 July 2011 - 01:50

Really nice little set. Looks good.

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