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01.09.06

Pen Junkie, Part 2: Hero 160

Recently, while browsing the forums at the Jet Pens Web site I came across mention of a pen from a Chinese company called Hero. The posters had high praise for the extra fine tip and the fluidity with which it wrote. I was intrigued. One of the things I struggle with when purchasing pens is finding the right combination of style and fine point. With most American and European pen companies your lucky if they go down to a fine point, and extra fine seems to be a concept with which they have yet to come to terms. There are of course exceptions, but it seems to be true for the most part.

Enter the Asian pens. The Japanese seem to share my love of both the fine point and the funky design, and I have purchased more than a few pens from Kinokuniya, the Japanese bookstore attached to the Uwajimaya downtown. Those will turn up in future posts.

Today though, I’m reviewing the Hero 160 that I purchased from this Web site for $15. So not the cheapest pen I own, but far from the most expensive.

Style wise, it’s a pretty simple pen, I was drawn to the frilly design on the cap and I liked the semi-hooded nib.

One reservation I had was that it was an aerometric filler and did not take cartridges. I’ve never used anything but cartridges before, so I didn’t know what I would think.

This turned out to be no big deal. You simply dip the nib into the ink, press on the metal bar, wait to the count of 5 and repeat 4 or 5 more times.

It seems to be a fairly well made pen and it writes extremely well. Smooth flowing lines right off the bat and hasn’t skipped on me yet. The nib is called a fine, but really is an extra fine when compared to other pens. Which suits me just fine.

My one complaint is that the cap is a bit loose. Not loose like it’s going to fall off in your pocket, because it seems fairly secure in that regard, but loose like it rotates around easily when it is on. Not a big deal, but there it is.

That’s all for now, next time I’ll review the other Hero pen I purchased when I got this one: the Hero 370, which cost a whopping $4.

Update: I recently discovered that Lamy cartridges will fit in this pen. This is very exciting, as when I travel, I can’t be carrying around bottles of ink for refilling.