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Hero: To 616, Or Not To 616?

hero 616

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48 replies to this topic

#41 Sasha Royale

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 01:20

Ten HERO 616 pens is not a large investment.  I bought a 10-pack for $8.97 .  Your price of $5 is excellent.  I recommend a flush before first ink.  Two of my ten "burped" ink, as if there was an 

air leak in the sac.  Eight are perfect.   

 

One cannot even buy disposables for your 50¢ price.  To "outsiders" the 616 is a very impressive-looking pen.  


Auf freiem Grund mit freiem Volke stehn. 
Zum Augenblicke dürft ich sagen: 
Verweile doch, du bist so schön ! 


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#42 Ink Stained Wretch

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 15:41

And what do we make of reputable sellers who sell the "genuine" pens for what we consider to be reasonable prices for the "rare export" items (say, £5 a piece, as opposed to £1 a piece), when the same seller sells for example Jinhao's £1 pens for £7? Is that also a better make of the same pen from a better factory/batch?

 

Yeah, I've seen a dodge where a vendor will change the name of a fountain pen to something fancy so that you can't compare his prices to those of other vendors, and discover that his prices are ten times that of his competitors :headsmack: !


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ink stained wretch filling inkwell

#43 Big_Kahuna

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 09:49

I just ordered the 10-pack of these off of Amazon.  Will probably take a while for them to arrive... Once I have them in hand, I plan to share my impressions.  More to follow.

 

Update:  I received the blister pack of 10 Hero 616 pens from Amazon.  Four were black in color, three green and three burgundy.  Flushed all of them with soapy water with ammonia, rinsed and dried them.  

 

Inspection three pens with potential issues: (a) one black pen had a slightly dented cap (barely noticeable) and the tines were jammed together; ( B) a burgundy pen's cap "jewel" was partially unscrewed, easily screwed back on in seconds; and © another black pen with badly misaligned tines, a weird non-spherical blob of tipping material, and excessive gap between the tines.

 

The other seven pens looked fine.  

 

Inked them all up with Pilot Blue Black ink and ran functional tests on paper.  The seven pens that looked fine performed well, as did the pen with the loose "jewel".  Comparing line width to my Pilot steel-nibbed pens, these eight Hero 616 pens had line width varying from Fine to Fine-Medium to Medium.  Wetness of these eight pens also varied, from 4-6 on a scale of 1-10.  On these eight pens, the nibs were correctly aligned out of the package.

 

The two pens with the nib issues were problematic but fixable.   The one with jammed tines was excessively dry (remedied in a few minutes of adjusting the tines), and the other was a firehose.  The firehose nib required over an hour to correct, including micromeshing the tip into the correct shape. Even after correction, that pen did not like a "wet" ink like PBB.  I put Pelikan 4001 Royal Blue into it and it works fine.

 

So 7 of 10 were good to go.  1 of the 10 had an easily correctable loose threaded cap component, and was otherwise good to go.  The last two had more significant problems (including one pen that may not have been worth the hour+ of effort it took me get it working properly).  Only one pen (the firehose) required micromesh on the nib to achieve tolerable-to-decent smoothness.  

 

Was it worth  the 17 bucks?  I'd say yes. 


Edited by bigkahuna, 15 February 2017 - 09:52.


#44 Mech-for-i

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 10:47

Good to know that ..

#45 KingRoach

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 12:03

The pack has arrived, much faster than expected too!

 

Total cost was £5 for 10x pens, so it was literally just a 50p/Pen cost delivered to your door.

4x burgundy, 3x black and 3x green, which is unlike the usual 4x Black packs.

 

Before even opening the pack, I noticed one of the clips was bent.

Opening the pack, immediately I was struck with what, at first, seemed like ink blots on the chrome caps, but upon wiping off, I believe it is likely grease from the manufacturing process. There was also a lot of "dust?" or something on the pens and they all needed a good wipe out of the box.

The clip-rings that are held by the jewel screw are often slightly decentred.

The pens themselves look fine, but I noticed if you swap the barrel to another section it may not "align" with the section when fully screwed.

The metal "pressure arms" for the filling system were also inconsistent, some of them were bent.

The bladder/sac itself felt different in every pen. Some were thicker, some felt thinner, and at least one had a lump in the sac near the bottom with no effect. Just making a statement that it is not simply a matter of QC, but rather inconsistent manufacturing.

The nibs are hard as nails, and scratchy like needles. I've smoothed them as much as I can with the grit levels that I have (I do not have all grit levels that I need. Nevertheless, I did smoothen one chinese pen that I have with these grits and it is now smoother than a buttered Parker). They now feels slightly better, but feedback from them is immense.

Some of the tines had a visible gap between them, which makes me think of the vintage adjustable ruling dip pen that was used for geometrical drawings. I wonder what I can do to fix that. You can imagine how much ink that would drop on paper.

I have unscrewed the section on one of them, and whatever it is that was used to glue the threads (white material), was also all over the feed fins.

 

I have dipped some and inked some. When inked, they are pretty darn wet pens. VERY wet for my taste, and very wet for fine nibs, and that brings their line performance to near medium sometimes. I prefer a fine nib which is quick drying. One of them gives me that, or near that. So performance is VERY variable by piece and there is no way to pin down performance characteristics for them in general. They can be thought of as "let me buy this unfinished pen to adjust it to my linking" kind of pen, but you have to have some tools, the know how, and be the kind of person who enjoys this stuff.... which I am.

 

I like the feel of the pen in the hand, it is comfortable to hold and has no weight to it. Only needs a good eye to put the nib on paper in the correct direction as it is hard to see.

 

Speaking of which, the protrusion of the nib outside of the section was one of the things I had commended on before I bought them. Having got these, I will say it is a good protrusion and I have no complaints about it.

 

Now all I have to do is work on the nibs until they go back to being fine and acceptably smooth.

 

I've already make inks to match the colours of the green and burgundy, the black just fills with black. Fun.


Edited by KingRoach, 15 February 2017 - 21:47.


#46 rochester21

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 13:52

Don`t buy the regular 616, buy the 616 jumbo aka the Doctor(individually sealed). Same design, but bigger and better. The next step-up would be the hero 100....or a parker 21 super, if you can source one.


Edited by rochester21, 15 February 2017 - 13:54.


#47 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 15:01

The pack has arrived, much faster than expected too!
 
Total cost was £5 for 10x pens, so it was literally just a 50p/Pen cost delivered to your door.
4x burgundy, 3x black and 3x green, which is unlike the usual 4x Black packs.
 
Before even opening the pack, I noticed one of the clips was bent.
Opening the pack, immediately I was struck with what, at first, seemed like ink blots on the chrome caps, but upon wiping off, I believe it is likely grease from the manufacturing process. There was also a lot of "dust?" or something on the pens and they all needed a good wipe out of the box.
The clip-rings that are held by the jewel screw are often slightly decentred.
The pens themselves look fine, but I noticed if you swap the barrel to another section it may not "align" with the section when fully screwed.
The nibs are hard as nails, and scratchy like needles. I've smoothed them as much as I can with the grit levels that I have (I do not have all grit levels that I need. Nevertheless, I did smoothen one chinese pen that I have with these grits and it is now smoother than a buttered Parker). They now feels slightly better, but feedback from them is immense.
Some of the tines had a visible gap between them, which makes me think of the vintage adjustable ruling dip pen that was used for geometrical drawings. I wonder what I can do to fix that. You can imagine how much ink that would drop on paper.
I have unscrewed the section on one of them, and whatever it is that was used to glue the threads (white material), was also all over the feed fins.
 
I have dipped some and inked some. When inked, they are pretty darn wet pens. VERY wet for my taste, and very wet for fine nibs, and that brings their line performance to near medium sometimes. I prefer a fine nib which is quick drying. One of them gives me that, or near that. So performance is VERY variable by piece and there is no way to pin down performance characteristics for them in general. They can be thought of as "let me buy this unfinished pen to adjust it to my linking" kind of pen, but you have to have some tools, the know how, and be the kind of person who enjoys this stuff.... which I am.
 
I like the feel of the pen in the hand, it is comfortable to hold and has no weight to it. Only needs a good eye to put the nib on paper in the correct direction as it is hard to see.
 
Speaking of which, the protrusion of the nib outside of the section was one of the things I had commended on before I bought them. Having got these, I will say it is a good protrusion and I have no complaints about it.
 
Now all I have to do is work on the nibs until they go back to being fine and acceptably smooth.
 
I've already make inks to match the colours of the green and burgundy, the black just fills with black. Fun.



Yay!

If you can get your hands on nail buffing sticks with four, or even more, sides of varying 'grit,' these can be very useful. The softish core material conforms to a nib even better than micromesh.

Which reminds me...I need to get more.

#48 KingRoach

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 16:43

Yay!

If you can get your hands on nail buffing sticks with four, or even more, sides of varying 'grit,' these can be very useful. The softish core material conforms to a nib even better than micromesh.

Which reminds me...I need to get more.

 

This is exactly what I used to create the butter-smooth chinese fountain pen. The one I used had 3 grit levels. For the butter smooth one I only used the finest. For some others, the harder one was necessary. For the 616`s? A much coarser (relatively speaking) micromesh/cushioned sanding paper gave better results.

 

The finest grit on those buffing sticks goes very quickly though. Next time I go down the market, I'll get a few more.



#49 Mech-for-i

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 18:30

Don`t buy the regular 616, buy the 616 jumbo aka the Doctor(individually sealed). Same design, but bigger and better. The next step-up would be the hero 100....or a parker 21 super, if you can source one.

 

The regular 616 is the so call jumbo version, or as Hero puts it mid size, the small size variation actually come later, but simply proved to be way more popular in their intended market. And Doctor is only a Hero sub branding that package product to specifically targeting School / Academic / Student use and supply. There is no difference between a normal 616 and the Doctor version except for the packaging. The misunderstanding that the Doctor ( individually blister packed ) version are better is simply a case that they are more likely newer stock and were given that extra QC during the packaging process.

 

Unless its an absolute must to have the vintage style and the old ( somewhat dreaded ) aeromatric filler, otherwise Hero today made yet still more hooded nib pens with quite a bit more up to date styling and most are build even yet better ( say all metal construction, C/C equipped, and their developed single piece integral Feed/Collector ). That goes with the Hero 100 also. Mostly anyone choose one for simply having fun writing in a fashion that's what it was way back. 







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