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Parker 21 - Fountain Pen Review


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13 replies to this topic

#1 MassTahDohn

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 01:29

Since I have nothing to do this Halloween night I am deciding to write a pen review! Which is far more entertaining than doing hooligan like things with hooligans :)

Background: So when I joined this amazing forum some one messaged me about this pen. I said "Hey it's free, and if you're willing to give it to me... Great!" So thank you so much for giving this amazing pen to me!!! :)

Appearance and Design (7/10)

Granted not the flashiest pen in the world, it is amazing to look at. It is very minimalistic and the nib... Oh the nib!!!! The cap along with the sleek dark green body is heavenly. The only problem is, it's TOO minimalistic... It doesn't say, "Write with me, I'm amazing" it's more of a "When you're fed up with the flashy pens, come to me. Trust me" It doesn't scream AMAZING, which isn't bad for anything... But the design I think.

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Construction and Quality (5/10)

Very solid, feels like it can withstand a lot, which it can. The only problem is the threads... And it's a BIG problem. Since the pen is at least 60 years old the threads don't work really well, sometimes when trying to take the cap off I accidentally take the body off from the tip... :doh: Another thing, is it doesn't screw in all the way, it has a clicking system that keeps unscrewing/clicking when you turn it in, preventing you from twisting it so hard it gets stuck. Which is fine, but annoying to me.

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Weight and Dimensions (8/10)

Very... I don't know how to describe it! It's heavy enough so that you know it's actually there, but it leaves something to be desired. The dimensions are very good, especially me with short stubby fingers :) Very easy to write with, very fun to just hold. Not too long and not too short... Just right :)

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(Uncapped with a bottle of Noodler's 'Borealis Black' If you read the title of the essay it's called 'Eternal Ink' and near the bottom it mentions a Parker 51 circa 1945... That was totally unplanned!!!)

Nib and Performance (9/10)

Amazing... Very wet, as in the ink comes out in good quantities, but dry enough to feel the scratch of the paper underneath. The previous owner said it was a Broad nib, but it write more like a Fine or Extra-Fine, which is even better! You can't see the nib itself because of the thingy-mabobber whatever it's called. Which is fine, I like it A LOT! Makes it seem more protected.

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Filling system (8/10)

Aeromatic filler. Nuff' said! No... It's really good though, usually pens this old they fillers just sort of... Fall apart, this is great! No leaks fills up fully, very VERY satisfying to fill. You squeeze it so it creates a vacuum then slowly release the pressure and you can feel the ink shooting up. It's an amazing feeling. Something you don't get with any other type of filler. Only problem is I can't carry a bottle of ink everywhere I go.

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Cost/Value (10/10)

It was free!!! What else can I say? :) Even if it isn't free, you can find these with very good prices.

Conclusion (47/60)

Although it doesn't score a high score, apart from my Lamy Studio, it is the best pen I own. It's good in all categories, only quality is bad, because it's 60+ years old. But in my opinion, this is a must for anyone that collects pens or just writes with them. Very glad I got this. Thank you :)

All of my reviews + more can be found on my blog My amazingly awesome blog!!!

Edited by MassTahDohn, 01 November 2010 - 01:47.

Every time there is a negative in life there is always a positive. A failed test, a relationship gone sour. Whatever it may be, your life is not over. If you dwell on the negative you can`t see the world with the right eyes. There is a positive in every moment, even if it is small. Try your whole life to find that positive and live off of it and you will be loved. My blog... Check it!!!

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#2 langere

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 03:17

Thanks for your nice review!

I recently bought three of these pens (each in a different color) and so far, I've liked 'em just as much as my 51. I hear that some of the 21s have problems with the plastics, but I haven't had any yet (knock on wood).

Erick

Pelikan Souverän M 815 "F" nib running Pelikan Königsblau 

PENBBS 500 "F" nib running Iroshizuku Murasaki-Shikibu

Pilot Juliet "F" nib running Diamine Autumn Oak

 

 


#3 breaker

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 17:31

very nice review and pics
Cogito ergo sum

#4 tonybelding

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 16:59

Good review, thanks for posting it!

I wonder about this bit. . . .

The only problem is the threads... And it's a BIG problem. Since the pen is at least 60 years old the threads don't work really well, sometimes when trying to take the cap off I accidentally take the body off from the tip... :doh: Another thing, is it doesn't screw in all the way, it has a clicking system that keeps unscrewing/clicking when you turn it in, preventing you from twisting it so hard it gets stuck.


Is it possible that there could be a hairline crack in the threaded part of the barrel? That would explain the clicking, if the crack spreads apart and allows the cap to jump the threads.

Also, let us not forget that this Parker 21 is a different pen from the Parker Super 21 that I reviewed a while back.

#5 MassTahDohn

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 18:42

Good review, thanks for posting it!

I wonder about this bit. . . .

The only problem is the threads... And it's a BIG problem. Since the pen is at least 60 years old the threads don't work really well, sometimes when trying to take the cap off I accidentally take the body off from the tip... :doh: Another thing, is it doesn't screw in all the way, it has a clicking system that keeps unscrewing/clicking when you turn it in, preventing you from twisting it so hard it gets stuck.


Is it possible that there could be a hairline crack in the threaded part of the barrel? That would explain the clicking, if the crack spreads apart and allows the cap to jump the threads.

Also, let us not forget that this Parker 21 is a different pen from the Parker Super 21 that I reviewed a while back.


Yeah it's a hairline crack. Yep, not Super!!!
Every time there is a negative in life there is always a positive. A failed test, a relationship gone sour. Whatever it may be, your life is not over. If you dwell on the negative you can`t see the world with the right eyes. There is a positive in every moment, even if it is small. Try your whole life to find that positive and live off of it and you will be loved. My blog... Check it!!!

#6 jlepens

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 03:28

Good review!
Joi - The Way of the Japanese Pen
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#7 jakelogan

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 02:53

Great review! Might I be the one who sent you the P21? From which state did you get it from? (Just asking)

These are sort of like a 51 without all the gratification.
Step 1: Buy another fountain pen
Step 2: ???
Step 3: Profit.

#8 MassTahDohn

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 03:19

Great review! Might I be the one who sent you the P21? From which state did you get it from? (Just asking)

These are sort of like a 51 without all the gratification.


Minnesota, and it wasn't from you, it was from the person who posted above you :)
Every time there is a negative in life there is always a positive. A failed test, a relationship gone sour. Whatever it may be, your life is not over. If you dwell on the negative you can`t see the world with the right eyes. There is a positive in every moment, even if it is small. Try your whole life to find that positive and live off of it and you will be loved. My blog... Check it!!!

#9 diplomat

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 11:10

Excellent way to spend Halloween! The 21 it's a great classic.

#10 krokens

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 15:21

Thanks for the review. I could say that I learned to write with a Parker 21. I have an old photograph at school using this pen when I was 8. I love it. I have one unit from the 60's in my pen collection that works perfectly.

Regards

#11 linearM

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 16:06

I just picked up a Parker 21 at an antique store. I'd heard rather negative things about the pen but have found it very enjoyable to use. It's a smooth writer, not too small, not flashy but pleasing lines.

I do have one place where I disagree with you. You said,"It's good in all categories, only quality is bad, because it's 60+ years old." There are some vintage pens that are still quality writers, for example a pen I love to use and still looks good is a Moore Un-Leakable from about 1910. And for that matter, I'm 60+ years old.

Nice review!

#12 pavoni

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 18:13

Hi MassTahDohn. I have the same said Parker 21 and so, as this is my first Parker, which I am still yet to ink, I am grateful for your excellent review.

Whilst I bought the pen thinking it a ‘must have’ in any collection, I must admit that I am finding it hard to be attracted to a hooded nib. However, the overall package is pleasing and I now look forward to the arrival of my 51.

I very much enjoyed the composition in your photos, indeed if you aren’t one already, I would have said you would make a good artist. Your photos and overall review have inspired me to commit to inking this old guy and get as much enjoyment from it as linearM seems to have done.

I read with interest your “big problem” with the 21, that whilst taking the cap off, you accidently took the body off from the tip. As my pen is the same age and thinking this to be nonsense, I tried, and guess what, mine came off! Curiously, I have since tried to replicate this event but cannot, unless I try to unscrew the cap, when of course it merely requires one to pull it off. I don’t however, have the clicking you describe.

I really enjoyed your review and I thank you for taking the time.

Pavoni

#13 PeNoob

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 18:33

Great review! The Parker 21 is officially the pen that has converted me over from the dark side. Words cannot describe how smooth my Parker 21 writes. The pen effortlessly glides across the paper, most couldn't guess that it was a fountain pen by looking at it...

Unfortunately, my first 21 had a small crack in the barrel, which did not notice. While trolling these forms, I found that this is a common problem with the Parker 21. Since then, I found a replacement barrel from another Parker 21 that incidentally does not write quite as well. I am sure it is a nib adjustment issue, but one writes smooth and the other writes scratchy. I am also excited to try the Parker 51. I think I am going to try a Chinese knockoff (Jinhao 325) to see how it compares… I will try to post a review of the three once I have them.

#14 hillbillywriter

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 22:30

I always liked the look of the hooded nib, I got a black hero hooded nib it being a fine point its a great writing pen.






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