As mentioned in the previous post about 10,000 year pens, I have been buying pens left, right and centre. But they are mainly very cheap pens. So far the most expensive buy has been the Pilot Metropolitan which I bought because it was highly recommended for beginners. I have not even inked it up yet.
Next on the expensive list is the Pilot Kakuno, that famous little smiley fountain pen meant for children, but adults also love.
But what I started with was this, possibly the cheapest pen I own, the Hero 336.
At S$1.20 from the famous, infamous to some, Mustafa, it’s cheaper than a box of wooden pencils, and 2/3 the price of my favoured everyday office clicky, the Pilot G2.
The best part about finding this at Mustafa: When I asked the staff if they had any other disposable fountain pens (by which I meant the likes of the Pilot VPen), he told me, “But this IS disposable! $1.20, you use it, it spoils, you throw away! In fact, you buy 1 box (of 10), even cheaper, I give you S$1.10 each!” I had a good giggle, but declined to buy the whole box.
The Hero 336 comes in 3 colours, black, green, and this gorgeous burgundy. All of them have gold (coloured) caps and accents. It also comes with a squeeze converter, just a rubber tube with a metal cap/bar over it. I could not get much ink into it using the silly metal bar, so I used another method which I found on Youtube. I cant remember which video off-hand, it might have been the Sales Engineer.
Remove the metal cap, hold your index and second fingers in an narrow upside-down V, and squeeeze the rubber tubing using the V. You can squeeze the whole length of the rubber tube that way creating a bigger vacuum. Insert into ink bottle, and release and draw the ink up.
However, no matter what I do, the ink does not want to go up into the rubber tube, it just stops short of the rubber tube, so the amount of ink this pen contains is still rather miserable.
I filled it with Queen ink, which a friend bought back for me from Vietnam. I do love the blue colour, it’s vibrant enough without being over-the-top. However, I didn’t flush or clean the pen in any way when I first got it, so when I first wrote with it, the ink wouldn’t flow readily.
Taking my friend’s advice, I flushed out the remaining ink (not much of it!), the pen and the nib. Now it writes like a dream. I have been carrying it around in my backpack (just upright in any of the pockets) and so far no leaking, no bubbling and the ink starts flowing when I touch it to paper. The only weird thing that has happened is when I removed the metal bar to clean the pen (and tubing) a few days after the first inking, I found that the inner tubing had been stained a weird burgundy colour (same colour as the body). I was worried it would stain the ink after I refilled it, but so far everything still looks fine.
The nib is hooded, or should I say, the section is hooded, so I am unable to tell what size nib it is, but it leans almost towards an EF, especially compared with the M on the Pilot VPen .
So far I have been writing with my fountain pens in my Moleskine planner, which is probably the most expensive paper I own. Contrary to what I have seen in so many reviews, I am quite happy with how, at least, the Hero 336 and Queen ink performs. Then again, my preference, for now, leans towards a drier writing experience (it’s just normal day-to-day writing after all), so perhaps that’s why the Moleskine performs satisfactorily for me.
Forgive me the horrendous writing on the left. I have not had to write with a pen (other than scribbling notes) for many years.
Testing out the first and cheapest fountain pen right now, the Hero something…I can’t even remember the serial number.
I don’t know what nib size it is, but it’s quite dry so I assume it must be a Fine. The body is a nice burgundy colour. The nib is hooded, is that the correct term? And there is a little arrow on the hood just above the nib.
Loving the way it writes right now; it’s dry enough for a usual ballpoint/gel ink pen user like me.
The ink is Queen ink in blue from Vietnam.
Cost of pen: S$1.20 from Mustafa
Absolutely no bleed on this Moleskine. (Note, I think I meant feathering) Slight nib variation if a bit of force is applied. very slight . writes extremely dry. I love it. Maybe I shouldn’t be using a fountain pen if I love dry pen so much. A the other fountain pen user seem to love wet nibs. Why?
My cursive writing is terrible.
– 1 May 2014. Labour Day. Hero 336.
I am not experienced enough with the more expensive pens and the way they write, so I am unable to compare fairly. But I have to say that in comparison to the Platinum Preppys (horror story for me!) and the Pilot Kakuno (the only other ones I have tried actually writing with), the Hero 336 has made me a fountain pen convert!
Sorry for my terribly unprofessional review, but I would definitely recommend getting this pen for beginners, children, people who aren’t sure if they want to use fountain pens, and just as an everyday knock-around pen.