Sheaffer Intensity Fountain Pen Review7 November 2016
I only bought the Sheaffer Intensity because it was on offer. It turned out to be one of those lovely occasions when a pen exceeds your expectations. However, don’t jump to buy one just yet.
Price: around £50 (seems to be hard to find this particular version anywhere but Amazon or eBay); however I paid £13
Nib options: fine, medium, broad
Barrel options: striped (this one), plain (called medici) or fluted; also a more expensive carbon fibre version
Filling system: proprietary Sheaffer cartridge/converter
Size: 13.7cm capped; 16.0cm posted; 1.1cm diameter
The Sheaffer Intensity is a metal pen. From the weight of it I’d guess it’s brass inside but the trim is chrome and the pattern is chrome and a black lacquer. This means the pen has a reassuring weight to it without being tiring to use for long periods.
The cap, which screws closed, does post (with a push) but posting completely unbalances the pen and makes it pretty much unusable. Do not post this pen. Fortunately its a good comfortable length unposted.
The clip is quite strong and clippy and has the Sheaffer white dot on it.
The section is shiny chrome and will provide a forensic record of every time your fingertips have touched it. It’s subtly contoured and comfortable to hold. If you have problems with metal sections being too slippery the shape might help you but is probably too gentle to make much difference. As I don’t in general have any issues with metal grips I can’t make any assertions about it one way or another.
The Intensity uses Sheaffer’s own cartridges/converter. My pen came with a converter, which is about a standard size and has worked perfectly well so far.
I like the way this pen looks. The stripes are different and the lacquer/chrome combo looks great. That said, I don’t understand why, on the cap, one stripe is twice as wide as all the others. It just looks wrong. (The stripes on the cap don’t match the ones on the body so it’s not as if it’s an attempt to line them all up. I just don’t get it.)
The stainless steel nib is quite plain with just Sheaffer and ‘B’ stamped on it. Aesthetically I don’t mind the simplicity but it’s quite short and it looks a bit odd. It’s a lovely nib on paper, just a touch of feedback (which I like) and good flow. Broad nibs can sometimes give feeds a hard time in keeping up (looking at you, Kaweco) but this one is great.
I really enjoy this pen. It feels good in the hand and has a good nib. The design is different and well done, except for the oddity of the double width stripe on the cap. However, I paid £13 for it. For that, I got a bargain. For twice that, this is a great pen. For £50, however, I’d be starting to be more bothered by the odd stripe on the cap, the top heaviness of the posted pen and short nib. If you can find this pen on offer, I’d say it’s well worth a look. At full price, you ought to perhaps look at a Faber-Castell, a Kaweco or a TWSBI instead.
Original looking design
Nib is smooth and has good flow
Comfortable length and weight (unposted)
Nib looks a little wrong
Unbalanced when posted
Extra-wide stripe on cap looks wrong