Searching the interwebz, it seems as though this pen hasn’t got a lot of love from the pen community at large. Which is a shame really, as it falls quite neatly into the entry level bracket with some success.
I wrote with a fountain pen for years growing up, but then when you enter the real world, the standard Bic seems to take over a lot of the time. I was looking to get back into fountain pens, but without any current experience, I wanted to make sure I wasn’t blowing hundreds of pounds on a Mont Blanc just because I wanted one (still do).
I’ve been using the Sheaffer 100 now for two months, ever since I purchased it on a trip to Canada. The lovely lady at The Vancouver Pen Shop talked me through a whole range of brands and styles before we settled on this one.
Forgive both the terrible photo and the equally bad handwriting. It’s a dreary day with bad lighting and only an iPhone for pictures. The handwriting I have no excuses for.
Firstly, the positives. From a cost perspective, this was only $30 + tax, which for a pen of this quality is great. The nib and feed, by all accounts, is exactly the same as what you get in the more expensive Sheaffer 300, which makes it a good way to try it out for size.
The ink flow to paper isn’t too wet, which is also a bonus as I used a variety of notepads from Moleskines to Field Notes to El Cheapo supermarket brands, not all of which are good for fountain pens. It still delivers enough ink to not be too scratchy. In the time I have been using it, it has only skipped a handful of times.
I got the fine nib because my handwriting isn’t conducive to anything thicker, and I found that to work perfectly. Not really any flex as you would expect, but still a smooth write.
The barrel has that more expensive look and feel to it too. I have to be the only person in the world who doesn’t find the aesthetics of Lamy of Kaweco pens pleasing. I definitely prefer the more classic look that comes with this kind of pen. Of course, I still intend to try both of those now I know that I am really enjoying using fountain pens again, so I may yet still be converted.
The only negative for me is the the grip area is super smooth and about an inch deep. That means I have to hold the barrel at a point slightly higher than I normally would, up where the ridge gives a bit of traction. It by no means makes the pen difficult to use though, so I wouldn’t call it a deciding factor.
The best bit about using it has nothing to do with the pen itself. I’ve found a joy in writing creatively in long hand that I hadn’t realised I missed in this day and age of digital devices. It feels subtly different in the care taken for each word choice, and the sense that I am actually crafting something, rather than just banging down on the keys. Especially when I’m travelling, it forces me to slow down and really be in the moment.
Analogue certainly isn’t dead and gone, that’s for sure. If you’ve read this far, you probably agree.