Review by Laura Cameron
A short while back, I received the Anderson Pens Newsletter promoting the Sheaffer VFM in a gorgeous blue. When I clicked through to see what it was, I was surprised that it was a very affordable fountain pen ($17.50). It reminded me quite a bit of the Pilot Metropolitan that I so love. So I ordered what they had in stock: a Medium Nib in the Peacock Blue.
The Sheaffer VFM is so named as a “vibrant, fun and modern” pen in Sheaffer’s pen line. It features a slim body with a brushed satin finish, nickel plated trim, and a stainless steel nib. A postable, snap cap complements the body.
When it arrived I had high hopes. I went ahead and filled the VFM with the cartridge that came with it, notably not a Sheaffer cartridge, but a short international standard black. And then I took it out for a spin.
I was surprised to find that I didn’t like the VFM much at all. In the last few months I’ve been meandering towards finer nibs, but I still do enjoy medium nibs. However, this pen had a western medium nib which is actually quite a bit larger than those I had been using. The pen let down a LOT of ink and on most kinds of paper I got a lot of bleeding and feathering. My sample for this post, on my trusty Maruman Mnemosyne N182A Inspiration Notebook A5, looks pretty good, but when I tried to use the pen at the office (legal pads, copy paper) it just looked incredibly messy.
The finish was beautiful, but I was dismayed that it got scratched almost immediately. I had put it in my pen case and taken it with me to show off to some friends, and by the end of the night, just in being handled around the table, it came back to me with big scratches. Since then, still in the protected pen case, it has gotten many more scratches. The snap cap is still very stiff, despite my use, and frankly I’m not so sure about posting it as I’m afraid it will add more damage to the body.
Overall, I found this pen to be pretty disappointing. Maybe I shouldn’t have expected so much from a pen that is at the lower end of the price range, but the Pilot Metropolitans just knock it out of the park at the same price point. If you’re looking for an inexpensive fun pen, I’d start there instead.
Laura is a tech editor, podcaster, knitter, spinner and recent pen addict. You can learn more about her knitting and tea adventures on her website, The Corner of Knit & Tea and can find her on Instagram as Fluffykira.