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Sheaffer 100 Fountain Pen Review - (M) Blue/Chrome and (M) Ferrari Edition (All-Black)



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ssppen

As a newly active member in this forum, I have learnt so much from you all that I wanted give back with my first review. As I haven’t used a wide variety of fountain pens, I am not familiar with 100% of the terms used to describe the behaviour of the nibs. Instead, I will use analogies where appropriate, even if you find them terrible! To compensate for my lack of knowledge, I am reviewing not one, but 2 of these pens (well 2 different design variants).

 

[TL:DR]

 

If you don’t have time to read everything, the TL:DR version is in the highlights section at the bottom, along with the links to all of the photos. I created a separate photo album in Flickr for each pen so that you can focus on what you prefer. If you don’t want to scroll to the bottom, here are both photo albums:

 

1. S100 (M-Blue/Chrome) - https://flic.kr/s/aHsmW84Npb

2. S100 Ferrari (M-Black) - https://flic.kr/s/aHsmW84Rxv

 

[Quick back story]

 

As I mentioned in my intro message a few weeks ago, I joined this forum in 2009 after buying my first Fountain Pen, the Pilot Prera, while I was on holiday in Tokyo that same year. The pen was so good that I never bothered to log into FPN ever again! As I’ve been stuck in lockdowns in 20/21, I’ve been writing a lot more and needed a change as I finally got bored with it. It’s still a fantastic pen, but it needed a new home, so I sold it on eBay. The hunt for a new pen began in May 2021 along with my 2nd ever login to FPN after 12 years. Miraculously, the username and password still worked!

 

[The 1st purchase: May ‘21]

 

Once again, I got lucky.

 

I walked into a jewellers shop in Bristol near where my parents live which has a tiny little cabinet in a corner containing the smallest selection of pens I had ever seen. It was clearly set up by someone who thought “I suppose we better have some pens just so that we can tick the box”. When I saw the Shaeffer 100 in Blue and Chrome, I asked if I could test it out because it looked so nice with the blue lacquer and chrome cap.

 

It was a delight to use right from the start.

 

As soon as I began writing, I knew I had to buy it. The (M) nib was buttery smooth. Overall, the pen felt even better than when I first tried the Prera all those years ago. I asked the price and he said it was £35. I couldn’t believe it. It felt like it cost at least £50 - £70. I just smiled and handed over the money immediately.

 

Then let’s fast forward a few weeks into Jun ’21.

 

As I always need a black and blue pen, I wanted to buy the pen in black too so that I could fill it with the matching ink colour. The shop didn’t have any, so I had a look online (I single handily reduced their fountain pen inventory by a third a few weeks earlier!).

 

I found the Ferrari version of this pen at The Hamilton Pen Company, also at £35. The pen had a discrete Ferrari logo at the top. The yellow colour in the logo was a perfect complement to the all-black body and cap. I didn’t hesitate to order it because of my positive experience in the store with the original blue/chrome version.  Hamilton’s customer service was excellent. The pen arrived the day after I ordered it.

 

[Build Quality: 10/10]

 

The metal body and grip section make the pen feel much more expensive than the price. It feels like you are writing with a luxury pen. It has a decent “premium” weight (Body: 21g, Total: 32g) and the quality of manufacturing is 10/10. No flaws anywhere on the body or grip. The nib is top notch as well. The pattern on the nib also makes it look really expensive. If you are thinking of buying this as a gift for someone, you should not hesitate.

 

[Design: 9/10]

 

1. Size - This is a what I would call a regular sized pen, the kind which you would be used to buying in a stationary store. I’ve seen others call this a slim or small pen. It all depends on what you personally define as small or large. The S100 is similar in width and size to a Pentel Energel as you can see from my pictures.

 

2. Material – I love all metal pens, but I don’t like brushed metal which I find too slippery. I personally find this pen is rock solid when I hold it. I’m not a fan of mixed plastic and metal. I personally prefer either all metal or all plastic/resin like the Prera. Mixing the materials in a pen feels to me like buying a Rolls-Royce and then fitting tyres from a Ford Escort. Don’t do it. As George Bush would say: “you’re either with us, or against us”.

 

3. Colour and Finish – the lacquer and colour on both pens looks and feels premium and expensive. As I said earlier, these pens feel a lot more expensive than £35 each.

 

4. Clip – This is the only downside of this pen and why I didn’t give this section a 10/10. The clip is so stiff that you cannot pull it out enough to put inside a pocket. I don’t understand why Sheaffer have made it so stiff. The only reason I didn’t give a lower rating for this negative aspect of the pen is because I don’t put pens in a shirt or suit pocket. If I did, I would probably give the design score a 7/10 or 8/10 rating.

 

[Nib: 10/10]

 

- The (M) nibs that I got with both pens are extremely smooth and buttery when writing. However, as I will discuss later, the line width varies slightly depending on which ink I use.

 

- The (M) nib is perfect if you are a newbie and want your pen to work immediately whether you use it every day, or every few days. I have not had any problems with hard starts or ink not flowing after a few days of not using them.

 

- The decoration of the nib is beautiful and once again, is something I would expect from much more expensive pens.

 

[Filling and Ink]

 

When I first opened the pen and saw the way that the converter and attachment were designed, I wondered if I could simply draw up the ink from the end of the converter, and just wait for it to flow through to the feed. I decided to live life on the edge and break the rules of nib refilling. I can be a crazy b**ch sometimes.

 

Thankfully, filling the converter directly worked fine. It was so much cleaner and tidier. The mess that I used to make with the Prera refilling via the nib made my desk look like a crime scene every time I had finished refilling. (I will add the photos of the attachment and pin when I next refill, you will be able to see the updates in both photo albums).

 

I took this opportunity to try 2 new inks, one for each pen. With my old Prera, the only bottled ink I had ever used was Pilot Iroshizuku Asa-Gao. That’s because it came with the pen in a gift box. I didn’t know it was anything special at the time!

 

After a bit of research on Cult Pens, I decided to go for the Pelikan 4001 blue/black ink to match my blue pen and waited a day for it to arrive. Their service was top notch as it arrived on time the next day.

 

For the black ink, I learnt from the FPN forum (and many YouTube ink reviews) that so many black inks actually come out grey. I did NOT want that at all. I learnt that Diamine Onyx Black was really black on paper. I ordered it from The Pen Company and it arrived within 2 days.

 

[S100 with Pelikan 4001 Blue/Black Ink]

 

I was very happy with the Pelikan 4001 Blue/Black Ink because it had exactly the kind of shade I was looking for. The ink is extremely high quality and has nice variation in different parts of my writing. It dries quickly so that was an added bonus. I also thought it was super smooth until…

 

[S100 with Diamine Onyx Black]

 

This ink blew me away. The smoothness far exceeded the Pelikan 4001 ink which I thought was excellent anyway. I’d say it feels 100% smoother than the Pelikan ink.

 

[Sheaffer Cartridges: 0/10]

 

While I was waiting for the Diamine Onyx Black to arrive in the post, I thought I would give the black Sheaffer ink cartridge a go. The Ferrari version of the pen came with one black and one blue cartridge.

 

That was a mistake.

 

The Sheaffer ink cartridge was terrible. The ink feathered a lot and ghosted heavily in my Moleskine diary. It also made blotches out of the eye of the nib too. AVOID using these cartridges at all costs. I assume the Sheaffer bottled ink is the same so I will not be buying that in future.

 

[Writing Samples]

 

(See examples in both photo albums).

 

I have been using Claire Fontaine A5 ‘Age Bag’ notebooks for a decade because the paper is top quality and silky smooth. I found that using both pens in the Claire Fontaine notebook behaved in a way that I believe you would call scratchy. In other words, there was a tiny bit of resistance now and again. Not too much to be a problem at all, but this was the first time I used both pens in anything other than my diary and I was surprised!

 

The S100 pens never skipped a beat when writing in my Moleskine A5 diary (which is thinner and lower quality paper than the Claire Fontaine). I also found that using the Diamine ink in my Moleskine diary makes the line a little thinner. The Pelikan ink in my blue pen appeared just the same thickness when using both types of paper.

 

The Diamine ink ghosts more than the Pelikan ink in my Moleskine diary (in fact, the Pelikan hardly ghosts at all). The Pelikan ink is superior in this respect. There are no feathering issues at all with both inks.

 

With the Claire Fontaine paper, ghosting and feathering is not a problem at all for either ink.

 

[Summary]

 

I hope you found this review to be useful. If it doesn’t include all of the details you would expect, I’d be happy to answer any other questions below.

 

In summary, I’d say that the Sheffer 100 Fountain pen is perfect for both newbies and long-time Fountain Pen users who want a bullet-proof pen which works with a 100% guarantee each time. It would also make a perfect gift for use at work, or for students who value high quality items.

 

I have really enjoyed using both pens (and both inks) and I’m looking forward to exploring more types of Fountain pens and inks in future.

 

[TL:DR - Highlights]

 

Photo albums (flickr):

a. S100 (M-Blue/Chrome) - https://flic.kr/s/aHsmW84Npb

b. S100 Ferrari (M-Black) - https://flic.kr/s/aHsmW84Rxv

 

1. [Build Quality: 10/10] – Solid pen, fantastic materials, top workmanship

 

2. [Design: 9/10] – The stiff clip is the only let down. If you’re the kind of person that puts a pen inside your shirt or suit jacket pocket, don’t buy this pen.

 

3. [Nib: 10/10] – Super smooth and beautifully designed

 

4. [Sheaffer cartridges: 0/10] – Sheaffer cartridges absolutely suck. Throw them away > pour jet fuel onto them > light match > end sequence.

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jchch1950

After reading your review I will give a Sheaffer 100 a try. Thank for your comments.

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IThinkIHaveAProblem

thanks for the review and nice pics :)

 

Just give me the Parker 51s and nobody needs to get hurt.

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