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Hero 7023 Brief Review -- Classy Pen For Under $2


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12 replies to this topic

#1 bob_hayden

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 19:04

This is one of at least four related Hero models that appear to share the same nib, feed and section and sell for around $2US on eBay.  They are generally metal pens with medium, open nibs.  This variation vaguely resembles a Parker Sonnet.  Mine is black and looks pretty classy for the price.  White and pink are also available.  A related pen is the current 7022 which I reviewed here.

 

http://www.fountainp...ther-hero-7022/

 

There you can find photos of the 7022 and also a photo of what I take to be an older model also numbered 7022.

 

My 7023 is a cartridge/converter pen but just what cartridge fits is unclear.  Possibly some Hero cartridges, which would mean your color choices would be very limited (3).  I found that neither short international nor Waterman cartridges would fit in the barrel.  A generic long international fit in, but it took pliers to get it back out again.  It also took some fiddling with the alignment of the times, but in the end the pen gave a smooth, wet line with that generic cartridge,  about like a Sheaffer medium nib.

 

After sitting for eight days unused the pen was very hard to get started again.  I have had such issues before with these cartridges so the jury is still out on this issue.

 

So far this looks like a great choice if you would like a very inexpensive pen that is durable, attractive, and would not be out of place in a business environment -- provided you will be using bottled inks.    Other pens in the family are the 7031 and 7036.  Some of these four models are available with hooded nibs, and there are additional model numbers that only offer hooded nibs.

 

With all the problems with pictures on FPN I am only posting ones you can't find elsewhere.  There are many pictures of the pens discussed here at eBay.

 

 



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#2 Honeybadgers

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 10:15

You can always  test to see if the pen is prone to drying out by blowing into the cap - I find the achilles heel of almost every chinese pen is poor sealing of the cap. Generally where the clip and fineal mount. Also usually easily fixed with some general clear bathroom silicone. around any offending holes or threads. A little dab of silicone has saved many of my chinese pens from being thrown away.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 23 November 2017 - 10:15.


#3 bob_hayden

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 18:25

Thanks!  That's a good point and perhaps should be part of inspecting any new pen we buy.  For another recent review I ruled out using the pen as an eyedropper because I could easily blow air through the barrel.

 

That said, I can't say that has been a common problem for me.  The cap on the pen reviewed above seems to hold air.  Ink certainly seems to make a difference.  As already mentioned, the black cartridges in that lot of many colors of generic long internationals have had flow issues in other pens, as have Thornton cartridges, especially black in Lamy-shaped cartridges.  Pens matter as well.  Pilot Varsities seem to last indefinitely.  My champion for a standard nib and feed was a Pelikan M200 that would write immediately after months of sitting.  Second place goes to the cheap plastic pens made by A&W and sold by the Brooks Pharmacy chain under the A&W brand.  Then comes most anything made by Sheaffer.  I agree that Chinese pens generally do poorly.



#4 bob_hayden

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Posted 25 November 2017 - 01:38

Sorry, corrections in red.

 

Second place goes to the cheap plastic pens made by Reform and sold by the Brooks Pharmacy chain under the A&W brand.  Then comes most anything made in the USA by Sheaffer.



#5 bob_hayden

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 01:01

Here is an update on what cartridges you can use in this pen.  Very few!  The Hero 0028 cartridges that have a nipple similar to international cartridges (but are of a length between standard shorts and longs)  fit.   The very similar Jinhao cartridges are a tight fit and, as with some long internationals, you will need pliers to get the empty out.  Yiren also makes cartridges that appear to be of the same form factor but do not fit.



#6 bob_hayden

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 23:53

Four days later the pen writes immediately so I would say it should be fine for regular use as far as drying out is concerned. 



#7 bob_hayden

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 22:07

Now I have two more of these in white and gold.  The white is an off-white with an unusual semi-matte finish.  It looks nearly as classy s the black one.  The gold is an odd finish that looks a bit like anodized aluminum and it has a somewhat grainy semi-matte finish.  To me it looks a bit tacky or fake in contrast with the metallic gold colored clip and trim but YMMV. 

 

There is good news regarding cartridges.  Short internationals fit in both of the new pens.  There is a ridge in the barrel that felt like a stop in the black pen but is just a ridge in the gold pen and just a bump in the white.  Even so, if you want to remove the section when there is a cartridge with ink in it inside be prepared for the possibility the cartridge will stick in the barrel.

 

The writing experience with the new pens was very good right out of the box.  I am surprised the Hero 70xx series is not as popular as the Jinhao 99x series.  These appear much less liable to cracks and write at least as well. 



#8 TSherbs

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 22:25

.....

 

The writing experience with the new pens was very good right out of the box.  I am surprised the Hero 70xx series is not as popular as the Jinhao 99x series.  These appear much less liable to cracks and write at least as well. 

 

Good to hear that these have been pleasing for you. Why these might not be getting the same attention as the 99x series may be because they are very different pens. The 70xx series have metal sections with carved out grip scallops and both those factors, for me, mean that I will not even try one (I really dislike both those features). They also look, to me, like pens trying to look like high quality but, like kitsch, not really pulling it off. The 99x don't try to do this in their appearance: basic plastic with no pretense. But hey, go with what you like!



#9 bob_hayden

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 23:28

I would actually prefer a round, smooth,  plastic section, but the sections on these pens do not bother me the way those on a Safari do.  I agree that most of the 70xx series is trying to look better than it is.  But I would say that of the 992, with its fat, gaudy waistband.  The 991 and 990 do look purely functional.  (Let's not talk about the 993;-)  But then I am a former mechanical engineer, so the Heros appeal to me for their metal bodies rather than Jinhao's plastic that cracks and breaks.  So I prefer a slightly pretentious 70xx to a plain 991.  But I would be perfectly happy with the plastic in the Sheaffer Dollar pens that lasts for decades;-) 



#10 inky_finger

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 23:34

I have Hero 7022 and Hero 7032 and love them both. Still looking for the other Hero that got 7032 nib.

#11 bob_hayden

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 23:50

The 7032 is literally in the 70xx series but in actuality is in a different class as to quality and price.  I don't think it shares any parts with the other models except possibly the converter. A very nice pen if you don't mind the weight and stiff nib.  I do, so I won't get a second one, but I think it the best looking Chinese pen I've seen.  Only the clip suggests the price level. 

 

http://www.fountainp...6980-hero-7032/

 

I have not seen the 7032 nib in any other Hero but they have so many models I suspect it's out there somewhere. 



#12 TSherbs

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 23:58

The 7032 is literally in the 70xx series but in actuality is in a different class as to quality and price.  I don't think it shares any parts with the other models except possibly the converter. A very nice pen if you don't mind the weight and stiff nib.  I do, so I won't get a second one, but I think it the best looking Chinese pen I've seen.  Only the clip suggests the price level. 

 

http://www.fountainp...6980-hero-7032/

 

I have not seen the 7032 nib in any other Hero but they have so many models I suspect it's out there somewhere. 

 

I've got one of these, but I don't use it anymore. It was ok, but it quickly lost its paint over the brass on the band, and it had skipping issues. But yeah, a very different pen from the others (much more traditional).



#13 bob_hayden

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 21:55

Yeah, paint and plating are issues for pens from China. 








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