Posts filed under Ballpoint

Parker Jotter XL Ballpoint Pen Review

Parker Jotter XL Ballpoint Pen Review

When I think of classic ballpoint pens, the first one that immediately comes to mind is the Parker Jotter. There are older ballpoint pens, and there are better ballpoint pens, but there is only one Parker Jotter.

It's place among the pantheon of all-time great pens is well-deserved. Parker has treated it as such, with regular updates over the decades.

The most recent to hit the shelves is the Parker Jotter XL. As a Jotter fan myself, I was anxious to give this one a shot. And, while I like it fine, it's not compelling enough for me to recommend it over the classic-sized Jotter.

Parker Jotter XL Ballpoint Pen

Let's talk about the XL moniker first. As it relates to the original, yes, it is longer, wider, and heavier. That puts it squarely into standard pen size for me, as the basic Jotter is actually a smaller-sized pen. That small size was certainly closer to expectations from this ubiquitous pen in its 1960’s and 70’s heyday. But like almost every other product that has been around this long, bigger is assumedly better.

I don't think the larger size serves the Jotter well.

Parker Jotter XL Ballpoint Pen Clip

The Jotter has always been a small, skinny, lightweight pen, with a plastic lower barrel and a thin metal upper barrel and clip. It tapers down towards the tip of the pen, and yes, with that thinness I see it being a non-starter for those with large hands. The XL does solve that issue, but I think that is where the benefits stop.

Due to the taper that is also present in the XL, the pen becomes more unbalanced the lower you grip it. It is a high-grippers pen, if you will. The top weight shift is not drastic - it's still a generally light pen - but I could feel it instantly.

Parker Jotter XL Ballpoint Pen Refill

The refill also does this pen no justice. It shipped with a standard Parker 1.0 mm blue ballpoint refill, and while the smoothness and color were enjoyable, it was a blobby mess. Ballpoint refill technology has improved greatly over the years, so what passed for reasonable ink output a decade or so ago no longer cuts it. As I wrote, the ink collected on the tip, and subsequently transferred to the page when I rotated. I hate messy ballpoint pens, although it is correctable by swapping it out.

Parker Jotter XL Ballpoint Pen Blob

That brings up the biggest issue I have with this pen: The price. At over 60% more than the standard ($23.50 vs $14 at JetPens) it is only justifiable if a short, specific set of criteria are met. One, if you are a Jotter fan and the XL barrel fits your hands better, or two, if you are buying it as a gift. It's tailor made for engraving.

That's it in my book. It's not different enough for me to choose it over any of the few standard Parker Jotters I already own and love. Make it in bright orange or hot pink and I may change my tune (and the refill) but otherwise I'll stick with what has worked for decades.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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Parker Jotter Comparison
Posted on July 15, 2019 and filed under Parker, Jotter, Ballpoint, Pen Reviews.

Moleskine Go Ballpoint Pen Review

Moleskine Go Ballpoint Pen Review

Moleskine surprised me several years ago when they updated their pen and pencil lineup. And by several years ago, I mean 2011, when I first reviewed the Moleskine Classic Roller Pen. Has it really been that long?

It has. I enjoyed that pen at the time, but the real winning feature of it was the Moleskine 0.5 mm Parker-style gel ink refill it was loaded with. I remember snapping up extra refills and using them in various compatible pens - at least until Moleskine stopped making them.

Moleskine Go Ballpoint Pen

Despite the disappearance of one of the best gel ink refills on the market, Moleskine continued to produce pens, but stuck to a more basic ballpoint refill. The rectangular barrel shape and side-opening clip remained the same, which allows users to clip the pen easily to the cover of their Moleskine notebooks. That is a nice, well thought out feature, although some users will not be able to hold the pen comfortably if they use a non-standard grip.

Moleskine Go Ballpoint Pen Clip

I had forgotten about Moleskine pens until my trip last fall to New York City, where I went on a city-wide stationery tour with my friends Ana, Myke, and Tiff. That tour brought us to Goods for the Study one afternoon, where I managed to spend way too much money. That’s what I was there for, right?

Moleskine Go Ballpoint

One of the benefits to shopping at a brick and mortar store is the ability to stumble into things you haven’t seen before. I was surprised when I saw a grouping of Moleskine pens - not realizing they still made them - and even more surprised when I found one calling my name.

Having enjoyed my previous Moleskine pen experience, there was no way I was going to turn down one with a graph paper ruling on the barrel. Specifically, this one is called the Moleskine Go Pen, Squared, Ivory. The name is that detailed because by my count there are 12 different models in this particular lineup (yes, including Lined, Blank, and Dot Grid versions.) On top of that, the pen costs only $5, which surprises me a little bit.

Moleskine Go

That’s more than fair in my book. In fact, I apparently also reviewed the predecessor to the Go pen - the Moleskine Click Roller Pen - and had this to say: “At $15 they are way overpriced - it feels like a $5 pen.” Moleskine reads The Pen Addict!

Ok, not really, but I’m glad to know that the price is now accurate for what this pen is. The Moleskine Go features a lightweight plastic barrel that is great for pocket carry, or notebook attachment. The refill is a 1.0 mm black, Parker-style ballpoint that is good, not great. It takes a second to crank up on occasion, but is consistent once it does.

Moleskine Go Ballpoint Writing

Most of all, this pen is fun. I love the look and style of it, and my grip gets along well with the rectangular barrel. Even when I am not actively using it, it stays on my desk for me to fiddle with, and because it looks cool. Not many of my pens retain desktop status, so it means a lot when one does.

I pay attention to what Moleskine offers as a brand. It’s time for me to watch their pen lineup a bit more closely going forward.


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Moleskine Go Ballpoint Notebook
Posted on July 8, 2019 and filed under Moleskine, Ballpoint, Pen Reviews.

Kaweco Frosted Sport Soft Mandarine Ballpoint Pen Review

Kaweco Frosted Sport Soft Mandarine Ballpoint Pen Review

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

The new collection of Frosted colors from Kaweco this year has been a fantastic edition that probably has many people scrambling to collect them all. The semi-translucent pastel body colors are perfect for spring and summer, and I doubt they'll be around long.

The particular model I have is the Soft Mandarine ballpoint, which is also available in five other colors. The Kaweco Sport ballpoint has been around for quite a while in all the regular colors and materials that you expect, but the soft pastel colors are refreshing. If you haven't used or seen one of these before, they're about the same size as a closed Kaweco Sport fountain pen, and feature a soft click mechanism at the top of the pen. The overall diameter is the same as the cap of a Sport fountain pen, but it's the same diameter for nearly the entire length of the pen, save the click button and cone. As you can imagine, writing with a chunky pen like this can take some getting used to. For the most part, it's a really comfortable writing experience, but I did find it to be slightly uncomfortable after a little while due to the short length. I like a bit more material on the pen to rest on my hand while I write, but this will vary from hand to hand.

Kaweco Frosted Sport Ballpoint Pen Review

The pen is very light, which makes it comfortable for short writing sprints, and I found it fairly easy to control even with the short body. Even though this pen is comparable in size to its fountain pen cousin, you have to factor in the cap on the fountain pen variant. Posting the cap gives you a good amount of extra length that makes it more comfortable to use and easier to control when writing. That's not to say that the ballpoint is difficult or uncomfortable, but they are much different writing experiences.

Kaweco Frosted Sport Ballpoint Pen

The included refill with this pen is a decent 1.0mm ballpoint with blue ink. It does skip a little and the lines aren't as crisp as I like, but it flows smoothly and always starts writing quickly after being unused for a while. As far as traditional ballpoints go, it's great. But, let's say you aren't a fan of ballpoints. That's okay, because I'm not either. Luckily, the Kaweco Sport ballpoint line uses a common refill format: the D1. This opens up your refill options by a lot, with over 60 choices on JetPens as of this writing. With that amount of variety, you can find a good combination of tip size and color to fit your writing needs.

Kaweco Frosted Sport Ballpoint Pen Refill

Replacing the refill is an easy process, and I really enjoyed discovering the unique refill mount system on this pen. Instead of the traditional method of a spring in the tip of the pen that works directly against the refill to provide resistance, the spring is built into the nock mechanism. This means that there isn't a spring in the nose of the pen that is either stuck to the refill or can fall out when you remove the refill. I've never had good luck finding a lost spring on a carpet floor. The D1 refill is friction-fit into the nock mechanism, and requires a good amount of force to remove and replace. This is good because it means the refill won't fall out by accident in your pocket or bag.

Kaweco Frosted Sport Ballpoint Pen Size Comparison Review

Overall, I've really enjoyed using the Kaweco Ballpoint. It's a solid little pen that fits in a lot of small spaces, but is just big enough to be comfortable and usable. It's not something I'd use for long writing sessions, but it's a fun pen to use every now and then. On top of the that, the Frosted color options are so much fun. The translucent pastels are pretty and the price is very fair. And, the addition of using the popular D1 system means you have lots of color and size options!

The Kaweco Frosted Sport Ballpoint is available in Blush Pitaya, Light Blueberry, Natural Coconut, Soft Mandarine, Sweet Banana, and Fine Lime, and each one costs about $22. These make great gifts and personal treats, but once you have one, you'll want all six colors!

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, for which I am very grateful.

Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

Kaweco Frosted Sport Ballpoint Pen Writing
Posted on June 12, 2019 and filed under Kaweco, Ballpoint, Pen Reviews.