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Sheaffer 100


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20 replies to this topic

#1 FLJeepGuy

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 15:41

I purchased and received my Sheaffer 100 a little over three weeks ago. The pen came packaged in a leather-like clamshell box that belies the pen’s low cost. Inside the box was the pen with a converter, two ink cartridges and a small instruction/warranty book underneath. Upon removing the pen from the box, I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the finish and the weight of the pen. This was something I didn’t expect considering the price of this pen.

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Appearance & Design (9/10)
I chose the matte blue finish with nickel plated hardware thinking that it had a more upscale look from the chrome and lacquer options and was not disappointed. This pen follows classic design cues and has an understated beauty with a distinct lack of "bling". The cap and barrel maintain their diameter throughout their length with only a slight taper at each end leading to two identical nickel-plated tassies with no further embellishment. The cap’s diameter is slightly larger than the barrel and the tassie reflects this as well. The cap’s band is a simple nickel-plated band with “SHEAFFER” tastefully engraved three times around the circumference. The clip is a simple stamped steel and nickel-plated arc with a single small cutout and sporting Sheaffer’s trademarked white dot. The clip has a good bit of tension and doesn’t wobble at all in its mounts. The cap and barrel are covered in an unbroken blue matte finish that feels good in the hand with a slight texture preventing any slipperiness. Uncapping the pen reveals a chrome section and the fine nib I selected. The steel nib and feed seem to be the same that Sheaffer uses for the 300 and Prelude although the Prelude’s nib is 22k gold plated.

I deducted one point here for the use of a slippery, tapered, chrome section. I’m not sure why these un-textured metal sections have become so popular in the industry, but I wish pen manufacturers would think about how it affects the use of the pen. Just a small bit of texture or contour would correct the slipperiness.

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Construction & Quality (10/10)
The 100 is a Sheaffer through and through and every bit of this pen’s construction says quality. The cap, barrel and section are all metal which yields a nice weighty, quality feel without being overly heavy for long writing sessions. The finishes used are well applied with no visible flaws or thin spots. The cap clicks closed with a tight seal and doesn’t wobble at all. The clip has firm tension and doesn’t move side to side or feel like it will come loose over time. The section screws into the barrel on smooth threads and holds tightly without requiring excessive tightening force. Although I don’t personally post the caps on my pens, this one posts securely with the barrel end held in place by friction with the plastic inner cap. My suspicion is that since there is no metal on metal contact when posted, damage to the end of the barrel from posting would be minimized.

Weight & Dimensions (8/10)
This is an average sized pen, nicely weighted and balanced. Overall length is about 5.5” and the cap is about .5” in diameter with the barrel being slightly narrower. The pen weighs about an ounce when capped or posted and about .75 ounce unposted. There is a minimal step between the barrel and section (almost non-existent) and a small raised ring at the end of the section just before the nib and feed. I deducted a couple of points here as the pen does feel a bit narrow for my hand (which is not helped by the tapered section) even though the weight is good.

Nib & Performance (8/10)
I ordered my 100 with a fine nib as my intent was to use this pen as a daily writer for annotating design specs and jotting notes. I have fairly small handwriting and tend to shy away from anything larger than a wet medium. The nib on this pen lays down a fairly fine line almost as thin as my Asian fines. The nib is very smooth with just a hint of feedback yet never catches in the paper even when writing quickly. The feedback isn’t enough that I would call it "toothy", neither is the nib glass smooth.

I rank the ink flow a 7 on a 1-10 scale. In other words, it’s wet enough to lubricate the nib properly but not so much that it affects the line width. I haven’t had a single incident of hard starting, skipping, blobbing, leaking, or nib creeping. This pen just writes the first time, every time. I’m using Diamine’s Saddle Brown ink in the pen at the moment, but expect similar performance from other inks in my inventory.

I find this pen performs very similarly to a Sheaffer Snorkel with an F4 fine palladium Triumph nib both in line width and overall feel on the page. Both nibs lay down a nice thin line, but comparing to my snorkels with fine nibs, the 100 is slightly narrower. This nib, like the Triumphs is not flexible at all and lays down a consistent line without variation due to normal pressure.

I deducted a couple of points here since the nib could be a tiny bit smoother.

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Filling System & Maintenance (10/10)
The 100 is a cartridge or converter filled pen and I’ve ranked it highly compared to other c/c filled pens. I’m a big fan of Sheaffer’s converters as they have a slightly larger diameter than the industry norm which helps avoid surface tension issues with the ink inside while also allowing for slightly higher ink capacity. I also find that Sheaffer converters fit more snugly when compared to other brands. There’s not much to say about a c/c filler. I’m a big fan of them because they’re easy to fill and maintain and the converter or cartridge can be easily replaced if a problem arises. Don’t get me wrong, I like piston fillers but it takes me forever to write them empty however I can use up a converter fairly quickly and change inks more often.

Cost & Value (10)
The Sheaffer 100 has really surprised me with its construction quality, understated classic beauty, weight, balance, and overall writing performance especially in light of it's low price. It compares favorably with pens approaching the $100 mark. When comparing this pen to others in the same price range, I think the 100 stands head and shoulders above.

Conclusion (9/10)
Overall, I really like the 100. The weight, balance, fit and finish, and writing experience are top notch for its price. The 100 shows that Sheaffer can still build a quality every-day user pen without cutting corners. I fully expect to still be using this pen years from now. My two main nit-picks are the slippery chrome section and the almost but not quite smooth as glass nib. Beyond that, I have no complaints at all.

The natural pen to compare to the 100 is one that’s almost always recommended in this price range, the Lamy Vista/Safari/Al-Star. For the same money, you get all metal construction, a more elegant pen, and the converter is included. I like my Lamy’s but they have a low-cost, “school pen” look about them. They’re too long and thick to comfortably fit in a shirt pocket and they’re plastic or at most, lightweight aluminum. The Lamy’s ability to swap out nibs from a nice selection of sizes is a plus, but for the price I personally feel Sheaffer has come up with a winner!

I feel comfortable recommending this pen to anyone looking for a reasonably priced, well-constructed pen for daily use. I would also recommend this pen to someone starting out in the fountain pen hobby. The Sheaffer 100 won’t disappoint!
Collection Counts: Cross-4, Esterbrook-15, Eversharp-1, Graf von Faber-Castell-1, Jinhao-2, Kaweco-1, Lamy-6, Levenger-2, Monteverde-1, Pilot/Namiki-3, Noodler's-1, Parker-18, Rotring-10, Sailor-1, Sheaffer-19, TWSBI-1, Visconti-4, Waterford-1, Waterman-7
Favorite Inks: Diamine, Levenger, Private Reserve, Noodler's Lexington Gray

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#2 Malcy

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 19:11

The 100 looks like a nice pen and decent value. It isn't really a competitor for the Lamy Safari here in the UK being 70% more expensive than the Safari.

It is only available as a medium which is a bit disappointing as one should always go for the B width. ;)
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#3 risingsun

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 02:05

My daughter bought herself this exact same pen to go with her Lamy Safari. With shipping, it came to a couple dollars more than her Safari with converter. She really likes them both, but I was very disappointed with the slickness of the section on the Sheaffer. Luckily, it's not mine. Great pen otherwise! Thanks for sharing!

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#4 Montblanc owner and lover

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 20:32

not really a pen for me but if you're happy with it so is it perfect
A people can be great withouth a great pen but a people who love great pens is surely a great people too... Pens owned actually: MB 146 EF;Pelikan M200 SE Clear Demonstrator 2012 B;Parker 17 EF;Parker 51 EF;Waterman Expert II M,Waterman Hemisphere M;Waterman Carene F and Stub;Pilot Justus 95 F. Nearly owned: MB 149 B(Circa 2002);Conway Stewart Belliver LE bracket Brown IB.

#5 breaker

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 19:49

nice review and pics!
thanks!
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#6 PF95

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 05:00

That's one nice pen! Not something that I'd buy, but it seems great for a beater pen. Hope you get years of good performance :thumbup:
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#7 robofkent

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 18:38

I've recently added a Sheaffer 100 (the Ferrari special edition) to my collection and like it very much

#8 rochester21

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 19:05

Good review. I hate the shiny bits, they make the pen look cheap.

#9 mhphoto

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 06:21

Great review! You're 100% right about the chrome on the grip, but you learn to work around it (and how can you not with how smooth these fine Sheaffer nibs are!). I have an Intensity and it's definitely one of my favorites in my collection. I'm hoping Santa will bring me a fine nib, Ferrari Red 100 this Christmas… :drool:

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#10 ThirdeYe

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 15:02

Great job on the review. I bought mine with a fine nib also, but mine is surprisingly smooth. One of my smoothest writers, IMO. I guess I got one of the good ones. :) The line width is also somewhat wet, and I would consider it a nice Western fine. I have only two quibbles about the pen: The clip is pretty much useless because of how tight it is to get it onto any type of fabric, and the cap is also a little difficult to remove. Those are minor nit-picks, though. It's such a great writing pen, easily one of my favorites among my collection in terms of the nib.
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#11 jacksterp

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 00:14

I have been considering this pen in one of it's iterations. I'm curious as to the "slipperyness" of the barrel after or during an extended writing period.

Thanks much for the review.

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#12 revdrjaydwright

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 03:38

Thanks for this review, FLJeepGuy! I'm recommending some lower-priced pens to a friend for Christmas gifts, and this one seems to be a winner.

#13 lovemy51

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 10:03

looks good! way better than my 300...

my only petty complaint is the metal section -OTT, :thumbup:

#14 lovemy51

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 10:09

ok, i went ahead and bought one. i sanded the section to make it look brushed steel and to improve the grip. voila!

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Edited by lovemy51, 05 December 2012 - 10:25.


#15 mhphoto

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 13:17

ok, i went ahead and bought one. i sanded the section to make it look brushed steel and to improve the grip. voila!

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Very cool! I've often wondered what one can do to increase the tackiness of the section. Impractical as it might be, as I don't know what metal is under the chrome on that section, I'd love to trying jeweling it, rifle bolt style.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37mveyw2buI

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#16 lovemy51

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 18:38

hi, mhphoto. jeweling the rifle bolt might not work on this section. as you and i suspect there might be brass not too far down from the chrome plating -would be nice, tho'. i doubt it is really SS underneath...

Edited by lovemy51, 05 December 2012 - 18:43.


#17 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 22:42

nice little pen :thumbup: thanks for sharing
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#18 taimdala

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 20:12

Coming to this topic rather late, I searched for reviews of the Sheaffer 100 after I saw it on sale at penboutique.com. It's currently on sale for 40% and I thought everyone here could be trusted to give an honest review.

 

I think it's worth a try.

As for the slippery chrome section, I'll give it a try as-is but if it's too slippery, I'll just pick a really pretty washi tape (one in a Japanese art print) and wrap it around the section for traction. A bonus: I can swap out the tape for different prints/designs and the tack on the tape is low enough that I shouldn't have problems with residue. ;)



#19 TheLostOne

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 02:29

Very nice review. I feel pretty much exactly the same.

I was surprised and mildly disappointed when I later got an $80 pen and the $25 Sheaffer was just as good in build quality.

I don’t get why manufacturers can’t avoid shiny slippery grip sections. I can be a ninja with my fingers but most people don’t want to be. Had the grip been better, I’d have gifted a couple to convert people to fountain pens - it’s that good for the price.

I only had the medium option, which is a very German medium, thicker than I’d like. But the nib is on the wetter side, pretty to look at and writes well.

#20 minddance

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 02:30

No metal grips for me :)






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