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Hero 236 ~ Retractable Nib FP


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#1 OldGriz

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 17:01

[attachment=18974:Hero236.jpg]

[attachment=18975:Hero236_2.jpg] [attachment=18976:Hero236_3.jpg]

[attachment=18977:Hero236Write.jpg]

First Impressions 2/5
I received this pen from Alan Koo the other day .... to put it mildly, not highly impressed...

Appearance 3/5
The pen is interesting looking, kind of short and fat... typical of a lot of the Chinese pens sold it is inexpensive plastic..

Design 3/5
As mentioned above this is a short, squat pen...
It measures 4.46" capped, 4.62" unposted with nib extened and 5.00 posted with nib extened..
Body diameter is .490" behind the section and tapers to .420 in front of the knob that extends the nib.
The section diameter is .340 just behind the nib.
It is not an unattractive pen, just not a pretty or impressive pen
The nib mechanism works like a dream... why you need a retractable nib on a pen with a cap is beyond me, but it does work well and does make for a nice short pocket pen.

Nib 1/5
This was the real low point of using this pen....
The nib was a real dog. I could not get the original nib to write smooth, no matter what I did... I flossed it, smoothed it... did everything except making a sacrifice to the nib gods and could not get it to write well.... I figured I was out my investment...
Then I pulled the nib again and realized that it is the same size as the standard IPG nibs that I use on my custom pens. I installed a spare steel nib (medium) that I had and it wrote beautifully. BUT, it did not write like the medium it was... it writes like a very nice smooth fine... even better for me...

Filling System 2/5
The pen is a c/c filler that uses a very short converter due to the nib retraction mechanism. I have not tried to put a cartridge in it.. but figure a short int'l would be the max it might hold... if that.

Cost and Value 2/5
I paid $20.00 including shipping from Asia for the pen.... if I had not had a spare nib for it, I would have been very annoyed... if the original nib wrote well, this would have been a decent price for a real knock around pen that is short enough for your pocket.

Conclusion 13/30
You can gather from my score that I would not buy another one....
Only because I have no idea of what the nib might be like...
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That is Honor, and there are way too many people in This country who no longer understand it.

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#2 Sno

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 19:13

Eeeek. I'm glad you didn't mark my exam papers! At least I'm sure now where this pen lies along the pen-greatness bell curve. The replacement nib writing looks great, though. And it looks like I'll be trying out Visconti burgundy next! Thank you for the review!!

#3 FrankB

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 21:00

This is a good, solid, honest review. Thanks, Tom.

I have not had good luck with Chinese pens. I have one Hero 700 and a Duke "War Bonnet" that work nicely. I have five more that are dogs. I am an ordinary user, so I don't have spare nibs or the skill to change them out. For me, this pen would be a bust. I remain skeptical of Chinese pens.

#4 Maja

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 22:44

Nice review, Tom---thanks! smile.gif

Was the original nib on your Hero 236 "vented" like on the Stypen/Bic pens?

I wonder if the 236 was/is the same pen as the Hero "Worker Bee" pens I first heard about on Rambling Snail... hmm1.gif
(edit--I answered my own question----yes, they do look like the Hero "Worker Bee" pens---check photos here: http://www.fountainp...showtopic=24017 )

The pens looks a heck of a lot like the Stypen 'Up!' pen, which Bic now calls their 'Turn & Up model.

Edited by Maja, 19 January 2008 - 22:47.

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#5 Deirdre

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 23:06

I'm sure the Bic/Stypen pens are made in China; possibly the Hero is probably made off the same mold.
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#6 Opus104

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 23:14

QUOTE(Deirdre @ Jan 19 2008, 05:06 PM) View Post
I'm sure the Bic/Stypen pens are made in China; possibly the Hero is probably made off the same mold.



I had the exact same thought. Though those Stypen nibs tend to be much more reliable.

#7 Maja

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 23:58

QUOTE(Opus104 @ Jan 19 2008, 03:14 PM) View Post
QUOTE(Deirdre @ Jan 19 2008, 05:06 PM) View Post
I'm sure the Bic/Stypen pens are made in China; possibly the Hero is probably made off the same mold.



I had the exact same thought. Though those Stypen nibs tend to be much more reliable.

I had a Stypen 'Up!' pen but I gave it to a friend who lost his (it was the same colour as mine, so I thought "Why not?"). I do recall the pen drying out fairly quickly though and the pen was a bit of hard starter, too....
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#8 Deirdre

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 00:28

QUOTE(Maja @ Jan 19 2008, 03:58 PM) View Post
I had a Stypen 'Up!' pen but I gave it to a friend who lost his (it was the same colour as mine, so I thought "Why not?"). I do recall the pen drying out fairly quickly though and the pen was a bit of hard starter, too....

Back when I didn't have as much money for pens (or as many nice ones), I was willing to forgive hard starters. Not so much now, though.
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#9 jonro

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 05:41

Tom, thanks for your candid review of a the Hero 236. Is the cap necessary to keep the pen from drying out?






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