Sheaffer

Sheaffer Ink

Sheaffer first introduced its Skript ink back in 1922. At the time, Sheaffer sold Skrip as a near product, an improvement over the current fountain pen ink. I used to have one of the old Skript ink bottles with the metal lids and the handy well for filling a pen. I used the Blue Black and Peacock Blue (remember that name) ink in some of my first pens.

In the 1990 Sheaffer closed its plan that made ink in the USA. In 2002 the started to have their ink manufactured in Slovenia and it was sold in an updated cone-shaped bottle. The updated bottle had a plainer label, and a nib pointing up. Then in 2011 they updated the bottle with a band of colour meant to represent the colour of the ink, and the classic sheaffer nib is on the right side pointing down.

I had tried some of the inks on the first switch to production in Solvenia, but found them to be thin, watery and lacking good colour depth. As such I did not use the ink and never recommended it to others.

I recently met the local sales representative for Sheaffer and he asked me what I thought of Sheaffer ink. I told him my view. Don't like them, find them watery, colour tones too light.

He was surprised and asked me to write with his pen. I did, and the Blue ink looked good. My first response/defense, was that his pen was a medium nib, and I use mainly broads, and the ink would not be able to perform in a similar method producing a broader stroke.

I was given the challenge. Use the line of inks and then draw my conclusion. So I called this "My Week with Sheaffer" - kind of a play on the movie My Week with Marilyn. Off I went with a bottle of each colour. The only colour I did not get was the Blue Black.

For the next week I loaded various pens with Sheaffer inks. I used various brands of pens that included Montegrappa, Delta, OMAS, Waterman, Laban, Stipula all with different nibs, primarily broad but some stubs and even a medium.

Sheaffer Ink - Bottle DesignOverall I was surprised... pleasantly surprised. The inks had a bit more punch in terms of colour. They all performed well. Below are comments on the colours I test.

My only wish is that they would have selected a different design of the bottle.

Bottle design is an important issue as it impacts the ability to get all the ink out of the bottle. Sheaffer has a relatively low bottle, versus taller and narrower, and the bottle gets wider at the base than the top. This is great for stability of the bottle on the desk, but means that more ink sits in the bottom of the bottle that at the upper portion of the bottle. No problem with the first couple of fills, but if you use a big pen, with a big nib, as the ink goes down, it becomes impossible to submerge the nib in the ink and get a good secure fill.

Some manufactures like Waterman, or OMAS has various flat sides along the bottle that support tilting the bottle when the ink level gets low.

Green

Sheaffer Green

I tried a bottle of the new Sheaffer Green when it was released and commented of the variance in colour that I experienced, to the sample in the store. I tried a different bottle for my most recent "Week with Sheaffer: and the new bottle had the Teal Green tone that I had originally seen.

Sheaffer Green

The teal tone gives this ink a different look from many of the greens produced by the other companies. It also gives the colour a little more depth in tone, and it nicely stands out on the page. I tend not to like washed out colours as they look too week.

Of course from my perspective, the challenge is what would the ink look like using a broad nib? The sample above and to the right is written with a Pelikan M800 fitted with a broad nib. I found the lines of ink to be solid (no wash out in the strokes).

In terms of performance, the ink has good flow, it leans a little to what could be described as dry - not a gushing ink, and it was dry on the paper in terms of any smearing within five second. Very reasonable and good standard.

Below is the previous bottle of green, and there is a marked difference in tone. Sample written with a Montegrappa Espressione, Broad Nib.

I tried a bottle of the new Sheaffer Green when it was released and commented of the variance in colour that I experienced, to the sample in the store. I tried a different bottle for my most recent "Week with Sheaffer: and the new bottle had the Teal Green tone that I had originally seen.

Sheaffer Green

The teal tone gives this ink a different look from many of the greens produced by the other companies. It also gives the colour a little more depth in tone, and it nicely stands out on the page. I tend not to like washed out colours as they look too week.

Of course from my perspective, the challenge is what would the ink look like using a broad nib? The sample above and to the right is written with a Pelikan M800 fitted with a broad nib. I found the lines of ink to be solid (no wash out in the strokes).

In terms of performance, the ink has good flow, it leans a little to what could be described as dry - not a gushing ink, and it was dry on the paper in terms of any smearing within five second. Very reasonable and good standard.

Below is the previous bottle of green, and there is a marked difference in tone. Sample written with a Montegrappa Espressione, Broad Nib.

Sheaffer Old Green

Purple

 

Sheaffer PurpleI found the purple to be reasonably close to the tone and colour depth used by other ink manufacturers. The ink dries a little lighter than when you are writing, and that is common to most brands.

This is a good colour, not glaring so can be used for both business and personal notes. No smearing in just under 5 seconds.

I wrote had this ink in various pens during my "Week with Sheaffer" and there was no significant difference in performance between the various models. The sample above, and to the right, is with the Bexley 10th Anniversary, Broad nib. It is a narrow broad, but still the stokes all have good consistent tone of colour.

 

Brown

Sheaffer Brown

Brown, just a hint of chestnut tone. I have been using this ink on and off for over a week now. The colour tone is deep enough to make it into my regular use category. I sometime like the red or chestnut tone to the colour, and then other times I would prefer a flatter brown - so the tone is all up to individual preference.

Sheaffer BrownThe performance of this ink is very similar to the other colours in the Sheaffer line of inks they introduced in 2011 and are manufactured in Slovenia. Good flow, leaning to slower vs faster. You do not have to worry about the ink gushing out. No feathering. Pretty consistent tone in the strokes.

For my samples here the ink is loaded in a Stipula Fiesole with a Broad nib. I write with broad nibs and I think they offer the greater challenge to ink in terms of colour consistent in a broad stoke. Brown? Not bad at all.

Red

Sheaffer Red

I have to admit, mentally, of all the colours that I expected to be the most critical of, it was going to be the Red. For the past few months I have been using Montblanc Hitchcock Red, a special ink that came out with their Limited Edition Alfred Hitchcock fountain pen. The Montblanc red is a rich, bold red that lays a beautiful line of ink on the paper.

Sheaffer RedHow was Sheaffer going to match to that? Well, actually not that bad. No it does not have the deepness of tone of the Hitchcock Red, but it is not one of the orange/red colours that often make red fountain pen hard to take. I used the red in various pens over the past week. The only pen that I found I did not like the colour tone was with my OMAS 360 Vintage Red fitted with a Broad Nib.

I was hoping it would be the red that is right for the pen. I wrote on the review of the pen, the Red that OMAS provided in the presentation box was the wrong red.

The Sheaffer red came across too bright with the very Broad nib that I have in the OMAS 360 Vintage. But when I used a medium nib, for example the Delta 360 which was used for the samples here, the red was fine.

So I would put this down as one of the reds that I would use. I use it on a here and there rotation, but performance wise, nothing to worry about with this ink.

Turquoise

Sheaffer Turquoise

This is a classic colour. In my early days of school when I was using a fountain pen, Sheaffer Turquoise Blue was one of the popular colours.

Sheaffer TurquoiseIn using this ink in 2012, the new line that is made in Slovenia. has good tone. My preference would be for a slightly darker shade. The ink, like many, dries a bit lighter in overall colour.

I write with a variety of pens and the ink was almost the same in all of the models, with the exception of a very broad Montegrappa nib, and then I found the ink came across to light.

The sample above and to the right is with the Laban Mento, Broad nib. While it is a broad nib, for me it is like a bid medium. Since the majority of writers use medium nibs, this may be taken as an example on the wide nib side.

The flow is consistent with the other colours, not gushing, but good flow. It dries in terms of no smearing in under 5 seconds.

Blue

Sheaffer Blue

I am always ready for a surprise. I recently met the local representative for Sheaffer and he asked me what I thought about Sheaffer inks. I told him I did not like them, I found them to be watery and lacking good tone. He questioned if I had used their new line of inks, the ones released in 2011 that are made in Solvenia and he had be write with one of his pens. I was surprised at what I saw. A good blue. My immediate response was that his pen was a medium nib, and mine all broads, and in a broad nib, the real test of ink, the colour comes across weak. So he challenged to to use the new line of ink. I did.

Sheaffer BlueMy big surprise is that I actually liked the Sheaffer Blue. I thought the colour tone was just as rich as the standard blues being offered by many of the other lines and there is nothing stopping someone from using this ink.

For my "Week with Sheaffer" I used the Blue in a variety of pens, some with very broad nibs, like the OMAS Vintage 360 or the Montegrappa Expresssione. This ink performed very well.

There was good colour tone, the strokes displayed consistent tone. The ink did not feather. It is about the same flow characteristic of the other colours, and dries in about 5 seconds.

Price wise, at $8 to $9 CDN it is a lot better buying this ink than some of the prices of other brands where price points are hitting the $20 point.

Well done Sheaffer.

 

 

 

 

Black

Sheaffer Black

Sheaffer Black came across as being a black with a good dark tone. Where some Blacks have a gray undertone, the Sheaffer Black seems to stand on its own very well. I used the ink in various pens. There was no feathering, the ink flow is okay, leaning to the slow side, but for my broad nibs that is actually a good thing. The Waterman Exception Stub, that I used for the samples on this page is a narrow stub, and the flow was was I would have expected.

Sheaffer BlackI always look at the stroke when writing with a broad nib to see how the ink performs on the paper. It is good, as the example to the right shows,. The colour tone is consistent, and reasonably dark, although not as dark as Aurora Black, but this is an ink that I would not hesitate to use.

I am often asked, what is the best black? I would want to write just a bit more with this ink before I come to a conclusion. All I can say is that after a week, the ink is still in my pens and I am not finding any reason to flush and change brands. That in itself says a lot about the ink.

Again, well done Sheaffer.