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Parker Reflex

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6 replies to this topic

#1 superfreeka



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Posted 15 April 2008 - 00:07

Introduction: I'm a 19 year old sophomore college student who was looking for an inexpensive alternative to the ballpoints and gel pens I've been indoctrinated into using throughout my life. After lurking on these forums for a while and reading up on fountain pens in general, I found myself browsing eBay in the hopes of finding a suitable writing instrument. Strapped for cash, I found that I had to pass up on the flashy pens and instead settled on a Parker Reflex ($10 with shipping included).

First Impressions: My pen arrived in a pretty modest plastic packaging, as expected, and lo and behold, I found myself holding a thin, extremely light plastic pen with a blue cap and barrel (also available in two other colors). The rubberized grip, going about a third of the way up the pen, had intertwining treads (which made holding the pen a delight right from the bat). Overall, it looked plasticky and cheap, but what can one expect for that amount of money rolleyes.gif

Nib: I ordered a M nib and that is exactly what I got. It puts down a fairly thin, well-defined line with ease. The nib has a little tooth to it (being stainless steel and all), but I like it because it gives adequate feedback. Aesthetically, it is extremely plain, much more so than any of the more refined, and therefore more expensive, pens on the market. The nib sports a small "Parker" engraving at the bottom. Very minimalistic, but I think it fits nicely. The nib is semi-hooded and it looks as if it could withstand a direct impact from a drop, though I am not interested in testing this hypothesis.

Price: For 10 dollars delivered to my doorstep, I'd quite simply have to say that the pen was worth every penny I paid for it. Though it looks about as cheap as it really is, the construction seems to be sturdy and thoughtful. It does what it was made to do; put ink onto paper with ease and comfort. No frills, no thrills.

Overall: Sometimes you get much more than you pay for; this is the case with the Parker Reflex. Will it write as smoothly as a $100 pen? No. Will it provide you with the quality of even a $50 pen? I would think not. However, for a negligible amount of moolah, it does fulfill its intended purpose quite admirably - and that's all that really matters.

Final Thoughts: If you are really strapped for cash or just want to test out the world of fountain pens, then this pen is for you. Lightweight, a moderately good nib, and extremely cost effective, this pen provides you with a pretty solid and expendable option. Lastly, I would just like to say that, while the pen is really quite thin, the grip is extremely convenient and appropriate, and enables you to take notes or write in a journal for extended periods of time quite effectively. Major bonus points for that.

-- superfreeka

Edited by superfreeka, 15 April 2008 - 02:19.

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#2 jbb


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Posted 15 April 2008 - 00:23

Welcome to FPN superfreeka. I had a Parker Reflex that wrote smoothly for year and years until I lost it. Thanks for the review too. I'm convinced there are fountain pens for every budget.

#3 Ernst Bitterman

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 18:34

The only thing I would say is be cautious putting the cap on-- it's easy to seat it too deeply, and it'll crack when you do so. Otherwise, a well-disposed pen, as you describe. You might also look into a suitable syringe for refilling the cartridges or getting a converter. It's the cost of the carts that'll wear on you.

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#4 AlejoPlay


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Posted 16 April 2008 - 15:54

I have a couple of these that I love.

For some reason I was afraid they would suck, but they're actually great cheapies. smile.gif

They write really well with Aurora carts.

#5 mr T.

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 21:49

Though it looks about as cheap as it really is, the construction seems to be sturdy and thoughtful.

I do not agree with this. The quality of the material the Reflex is made of, is poor. Unlike the Jotter fp, the Reflex isn't available as a flighter model (as an alternative for the bad quality plastic). These pens are cheap but not very durable.

#6 Ovidius


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Posted 17 April 2008 - 12:29

I have had three of these pens, and so far my experience has been mixed. It was my first fountain pen (also blue), and I bought it because it was one of the only pens available at the local Staples Business Depot. My first Reflex had some issues starting at first, but otherwise was a fairly nice writer. Just a thought on the nib, mine have always been fairly wet, but somewhat thinner than the mediums on my Latitude and my Sonnet, more of a medium-fine leaning towards the medium, rather than the oversized mediums on my other Parkers. My second Reflex, I filled with J.H. Bleu Nuit and I kept it in my backpack (upright in a side pouch) as a backup pen, it started with no difficulty after not being in use for over a month. I don't know if it is because it was in a pouch with less air flow or because of the type of ink, but I found that it started with much less difficulty than I have come to expect even from the more expensive 18k Sonnet.

I usually refill my cartridges with a syringe, which was originally intended for refilling inkjet cartridges, but my understanding is that the same thing can be done with the syringes from the dentist's office. I also bought a deluxe Parker converter for the pen (at roughly the same cost as the pen), but in what I would call the pen's only real design flaw, the grip extends too high to see how much ink is in the converter, although the converter does work well. The most economical and practical way of using this pen is with an old cartridge, a bottle of ink and a syringe.

Just out of curiosity, are you using a bottle or standard Parker Quink cartridges?
"Gutta cavat lapidem, non vi sed saepe cadendo". --Publius Ovidius Naso

#7 Ovidius


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Posted 17 April 2008 - 20:04


Here are a few pictures of my three Parker Reflexes, including writing samples from the Red Reflex (Brown Ink) and the Black Reflex (Black Ink), with a sample from my 1932 Parker Duofold Jr with Moore's Maniflex Nib as a reference (semi-flex). I find that the Reflex is a firm medium but not a rigid medium. I would not call it a semi-flex, but with sufficient pressure, the pen can yield some line variation.







"Gutta cavat lapidem, non vi sed saepe cadendo". --Publius Ovidius Naso

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