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Parker Jotter Fountain Pen Review UPDATE!!!


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42 replies to this topic

#1 lisa

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 21:50

Unexpectately I got a parker Jotter FP today. I had a spare parker converter lying around, so I thought I might as well try it out and write a review about it.
I've done the ritual cleaning of flushing it with soapy water and rinsing it first just to make sure I got the optimal performance out of it. I filled it with Parker Quink washable blue ink.

Looks and feel
It has a red plastic barrel and a black plastic section, a stainless steel nib and cap.
It feels very light and very cheap. Uncapped it also looks cheap. Capped it's still very light. I don't like posting my pens, even the lightweight ones, but this one feels better posted.

user posted image

The pen is very slim and sometimes uncomfortable to hold because of that, even with my small hands.


The nib
As said, stainless steel, mine says it's an F on the feed. But it writes closer to an M, very close to an M. It was scratchy when I got it but I adjusted the tines a bit because I had the feeling they were misaligned. It's better now. No longer scratchy but toothy allright! It has problems starting up and with downstrokes. Maby it needs some break in. But remember I already flushed with soapy water.

UPDATE
When the person that gave me the pen heard about the troublesome nib she offered to go back to the shop for me. They just had a shipment of new Jotters in and she tried some and brought me a new, this time black, Jotter. This one has a smoother nib, not anything amazing but definitely better than the previous one and doesn't seem to have the starter or downstroke problems. It does make a strange clicking noise sometimes. I think the feed might be a bit loose in the section or something like that. But it writes pretty decent.

Conclusion
I give it a 6 minus out of 10. And at least one point of that 6 minus is for the nice stainless steel cap. Can't see any faults in that.

UPDATE
I now give it a fat 6 out of 10, for the fact that it is a working pen. But it still feels cheap and my friend had to try out a few pens at the store before she found one that was satisfactory. The first pen she tried was writing way too wet. That makes QC for this pen poor.(BTW, read the update post below if you want to know what happens when a person who knows nothing about FPs, except that she can use them right, tries to exchange a faulty pen in a store where the nice sales people know nothing about FPs.)


Otherwise it's a rather cheap plastic, that's far too lighweight, pen with a nib that I wouldn't write home about. Maybe my impression of the pen will be more positive when I've used it some more. If that is the case I'll update this review.
see the updates above

If you're looking for a cheap everyday writer where looks don't matter, I suggest that you look in the direction of the ever so slightly but still very cheap Parker Frontier. Or Pelikan Pelikano or the Waterman Kultur (even though I normally wouldn't recomment the Kultur with a fine nib because it's rather scratchy, but at least it writes flawlessly! From what I've read, a Kultur M is smooth and that would make that pen a very, very nice cheapy!)
All the above mentioned pens feel much sturdier and are far more reliable, and hardly cost that much more.

I'd like to add that where the Jotter ballpoint excells the Jotter FP fails. The ballpoint is a cheap reliable sturdy pen that looks and feels like it will last you years and years even with regular mild abuse. I don't get that feeling with the FP version of the Jotter.

Note! The picture is made with a camaraphone that makes everything look greenish. So please don't think that Quink washable blue looks like that.

Note2! To the Dutch folk. I know there is a spelling error in my written text. tongue.gif I've written it fast and forgot a letter.

UPDATE Note3! I've added a pic of the black one in the box it came in.

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Edited by lisa, 06 March 2007 - 18:21.


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#2 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 21:56

Quite nice review wink.gif My very first parker was a vector. Enjoy your pen.
Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time

#3 meanwhile

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 22:02

Nice review!
- Jonathan

#4 hatherton_wood

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 00:33

Why the Jotter is still in production whereas the 45 is apparently not beats me. There is just no comparison.

#5 kkhon

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 00:53

I've never seen a Jotter FP in person, but from the pic, the styling of this one just seems so... un-Jotter.

Just curious - how does the nib performs compared to its brother/cousin the Vector? (ah, the never-dry, oh-so-smooth and virtually-indestructible Vector nib)

#6 Srehman

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 02:43

I used both a Jotter FP and a Parker 88 (with an upscale Vector nib)-- the Vector nib was MUCH better-- as described, smooth, never-dry and sturdy.
"The person who takes the banal and ordinary and illuminates it in a new way can terrify. We do not want our ideas changed. We feel threatened by such demands. 'I already know the important things!' we say. Then Changer comes and throws our old ideas away."
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#7 Hans-Peter Ording

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 06:21

Nice text biggrin.gif
Pens I own: TWSBI Vac 700 (clear F), 2 × Lamy Safari (Savanna F, Lime 2008 M), Waterman Kultur (orange F)
Pens I got rid of: Cleo Skribent Chiffre 05; Lamy Joy, Logo; Pelikan Future, M250, Pelikano; Waterman Philéas

#8 DavidM1

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 06:38

My first fountain pen, when I rediscovered fountain pens about a year ago, was a Parker Jotter with a brushed stainless steel barrel and cap (a "flighter" I suppose). From the sound of your review you aren't terribly impressed but I think mine is just great. When it was my main pen for a week or two recently I found myself really enjoying it.

The steel cap blends beautifully with the steel body and the fit is spot on. It closes with a neat "snick". Definitely it needs to be posted because it is quite small, but it posts very well. The M nib in mine is smooth and the line is quite even with a hint of flex. I hardly use the pen these days but occasionally pick it up to address large coarse envelopes and such. It always writes first time. Mine would be a great starter pen for a child or anyone with smaller hands. It would also be a useful pen for a filofax or something similar. It sounds to me like the stainless steel barrel is the way to go with this pen.
DavidM1

#9 Emil

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 06:56

DavidM1 described exactly how I feel about the pen, so I do not need to describe tongue.gif Just a picture of my couple and a question. BTW, be careful with plastic barrel Jotters if you live somewhere in Canada or in Russia. My black one has been broken on the frost. Not it's got a big split on the barrel and leaking, this pen is the modern one. I've got stainless steel about half a year ago and it's quite nice. It looks more expensive than it actually is. I've got this Jotter from friend who found it about 11 years ago, so I do not know the age of it. And it also says 1 on the feed, so this pen looks quite interesting for me. Can anyone say something about the age of the pen or what nib is it? Nib has got a little bit of flexibility...

user posted image
 

#10 FrankB

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 10:20

Nice review, Lisa. Thanks.

I have not tried one of these pens, and now I won't bother. I do like to experiment with inexpensive pens because some of them can be quite nice. But if I must recommend a "cheapy" to someone, I will invariably turn to the Pelikano and the Pelikano Junior. After the Parker 45, I have yet to find an inexpensive Parker that I like.

#11 mr T.

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 11:34

Nice review,

I own an Jotter fp myself and do agree with you that it is a slim pen to hold. My Jotter fp has also an f-nib and is the all stainless steel version (flighter). I use it regularly and don't have any problems with scratchy nibs. It just worked without any problem out of the box and never skipped. The nib is quite sturdy and never had any problem with it, but the nib is a little smoother in a Vector. In my opinion the plastic Jotter fp's are not as good as the flighter Jotter fp's. In comparison, the all stainless steel version of the Jotter look and feel if it is a total different fp than the plastic one. And the difference in price between the plastic Jotter and the flighter Jotter is just about € 3,-. For that amount extra, you get a much better and more durable fp (that's probably more durable than a Kultur or a Pelikano).

#12 lisa

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 13:47

QUOTE (kkhon @ Mar 6 2007, 01:53 AM)
I've never seen a Jotter FP in person, but from the pic, the styling of this one just seems so... un-Jotter.


The Jotter bit is in the cap and the size. When you cap it's a small pen with a jotter clip.

#13 lisa

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 14:10

QUOTE (mr T. @ Mar 6 2007, 12:34 PM)
Nice review,
Thanks!


QUOTE (mr T. @ Mar 6 2007, 12:34 PM)
Nice review,

In comparison,the all stainless steel version of the Jotter look and feel if it is a total different fp than the plastic one. And the difference in price between the plastic Jotter and the flighter Jotter is just about € 3,-. For that amount extra, you get a much better and more durable fp (that's probably more durable than a Kultur or a Pelikano).

I disagree. Of course the steel barrel will probably be more durable than the plastic ones on the Pelikano and Kultur. But the latter two pens have much more durable plastic, especially the Pelikano, on the section than the jotter has.


I must have a bad nib, reading from other experiances. I adjusted the tines some more and now there is no scratchyness anymore. I wrote with it when the tines were still ever so slightly misaligned in my Clairefntaine notebook and it was absolutely horrible. It skipped whole letters and I had to press real hard to get, and to keep the ink flowing.
The tines are aligned now and I flushed with some more soapy water. It is better but I've still got start up problems and problems with downstrokes. On rougher paper it writes better on than Clairefontaine.


#14 lisa

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 18:09

UPDATE

When my friend that gave this pen to me heard about the problems I had with it she said she still had the receipt and would go back to the store for me. And so she did.
My friend knows I like FPs, she used them in the past too and I gave her one for Xmas that she uses now with cartridges, but that's where her knowledge about FPs ends. Apparently the people in the local bookstore know about as much as she does. This store sells some (often lower end) fountain pens, as do most bookstore in Europe I guess, but nothing like fancy inks or even converters. Just cartridges and Quink black and washable blue.

My friend went to the store with my pen with a newer model parker twist converter in it. They just had a new shipment of Jotters and the person helping here told her to try some pens and pick the one she liked. The first one was way too wet and gushed ink. The second one wrote OK and she kept that one. She tried them all with my converter. It was still more than half full of ink when I gave it to her. It came back almost completely empty. The pens wouldn't write at first go, you know, when you have to wait for the ink to go trough the feed. The sales person told her to give it a good shake. The cap was filled with ink when it came back to me. laugh.gif
Stupid thing is, they had a twist converter, all you need to do is carefully twist it to push some ink through the feed.

Also, and this doesn't matter to me but still, the bookstore put my faulty pen back in display, and the ink gushing pen too. Without even flushing the ink out! When in fact both of them should have been send back to Parker.
When you live in the Netherlands and buy a pen at a common bookstore, I strongly advise you try it out before you buy.

In the end, all's good that ends good. I got a working pen now, and a black one, which I like better than the red one. laugh.gif

#15 superfly

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 18:58

QUOTE (lisa @ Mar 6 2007, 08:09 PM)
The pens wouldn't write at first go, you know, when you have to wait for the ink to go trough the feed. The sales person told her to give it a good shake. The cap was filled with ink when it came back to me. laugh.gif
Stupid thing is, they had a twist converter, all you need to do is carefully twist it to push some ink through the feed.

For new pen, it is usually enough to pop the cartridge in, turn the pen nib down, and the capillary action will bring the ink into the nib in around 30 seconds.

I actually like to see this process, and observe the gap between tines against light background. You can see the ink flowing down to the nib...

Lisa, congrats on your new pen. Now, go and get yourself a Kultur smile.gif


cheers
Nenad
life is nothing if you're not obsessed.

#16 mr T.

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 19:09

QUOTE
Also, and this doesn't matter to me but still, the bookstore put my faulty pen back in display, and the ink gushing pen too. Without even flushing the ink out! When in fact both of them should have been send back to Parker.
When you live in the Netherlands and buy a pen at a common bookstore, I strongly advise you try it out before you buy.

In the end, all's good that ends good. I got a working pen now, and a black one, which I like better than the red one


Sounds like a very negatieve experience with a happy ending. Does your black Jotter fp also has an f-nib? Saw on the photo that the black one has the old style packaging. A lot of them were sold in a blister pack (and you can still find a lot of them in department stores like Vroom en Dreesmann) without an indication of the nib. I agree with you about the small local bookshops in the Netherlands. Some are good and know what they sell, but most of them lack knowledge about fp's. These shops are also not cheaper than buying at a specialized penshop or at a department store (so I don't visit common bookstores anymore for fp's). Indeed, the shop the fp was bought had to send it back to Parker for repair or replacement (or otherwise they had to give you your money back).

#17 lisa

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 19:28

QUOTE (mr T. @ Mar 6 2007, 08:09 PM)
QUOTE
Also, and this doesn't matter to me but still, the bookstore put my faulty pen back in display, and the ink gushing pen too. Without even flushing the ink out! When in fact both of them should have been send back to Parker.
When you live in the Netherlands and buy a pen at a common bookstore, I strongly advise you try it out before you buy.

In the end, all's good that ends good. I got a working pen now, and a black one, which I like better than the red one


Sounds like a very negatieve experience with a happy ending. Does your black Jotter fp also has an f-nib? Saw on the photo that the black one has the old style packaging. A lot of them were sold in a blister pack (and you can still find a lot of them in department stores like Vroom en Dreesmann) without an indication of the nib. I agree with you about the small local bookshops in the Netherlands. Some are good and know what they sell, but most of them lack knowledge about fp's. These shops are also not cheaper than buying at a specialized penshop or at a department store (so I don't visit common bookstores anymore for fp's). Indeed, the shop the fp was bought had to send it back to Parker for repair or replacement (or otherwise they had to give you your money back).

I don't know about the blisterpack. This bookstore could have easily taken them out of it, or ordered pens without blisterpack, because of the way they put it on display. They said to my friend that this was a new shipment (That's why she got me another colour, when she bought the first one they only had red left.) so this package must be something that is still in production.

All the pens my friend tried had F nibs. I'm not even sure the bookstore sells Mediums. My guess is that the Jotters are sold to pen users, these pens aren't attractive for collectors or as a fancy gift, and the Parker F nib fit everyday use best. So maybe this bookstore only orders Fs.

They were very easy about giving a replacement but the next person is going to have the same problems that I had when they buy my previous pen.


-edit-
On a sidenote. I knew that there was something not quite right about the expression all's good that ends good. It must be all's well that ends well. wallbash.gif

Edited by lisa, 06 March 2007 - 19:31.


#18 antigone

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 09:11

QUOTE (lisa @ Mar 6 2007, 06:09 PM)
This store sells some (often lower end) fountain pens, as do most bookstore in Europe I guess, but nothing like fancy inks or even converters. Just cartridges and Quink black and washable blue.

blink.gif

I have to migrate.
Not a single bookstore in Germany sells fountain pens! And I work in a bookstore! Arrghhhh... life ain't fair sad.gif

Lisa, wil je me niet adopteren alstublieft?

#19 lisa

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 14:22

QUOTE (antigone @ Mar 7 2007, 10:11 AM)
I have to migrate.
Not a single bookstore in Germany sells fountain pens! And I work in a bookstore! Arrghhhh... life ain't fair  sad.gif
Maybe you should suggest stocking some?
Seriously, don't kids in germany learn to write with a FP? Many schools overhere require it.

QUOTE (antigone @ Mar 7 2007, 10:11 AM)
Lisa, wil je me niet adopteren alstublieft?

Is goed. Omdat je het zo lief vraagt! biggrin.gif

#20 antigone

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 19:22

QUOTE (lisa @ Mar 7 2007, 02:22 PM)
Seriously, don't kids in germany learn to write with a FP? Many schools overhere require it.

Yes, most schools require FPs for first graders here too, though not everywhere anymore. They say the kids'd make a mess and should use pencils for learning how to write... (I guess I should thank heavens I never choked on an ink cartridge in grade 1).
Anyway, you can buy FPs in several shops in Germany, but not in bookstores. Now that you mentioned it I think that fountain pens would go really good with books... and we're selling quite a few kinds of pencils and ballpoint pens. Do dutch bookstores have a whole stationery aisle or is it just a board with pens next to the school books?



QUOTE
Is goed. Omdat je het zo lief vraagt!

Yay, I have a new home! I already moved in if you don't mind happycloud9.gif






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