Posts Tagged ‘Sheaffer Taranis’

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My Core Four Plus One

01/09/2014

My desk is always a disheveled mess except for my fountain pens. Those I keep tidy and at the ready for whenever the muse strikes. However, with product testing, the number of inked pens can grow well beyond anything manageable, so I’m separating the lot into two groups with my Core Four Plus One the most accessible. Others employed mostly for testing purposes have a tray in which to snooze until needed.

Core Four Plus One is a name for four of my most used fountain pens plus one mechanical pencil. The four pens are the mostly likely to get used either for the ink or the fun factor of using that particular pen. The Platinum #3776 music nib is the anchor. For now the other three pens are the Noodler’s Standard Flex, the Pilot Prera Italic and the Sheaffer Taranis Medium. Those four provide a good variety of nibs and pen sizes and changing between them is good for my hand. The inks are Diamine Sepia, Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses, Noodler’s Black and Diamine Steel Blue. Again this is a good variety for maximum appeal though all of it is subject to change on a whim.

The Autopoint mechanical pencil is the Plus One. It gets more use than any fountain pen since it doesn’t need to be uncapped, can write on any paper, and is erasable, an important benefit for a fickle writer.

When I head out with pens in tow, I have a two-pen case for an intrepid duo or a four-pen case for the whole lot. An Autopoint MP is always in my handbag along with a black Sharpie Pen so I am never caught out without writing tools. A small Rhodia pad completes the ensemble. An inkophile should be prepared, yes?

Do you have something like my Core Four Plus One? If so, what’s in your primary rotation?

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The Good Stuff On My Desk

01/08/2014

What I’m working on and with today.

On my desk

Paperblanks Journal
Jackson’s Watercolors
Isabey Petit Gris 6234 #0 Brush
Daniel Smith 44-08 #3 Kolinsky Brush
Autopoint Mechanical Pencil
Stillman & Birn Epsilon Sketchbook
Tomoe River paper from PaperForFountainPens.com
Noodler’s Standard Flex Pen with Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses
Pilot Prera with Plumix medium (italic) nib and Noodler’s Black
Sheaffer Taranis with Diamine Steel Blue
Platinum #3776 music nib with Diamine Sepia
All overseen by a cloisonne bird that belonged to my mom

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Sheaffer Taranis Fountain Pen Gets A Test Run

12/14/2013

Recently, Sheaffer offered the Taranis fountain pen to review. Saying “no” was not an option. Sheaffer has a good reputation for making fountain pens, but my experience is with vintage models including a 1950’s Sheaffer Sentinel. What would I think of a modern pen?

Sheaffer Taranis

The Taranis is named after the Celtic God of Thunder. Grab the details from Sheaffer, but the main points are that it’s a metal pen with excellent balance and it sports a semi-hooded nib that resembles a Pilot Vanishing Point. The pen comes with a converter plus two cartridges and is solidly packaged for safe shipping.

Sheaffer Tarantis Section and Nib

The logo runs the length of the section so it will be under your finger though I did not find it to be uncomfortable. Stepped sections or sharp threads are far worse and this model has neither of those annoying issues. The section is otherwise smooth with the threads placed very high and not in range of my grip. Balance is good whether posted or not. Build quality is very solid, tank-like, and should make it last forever. The snap cap seats solidly with a minimum of effort and I was able to pop off the cap one-handed which I find very convenient. The Taranis is a good candidate for a carry pen since it will survive better than most pens those knocks and blows that come from excursions into the wild.

The Taranis Sheaffer sent needed cleaning with soapy water to get the flow right. Whether from minute bits of debris or oils from manufacturing, an overnight soak improved performance. This can be true of any new pen so it should not be off-putting,  but rather a reminder to clean new pens before filling. My usual light rinse with cool water did not cleanse the feed sufficiently and my enthusiasm at acquiring a new pen got the better of me.

Sheaffer Taranis written sample on Rhodia paper

The stainless steel nib is a smooth nail that doesn’t have that tendency to skate that some pens possess. The medium wrote a bit dry with Sheaffer Blue-Black, but less so with Diamine Steel Blue. It may turn into a good match for free-flowing inks, of which I have more than a few. The nib width is on the narrow side of medium and I was able to write quite small with it. It tolerates a variety of writing angles, even upside down for a finer line which makes it an all-purpose nib.

And the clincher?

Sheaffer Taranis on Moleskine

That is Moleskine paper! Have you recovered from the shock? Minimal show-through and only a few tiny dots of bleed-through. Impressive!

There is quite a price range amongst retailers so shop around for a good deal. Given the build quality and the sturdy nib, the Sheaffer Taranis could make an attractive way to turn a non-user into a fountain pen enthusiast. After all, Christmas is just around the corner…

More reviews at FP Geeks and Best Fountain Pen. Jim Mamoulides covered the vintage Sheaffer Snorkel at Pen Hero.

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