04-25-2014, 11:22 AM
  • freddy
  • Banned
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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I finally had a chance to ink up the Stipula Speed and the Sheaffer VFM pens that I picked up at the L.A. Pen Show in February. The results were surprising.

Just as a reminder, the Stipula Speed sells for $99.00 but there was a show special for only $65.00 and the Sheaffer VFM was listed as $16.50 (though I see it's now listed at $17.95 at Goulet Pens: http://www.gouletpens.com/Sheaffer_VFM_E...403-0m.htm) but a gentleman sold me mine for $10.00.

While the Stipula has the more interesting of the two looks and is a piston filler, the Sheaffer has a more traditional styling and takes only short standard international cartridges. The Stipula is made of plastic while the Sheaffer is metal. The Stipula has a somewhat unique magnetic close cap and the Sheaffer has a regular snap on cap.

By far, I prefer the $10.00 pen over the one that cost $65.00. If you look at Pam's brief review, above, of the Stipula we differ on the feel of the pen in hand. The pen cannot be posted and, unposted, I find it just a wee bit too short to use comfortably for a long writing session (and I have somewhat small hands). Also, I do not find the section (where the hand holds the pen) comfortable. While it didn't hurt, I found it annoying to hold because it was easy to feel the indentation pattern between the gold color of the magnet and the red plastic. On top of that, and while not really bad, I did not find the fine nib the smoothest I have ever used. Also, the fancy gold/red section is a nuisance to wipe clean after dipping it in an ink bottle to fill the pen. All in all, the pen proved to be a disappointment and I shall most likely keep it more as a curiosity than a dependable user.

The Sheaffer was everything the Stipula was not. First of all, the cap can be posted and the pen felt balanced both posted and unposted. Also, unposted, it was long enough and quite comfortable to write with for long sessions and not just jotting a quick note. The basic black section was easy to grab with nothing uneven about it. The smooth feel of that section made me forget the pen was there, in a good way; it didn't distract from the writing task at hand. As for the nib, I am not usually a fan of mediums but am a fan of Sheaffer nibs. This nib did not disappoint. After inserting the cartridge (a Chesterfield Garnet, sold by xfountainpens: http://www.xfountainpens.com/Garnet-Ink-...fc4024.htm) the ink started flowing immediately. The nib was wonderfully smooth and the medium size was actually okay. Some mediums write too broad a line for my taste but that was not the case here.

In conclusion, the Sheaffer has remained inked. The Stipula has been cleaned and put back in it's box. Sometimes, we do not always get what we pay for. Winky

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NOTE: Although I have listed links to both the Goulet Pen Company and xfountainpens, I am in no way associated with them with the exception of being a very satisfied customer of both.

2 5,000
 04-25-2014, 02:11 PM
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Nice review Freddy. I like the looks of the VFM.

Shame the Stipula was a disappointment.


7 363
 04-25-2014, 02:56 PM
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Freddy, thanks for the review! Smile

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