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I have been using fountain pens for as long as I can remember. It started at primary school with a pelican pen. A simple but effective tool. In those days the refills had a small plastic ball that stayed behind in de empty cartridge. We had a competition who of the pupils could collect the most of those balls in one school year. After that period at secondary school I was presented with a Sheaffer Targa as a birthday present from my parents. What a super pen that was! I have been using it for 25 years. But alas, one day it hit the ground full on the nib! That hurts!! It was damaged in such a way that it could no longer be made, so I bought myself a new fountain pen. A Parker Frontier, as it was highly recommended by the sales agent. It turned out to be a very bad choice. Leakage again and again. I have never had so many ink stains on my hands! As my budget in those days was low I also bought a Lamy Nexx. A fine but simple pen. After 6 years I decided to swop back to Sheaffer again and have purchased two Sheaffer Awards fountain pens via marktplaats (Dutch equivalent of E-bay). Two super pens that brought back the old time feeling I always had with the Targa fountain pen. One of these Awards I still use to correct the work of my students in Red ink! In May 2014 I have also bought myself a Sheaffer 300 fountain pen again. I do like the weight of the instrument!! It writes super smooth so I’ll use it as often as possible Kind regards, Jan
Initial impressions: This was my second fountain pen I purchased after getting into them about a year ago, before this I had only used a Lamy Al Star on a regular basis. I got it from Cultpens for £36, with the medium nib. When it first arried it arrived in the usual Sheaffer gift box Sheaffer pens come in - a very nice box and I did use it for storing the pen when I wasn’t using it but have since grown my collection and now store them all in a display case so the box is not effectively useless. It would be nice if pens started coming in boxes that were either more useful as a box (i.e. Could be used to store more pens or different items entirely) or that could double as a pen case you could put in your pocket! I think this has been done before - I think Kaweco have poxes that can store multiple pens and one that’s even like a glasses case so could be used to store a pen in your pocket comfortably... Anyway, on with the review! The pen felt very solid, being made of laquered metal (I got the all black version) and having a very tough spring-loaded clip. The cap is help on securely but comes off with just the right amount of pressure and of course goes back on with a lovely *click* sound. The pen is definitely on the heavy side and admittedly this put me off the pen for a while but I have since grown more used to heavier pens and now it doesn’t feel nearly as heavy to me. Design: The clip as I said is spring-loaded which makes the pen feel of very high quality to me, maybe because the clip is made of a very thick piece of metal as a result. At the end of the body is a ring to hold onto the cap when it is posted making it post very securely, but alas the cap is too heavy to post (I don’t post usually but I’ve heard even those who do find it too top-heavy posted). The grip section tapers to the tip but is very broad which I like, having big hands and find it appriopriate for a pen of this weight. It is made of plastic which is comfortable to hold onto but unfortunately the threads that hold it onto the body are a little fine for my liking so I always feel I have to be careful screwing it onto the body and it doesn’t do so with as much ease as I’d like. The nib meanwhile is relatively small which I quite like as I find smaller nibs help my handwriting, not entirely sure why. It has some nice decoration but is overall not an overly flashy nib, just tasteful, solid, and well made! 9/10 Nib and Performance: The nib is quite smooth, the type that is smooth but has clear feedback that I find very satisfying to use. It’s also quite wet and lays quite a thick line on the thicker end of the scale of medium nibs I’ve used. However if you like a nib that has some springiness to it, this isn’t going to cut as it’s almost completely solid. Personally I don’t find this a problem and rather like but it may not be for everyone. It always starts, always, and keeps up with long-term writing just fine, not going dry one bit. The grip section makes it very comfortable for longer writing sessions as well, the large girth is very well-suited for the larger-handed like me. 10/10 Conclusion: A very nice pen indeed, not for everyone with its weight but a very classy-looking, functional and comfortable pen. I would recommend it to everyone especially at the price I paid for it, I would certainly pay a lot more for it! Score: 19/20 Pics! http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7354/12254268063_733fa3c06e_c.jpg http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3745/12254093545_c85d5eeeaa_c.jpg http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5527/12254666696_e84bccf076_c.jpg http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3708/12254264663_6c863e4402_c.jpg http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2811/12254526754_8898a79594_c.jpg Writing samples, with comparisons... http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7111/13166469895_cdd475c8b5_c.jpg http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3810/13166733894_12567bc433_c.jpg http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7007/13166733314_51ccd3a148_c.jpg And finally, size comparisons... http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2857/12254281983_82b552b578_c.jpg http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7440/12254281053_a872506103_c.jpg