I ordered a Sheaffer Legacy II and Balance II from Todd, and thought I'd include a cheap pen from China to my order. I didn't have a semi-hooded pen, so the 111F fit the bill.
Appearance and Construction
The 111F is a slender, black and chrome fountain pen (fp) with a semi-hooded nib. It's about the size and weight of a Cross Century II fp. It has a very glossy finish, so it's a magnet for fingerprints and smudges, as viewable in my photos.
The chrome cap is a snap-on cap, though it rotates freely once capped. The cap snaps-on adequately, though not as securely as my Century II. The clip is quite rigid. The cap posts securely to the barrel, though the pen is a tad top-heavy when posted.
The gripping section is chrome, and has metal threads, as does the barrel.
It's 5.5 inches capped, and 6 inches posted. About 7/16 inch wide at its widest point.
The 111F comes in a decent cardboard case.
This fp uses a cartridge/converter system. Todd's website says it can use international cartridges, though I don't have any to try. A converter is included with the pen, and has a little plastic ball in it to break the surface tension of the ink. I loaded my 111F with Sheaffer Skrip Black ink.
Nib Design and Performance
The 111F uses a semi-hooded nib. It's silver-colored, so I'd speculate it's a steel nib.
The firm nib writes a medium wet, extra-fine to fine line. It's quite smooth, but I can feel some friction when writing with it. Perhaps the right terminology here is toothy but not scratchy.
Cost and Value
For $9.99, I think it's a nicely constructed pen, and I can probably reuse the international converter in future pens. However, my first 111F wouldn't write properly, so quality control might be an issue.
I picked-up a Parker Frontier writing set for $9.99 on eBay, so I think that's a better value if nib size isn't an issue. If an extra-fine nib is a requirement, the 111F might be a good choice.
I now prefer slightly wider pens, so the 111F is a tad too slender for me now. Also, the chrome finish really attracts fingerprints. But it's a competent, well constructed, relatively smooth writer, unlike some much more expensive pens out there in the marketplace. It has certainly perked my interest in Haolilai's more expensive fp offerings.
Following the Consumer Reports 5-step grading scale, I'd rate it "good".*
And here ends my first review
* Edit: This originally said "average", but it turns out that CR's 5 ratings are: excellent, very good, good, poor, very poor. So I've fixed it from "average" to "good".
Edited by michael_s, 03 April 2007 - 21:41.