Posts filed under Parker

Parker IM Fountain Pen Review

Parker IM Fountain Pen Review

(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter. And check out her first novel, The Bone Weaver’s Orchard, now available where books are sold!)

Parker is one of those legacy brands that has the old-school, iconic look down while still doing a great job staying current and on-trend. They've always been good about keeping their products accessible for new enthusiasts and desirable for long-time collectors.

The IM line of fountain pens walks that line between old and new and does it with class. It has the sleek lines of a modern pen with all the character of its vintage ancestors.

Parker IM Fountain Pen Cap

The pen body is made from varnished brass, this one with a brushed purple finish. It has chrome accents on the top of the cap, bottom, and cap band. The grip is black plastic and is comfortable to hold. It has the classic Parker arrow clip. It's a good size--not overly small or too big. It's a bit weighted toward the nib end, but when the cap is posted, it feels well balanced. The cap has a plastic liner that prevents any scratching from posting.

Parker IM Fountain Pen Nib

The nib is a fairly plain, small steel nib. At first sight, it looks a bit odd--almost too small for the pen. It performs well, though. It writes smoothly with a good amount of wetness and just a bit of feedback. I did get some drying when I didn't use it for a few days, but with a bit of prompting, it started back up and wrote nicely again.

It takes either Parker cartridges or a converter, which is probably the main downside to this pen. Parker ink is great, but the colors are very limited. The converter is necessary, I think, but doesn't come with the pen. That boggles my mind with proprietary converters--I think they should always be included. To get one, you'll have to plunk down another $9.25, which seems high. So while the price of the pen is good at $41, it's really a $50 unless you like to write in only blue or black.

Parker IM Fountain Pen Cartridge

That price is still good for a good writer, though, and it's in the range for a nice gift, or for a step-up from an entry-level pen.

Apart from the lack of included converter, my only complaint about the pen is that the arrow on the clip is a bit too sharp. A bit too much like an actual arrow, perhaps. It has stabbed through my clothes a few times and those arrow barbs made it almost impossible to get back out without tearing the fabric. So be careful what you clip it to!

There are lots of attractive colors and designs available, and a premium design line for a bit more cost. I think these are great pens for graduation gifts, workaversaries, or for someone who has decided to take their interest in pens beyond the entry level.

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


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Parker IM Fountain Pen Writing
Posted on April 18, 2019 and filed under Parker, Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews.

Parker Vector Fountain Pen Review

Parker Vector Fountain Pen Review

(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter.)

Parker is undoubtedly one of the great legacy penmakers, so it makes sense that they should have their own entry-level fountain pen. The Vector has been around for a long time, and some fresh new colors have brought it back into the spotlight. It's fun and inexpensive and functional--but I don't think it stands up very well against its competitors. There are a lot of good quality affordable fountain pens, now. We're in a golden age of pens and it's easy to be spoiled for choice.

Parker Vector Fountain Pen

The Vector is a slim, lightweight fountain pen with a plastic body and metal accents. The grip section and bottom cap where the pen posts are a brushed gunmetal color, and the clip is chrome in the shape of the classic Parker arrow. The grip section is long and slim. The nib is plain stainless steel over a smooth feed.

My first thought, when I lifted the pen from its box, was, "Is this a disposable fountain pen?" That's not a good sign, probably, because, no--it's not. But the plastic it's made of feels like it is. Maybe it's the snap cap with a lack of cap band, but it reminds me a bit of a Crayola marker. It feels like it's not meant to last. For a $12 pen I'm not expecting an heirloom, of course, but it wasn't a good first impression.

Parker Vector Fountain Pen Nib

The $12 price tag is a little misleading, as well, because the pen doesn't come with a converter. That's a separate $9.25. So, $21.25 is closer to the real cost. When compared with other beginner pens that come with converters, this feels like it's priced a bit high for this quality.

The writing experience hasn't been very impressive, either. It does write, and the Parker blue ink it comes with is beautiful and well behaved, but I'd want to buy a bottle and put it in a different pen. The nib isn't too scratchy, but I had some drying issues and the feed seemed to struggle to keep the flow going when writing for longer periods. The grip section is also uncomfortable. It isn't shaped at all and it's slick, so I was constantly having to readjust my grip. The plastic edge where the body meets the section is also quite sharp. There's no smoothing or band there, so it's just raw plastic.

Parker Vector Fountain Pen Writing

All told, there isn't much about this pen that would move me to recommend it, even for a beginner. The Pilot Metropolitan is ultimately less expensive and much better quality. Parker makes some really fantastic fountain pens, but this one doesn't seem to fit the brand. Perhaps my expectations are playing a role in my disappointment here, but I don't see myself reaching for this pen.


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Posted on August 2, 2018 and filed under Parker, Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews.