The Sailor calligraphy pen is a much lighter-weight instrument (here filled with Lamy Turquoise chasing my custom ‘Nu Blu’). I don’t have a model number but it’s probably a student-grade pen (got if off ebay). I’d guess that it weighs about half or a quarter of the Hero 86, but that in no way translates into cheapness either in feel or finish.
Both pens have a threaded cap. The Hero’s body is a black laquer-look finish with flashy silvertone trim. The Sailor is more subdued in navy blue and gold, and feels better with the cap posted than the Hero. Both have comfortable grips for me, and both are converter-fillers, though the Sailor will also accept carts.
It took me quite a while to get used to the upturned nib on the Sailor, which I had for about a year before I bought the Hero. Once I did get comfortable using it, I appreciated the smooth, effortless writing with its slight variation in line width.
While the Hero 86 (here filled with J Herbin Bleu Myositis, and ‘coaxed’ with a dip into Eclat de Saphir) is an equally smooth writer, it’s harder to get going, which may be a problem with all Hero’s converter pens. But I’m not sure at this point, having only tested two converter models so far.
There’s a much more pronounced upturn to the Hero nib than the Sailor’s, almost like the tip of a Persian slipper. This may account for the fact that, as my hand moves along, writing toward the right-hand side of the page, the line width increases. Odd, but probably just another hazard of left-handedness. The Hero also has a looser, ‘loopier’ writing feel, which is the only way I can describe it.
The heavy solidity of the Hero 86 makes it seem like a much more expensive pen than it is (at a cost of under $15). For me, however, a heavy pen is tiring to write with for long stretches. Still, I like it very much!
Both pens are good, but different. The Sailor is almost always inked for daily writing, while I think I’ll keep the Hero for ‘special effects’ writing, like when I struggle with my kanji and kana practice.
Edited by MYU, 02 December 2008 - 00:37.