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Parker 61 (capillary-filler version)


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16 replies to this topic

#1 KingJoe

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 17:05

I noticed a gap in the reviews, and I was in a mood to do some reviews....so here we go. This review is for the capillary-filler, I can't comment on the C/C version.

First Impressions (9/10)
A fantastic pen! Once you get over the fact that the "funny looking cartridge with holes in it" is stuck in the pen, you'll quickly realize what a treat this pen is.

Appearance (10/10)
A classic look. Double-jeweled, Lustraloy cap, hooded nib. The arrow just above the nib is a neat touch, if you can find one still in place and not corroded by the inks of old. Almost doesn’t look like a FP when closed (or even open, for that matter). Classy, understated, overall a great look!

Design/Size/Weight (10/10)
The first thing that will strike you is that this pen is LIGHT. It's also fairly slim, but it's comfortable to write with. Just about the perfect size/weight. Feels a little better to me unposted, but can be posted if you wish.

Nib (10/10)
My nib is a Fine bordering on XF. Super smooth, excellent flow (slightly on the dry side, but never a skip or hiccup of any kind). Can't say much about the looks of it...it's hooded! This nib is an absolute dream, none of my other pens come close.

Filling System (9/10)
I've heard all sorts of complaints about the capillary filler. In short, they just ain't true (in my experience, of course each pen/user is different). Mine was an antique shop find. After soaking for a few hours in warm water, I blew from the feeder end to force water and particles of ink out the nib end. Very easy to clean out all the old dried it. Fills quickly, easily, and with zero mess. The Teflon coating on the filler does an excellent job getting 98% of the ink off the filler when removed from the ink. Sometimes, I don't have to wipe at all. Holds a fair amount of ink, and can feed from a very tiny container (think ink trading vials...perfect refills for this pen!!)

Cost and Value (10/10)
I can't speak to the going market value. I got mine for US$4.95 in EXC shape. Lustraloy is frosty, no dings/dents/brassing, and the rest of the pen is all but perfect.

Conclusion (58/60)
Fantastic pen. They don't get any better than this. If it tells you anything, I drag a Pelikan M605 costing 23x as much as this pen EVERYWHERE I go as my "beater", and this $5 P61 stays at home, only to be used in my journal. I won't risk losing this one because I know they don't get any better than this. :-)

~~King

Edited by KingJoe, 08 February 2008 - 17:09.


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#2 AndyHayes

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 17:09

Excellent review. I have got a couple of these and for some reason never got around to reviewing one of them. hey are certainly reliable.
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#3 andyk

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 17:49

Nice review, these are great pens, I didn't realise how many I had until I was looking for a specific one a few months back and found some I had forgotten about.

I must admit I didn't know how to clean them until I discovered FPN and now all work and in fact write pretty well. As you say with patience they aren't that difficult to get working again. As you say a pity about the arrow, about half mine still have them, but I'm not too bothered if they are missing.

I also have one of the later C/C ones, a Flighter, but the jewel on the cap is a bit battered (metal rather than plastic), but the pen writes well, so I can live with it.

An under rated pen, although prices seem to be edging upwards, so I assume more people are discovering them.

Andy


#4 richardandtracy

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 12:39

Thanks for the review. I've also been thinking there's a hole in the reviews, but have held off doing one as I get too enthusiastic to be believed. I personally think that they write better than my P51's. They are not as robust as the P51, but the whole way they write makes up for that. They are good looking, easy pens to use.

It is slightly disappointing that other people are also finding the P61, and that the price is starting to edge up. I fear that if they stabilise at a price that reflects how well they write, I'll never be able to afford another P61.

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#5 wege

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 17:39

While I love the shape/balance of mine (also capillary.. I got it in a mixed bag auction trade thing), I am gutted that there are one or two hairline cracks in the grip.... ink on the fingers... and no place here to get a new grip/repair.
Blast.

Sounds like you got a good un.

#6 FrankB

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 22:54

Thank you for a good review, King.

I was around and in school when the P-61 was new. I already had a P-51 (a vac filler) and money was an issue for student types then as now, so I did not get a 61. Many of my friends and I were in fact suspicious of the filling system. A couple of my friends did get 61's and they claimed the capillary filler worked just fine. I remained content with my 51.

It is many years later. I have added a small hoard of 51's to my pen stable, both vacs and aerometrics. Oddly, I retain that old suspicion of the 61's filling system. I have only one 61 that I got just to have, and it does not function. No, I have not put effort into cleaning it. But, upon this review, I think I shall. So, thanks for the motivation.

#7 goodguy

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 04:06

I have few Parker 51 and few Parker 61 and I like the 61 much better then the 51.
I enjoyed your review a lot.
The 61 is indeed a dream pen to use.I have both the C/C and the Capilary fillers and they both are wonderful SMOOTH pens.
Respect to all

#8 skybird

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 04:40

I started off my preferred pens with a 61 set that I recovered from a place (they never knew) as I was dying for a good pen and we couldn't afford one.
It is now the basis of my collection in various formats except for the solid gold version.
All my pens now are never ever written with, just carefully put aside.
What I did find over years of use (and my 61s in use have been round the block a bit) is that the capilliary feeder eventually got blocked and held less and less ink. Even when properly flushed the system deteriorated, so those 3 pens are now converted.
I have mint capilliary pens from both the UK and South Africa with their chalk marks and some from the US as well.
Love those pens. :-)
Sic Transit Gloria

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#9 jonro

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 05:17

I recently acquired my first 61 and I agree that it is a superb pen. It's definitely one of my smoothest pens. My only complaint would be the relatively thin barrel diameter. For some reason, when I post it, I find it very comfortable to hold. The Parker 61 is definitely a winner.

#10 lovemy51

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 08:53

i saw a p61 at a pawn-shop the other day but it needed flushing... how can one flush a capillary-filler version????

#11 Splicer

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 09:01

QUOTE(lovemy51 @ Feb 18 2008, 12:53 AM) View Post
i saw a p61 at a pawn-shop the other day but it needed flushing... how can one flush a capillary-filler version????


Soak it, blow through the filler, repeat as necessary, then leave it overnight with the nib resting on a paper towel to wick out all the remaining water.

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#12 lovemy51

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 05:19

i did it. today i went back to the pawn-shop and it was still there, after all these time (over two months), waiting for me, so i bought it.

cleaned it up like like you guys said and its working fine. like king joe said, "its a bit dry" but i don't mind.

mine is light blue (probably the Vista Blue), fine nib, SUPER CLEAN, EXTRA FINE condition (arrow and all)!!!!!


PS. i paid $20 US for it and $30 US for a sheaffer snorkle and pencil set, also very extra fine condition.

Edited by lovemy51, 24 April 2008 - 05:21.


#13 Inkquest

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 10:54

Nice review KingJoe...

My only real complaint about the 61's is the brittle plastic. Of course I still love them anyway.

I know it is probably sacrilegious, but I wish some of our renowned pen making Gurus would make new sections/bodies for the 61's. Could you imagine having that old cracked up 61 which sitting unusable in the drawer restored with a new ebonite body and section? Or with a little more robust resin? or even wood? The size of the pen might increase just a tad, but that wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing. An oversized 61 could be a welcome offering!

I'm sure that would be easier said than done but it's a cool dream! :-)

For flushing the pen, just put together something like this:

http://www.fountainp...showtopic=43485

You can flush several 61's in a matter of just a few minutes. With the right kind of tool, the capillary is about the quickest and easiest design to flush out. If the pen has been sitting for a while, just soak it in a cup of water overnight to loosen up the dried ink, then flush that baby..

#14 richardandtracy

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 12:36

QUOTE(Inkquest @ Apr 24 2008, 11:54 AM) View Post
I know it is probably sacrilegious, but I wish some of our renowned pen making Gurus would make new sections/bodies for the 61's. Could you imagine having that old cracked up 61 which sitting unusable in the drawer restored with a new ebonite body and section? Or with a little more robust resin? or even wood? The size of the pen might increase just a tad, but that wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing. An oversized 61 could be a welcome offering!

I made a timber & brass barrel for my original P61, because I'm not too good at multi-start threads I ended up making a new connector and screwing the section to that (see http://www.geocities...rticles/pen.htm ). It worked fairly well, until I realised the section was so porus that the ink on my fingers was actually oozing through the section and not from leaks.

I think I have enough confidence to try a multi-start thread now. The big problem would be the section. You cannot drill a circular hole right through like on a P51. Take a close look at the nib end of your P61. The aperture for the nib & feed is circular on one side & rectangular on the other. I really cannot think of an efficient way of making this without moulding/casting it. An investment casting is one good way, or making a mini injection moulding tool and machine (see http://www.lindsaybk...jatt/index.html ). All in all, I wish it was easy.

I have, actually, had requests from people seeing my web page for me to make new barrels for them. I've - so far - declined and tried to refer them to Mr Prather. It may change if I can get around to pulling my finger out, finishing off my kitchen modifications and the other 90 jobs on the 'Urgent repairs this year' list.

Regards

Richard.


#15 hardyb

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 17:20

I got my 61 from a bunch of discards in a drawer I cleaned out when my father passed away. I cleaned it up just as stated here and polished it up and filled it just like the instructions I found on the web (into the ink nib up /filler housing end down. Writes like a dream. I would buy another anytime.

Edited by hardyb, 24 April 2008 - 17:21.

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#16 HesNot

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 21:59

At moments I miss my 61 as it was an elegant pen and a terrific writer. However, my barrel cracked, like so many 61s and 21s... I've sworn off 21s in favor of "51"s but may one day pick up another 61 if I can get a price I like.
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#17 davidw

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 22:22

great review.

I have a P61 which belongs to my mother. its great. I soak in the water overnight and flush it
like others said.

Are there any links to where u can buy barrels etc.Or do they use the same body as parker 51.?






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