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Hero 100 vs. Hero 616


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#1 Waterman

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 04:13

I'm currently thinking of getting either a hero 100 or a hero 616. However, I don't know which one is better as a everyday kind of pen. I like the 616 style because it resembles the 51 more but it also looks much cheaper than the hero 100. The hero 100 looks like its made much better but it doesn't look as good as the 616.


Thanks
Brad

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#2 SallyLyn

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 04:51

I'm a newbie to FPs but have both for several weeks. I have the regular size 616, not the jumbo, and I have the metal 100. The 100 has a 14K nib, the metal body makes it fairly heavy. I don't have large hands.

The Regular 616 is thinner, the plastic makes it much lighter and the 616s are steel nibs. I honestly don't feel/see a huge difference in how they write for me, tho' the 100 is nicer. The 616, perhaps a hair finer writer, but haven't tried them with the exact same ink.

Yes the 100 is of better materials and should stand up better, but you can get 3-4 616s for the price.

If you are looking at isellpens and you want a Hero, check all the descriptions, there are many in the 10-14K and steel nibs that are described as ... writes extremely well ... the 100 is one of them, others for prices less than the 100. Pick the style and color you like, don't think you'll be unhappy.

I read the FPN reviews, couldn't make up my mind, bought both, still don't believe either was a bad deal or which I'd send back if forced to.

Did that help?

#3 Nihontochicken

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 04:52

Ooooooh, step into my parlor! roflmho.gif

Okay, what follows is JMO. With that caveat, time to rip and tear! If you are only interested in a pen to use, then by all means get the Hero 100, live long, and prosper. It is much better made in terms of materials (but NOT design!!!) and finish. The 14k gold nib of the 100 is smoother than the steel nib of the 616. As long as you simply just use the pen, you will likely be happier with the 100.

However, if you like to tinker, then get the 616 (or three of them to equal the price of the 100). The 616 much more closely resembles the Parker 51 than does the 100. The 100 has some wierdo design elements that are not robust and which tend to self-destruct upon disassembly, involving unwarranted complication that doesn't pay its fare. Search this forum for my previous comments re the 100 versus 616. My 100 succumbed to repeated tinkering and has expired. I don't miss it. My 616 is still going strong, and is my daily user (okay, wearing the nicer cap from the deceased 100!). My 616 is a very wet writer, though I suppose this is variable from one pen to the next, given the probable decreased quality control for the low end items. While my 616 steel nib is scratchier than my 100 (was) with normal pressure, the 616 nib will flow with almost NO pressure at all, though writing this lightly takes some effort!!! Heck, the 616 is so cheap, buy both of them (the 616 and 100), and see what you think. Be sure to respond here as to your assessment! IMO, bottom line, again (sorry), Hero would do well to just upgrade the materials and finish of the 616 and deep six the 100.
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#4 Macuser

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 16:07

I have both pens and love them both. I don't think you will go wrong with either. Do yourself a favor and buy the 100, but throw in the 616 for an additional $10. With shipping charges, you'll still get by around $42.

I would recommend iSellPens.com for both of these pens. (No affiliation, just a satisfied customer.)

#5 Waterman

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 20:19

Thanks for all the replies but I think I'll go for the 616 first from www.cutepens.com (no affiliation). I've always wanted to see how Chinese pens were like. But just out of curiosity is the hero pen company still around and is the 100 and 616 still in prodution?

Thanks
Brad

#6 psfred

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 16:32

I just bought three brand new 616s, and yes, I believe they are still in production.

The 100 may or may not be, I don't know, although they are available new still.

Don't overlook the 329 and 330, more a 61 clone, and there are some variations on that -- I got a 343 recently, aluminum barrel and shell painted with a nice chinese scene. It will make a nice Xmas or birthday present for my niece, it's just a bit "fruufy" for me to use. Gold nib, though.

The 616 is one of the smoothest pens I have once I tweaked the nib into alignment, off-center split and all. Very fine, which is what I required (for legibility, I'm a sloppy writer), fills nicely and is quite light because the section is plastic and not metal. Quite slick!

If someone wanted to make an inexpensive, perfectly writing pen, this is the way to go -- I'd bet a lexan section, silicone or vinyl sac directly attached, and a 51 style nib and collector with lexan barrel and hood would be a pen for the decades, and not expensive to make in quantity as all the parts except the filler cover are precision injection molded.

Peter

#7 Nihontochicken

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 19:05

QUOTE
If someone wanted to make an inexpensive, perfectly writing pen, this is the way to go -- I'd bet a lexan section, silicone or vinyl sac directly attached, and a 51 style nib and collector with lexan barrel and hood would be a pen for the decades, and not expensive to make in quantity as all the parts except the filler cover are precision injection molded.


I'm plotting, though injection molding is too costly to consider for small home shop production. On advice of a plastics supplier, I'm considering simple urethane pour molding using semi-flexible silicone rubber molds that may allow slight undercutting, possibly casting the threads as opposed to cutting them later. Still mulling it over, haven't as yet popped for the supplies. One major consideration is whether to make barrels interchangeable with Parker 51 originals, or go with an easier design. huh.gif
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#8 RLTodd

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 20:38

QUOTE(SallyLyn @ Jan 19 2007, 08:51 PM)
...

Yes the 100 is of better materials and should stand up better,
....
?

Well, if your defining "quality" as the thicker use of materials. But the plastic shell seems to have a reputation for cracking and the lack of quality controll on the Hero 100 assembly line seems to be a very serious issue.

My experience is I have two H616s that cause not a whit of difficulty and write to my satisfaction. They are lighter to the hand than a P51 and so I tend to reach for one of them from the pen jar rather than my one (enough for me) continuously inked P51.

I have ordered and returned two Hero 100 pens over the past year. Both were defective from the factory. The first one had a defective cap that crushed & cracked the shell and the other had an unattached press bar on the filler.

As always YMMV.
YMMV

#9 psfred

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 22:59

It's the tooling costs that kill pens, not the materials -- setting up the injection for the hood, barrel, and section are not cheap, and it usually takes a couple tries to get it just right even for experienced designers. The materials are nothing in comparison, even when making large numbers of pens. Lexan in any color you want is less than $6 a lb right now, and you can make a lot of pens with a pound of plastic.

I don't know if the Parker 51 was injection molded or catalyzed in place, acrylic can be done either way. Lexan or Ultem would have to be injection molded (no way you can machine them at lower cost, or maybe at all!) to make the parts, although either could easily have the threads molded in place, too -- but it may be cheaper and easier to thread them later as it will distinctly increase the difficulty of molding and the number of bad parts.

Interesting project there, the 51 wasn't a single person design!

Peter

#10 RLTodd

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 00:52

QUOTE(psfred @ Jan 21 2007, 02:59 PM)
It's the tooling costs that kill pens, not the materials -- setting up the injection for the hood, barrel, and section are not cheap, and it usually takes a couple tries to get it just right even for experienced designers. The materials are nothing in comparison, even when making large numbers of pens. Lexan in any color you want is less than $6 a lb right now, and you can make a lot of pens with a pound of plastic.

I don't know if the Parker 51 was injection molded or catalyzed in place, acrylic can be done either way. Lexan or Ultem would have to be injection molded (no way you can machine them at lower cost, or maybe at all!) to make the parts, although either could easily have the threads molded in place, too -- but it may be cheaper and easier to thread them later as it will distinctly increase the difficulty of molding and the number of bad parts.

Interesting project there, the 51 wasn't a single person design!

Peter

The references I hit seemed to indicate the Parker 51 was colored Lucite, and that Lucite is machinable, and that is how Parker made them as all of their equipment was based on lathe work rather than injection molding.
YMMV

#11 Nihontochicken

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 02:27

QUOTE
Interesting project there, the 51 wasn't a single person design!


Yup, injection molding is far beyond my humble hopes. The question is whether simple pour-cast catalyzed urethane, or other tough, hard plastic, can be successfully utilized to produce barrels with walls as thin as those of the original Parker 51s (which, IMO, were TOO thin and prone to cracking at the section end, one of the few major design flaws). Then again, if I give up on making original 51 replica parts, and go for thicker parts with more standard threads, then the project becomes much simpler (yet less desireable to many 51 afficionados). In any event, whether I go the precise 51 route or not, I have in mind a big, robust eye drop filler using a P-51 front end, maybe call it a B-52. laugh.gif
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#12 JRodriguez

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 04:15

I've owned both and had good experiences with both - no complaints from me at all really, though I've read that others have had problems with both. I second Macuser's suggestion - if you can afford it, get both wink.gif . The only Hero I've had problems with was a 330 - it was way too dry of a writer out of the box - but that might have just been bad luck, and since I paid $9 for it, I didn't feel all that raw about it ...

Edited by JRodriguez, 22 January 2007 - 04:20.


#13 psfred

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 04:23

Took a good look at my Vacumatic 51 parts (awaiting a diaphram), and it was surely turned -- the bore in the front is quite straight and the barrel would be a real bear to mold, unlike the aerometric ones (simple cavity).

The hood is a simple curve shape that is machined off at the front.

Parker 21 Mk I hoods look machined to me (much like the 51), but I'd bet the Mk IIs are molded -- there is a recess for the nib that would be harder to machine that to mold in place (unless the nib just imprinted into the hood with pressure and time, which I kinda doubt).

Today it would be foolish to machine the hood -- it's a simple part and a plain two-side mold will work fine for it, it can be threaded after or threads included with a pretty fancy mold.

The barrel is a bit more difficult, but the aerometric looks molded to my rather ignorant eye. T'would indeed have been foolish not to, as Sheaffer certainly molded theirs at the same time -- acrylic can be cast as a catalyzed liquid and hardened by heat in a mold.

As I said, a project. I may try to find some acrylic in appropriate colors and make some 21 hoods, I have a couple cracked ones.

Peter

#14 Nihontochicken

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 05:26

QUOTE
Took a good look at my Vacumatic 51 parts (awaiting a diaphram), and it was surely turned -- the bore in the front is quite straight and the barrel would be a real bear to mold, unlike the aerometric ones (simple cavity).


Au contraire! laugh.gif While I agree that the 51 Vac was indeed turned (and hence the surface match of the blind cap to the barrel), I imagine the whole Vac/Aero caboodle was machined as well, given the OD at the forward (section) end of the barrel of both the Vac and the Aero is not straight, but is about .03" narrower than the max diameter about an inch further back. This would be about impossible to cast using the rigid molds of the olden days (well, yes, it could be done using a two piece outer mold with cutoff at the wide point, but somehow I doubt this was the case). If and when I get into making my own parts (non-51 identical, that is), then one of the major considerations is having the max shell and barrel OD dimension be right adjacent the clutch ring (or, better yet, the cap affixing threads). Correctly done, this would not detract from the overall aesthetic flow of the pen form, and would make manufacture immensely easier.

QUOTE
The hood is a simple curve shape that is machined off at the front.


Mostly yes, but after the slant machine cut is made, of course the sharp edges must be rounded off. I don't know whether the 51 hood was indeed machined or molded. Somehow I suspect the latter. huh.gif
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#15 rhk745

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 09:40

Hi,

Hero 100 & Hero 616 both pen I also use before. I will vote Hero 100 is better. This mode is very good quality then Hero 616.

Hero 100 is 14K gold nib. Once you take two pen on hand, you can easy to identify which one is better. The material is Hero 100 better then Hero 616.

You can also visit www.waimar.com, he also have a lot of China fountain pen.


Jojo :bunny1:

#16 Waterman

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 17:37

Thank you for the site rolleyes.gif






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