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Maker: Sheaffer.

This model appears to have been an attempt to revive the old cartridge pen for a specifically youth market.  I am hesitant about what tense I should be writing in with this pen, as there is little evidence attached to it, and I don’t know whether to think of it was a current or a recently withdrawn model.

This pen and the Parker Reflex show an entirely different approach to the notion of “school pen” than that being pursued by makers like Lamy or Pelikan.  It is instructive that the production run of each of those German makers’ school pens is running into decades and that their new pens are essentially ubiquitous, while the non-Germans entries are hard to find and, assuming this one is out of production, rather short lived.

Unlike Sheaffer’s previous efforts in that direction, this one does have a name; “School” was printed in a riot of fonts on the blister-pack, the sort of thing that advertising executives think will appeal to kids because it’s rowdy and non-linear, and which I think most kids today are put off by as a rather obvious effort to co-opt them.  While it has some of the marks of the standard German school pen, in “ergonomic” cut-outs on the section and a nice big ink window, and some rather delerious retro styling evocative of the Balance line, it has plastic that is second to no low-end Hero in announcing its cheapness.  There is also an apparent problem with quality control, as the purportedly fine point on my pen deposited a line that was only just short of dribbling, and which needed several man-hours of tweaking to force into its proper shape; what a good thing that I don’t charge myself labour!

I wish I could recommend this pen, and I know others have used it without problems, but I can’t; one can find more reliable cheap pens in the world.  I won’t say “avoid it”, but I will look aside and mumble if someone asks if they should get one.

Production Run: c. 2000 – c. 2010.

Cost When New:  $10 to $15 (for current value, try this calculator).

Size: 12.8 cm long capped, 13.8 cm posted, 11.7 cm uncapped.

Point: Steel.

Body: Catastrophically cheap plastic

Filler: Cartridge, capacity approx. 1.1 ml.  It is less useful as an eyedropper than the old cartridge pens due to coarseness of the section threads, but with a real slather of silicone grease, it will serve as one, with a capacity of 3.8 ml.

Sheaffer ScHOoL – it’s too bad it’s not a better pen, because the design is actually kind of good.



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