Review: Sailor Special Script Calligraphy Pen

The pen comes in a simple and decent paper box. Inside the box is the pen and 3 cartridges. I almost threw away the box with the cartridges. They were in a hidden section within the box, so take note. (The cartridge inks were nothing special. Just simple black ink. Not very dark. Not waterproof)

The pen has 3 basic parts. The cap, barrel, and nib section. No convertor is supplied so you may want to order a convertor separately when ordering the pen.

The body of the pen is made of plastic so, at first, I thought I could fill ink directly into the barrel and the screw threads would keep it from leaking. But I was wrong, it leaked all over my hands after shaking around in my bag. So you DO need a convertor OR you can just refill the cartridges using a syringe and needle.

If you are familiar with pens, you would have guessed that this Japan-made Sailor pen would be similar to the China-made Hero pen function-wise just by looking at that bent nib. And you would be right. It follows the same idea as the Hero pen where line variation is controlled by the tilt of the pen, and not by adding pressure to the nib like flexible nib fountain pens. Since pressure does not play a part in the line variation, it also does not dig into the paper like most pens. Instead it glides over it smoothly. Although it produces line variation, that does not mean it creates the same type of line variation as flexible nib pens. There is no spring action, so creating line variation within one single line takes some skill and effort. But, holding a fixed line width and creating line variations IN BETWEEN each line is easily done (It's like you are quickly switching between thick and thin pens without switching pens). If you like owning a variety of pens, owning both flexible nib pens and a bent nib pen would add variety to the kinds of pens lines you could produce depending on what effect is needed most.

Sailor nib:

Hero nib:

Here is a simple comparison of the Sailor vs Hero pen:

NIB- The Sailor pen has a flat nib while the Hero pen has a more balled nib. This affects the smoothness of the nib when it contacts the paper. The Hero's balled nib is smoother. And the Sailor's flat nib is slightly rougher. But the flatter nib allows the sailor to produce a thinner crisper line than the hero.

WEIGHT- My hero pen, like most hero pens, have a metal body and so it is much heavier. The sailor pen has a plastic body. So it is very light. That can be an advantage if you don't like added weight in your bag when you want to travel light. But it takes some getting used to after using a heavy pen, I must admit. You've have to adjust your brain to use a lighter pen again. It is possible though. I've gotten used to it.

FLOW- Many people have complained that the flow of the Hero is inconsistent from pen to pen. One person may get a Hero pen with great flow and no skipping. Another person, buying the same pen model would be cursing and swearing because it keeps skipping. My personal experience? Only 1 out of my 3 Hero pens work smoothly. The others keep skipping. As for the Sailor, I've had it for a month now and the flow has been smooth with no problems. Some of my friends think the flow is "crazy" (in a good way.) I'll let you decide. If you trust Japanese quality standards and consistency, then you might want to get a Sailor pen over a Hero. Oh, when starting up a sailor pen after not using it a while, it might take 1 or 2 strokes to get it started. I believe that has to do with getting the ink onto that flat nib again. But after it starts, it works fine.

LINE VARIATION- It's about the same. The Sailor produces a thinner line because of its nib. But which is better