In the Parker Ballpoint Pens ultimate guide, we have all the current models, including the best Parker ballpoint pens. We show you which ballpoint is the best value for money and which are the best to give as a gift.
All Parker ballpoints use the same refill which is a Parker G2 patent refill and we have detailed instructions on how to refill a Parker ballpoint pen as well as which brands make the best compatible refills for Parker Ballpoints.
Table of Contents
- 1. Parker Duofold Ballpoint Pens (Top of the Range Luxury Ballpoint Pens)
- 2. Parker IM Ballpoint Pens (Popular Good Value Pens)
- 3. Parker Jotter Ballpoint Pens (Best Selling Iconic Pens)
- 4. Parker Galaxy Ballpoint Pen (Indian Imports)
- 5. Parker Premier Ballpoint Pens (Luxury High-End Pens)
- 6. Parker Sonnet Ballpoint Pens (Parker Timeless Classics)
- 7. Parker Urban Ballpoint Pens (Modern Curved barrel)
- 8. Parker Vector Ballpoint Pens (Entry Level)
- 9. Parker Ballpoint Pen Refills
- 10. How To Refill a Parker Ballpoint Pen
- 11. Frequently Asked Questions
- 12. Where Can I Buy Cheap Parker Ballpoint Pens From?
1. Parker Duofold Ballpoint Pens (Top of the Range Luxury Ballpoint Pens)
The Parker Duofold Ballpoint Pen is one of Parker’s iconic pens that can trace its history way back to 1921 when they introduced their famous Parker Duofold fountain pen. The Duofold Ballpoint Pen did not make an appearance until 1956, some 15 years after Laszlo Biro Invented the Ballpoint Pen.
Today the Duofold is Parker’s premier ballpoint pen. It had a revamp in 2016 to give it a more modern look and feel.
The pen’s barrel is made from a high-quality resin that is finished off with palladium trim. Each Parker Duofold ballpoint pen is perfectly weighted and balanced and has a super smooth twist-action mechanism to advance and retract the nib.
Being a luxury pen Parker Duofold ballpoint pens are finished off by hand to ensure a premium finish to their top-of-the-range ballpoint pen. It also means that these pens carry a premium price tag and you are looking in the range of $250 upwards to buy one.
2. Parker IM Ballpoint Pens (Popular Good Value Pens)
Parker IM ballpoint pens were first introduced in 2006 and remain one of their more popular ballpoint pens. in case you are wondering what the IM stands for, it is “Instant Message”.
The Parker IM ballpoint pen has had a few revamps to give it a modern look. It is a high-quality metal retractable ballpoint pen and sports the traditional Parker Arrow pocket clip.
The barrel is available in several colors that have either a lacquered finish or a brushed finish and the premium models have a diamond pattern cut into the barrel.
They are available in the following colors & trims, which correspond left to right with the above Image of the IM pens.
- Brushed Metal Gold Trim
- Lacquer Black Chrome Trim
- Lacquer Black Gold Trim
- Matte Black
- Matte Black Chrome Trim
- Matte Blue Chrome Trim
- Matte Grey
- Premium Black Gold Trim
- Premium Warm Silver Gold Trim
- Stainless Steel
- White Lacquer Chrome Trim
Parker IM ballpoint pens can be picked up for around $20.00 but the premium models are more expensive and can be as much as $50.00. The pens have a push button to advance and retract the nib and can be refilled with Parker Quink refills or any other Parker-style G2 pen refills, which we go into in more detail later on.
3. Parker Jotter Ballpoint Pens (Best Selling Iconic Pens)
The Parker Jotter ballpoint pen was first introduced in 1954 after Parker had spent the previous 9 years perfecting its design. It was far superior to any other ballpoint pen at that time. If you would like to know more, check out our full review of a Parker Jotter ballpoint pen.
The original jotters refill lasted up to 5 times longer than any other ballpoint pen, and Parker advertised in a 1963 edition of Life magazine that it could write up to 80,000 words. In the first year alone, Parker sold 3.5 million Jotter ballpoint Pens, and they have gone on to sell over 750 million pens worldwide.
Today the Jotter ballpoint pens are available in a wide variety of different colors and barrel materials. The Jotter originals are a throwback to the 90’s jotters with a plastic barrel, and their standard Jotters are a bit more expensive and now have a stainless-steel barrel.
In 2017 Parker introduced The Parker Jotter XL, which as the name implies, is a larger version of the much-loved originals.
3.1. Parker Jotter Originals Ballpoint Pens
In 2019 Parker introduced the Parker Jotter Originals they have a plastic barrel and metal cap and are based on the 1990s jotter’s retro styling. They have the famous Parker arrow pocket clip and that reassuringly firm and distinctive click as the push button is pressed to advance and retract the pocket clip.
As for the pen refill, the standard Parker Quink flow ballpoint pen refill is used in all their ballpoint pens. Parker Jotter Originals are available in standard or pastel colors and can be picked up for around $10.00
3.2. Parker Jotter Originals Standard Colors Ballpoint Pens
Parker Jotter Original ballpoint pens are available in eight standard colors which are Black, Blue, Green, Orange, Pink, Red, White, and Yellow.
3.3. Parker Jotter Originals Pastel Colors Ballpoint Pens
Parker Jotter Original ballpoint pens are available in five pastel colors which are, Pastel Blue, Pastel Mint, Pastel Pink, Pastel Violet, and Pastel Yellow.
3.4. Parker Jotter Stainless Steel Ballpoint Pens
In 2016 Parker released the latest version of their iconic Jotter ballpoint pens. The pens were named after London underground stations, and the barrels had been upgraded to stainless steel. They also had a redesigned arrow pocket clip.
These new Jotters are far more durable and of better quality than the Jotter Originals which have a plastic barrel. This is reflected in the price as these stainless-steel barrelled jotters are around $15.00 – $20.00.
The pens have Parker Quink refills with a medium 1.0mm tip that writes a 0.5mm line width. They are available in the following colors:
- Bond Street Black
- Chelsea Orange
- Kensington Red
- Portobello Purple
- Royal Blue
- Stainless Steel
- Victoria Violet
- Waterloo Blue.
3.5. Parker Jotter XL Ballpoint Pens
In 2017 Parker released an XL version of their Jotter ballpoint pen. According to Parker, the Parker Jotter XL ballpoint pens are 7% bigger than their standard jotter pens. In the real world, this stacks up to the XL pen being 138mm in length and 10mm in diameter compared to a regular-sized Jotter at 128mm in length and 8.5mm in diameter.
This is not the first time that Parker has made a larger-sized Jotter. Not long after the launch of the first Parker Jotter in 1954, Parker followed this up with a larger Jotter known as an Industrial Jotter. At that time, sales of these did not take off, and it was discontinued less than two years later.
Today’s Jotter XL has a stainless-steel barrel and is available in four different barrel colors inspired by various London Landmarks. They are a bit more expensive than a regular Jotter at around the $25.00 – $30.00 mark.
- Parker Jotter Ballpoint Pen Alexandra Matts Grey – Inspired by the view from London’s Alexandra Palace taking the skyline to St Pauls’s cathedral.
- Parker Jotter Ballpoint Pen Greenwich Matte Green – Inspired by the views of London’s Greenwich Park.
- Parker Jotter Ballpoint Pen Primrose Matte Blue – Inspired by the view from the top of Primrose Hill over Regents Park and the city beyond.
- Parker Jotter Ballpoint Pen Richmond Matte Black – Inspired by the view from King Henrys Mound in Richmond Park of St Pauls Cathedral. (This is a protected view, and no one can build anything on its pathway)
At the time of writing this, there are also four special editions of Jotter XL which are as follows:
- Parker Jotter Ballpoint Pen XL Special Edition Black
- Parker Jotter Ballpoint Pen XL Special Edition Gold
- Parker Jotter Ballpoint Pen XL Special Edition Rose Gold
- Parker Jotter Ballpoint Pen XL Special Edition Stainless Steel
4. Parker Galaxy Ballpoint Pen (Indian Imports)
You may have come across a Parker Galaxy ballpoint pen while browsing on eBay or Amazon and wondered what it is, as it is not for sale in retail shops in the U.S.
The Parker Galaxy Ballpoint Pen is only sold in Nepal and India. It is exported to the U.S by Luxor, which is the brand leader in the Indian Writing Instrument Industry.
The pens have been likened to the Parker Jotter ballpoint pen, but they are more like the Fisher Cap-O-Matic ball pens. As the ballpoint tip of the pen is advanced and retracted by pressing the cap of the pen.
Parker Galaxy pens either have a stainless cap, a plastic lower barrel, or a full-length stainless-steel barrel. If you are interested in trying one, it can be bought for around $10.00.
5. Parker Premier Ballpoint Pens (Luxury High-End Pens)
Parker Premier ballpoint pens are part of their luxury range of writing instruments. They were discontinued in 2019, but quite a few models are still available for sale.
The Parker 2018 catalog lists the Premier models as:
- Parker Premier Ballpoint Pen Luxury Black
- Parker Premier Ballpoint Pen Luxury Brown
- Parker Premier Ballpoint Pen Custom Tartan
- Parker Premier Ballpoint Pen Storm Grey
- Parker Premier Ballpoint Pen Crimson Red
- Parker Premier Ballpoint Pen Monochrome Black
- Parker Premier Ballpoint Pen Deep Black Lacquer Chrome Trim
- Parker Premier Ballpoint Pen Deep Black Lacquer Gold Trim
- Parker Premier Ballpoint Pen Soft Brown
If you want to buy a Parker Premier ballpoint pen, you are looking in the region of $200, depending on which model it is.
6. Parker Sonnet Ballpoint Pens (Parker Timeless Classics)
The Parker Sonnet was first introduced in 1994. It was designed by Geoff Hollington of Hollington Associates. He firmly believed that proportion balance and elegance were of utmost importance as he delivered the Parker Sonnet range of pens which have become a Parker timeless classic.
Parker Sonnet ballpoint pens are the next level from their Duofold and Premier pens. They are still luxury items, but they can be picked up between $60.00 – $150.00, although I have seen some models with higher price tags over $200.
They can be refilled with Parker Quink refills or G2 style alternatives and are available in a wide range of finishes and trims. The Parker sonnet with the chiseled Cisele pattern is perhaps one of this range’s best-known and most popular pens.
- Parker Sonnet Ballpoint Pen Chiselled Silver Gold Trim
- Parker Sonnet Ballpoint Pen Silver Mistral Gold Trim
- Parker Sonnet Ballpoint Pen Metal and Blue Chrome Trim
- Parker Sonnet Ballpoint Pen Metal and Red Chrome Trim
- Parker Sonnet Ballpoint Pen Metal and Grey Plated Gold Trim
- Parker Sonnet Ballpoint Pen Metal and Black Gold Trim
- Parker Sonnet Ballpoint Pen Blue Chrome Trim
- Parker Sonnet Ballpoint Pen Red Gold Trim
- Parker Sonnet Ballpoint Pen Black Chrome Trim
- Parker Sonnet Ballpoint Pen Black Gold Trim
- Parker Sonnet Ballpoint Pen Matte Black Chrome Trim
- Parker Sonnet Ballpoint Pen Matte Black Gold Trim
- Parker Sonnet Ballpoint Pen Stainless Steel Chrome Trim
- Parker Sonnet Ballpoint Pen Stainless Steel Gold Trim
7. Parker Urban Ballpoint Pens (Modern Curved barrel)
Parker pens are usually very traditional in their shape and style, reflecting Parker’s 100-year heritage as a pen manufacturer.
First introduced in 2007, the Parker Urban ballpoint pen is unusual as it has modern curves that are not present on any other ballpoint pen, including those not manufactured by Parker.
The curved design is comfortable to hold, and it is slightly weighted heavier towards the tip end, giving it a nice balance when held in your hand.
The tip of a Parker Urban ballpoint pen is extended and retracted by twisting the barrel, a method generally associated with rollerball pens.
From a price point of view, Urban ballpoints are usually a bit more expensive than IM ballpoint pens retailing for around the $30.00dollar mark. They can be refilled with Parker Quink ball pen refills.
They are available in the following colors:
- Muted Black with Chrome Trim
- Muted Black with Gold Trim
- Metro Metallic with Chrome Trim
- Magenta with Chrome Trim
8. Parker Vector Ballpoint Pens (Entry Level)
The Parker Vector ballpoint pen is Parker’s cheapest ballpoint. It was first introduced in 1985, but it can trace its roots back to 1981 when Parker introduced the RB1 rollerball pen that went on to be renamed the Parker Vector in 1984.
The pen is designed to be an entry-level pen to get an introduction to Parker pens. Despite being very cheap, it is still a functional and dependable pen. It has a cylindrical barrel that is highly scratch-proof and a sturdy pocket clip.
Interestingly the plastic barrelled Parker Vectors have a push button to advance and retract the tip of the pen. However, the stainless-steel Parker Vector has a cap-actuated mechanism the tip of the pen is extended and retracted by pushing on the pen’s cap.
9. Parker Ballpoint Pen Refills
All Parker ballpoint pens take the same refill, which is their Quinkflow smooth writing propriety ink. They are sometimes referred to as Parker G2 refills and are available in fine, medium, and broad with either black or blue ink.
Parker also makes a gel ballpoint pen refill with a medium tip with either black or blue ink that also fits all their ballpoint pens.
You are not limited to genuine Parker G2 style refills as many other refills are compatible with Parker ballpoint pens, which we will explain in detail in the next section.
9.1. Compatible Parker Ballpoint Pen Refills
When Parker first invented their ballpoint pen refills for the Jotter, they filed patents to protect the design so that it could not be copied by other manufacturers.
This led to Parker ballpoint pen refills becoming known as Parker G2 refills. Many years later, Parker gave up the patent, which allowed other manufacturers to make alternative or compatible G2 refills.
There is now a wide range of alternative Parker-style G2 refills that are often a cheaper alternative to buying genuine Parker refills. As long as you are buying from a reputable brand and not a cheap job lot of Chinese copies, then the quality will be just as good as Parker’s.
After all, what is the point in investing in a good quality Parker ballpoint pen and then ruining the writing experience with a blotchy scratchy pen refill?
We recommend the following Parker-compatible refills:
- Monteverde P13 Soft Roll Ballpoint Pen Refills
- Pelikan 337 Giant Ballpoint Pen Refill
- Schmidt P900 M Ballpoint Pen Refill
- Schneider Express 735 M Refill
- Staedtler Jumbo Medium Ballpoint Pen Refill
- Tombow BR-ZLM Ballpoint Pen Refills
10. How To Refill a Parker Ballpoint Pen
To refill a Parker pen, there are two different ways to get access to the refill when you replace it. This depends on the type of pen and which method you will use.
10.1. Method 1
Hold the pen horizontally and grip the lower part of the barrel as you unscrew the top part of the barrel from the pen.
With the top part of the barrel removed, take out the refill and fit the new one. If the spring pops out, simply place it around the bottom of the refill and then insert the refill with the spring.
You can now screw the top part of the barrel back on the pen and dispose of the old refill.
10.2. Method 2
With some pens, the barrel is not in two pieces, and to gain access to the refill, you need to unscrew the cone at the bottom of the pen.
Hold the pen horizontally and grip the lower part of the barrel as you unscrew the cone from the barrel from the pen.
Now remove the refill and fit the new one. If the spring pops out, simply place it around the bottom of the refill and then insert the refill with the spring into the barrel and screw the cone back on.
Don’t forget that gel pen refills may have a little bit of wax on the tip that needs to be removed before using the pen.
11. Frequently Asked Questions
11.1. Are Parker Pens Worth it?
When it comes down to answering, are Parker Pens worth it? this really depends upon your perspective about the perceived value of a pen. We covered this in detail in our post are expensive writing pens worth the cost?
The short answer is that they are better-quality pens than cheaper ones and are backed by over 100 years of pen manufacturing history. They don’t make poor-quality pens as they have the reputation and heritage to live up to.
So you need to decide if the pen meets your needs and if you can afford it or are willing to pay its asking price.
11.2. What are The Best Parker Ballpoint Pens?
All Parker ballpoint pens are very good quality and use the same refill, therefore the best Parker pen is the one that fits your needs.
If you are on a tight budget, then the Parker Jotter is the best value for money at around $15 – $20, and the Jotter XL is better for those who need a pen with a larger barrel diameter.
If you are looking for a relatively inexpensive gift, then the Parker IM is a popular choice and retails for between $20- 50 dollars.
Pushing the boat out a little further will get you a Parker Sonnet ballpoint pen. They are a timeless classic and available in a wide range of finishes. These are probably the best Parker ballpoint pens to give to a loved one, friend, or colleague. Parker Sonnet ballpoint pens will cost between $60 – $150, depending on which model you choose.
11.3. How to Clean a Parker Ballpoint Pen
To clean the tip of a parker ballpoint pen, use rubbing alcohol but be careful not to get it on the barrel.
To clean the inside and outside, use warm soapy water and dry it off with a microfiber cloth.
11.4. How To Open Parker Ballpoint Pen
To open a Parker ballpoint pen, either unscrew the top part of the barrel or the cone at the tip, depending on which type of pen it is.
11.5. How long does a Parker Jotter Last
According to a Parker advertisement in 1963, Parker Jotter’s will write 80,000 pages, although there are no modern figures giving the write-out length.
If you are interested in how far a typical ballpoint pen writes then check out How far will a ballpoint pen write for more details?
12. Where Can I Buy Cheap Parker Ballpoint Pens From?
If you are looking to save money and buy cheap Parker ballpoint pens, then Amazon is probably as good as anywhere. Many other online stores will sell them, but they struggle to compete with Amazon on prices and postal costs.