Some Thoughts on the Sheaffer VFM

So for today, I wanted to do a little spotlight on an inexpensive pen that was purchased on a whim. The Sheaffer VFM in Matte Black. This was found at a local office supply store for approximately 18 dollars. This simple offering from Sheaffer comes in eight colors but the matte black offers a sleek professional style that would look good in any setting. It has silver colored trim and a white dot on the clip. It is available from retailers with both fine and medium nibs.

This pen is a surprisingly smooth writer for the price point. Rather than the cartridge the pen came with, I chose to use a Monteverde Black Ash cartridge as I am most familiar with what to expect from this ink. After just a bit of priming, what flowed from the nib was smooth and consistent without hard starts or skipping. The pen had a good amount of weight to it which was balanced towards the back of the barrel. I found the grip a bit thin for my hands but for many this would not be an issue.

I personally am not someone who posts my pen caps. If you do prefer to post however, you will be disappointed. The cap on the one I have would not securely post to the barrel and while you could jam it on there, it would just move around and fall off with the slightest bump. Fortunately the barrel is long enough to hold unposted.

This pen is one of the few models from Sheaffer that does not use their proprietary cartridge design. This pen accepts standard international short cartridges. While it is a standard international size, the very thing that gives the pen its weight, also blocks most converters from fitting into the barrel. There is an inner sleeve in the barrel which stops short of the barrels length. So far I have found that a Monteverde mini converter can be used if the very end of the plunger is shaved down, however for this pen you are best sticking with cartridges.

I very much wanted to like this pen. It is attractive and has a nice weight to it. But for me, the pros don’t outweigh the inability to use most converters. There are other equally smooth writers in the same price range where that is not the case and with a grip that fits me better. If these are not issues for you, it may be a good option to consider for just a simple every day pen.

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