Noodler’s is a very famous brand for inks and very cheap flex fountain pens. Noodler’s Baystate Blue is also one of the most controversial inks of the fountain pen world. It has a great vibrant color and very waterproof but it is “alkaline enough to eat some pens” as fountain pen guru Richard Binder states. So it is recommended not to use very precious or vintage pens with this ink. So I decided to try this ink with a Hero 221 as I have enough of them. I used it for a week and it performed well enough to deserve a review.
Hero 221 is actually a very cheap pen. There is no up-to-date price of this pen available since it is an old version. Today the plastic body Hero 221’s are sold for 3 USD each (I guess it can also be found cheaper). Since it is very cheap, the product quality is also very cheap. But what can you wait for 3 USD right? Besides, as my very own opinion, I don’t like other cheap pens like V-Pen or Varsity which looks like regular needle point pens. Hero at least looks like a fountain pen. In addition, performance of Hero is far beyond 3 USD. (In the photo, nib looks like corroded but it is not. It is my reflection plus a bit ink and weird angle)
Hero 221 has an aero-metric filling system so basically what you need to fill the fountain pen is: dip the pen into ink bottle, squeeze the metal spring part and then release it while it is still in the ink bottle. Wait for a while (count up to 10 for example) and ink will be sucked up into the sac. So, overall, I liked this pen; as it is very light, has a good nib and bear all my expectations from a 3 USD pen. It might be a good pen for trying some difficult inks, learning how to grind nib and a present for a starter.
What do you think about cheap pens?