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Parker Frontier vs Pelikano L, Detailed Review


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10 replies to this topic

#1 lisa

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 14:12

I recently got these two pens in search for a good lightweight pen. I figured I'll go with the budget pens of each brand first. See how I like them.

I already gave my first impression on the Parker Frontier here

First impression on the Pelikan Pelikano. <span style='font-size:12pt;line-height:100%'><span style='color:blue'>LOVE IT!</span></span> That's what it boils down to anyway. I have the lefhanded model, a blue one with medium nib. As far as I know that's the only lefthanded nib available. Dillo wrote that Pelikan stated it has a Medium Fine nib (see post below). To me the line seems M. Although ever so slightly less wide then the Waterman Medium. For righthanded there is M and F available.
I've tried it first with Visconti Blue ink. It looks like the two colours are made for eachother. When you write with it, it seems like the translucent blue of the pen is turning into ink and flowing straight out of the tip of your nib.


Now the comparison in detail:

Price:

Parker Frontier
Got this of ebay for GBP 5. I paid GBP 1,50 for a slide converter.
I believe I got a very good price for this pen. If I'm not mistaken you'd pay double in a B&M store.

Pelikan Pelikano
Got it from www.cultpens.com for GBP 7 and a Pelikan converter for GBP 2,38.
This price, I believe, is also very reasonable and I'm very pleased with the service I got.

Apearance:

The Frontier has a plastic translucent green barrel and a comfortable rubber grip. The nib is a rather broad F and made of stainless steel. It's a classic shape looking nib. You know, rounded, hole in the middle, the usual stuff. With Parker ingraved on it and some lines for show. Compared to the Pelikano nib the steel is not very shiny. It looks like it needs a bit of a polish. On the feed it says F.
The cap is made of stainless steel too and is childproof. It's not completely sealed of so you can breath through it. (The barrel is completely sealed, so here's to hoping your child doesn't take the pen apart.) It has "Parker Frontier" ingraved on it and "made in UK" Also some sort of U or LI shape.
The clip is a Parker arrow and made of stainless steel.
The pen didn't come in a box.

The Pelikano has a blue plactic translucent barrel and the same plastic grip with erogonomical shape for lefties. (For righties this shape is mirrored of course) This plastic feels very durable. I'm a lefty underwriter and it fits in my hand perfectly. The current Pelikano pen is thicker than the 20 years ago model. I'm not sure if this is a plus for kids with smaller hands. I've got pretty small hands and it isn't a problem though.
The nib is made of stainless steel and like I said very shiny. The shape is more 'modern'.
(pic borrowed from cultpens.com)
The only thing ingraved in it is an L for lefthanded.
The cap is made of stainless steel. I'm not sure if it's childproof. The barrel, with two holes in the bottom, is.
The clip is made of the same blue translucent plastic as the pen, with Pelikano written on it. I'd rather seen the clip made of steel too.
On top of the cap is the Pelikan logo.
The pen came in a simple cardboard box and with one international long cartridge.

Both pens feel solid and look like they can take daily use and abuse.

Converters:

The Parker Slide Converter I use for the Frontier takes less ink than the Pelikan converter. The slide converter has a steel ball in it, so if the ink sticks to the wall, which it does, the ball will help to move the ink. This seems to work very nicely.
When I just got the pen I flushed some water trough it before use with the converter. When letting it dry I noticed there was some water stuck on the wrong side of the lever. (or whatever you'd call that thingy that stops the ink from flowing at the end of the converter.) So far I have not had any ink leakage into the barrel.
This pen can also take the a Parker twist converter with larger ink capacity than the slide converter and Parker cartridges.

The Pelikan Twist Converter takes more ink. It doesn't have a steel ball in it but also doesn't seem to suffer from ink sticking to the wall. It's fine with the two inks I've used so far; Visconti Blue and Aurora Blue.
This pen can also take international short and long cartridges.

Writing Experiance:

The Frontier is a very smooth writer. To me it feels a bit like the nib is rolling over the paper. The nib is supposed to be F but it's more somewhere in between F and M. I like this line width a lot. The nib is steel and feels rather stiff.
I don't have much experiance so I can't tell you if it's a dry, medium or wet writer because I don't know the definitions of dry and wet writers. I can tell you that this nibs writes a bit dryer than the Pelikano nib. The ink I've used so far with this pen is Aurora Blue.

The Pelikano is also a very smooth writer. Especially with the Visconti Blue ink you feel like you're ice skating over the paper. With Aurora Blue there's a little bit more resistance from the paper but it's still very smooth. The nib is made of stainless steel but has some flex to it and is a bit wetter than the Frontier. Writing with this pen takes me back to my highschool years when a Pelikano pen was the only pen I used for everthing. For me it feels very close to perfect. In writing performance this pen beats all the others I got recently. With the Frontier as a very close second. Which, to be honest, could be just a question of preference.
Even though according to Dillo (again see post below) the line is MF, I'd say this is an M. It's slightly wider than the Frontier's F.

Filling the pen with ink:

The Frontier is very straighforward. Put in the converter, dip the nib completely, fill and wipe. One tissue and an easy wipe and you're done.

The Pelikano, as you can see in the picture of the nib above (scroll up to see), has a design around the nib that makes filling the pen a bit more messy if you're not careful. If you dip the nib in completely you have a bit more wiping to do. However, there is a breathing hole in the feed that makes it possible to only dip the nib partially for filling the pen. The same as with the Pelikan Go! which is pictured below.

(Picture borrowed from pigpog.com)

I have not tried to fill it with the nib partially dipped yet. I opted for filling the converter from the bottle. This, to me, is the cleanest way of filling. (For any converter pen for that matter.) A simple wipe with a tissue afterwards and you're done.

Conclusion:

In the past few months I bought 5 new fountain pens. These two are by far the best. And the least expensive ones too. Except for the Waterman Kultur, which I haven't taken into this review because it simply cannot compete.
So if you're looking for a good everyday lightweight pen, that is reliable and durable, either one of these won't dissappoint. With a slight edge for writing experiance to the Pelikano. Due to the more flexible and slightly wetter nib. But if you clip your pen a lot I'd go for the Frontier because of the steel clip.


Edited to get my facts straight.
-another edit for adding some links to pictures-

Here are some threads with (bad quality) pictures of the frontier in it:
http://www.fountainp...showtopic=30517
http://www.fountainp...n...c=30295&hl=

The last link is to a thread of another Frontier review so you've probably already seen it.

Edited by lisa, 26 April 2007 - 20:33.


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#2 Dillo

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 16:55

Hi,

I did not actually contact them. I got the information from the linewidth guide (For Pelikanos) and the shape of the nib point.

The Pelikano is a nice pen! My two Pelikanos (P450, P67) are left-handed. (I write with my right hand by the way. My right hand is weaker than my left for unknown reasons, but I have been writing with my right hand all my life.)

If you didn't know, the nib of the GO and Pelikano are exchangeable (Same nib, different decoration.).

Dillon

Stolen: Aurora Optima Demonstrator Red ends Medium nib. Serial number 1216 and Aurora 98 Cartridge/Converter Black bark finish (Archivi Storici) with gold cap. Reward if found. Please contact me if you have seen these pens.

Please send vial orders and other messages to fpninkvials funny-round-mark-thing gmail strange-mark-thing com. My shop is open once again if you need help with your pen.

Dillon


#3 kissing

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 17:13

Thank you for the in-depth review biggrin.gif

re: Parker Converters

There is also a "twist" converter available to Parkers, and these hold more ink than the "slide" converter you mentioned wink.gif

Edited by kissing, 21 October 2006 - 17:13.

http://www.youtube.com/kissing88

#4 lisa

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 17:52

I will edit my review about the Linewidth and put the option of a Parker twist converter in it.

Dillon, how would you like me to word it?

"Dillo wrote that Pelikan stated that the nib is a MF. (see post below)"

That OK with you?

#5 lisa

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Posted 03 December 2006 - 16:59

QUOTE(kissing @ Oct 21 2006, 06:13 PM)
Thank you for the in-depth review biggrin.gif

re: Parker Converters

There is also a "twist" converter available to Parkers, and these hold more ink than the "slide" converter you mentioned wink.gif

I got another Frontier. Medium nib this time. (bordeaux metallic, USA made) Nice wet and very smooth writer. And bought a few Parker twist converters. They do hold more ink but the ink sticks to the walls with my twist converters. I solved it by putting a glass ball from a pelikan cartridge in it. The parker opening is bigger than the pelikan opening so the ball fits through it. This solves the problem, but with cleaning you can easily loose that tiny glass ball. So before you buy a converter, decide if the better ink capacity is worth the extra hassle.

#6 lefty928

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Posted 03 December 2006 - 18:13

I missed this review the first time around -- excellent details! Makes me hanker for a lefthanded Pelikano, but they don't seem to be readily available in the U.S.
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#7 lisa

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Posted 03 December 2006 - 18:20

I've seen some on online US stores I think. ~$15 or so.
Of course I can't seem the find the website right now. wallbash.gif But it's one that's often linked to on this site.

#8 lefty928

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 00:18

Thank you -- I seldom think to visit the Swisher Pens site since navigation is cumbersome and I have to turn on cookies (fine store otherwise), but you are correct, it offers lefthanded Pelikanos. Yahoo! I'll queue that future purchase behind several inks and a couple EFs, but before the Sailor 1911M with music nib and ...
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#9 Dillo

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 01:56

QUOTE(lisa @ Oct 21 2006, 12:52 PM)
I will edit my review about the Linewidth and put the option of a Parker twist converter in it.

Dillon, how would you like me to word it?

"Dillo wrote that Pelikan stated that the nib is a MF. (see post below)"

That OK with you?

Hi,

biggrin.gif

Dillon

Stolen: Aurora Optima Demonstrator Red ends Medium nib. Serial number 1216 and Aurora 98 Cartridge/Converter Black bark finish (Archivi Storici) with gold cap. Reward if found. Please contact me if you have seen these pens.

Please send vial orders and other messages to fpninkvials funny-round-mark-thing gmail strange-mark-thing com. My shop is open once again if you need help with your pen.

Dillon


#10 Vaiar

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 07:45

Surfing online stores for the Pelikano I stumbled on R, L and A varieties of this pen. What is the A variant? Suitable to both left and right handed writers?

#11 mr T.

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 08:08

QUOTE(Vaiar @ Apr 16 2008, 07:45 AM) View Post
Surfing online stores for the Pelikano I stumbled on R, L and A varieties of this pen. What is the A variant? Suitable to both left and right handed writers?


The A-nib is a nib for children that are learning to write with a fountain pen. The "A" stands for "Anfänger" (German for beginner or starter). This "A" nib is suitable to both left and right handed writers. It is in between fine and medium. The difference between fp's that are for left handed writers ("L" pens) and fp's that are not ("R" pens), is in the design of the grip.






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