Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Fountain Pen Review: Sheaffer Taranis

Sheaffer celebrates their Centennial Year - 2013 - with a fleet of writing instruments including super limited edition pens and two new series, Taranis and Sagaris. Here in the Philippines, both pens are sold at National Bookstore, the official seller of Sheaffer products (pens, inks, pen cases, notebooks) in the country.

Robby da Silva, Sheaffer's Brand Manager at National Bookstore has kindly let me borrow a Taranis fountain pen to review and this pen has really caught my interest. Robby sent me the Stormy Night finish with chrome plate trim, and despite my initial impression of the Taranis based on what I have read about it, this is one elegant-looking pen. 

Sheaffer named this pen after Taranis, the Celtic thunder god, to emulate the titan's rule of the heavens, and have a pen that will stand out among other pens. American architect Charles Debbas (inventor of the Ergopen) designed the Taranis, and he successfully combined the classic look and modern details into this pen. The barrel of the Taranis has medium width, with both ends of tapering off neatly to a square. The Sheaffer White Dot® is on the controversial long clip that is similar to the clip design of another Sheaffer pen, the Intensity.

The Taranis is available in two plate trims, chrome and gold, and five different finishes including Stormy Night with Chrome Plate Trim (reviewed here), Icy Gunmetal with Chrome Plate Trim, Sleek Chrome with Chrome Plate Trim, White Lightning with Gold Plate Trim, and Stormy Wine with Gold Plate Trim. It is offered as fountain pen (nibs in fine, medium, or broad), rollerball, and ballpoint.

The Taranis fountain pen is 5.5 inches when capped, and 4.75 inches without the cap. Posted, it is almost 5.8 inches long. Despite the square barrel end, this pen can be posted. It has medium weight at around 35 grams with its cap, and only 26 grams when uncapped, which means that this pen can be used for extended periods of writing.

The section of the Taranis has chrome embedded into it, with SHEAFFER pressed on to the chrome. A lot of fountain pen users do not like this feature of the Taranis, including myself because I find it a little too much, but I realized that the chrome does not make writing uncomfortable at all. It does not get in the way of how my fingers hold on to the section while I write.

Sheaffer offers the Taranis with a semi-hooded stainless steel nib available in fine, medium, or broad. The pen on this review has a medium nib, but I find it too narrow, and I assume that is due to the small and thin nib of the pen. It writes smoothly, but it's not as wet as I want it to be. If I get one for myself in the future, I will definitely have it tweaked to the wetness I am used to with my other modern Sheaffer fountain pens.

The Taranis can be filled with ink using a Sheaffer converter, or cartridges. I filled this pen with Sheaffer Skrip Black, and I like the narrow lines that this medium nib produced. Again, it writes smoothly, but not as wet as my taste demands.

The Sheaffer Taranis is a well-balanced, elegant fountain pen for anyone. It's an eye catcher on any shirt pocket or pen wrap because of its clip, and a conversation starter when uncapped because of its unique grip section. I like the Taranis, but I wish the nib would be a bit wider, bigger, and wetter.

The Taranis pens (fountain pens, rollerball, ballpoint) are available in the Philippines at National Bookstore branches with the following prices:

  • Stormy Night (chrome plate trim): FP PhP 2,700 / RB PhP 2,520 / BP PhP 2,520
  • Icy Gunmetal (chrome plate trim): FP PhP 3,060 / RB PhP 2,700 / BP PhP 2,700
  • Sleek Chrome (chrome plate trim): FP PhP 2,700 / RB PhP 2,520 / BP PhP 2,520
  • White Lightning (gold plate trim): FP/RB/BP PhP 10,800 each
  • Stormy Wine (gold plate trim): FP/RB/BP PhP 11,500 each
Sheaffer Skrip ink in bottles and cartridges are also available at National Bookstore branches.

Size comparison: The Taranis (middle pen) with my other modern Sheaffer fountain pens.
On top: Sheaffer 300 Straight Line Chased Chrome. Bottom: Sheaffer Prelude® Black LaquĆ©.
I found that the Taranis fits perfectly into the single leather pen case that my friend Rhona Carantes made for me. For more of her lovely leather creations, check her Facebook page at


  1. Anonymous7:36 PM

    Great review thanks. I do not own a Sheaffer yet despite their good reputation. I think I'm going to pass on this one. I love the profile and some of the aethetic touches but that chrome around the hand hold area scares me. I sweat lot and the chrome in that area of other pens tend to get slippery. Nonetheless enjoyed the review thanks!


  2. Great review and pictures. Love the pen case!

  3. i'm looking for my first FP in my collection.. this doesn't sound bad for my first one.. thanks for the review ^_^

  4. I am unsure of the quality of Sheaffer pens since they appear to have been made in China as late, but it is worth a try.

  5. This is an interesting looking pen, isn't it? They certainly went big on the design. I like the look quite a lot, but it's bound to be divisive.

  6. A thorough review, and an elegant looking pen. But what I find most enjoyable about this post is the concept that the depth of internet communities provides a venue where one can become embroiled in a controversy over the design virtues of the length of a fountain pen clip. And please don't think this reflection is meant in a demeaning way; in addition to writing instrument blogs, I also frequent online typewriter communities, where discussions can go on for days over such things as comparative key action, color combinations, or the shape of the carriage return lever. It is a delight to be able to be involved and share enjoyment of these fine writing tools.

  7. Wow!!
    Great review and pictures.I just enjoy this post a lot by viewing these verity pens.The color and design of these pens are awesome.Really the pen case is very interesting.Thanks a lot for sharing...

  8. What a beautiful handwriting... 8O

  9. Though i am not that fond of fountain pens,but after reading about this Sheaffer pen i have become a fan of this..will buy one really soon...thanks a lot

  10. Anonymous7:54 PM

    Great review. I am also transforming into a SHeaffer guy, I love almost all models of modern Sheaffers pens. Now I have a Legacy in Black&Palladium "M" and that burgundy red 100 "F", next month I will see if I am going to be able to order a Taranis in "F" and if not, I will buy Prelude or 300 in "M".

  11. 2022 I just broke out my Taranis gun metal grey and I re-discovered what a gem it is. If I'm not mistaken these Sheaffer's use Bock nibs, which accounts for its smoothness and dark writing. Great review Clem!