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Sheaffer 330 Imperial (Nos)


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21 replies to this topic

#1 owenj

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 20:00

First pen review! I apologize in advance for the poor lighting! :embarrassed_smile:
Sheaffer 330 Imperial (NOS) Black w/Chrome Trim, Fine nib

First Impressions-
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To be honest, slightly underwhelmed due to all the "hype" I'd been reading about the vintage Sheaffers being a dream in the hand. However, after writing w/it a bit more the experience smoothed out nicely & I've grown to like that slight bit of tooth.

Appearance & Design-7/10
Plastic body & cap w/metal bands. Shiny finish, looks pretty classic. The clip is kind of short in comparison to other pens, but I think that's a date/style thing. Comes in several other colors (burgundy, blue, etc) if you can find them.
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Construction & Quality-7/10
It feels light in the hand. A push-on/off cap w/o a snap. It seems to stay on securely, but I'd have preferred a snap or something just so I knew when it was "on" all the way. With that said, it doesn't feel like the cap is about to pop off or anything.

Weight & Dimensions- 7/10
Not an extremely small/short pen, as it's longer than my Pelikan 215. It is lighter & thinner. I only have a food scale that weighs in pounds/ounces, so I can't give an exact measurement, but it weighs in at 5/8 of an ounce. I think it's fairly well balanced, posts nicely & doesn't feel back heavy. It might be too light to write with un-posted. For myself & my small hands, I would probably rate it more along the lines of an 8, but for average or larger size hands it may be a smidgen too light.
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Nib & Performance- 8.5/10
Initially I was a little skeptical because I had read about how superior the vintage nibs were compared to their modern day counterparts. The look is beautiful (totally subjective!) to me, because I love the inlaid nib. I have a size fine, made of steel. The nib is marked Sheaffer & has USA stamped vertically down the triangle part. After writing with it a bit, I've found it to be quite smooth with just a hint of tooth. Certainly not scratchy, & I actually like that tactile feel a lot. Lays down a moderately wet line, not dry but not so wet you'll end up with a big ink blot.
Posted ImagePosted Image


Filling System & Maintenance- 6/10
Cartridge/Converter. Ok, I may be being too harsh on this part of the review. Granted, I was sick at the time of receiving the pen which didn't facilitate any extra patience on my part, but I couldn't get the squeeze-bulb style converter to work. I filled it with a syringe & installed in the pen, primed it so I could see ink appear on the feed, but nothing would come out on paper. Luckily, I had purchased a piston-style converter as well, filled that directly from the bottle, & the pen wrote the moment it touched the paper.
In the future I'll probably fill the converter with a syringe since cleaning off the inlaid nib after a bottle fill is kind of messy. I may or may not contact the seller about how to get the included squeeze converter working properly, because I will probably just use the other converter, or buy cartridges & fill with the syringe.
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Cost & Value-- 9/10 NOS, purchased from Teri of Peyton Street Pens for $37. Not bad at all. It writes just as well as some much pricier pens I own. The additional converter is $9, which I thought was a bit steep, but if you can get the converter it comes with to work, then the pen is a great deal.

Conclusion: 44.5/60 Overall, a nice pen & I'm planning on getting a few more of the vintage Sheaffers. They're very nice to write with, & I'd say they're worth the hype, but I've never written with a modern Sheaffer so I can't make a comparison.

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#2 jandrese

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 20:46

That is a good, cheap pen, and I could spot that awesome ink from a mile away. Enjoy.

#3 LexieS

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 23:37

Fabulous review, OwenJ!

Isn't this some funny stuff, I just got my 330 from Teri at Peyton Street Pens today as well! I purchased the black pen with an extra fine nib, and I love it! I didn't have a problem with the push bulb converter, I just held the nib in the ink for a few seconds after squeezing, and it sucked the ink right up. After using push-button converters, I have gotten used to being very patient while filling converters; I always twist or press very slowly and wait about 5 seconds before pulling the nib out of the ink.

Like you, I like slight feedback from my nibs. The extra fine writes a line comparable to my 0.3 Pilot Hi-Tec C pens...which I LOVE!!!

I hope you are loving your pen as much as I am loving mine!

Finally, a place where being obsessed with pens and paper is the norm...

 


#4 adallak

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 08:20

^^^^
"Finally, a place where being obsessed with pens and paper is the norm..."

:roflmho: :thumbup:

Edited by adallak, 27 November 2011 - 08:21.

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#5 owenj

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 17:04

Fabulous review, OwenJ!

Isn't this some funny stuff, I just got my 330 from Teri at Peyton Street Pens today as well! I purchased the black pen with an extra fine nib, and I love it! I didn't have a problem with the push bulb converter, I just held the nib in the ink for a few seconds after squeezing, and it sucked the ink right up. After using push-button converters, I have gotten used to being very patient while filling converters; I always twist or press very slowly and wait about 5 seconds before pulling the nib out of the ink.

Like you, I like slight feedback from my nibs. The extra fine writes a line comparable to my 0.3 Pilot Hi-Tec C pens...which I LOVE!!!

I hope you are loving your pen as much as I am loving mine!


Hmmm...I wonder if my problem was due to filling it with a syringe... :hmm1:

I am enjoying the pen though, & glad you like yours :lol: I already ordered another one in burgundy.

#6 jar

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 17:39

Hmmm...I wonder if my problem was due to filling it with a syringe... :hmm1:


Generally that's not a good idea.

The best way is filling with a converter making sure that all of the feed is in the ink. Cleanup is easy, a quick swipe under the faucet and wipe it down.

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#7 ObliqueIntern

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 17:49

Fabulous review, OwenJ!

Isn't this some funny stuff, I just got my 330 from Teri at Peyton Street Pens today as well! I purchased the black pen with an extra fine nib, and I love it! I didn't have a problem with the push bulb converter, I just held the nib in the ink for a few seconds after squeezing, and it sucked the ink right up. After using push-button converters, I have gotten used to being very patient while filling converters; I always twist or press very slowly and wait about 5 seconds before pulling the nib out of the ink.

Like you, I like slight feedback from my nibs. The extra fine writes a line comparable to my 0.3 Pilot Hi-Tec C pens...which I LOVE!!!

I hope you are loving your pen as much as I am loving mine!


Hmmm...I wonder if my problem was due to filling it with a syringe... :hmm1:

I am enjoying the pen though, & glad you like yours :lol: I already ordered another one in burgundy.




Thank you for the lovely review! I am also a huge fan of the Sheaffer inlaid nib. Not to feed the "addiction" or anything, but if you ever have a chance, check out the Sheaffer Imperial IV. It's the same type of body construction as the 330, but uses the "touchdown" filling mechanism instead of cartridge/converter, and also has a gold nib. It's one of my absolute favorite pens. Teri has a couple of NOS Sheaffer Imperial IV pens in her inventory right now. That being said, enjoy what you DO have. You've got a great little pen in your arsenal.

It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.  - Mark Twain


#8 owenj

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 19:08


Hmmm...I wonder if my problem was due to filling it with a syringe... :hmm1:


Generally that's not a good idea.

The best way is filling with a converter making sure that all of the feed is in the ink. Cleanup is easy, a quick swipe under the faucet and wipe it down.


That's what I normally do, but I figured I'd try it with my syringe since it's so much easier to get small amounts of ink out of sample vials. However, using a cartridge wouldn't pre-wet the feed with ink, so why is a pre-filled converter different? Not trying to be contrary, just wondering.

#9 owenj

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 19:11

Thank you for the lovely review! I am also a huge fan of the Sheaffer inlaid nib. Not to feed the "addiction" or anything, but if you ever have a chance, check out the Sheaffer Imperial IV. It's the same type of body construction as the 330, but uses the "touchdown" filling mechanism instead of cartridge/converter, and also has a gold nib. It's one of my absolute favorite pens. Teri has a couple of NOS Sheaffer Imperial IV pens in her inventory right now. That being said, enjoy what you DO have. You've got a great little pen in your arsenal.


I've been looking at that one! :roflmho: My husband offered to get me a pen for Christmas, & I'm wavering between that & a few Bexleys.

#10 JonSzanto

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 19:17

I've been looking at that one! :roflmho: My husband offered to get me a pen for Christmas, & I'm wavering between that & a few Bexleys.

I'm not sure what Bexley you are talking about, but Teri (at Peyton Street Pens) has a limited edition Bexley that they had made for them that utilizes a sweet Imperial inlaid nib. It is quite a cool combo!

Posted Image
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#11 breaker

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 17:45

nice review for one of my favorite pens!
thanks!
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#12 ObliqueIntern

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 20:31

Thank you for the lovely review! I am also a huge fan of the Sheaffer inlaid nib. Not to feed the "addiction" or anything, but if you ever have a chance, check out the Sheaffer Imperial IV. It's the same type of body construction as the 330, but uses the "touchdown" filling mechanism instead of cartridge/converter, and also has a gold nib. It's one of my absolute favorite pens. Teri has a couple of NOS Sheaffer Imperial IV pens in her inventory right now. That being said, enjoy what you DO have. You've got a great little pen in your arsenal.


I've been looking at that one! :roflmho: My husband offered to get me a pen for Christmas, & I'm wavering between that & a few Bexleys.





too cool! Posted Image

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#13 bogiesan

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 02:42

Thanks for the review, Owen.
Teri also sells the 440. Appears to be the same pen with a diamond steel inlaid nib instead of the V and a brushed chrome cap instead of the matching plastic cap. You want one, I can tell. I have two 440s, an extra fine with a green barrel and a fine with a bright red barrel which I purchased from Teri. The extra fine is particualrly scratchy and the nib tends to run dry so it quickly picks up a clump of paper fibers. Can't use it much. Someday I shall it have it serviced.
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#14 Gojira

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 03:07

Thanks for the review. The Imperials are among the first fountain pens I acquired and remain firmly among my favourites. You'll find that some of the inlaid nibs have certain sweet spots but I've generally found mine to be quite smooth. There were some with uneven tipping material on the nibs...these smoothed out over time.

My only gripe with the 330 is that the barrel tends to unscrew easily from the section. Not sure is this is a common issue but I've found it prevalent on all my 330s.

#15 owenj

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 04:02

Thanks for the review, Owen.
Teri also sells the 440. Appears to be the same pen with a diamond steel inlaid nib instead of the V and a brushed chrome cap instead of the matching plastic cap. You want one, I can tell.

:lol: I already ordered one with a 2nd 330!

My only gripe with the 330 is that the barrel tends to unscrew easily from the section. Not sure is this is a common issue but I've found it prevalent on all my 330s.

I've noticed this with mine as well. Since I usually give the cap a twist to remove it on most pens, I find that if I'm not careful I'll accidentally start to unscrew the barrel. :glare:

Thanks for the kind remarks everyone! Makes me want to review more pens, but most of mine already have a bunch in the review index... :D

#16 JonSzanto

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 04:20

I've noticed this with mine as well. Since I usually give the cap a twist to remove it on most pens, I find that if I'm not careful I'll accidentally start to unscrew the barrel. :glare:

I have a number of those Sheaffers that are of identical or similar design. In no time at all, with just a moment of thought, you get used to twist the cap in the opposite direction - in effect, you are tightening rather than loosening the section, and once that habit kicks in, you never have to worry about unscrewing the section.

Ever again.

I love these. I've got a 444 from Teri that is hand's down one of my best pens.
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#17 akrishna59

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 08:45

that pen has my mouth watering, blurb, blurb, slurp, goo, gooo. :puddle:

better than those overpriced, hideous viking battleaxes that are called pens nowadays.

enjoy your pen.

rgds.

krishna.
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#18 mohamedelegipcio

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 03:58

After almost two years since this  review was published I get exited and purchase my Sheaffer 330 black fine nib fountain pen from Mr. Teri Morris at Peyton Street Pens.


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#19 Belgian FP fan

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 21:33

My only gripe with the 330 is that the barrel tends to unscrew easily from the section. Not sure is this is a common issue but I've found it prevalent on all my 330s.[/quote]


Mine has the same issue.

Edited by Belgian FP fan, 03 September 2013 - 21:41.


#20 WDP4BAAZ

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 15:46

A nice review ..

 

Congrats..








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