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Hero 508


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#1 Catsmelt

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 14:42

1. First Impressions

The pen came to me via the customer service of isellpens. I initially purchased a Hero 82-1 but that pen had a couple of nib problems. I received this pen in return.

I've seen the pen while browsing through isellpens.com, but it never struck me as something I wanted to have (truth be told, I bought the 82-1 on a lark anyway for no other reason than the chrome caught my eye). The pen arrived in good condition, without any packaging. A converter was included.

2. Appearance and Finish

This is a brushed steel pen with polished chrome end caps. The clip is attached via the end cap rather than riveted or folded into the cap itself. It is a very strong spring loaded clip.

There's not really anything that says "cheap" on this pen -- unless one looks behind the clip, but who besides the owner does that? Nothing is loose or jiggly and the cap snaps lightly but firmly in place.

3. Design/Size/Weight

I don't know whether to call this pen cigar-shaped or 50's spaceship shaped. It seems to not have the girth I'd expect of something called "cigar" but it's not what I would consider a thin or narrow pen. I like the brushed steel, and it is much less slippery than I thought it would be. I would say this is medium-weight; it's heavier than the 82-1, but not uncomfortably heavy for me.

The dimensions of the pen:

- 5 1/2" capped
- 5 7/8" posted
- 4 3/4" unposted

The cap is light enough to write posted without affect the balance, however the cap does not firmly stay in position and ends up on the table. I don't want to force the cap because I may affect the ability of it to remain capped. It writes comfortably unposted -- I like it.

4. Nib Design and Performance

As opposed to the 82-1 for which this was a replacement, the 508 has an open nib (the 82-1 is what I would consider semi-hooded). Stainless steel, a bit of flex, some decoration. The feed is smooth plastic with rounded edges. It writes a fine line, although the nib is not marked.

My only criticism of the pen is it's ink flow. When I first received it, I noticed that the wetness of the line varies. This is likely due to slight variations in pressure -- and I mean slight -- without any variation in line width. This was off-putting but I tried my hand at some adjustments and I reduced the variation enough to not bother me any more. The nib and feed are pressure-fit into the section. I removed both and scooted the feed closer to the tip and made sure the assembly was more snug in the section.

That said, I like the way it writes. The nib is smooth and it lays down a line that is mostly wet.

5. Filling System

The pen arrived with a proprietary converter -- a small capacity push filler. Not only is the capacity small, but the piston stops short of the spring that is near the nipple thus reducing the already small capacity. Personally, I'm not bothered too much by that because I like to swap out inks often. I don't want to rely on it as a writer for long periods of time.

I am unsure if it accepts a cartridge. A small tube extends from the back-end of the feed that is likely not going to puncture the seal on any cartridge.

6. Cost / Value

isellpens lists this pen at $12.99. As mentioned previously, this came to me as a result of a substitution/swap, so I received it for the price of an 82-1 ($8.99). Even at $12.99 I would consider this a fair price for the pen. Knowing what I do, I'd still pay for it.

7. Overall Conclusions

A good writer worth the money. Simple and inexpensive enough to tweak without worries. I'd recommend it to others with a caveat about the limited filling system.

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#2 Catsmelt

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 14:42

Cap off

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#3 Catsmelt

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 14:43

Nib

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#4 RLTodd

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 16:03

Generally (hedge, waffle) a Hero that takes a converter will take a Parker cartridge.
YMMV

#5 Catsmelt

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 18:27

QUOTE(RLTodd @ Feb 7 2007, 04:03 PM)
Generally (hedge, waffle) a Hero that takes a converter will take a Parker cartridge.

I actually did try this -- the converter looks an awful lot like the Parker push converter used for Vectors.

There were a couple problems with this:

1) there is a very fine tube that sticks out from the section-end of the feed. This will NEVER penetrate a cartridge's seal

2) I broke the seal on a cartridge with a Parker 45, then tried to put it into the Hero. No luck at all with that; the male and female ends wouldn't join at all.

I was bummed because if you place the Hero converter next to the Parker converter and cartridge, it's difficult to imagine why they wouldn't be interchangeable.

#6 andy1m

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 10:14

Thanks for the review. very nice shape, I'll certainly buy and try.

#7 lovemy51

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 21:23

that is a very good looking hero pen. thanx for the review!

#8 MYU

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 02:01

Nice review, Catsmelt. You provide a lot of useful information. smile.gif It looks like a very solid pen and reminds me a little of a Tombow.

Regarding the flow, you might also want to try cleaning it out with a 1:10 part ammonia solution. Sometimes manufacturing residue inside the section can interfere with ink flow. In any case, I'm glad to hear the nib adjustments you made have helped it. Just one word of caution: These Chinese nibs are not exactly pure stainless steel. I've seen one start to pit after being left idle for a couple of weeks with ink inside it. Not to make you paranoid, but I'd keep an eye on it.

[MYU's Pen Review Corner]   |   "The Common Ground" -- Jeffrey Small


#9 sokuban

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 16:03

I have one of these pens and I love it. (It was actually my first fountain pen.)

The tiny ink chamber prompted me to get a different pen to use for everyday school writing though. (Now I got my dad's Sheaffer 440—another awesome pen.) I think I'll use this for playing with inks and such, because it has a small ink chamber that is easy to clean and I think it is cheap? (See Below)

I didn't have any problems with ink flow or anything, but it was my first fountain pen, so I hadn't really experienced much when I first got it, and by now I've probably used it enough to wear the nib out of any problem naturally.

However, one thing I was wondering was how much this pen is worth exactly. You say you saw it for $12.99, but that website no longer seems to carry the pen. A search on Google brings up this page and another page on eBay of someone trying to sell it for around $80, citing it as a "rare" pen. Is this pen really that rare? (I wouldn't be too surprised if it was rare because I can barely find any information on it... but a $12.99 pen becoming $80?) Are there any places you know that still sell this pen?

Here is the eBay link: http://cgi.ebay.com....=item35a5b879bb

Edited by sokuban, 29 December 2009 - 16:04.


#10 Kaptenmork

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 13:38

I bought a black 508, with golden details, and the converter is twist-type, and yes quite small, as a Cross-cartridge. Filled it with Private Reserve 'Avocado' and soo far it seems to be ok, here in Singapore it cost only 5.90 (about 5 in US-dollar). i will try it out properly tomorrow.






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