I got a set of Sheaffer Calligraphy Pens and Inks for my Birthday and that set ended up being my enabler. Ever since I received that set just over a month ago, I have been exploring the Fountain Pen realm. It only made sense that my first fountain pen was the same brand as my Calligraphy Set, and that’s how I ended up buying the Sheaffer VFM, in the Fine Size, in Neon Blue from Amazon.
Here is the packaging my VFM came in.
When you open the modest little box, the shiny blue pen sits nestled in a cloud of white packaging. The pen comes with a blue and black ink cartridge and a Use & Care Guide. It did not come with a converter and I am not sure what converter fits because this is not a typically-shaped Sheaffer pen. If you want to use bottled ink, I do not recommend this pen.
The pen has a matted chrome coating.
Buying Inks for the pen was the next step in my little journey. I was hoping that because it was a Sheaffer Pen, I cold use the same inks I’d received with my Sheaffer Calligraphy Set. (This was important because Sheaffer makes their own Proprietary Ink Cartridges, meaning that they can’t fit in any other brand of Pen.) But being the person I am, I forgot to check this before buying the pen. So accidentally, I ended up buying the only existing Sheaffer Pen that only takes small universal cartridges. Which means that now I have a separate collection of inks for this pen and inks for my calligraphy pens. Nevertheless, I kept this pen because I really like it, and I figured that many other pens would accept the same cartridges that this pen does.
Here are the inks I bought. The big difference between the two is that the Manuscript Ink costs between 21 and 35 cents per cartridge, and the Sheaffer costs between $1.05 and $1.50 per cartridge. Plus, I can go to my local Michael’s Store to pick up the Manuscript ink, while Sheaffer universal cartridges can only be found online. They are both very good, dark inks. The only drawback of the Manuscript ink is that it takes a little longer to dry.
Manuscript Ink- Michael’s (remember, Michael’s is always offering 40% off coupons)
Manuscript Ink- Amazon (this seems to be very expensive).
Please keep in mind that any Small Universal Ink Cartridge will fit this pen. These are just the two I happen to own. If you would like some more colorful cartridges, this Private Reserve Ink Cartridge Collection has some beautiful options.
Here is my VFM being loaded with the Manuscript ink.
Here is my Pen Test. The nib is not scratchy at all and the ink comes out very smoothly after a few pen taps. (Please excuse the fact that I misspelled Sheaffer.)
I adore this pen. Because it was the first fountain pen I’ve ever owned, it will always carry a special place in my heart. Sheaffer happens to be a terribly complicated brand when it comes to cartridges and inks and converters, but their pens write very well and they have a lot of experience in the fountain pen business.
I give this pen a 7/10 overall because this seems like more of a $14 pen rather than $17. It has been compared to the Pilot Metropolitan numerous times, and although I do not own one, if the two pens are as similar as most people say, they should be a bit closer in price. Also, the hassle of having to buy particular Sheaffer ink (if that is the ink you want to use), is inconvenient. Another drawback is that the converter fitting this pen seems to be impossible to find, which means that it’s going to be very hard to use bottled ink with this pen. All in all, after using this pen for over a month now, it has yet to fail me.
If you guys have any fountain pen questions, please feel free to ask me below. I do plan on doing more pen reviews in the near future.