Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Sheaffer Intensity Fountain Pen Review - Honest Opinion from Pen Boutique customer.

By Joseph  - Pen Boutique customer. 

Years ago, Sheaffer was a highly respected fountain pen manufacturer. Their pens were made in the United States, and some of their filling mechanisms, like the snorkel, are still highly regarded. But in recent years, Sheaffer has moved much of their manufacturing to China, and their quality and reputation has suffered some. So when Pen Boutique handed me a Sheaffer Intensity in Jet Black to review, I was a bit apprehensive. And while this pen didn’t blow me away, it was a bit of nice surprise. It’s definitely not a bad pen, but it is a pen with some caveats.

It’s a visually striking, metal fountain pen that feels incredibly solid in the hand. That alone makes it a pen worth a look. If you’re willing to take a shot on the nib and are ok with a metal section, it’s a really solid pen. It’ll look great on a desk or in a shirt pocket, and the metal construction should help this pen to be a lasting value.


First and foremost, the Sheaffer Intensity is a great looking pen. I’ve asked others for their opinions, both pen aficionados and not, and they’ve all agreed. It’s slim, with a pinstripe pattern running the length of the pen, and it just has a great classic look to it. The finial and end of the body are both slightly rounded, and there’s a small white dot on the clip to break up the long piece of chrome.
The only real branding on the pen is the word “SHEAFFER” engraved on the cap band and on to the nib of the pen. Since this pen is chrome and glossy black lacquer, it does pick up fingerprints as soon as you handle it. But a quick wipe down helps clean that off with no fuss.

Technical Details

The brass construction of the Intensity makes it a heavy pen that feels very solid in the hand when writing. While it is a slim pen, the weight helps ensure that the pen still feels nice and solid in hand.


Sheaffer Intensity Jet Black Fountain Pen

In the pen’s box, I received a Sheaffer cartridge, as well as a proprietary converter. The converter looks like a standard international converter, but unlike most international converters, it doesn’t sit down inside the section collar, but on top of the section. That made me a bit nervous at first, but I’ve carried this pen in a pocket and even given it a few shakes to see if the seal would have any problems, and didn’t experience any issues.

The Intensity measures about 5-5/8” when capped, and 6-1/4” posted, not that you’d ever want to post this pen. The Intensity weighs in at 43g when inked and capped, but the cap alone is 17g of that. As a result, it’s disproportionately heavy when you have the pen capped and posted. For comparison, I grabbed the other metal pens in my collection, a Diplomat Aero in Sunset Orange which weighed in a 41g and a Kaweco Liliput in brass which weighed 23g.

A comparison with Diplomat Aero and Kaweoco Liliput

Because the cap is so heavy, posting this pen really isn’t an option. In fact, when the pen was posted, I was almost unable to get the pen to write because the balance was shifted so much. While I tend not to post my pens, some people need that extra length when posted, so the imbalance could be a bit restrictive in that regard. However, if you’re someone who doesn’t post their pens, this is a non-issue.
The body is slightly textured by each of the black stripes which keeps the pen from being too slick, which was a pleasant surprise. But the lines on the body don’t line up precisely with the lines on the cap, which is a little disappointing. They’re off by just a hair when the pen is capped, which is fine from a distance, but you’ll eventually notice once you get up close to the pen.

The Writing Experience

All of that is secondary to how a pen writes. The nib on the Intensity is a small, plain nib with one of the stranger looking feeds that I’ve ever seen, but I had absolutely no problems with ink flow. The nib provided an average Western fine line, and average wetness as well.

However, the nib that I received was a bit scratchy, so it required a light touch when writing in order to avoid the scratchiness. I’ll probably want to spend some time smoothing it out soon. Also, because the Intensity does feature a smooth, metal section, you may find the pen slipping down a bit as you write, as with any pen with a metal section. Again, not a deal breaker, but something to be aware of.


The original MSRP for this specific pen was $90, which, in my opinion, was a bit too high. At the $90 mark, there’s some really solid competition and it doesn’t quite measure up. However, I’ve heard that the Intensity line of fountain pens is being discontinued, which has retailers (like Pen Boutique!) dropping the prices to a price that makes this a much more compelling pen. If you’re looking for a great looking, solid pen, the Sheaffer Intensity is a definitely worth a look.  In fact, the price is now 50% off. 

This is a great fountain pen and we have some available at close out price. We asked Joseph our customer to review this to get a perspective from customer's angle.  I think this is a great fountain pen and for 50% off - a real bargain.  Thank you Joseph and our customers for the loving support you always give to make this all enjoyable.  

- Leena 

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