"What a great starter pen! I gave
one to my 15-year-old son to introduce him to fountain pens, and I can't get it
out of his hands. Of course, the one I purchased for myself doesn't leave my
side either! Thanks so much Norman for bringing this great pen to my attention
(and I love the syringe style of bottle-filling as well)!
Like the piston-fill i717, here's another winning -- and inexpensive fountain pen model from Dollar brand. These tough knock-around pens are perfect for introducing a new user to the joys of fountain pens.
Measuring 5-1/2" capped, 6-1/4" posted and about 5" with cap held aside. Besides the stand-out colors, the first thing you notice about these pens are the white 'tabs' at either end of the pen. These are a design feature only and don't serve a functional purpose of any kind -- but are certainly distinctive.
Upon closer approach, it's the clip that draws one's eyes, as it's quite busy in it's engraving -- with the Dollar dollar-sign logo, DOLLAR in a bold font and the model name/number SP-10 in more of a printed script hand.
The clip is supported by a rounded tab, which works quite effectively in allowing for a quick and secure clipping to a pocket or case-loop. It functions much like the rotating wheel on some other clip designs, without and moving parts.
The pen employs a slip cap -- which snaps securely back in place -- and posts securely as well through friction and and having the barrel quite deep-seated within the cap. These are all-plastic pens, with the obvious exception of the clip and nib, so are quite light and have a slightly textured, matte finish.
The nib on the pens is steel and it is engraved with "Iridium Point" and the dollar sign logo. The nib shape is reminiscent of that used on the Parker 75. Taking after Henry Ford, you can get the nib in any point size....as long as it's a fine (actually, I'd describe it as slightly broader than a typical western fine)! There are no variations, but I've been very impressed with the smoothness of the nibs right out of the box. Few have needed any tweaking.
What does differ is the filling mechanism. Like the 717i this is a bottle-baby only, and will not accept cartridges, as the filler is permanently attached. Instead of the turn-knob and piston of that model, the SP-10 makes use of a syringe filler. Instead of turning a piston like a screw, here you simply press down the plunger to expel air, and slowly pull it out again while the nib is submerged in ink to allow the partial vacuum to suck up the precious fluid and fill the ink reservoir.
This filling method has one major advantage over virtually any other (the Sheaffer Snorkel joins this illustrious group), which is that you can -- by quickly depressing the plunger on a filled pen -- shoot a stream of ink a fairly long distance. I caution against access to this page by anyone that has not reached their maturity.
As with all new pens, I recommend to run a dilute solution of dishwashing soap (two or three drops to a small bowl of water) through a new pen a few times, followed by water only. Step one is effective at removing manufacturing oils that can tend to make the ink less than enthusiastic in heading from the converter/filler to the nib, and step two removes the traces of the detergent you've used...which tends to have the opposite, diuretic effect.
IMPORTANT SERVICE NOTE: Every nib that ships from His Nibs is closely examined under high magnification and tuned or adjusted if needed. About 85% of modern nibs need some adjustment out-of-the-box from the manufacturer for an optimal writing experience. Most commonly, the tines of the nib are misaligned -- which would cause scratchiness at the minimum; the slit between the tines is partially or fully closed -- which would starve the nib of ink and at best cause skipping; or the slit between the tines is too wide -- which will either again cause skipping, or conversely, flooding. There are other factors -- such as separation of the nib from the feed -- that are inspected and repaired before any pen leaves the Palace.
The only 100% guarantee of course comes when the pen is actually filled with ink and written with for the first time, but our pre-shipping inspections and tunings have eliminated 99.99999 (my finger is getting tired) of the frustrations that a customer experiences when first using a new fountain pen. Although this can be time-consuming on occasion, it affords our customers a much more pleasant experience when receiving a fountain pen from His Nibs -- and saves us the frustration of dealing with returns!
Ordering Procedures & Returns
International customers, please note, we will not falsify shipping documents
Please send your order and shipping address (along with any questions) to:
We will email you back with your order total (PA residents please add 6% sales tax)
Credit cards, for the quickest fulfillment of your order, are accepted through PayPal, a secure site allowing you to use your credit card without us even seeing the information. If you'd like to make use of this credit card service, please let us know when you email your order and address, and we'll email you the appropriate Request for Payment, and instructions for the simple payment procedure (you don't need to join PayPal to use it).
If you would like us process your credit card directly instead, then please email us:
1. Card # (dividing this number in two, between two emails, will
If you'd rather pay by money order or check, kindly make payable to:
ship via insured Priority Mail
Warranties and returns
If an item proves to be defective, in most cases the manufacturer's warranty will apply. However, please email us first so that we can determine the easiest way to resolve the problem to your satisfaction. In the case of fountain pens -- which are a bit more individualistic than other writing instruments -- what may at first appear to be a defect (hard starting or poor flow for example), can in almost all cases be resolved with a few simple 'tweaks' to the nib, which we'll be happy to guide you through or perhaps suggest returning to us for adjustment.
Should you wish to return a non-defective item within 3 days of receipt because it doesn't suit you for some reason, again please email us and we'll arrange an exchange, credit or refund (minus any shipping/insurance charges), if the item is returned in an 'as new' condition. If you've dipped a fountain pen to try its writing characteristics, kindly clean off any ink residue prior to shipping -- to save us both a nasty surprise .
We want you to be happy with your purchase from HisNibs.com and hope to have you join the ranks of our many long-term, repeat customers!
Revised: March 30th, 2017