Parker Jotter Ballpoint Pen Review

Although I can’t honestly say that I recall my school days with too much affection as some, that’s not the case when it comes to writing instruments, I have vivid memories of my first “real pen” it was a Parker Jotter ballpoint pen.  I can remember wandering around the local newsagents & stationers, ferreting through the blister packs hanging on racks looking for the best color.

Parker is also known for fountain pens, the Parker Jotter ballpoint wasn’t introduced to the collection until 1954Several years of research completed, it was claimed that these ballpoints were different from their competitors in that they had a choice of nib sizes, wrote 5 times longer & were simple to refill.  In the early days, various changes & modifications were made.  The ink formula & tungsten writing ball were improved, today it’s still considered by some as a timeless classic.  I would go so far as to say Parker is a household name, maybe due to my early experiences.

Luckily I get the opportunity to review a range of pens, today I’m pleased to have the chance to revisit memory lane.  The classic stainless steel section at the top of the barrel is met by a navy blue section, made from molded plastic which completes the look.   You could also choose a Parker Jotter ballpoint in red, white, bronze, or black.  All have blue ink & medium point tips that appear through a metal nozzle when the push button is pressed. There is a wide range of alternative Parker style refills available for the Jotter check out the Ultimate Parker Style G2 Refill Guide for more information.

A retractable ballpoint that is 5” long, I found it light to hold & somehow feels smaller than other pens, although checking others on my desk it’s clear that is not the case.

So what about the performance, the Jotter gave the results I expected, no sign of blotting & the same appearance as many other medium nib ballpoints.  It did feel relatively slim when held & the absence of a grip left me feeling it was slipping my grasp when writing for any length of time.

The original Parker Jotter ballpoint pen can be refilled & comes in a bronze & black gift box, overall not bad for an everyday pen, sadly I don’t think the writing experience this time around will stay with me as long as that of my very first pen.

If you would like to see all the current Parker Jotter models including the new “Jotter Originals” then check out our Parker Ballpoint Pens Ultimate Guide.

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Tony Bridges

As a seasoned journalist and freelance writer, I've spent over three decades telling stories and exploring the world through the written word. With a passion for writing instruments, I found my niche at The Pen Vibe, a blog that shares our collective fascination with pens, pencils, and other tools that have shaped the art of writing.

12 thoughts on “Parker Jotter Ballpoint Pen Review”

  1. I too have been very disappointed with the Parker QuinkFlow refills made in France. There is a silver lining here, though, the Parker QuinkFlow refills made by Luxor is available on line and they write beautifully. Some of the French refills are also excellent, but the number of duds is enough to make me buy from Luxor instead.

  2. What happened to the metal surround at the tip..not impressed with the cheap looking jotters available in South Africa. Have always used the old style..not sure if I will buy the new type!!

    • The only advantage to the new versions with the oversized awkward metal surround at the tip is that the old 1980s Jotters (with their nicer metal tips) were far too back heavy. The metal sections on the new Jotters weigh 5 oz, compared to the older metal sections with the nice brass metal threads, which weigh almost 8 oz. Although I like the old brass threads, the feel of the new pens is far superior as the pen is no longer back heavy. Furthermore, if you replace the Parker refill with a Schmidt’s refill (order from Germany on line is easy) it writes better than any ballpoint. The Schmidt’s refill is about 1mm longer than the Parker refill and looks much less awkward with that new style awkward tip surround.

  3. I am a huge fan of parker.But only the looks and the royal feel. Sadly the ball and gel are just not for me. I prefer Cello and pilot more than Parker.

  4. My father used these pens, and I love their look, size and feel. After many years without using them, I recently bought several. ALL of them write very badly; a cheap Bic pen does much better. They don’t write immediately (you have to scratch them to wake them up); and they leave little spots frequently. I too wrote to Parker about this and got no reply. A common modern situation: a product one half loves and a company that apparently doesn’t give a darn.

    • We have started saving up refills that fail. A very common problem is leaking from the top of the refill (where the plastic plug meets the steel section ).Parker can expect a job lot returned for replacement soon!

  5. Agree with David on the inconsistency of the Parker Gel refills. I used to use the Parker roller refills and pens all the time till I found the G2’s, which I think are better and less likely to blot. I just got a Parker Vector XL twist action BP, and paired it with the new-ish (at least in NE US) Quink Flow Parker refills, and like it A LOT! But even smoother than that is the Schmidt Private Reserve Easy Flow–compared the two and like the Schmidt more and it’s usually less expensive (though QuinkFlows are starting to reach my Staples but on the same rack–not differentiated–as the standard Parker BP refills. Go figure.

  6. Thanks for your comments David. Regarding your report, it seems to be a sad fact of life that many organisations don’t give the courtesy of a reply in many cases. I think that’s a shame.

  7. The Jotters of today are a mere shadow of the past Jotters when it comes to quality. I have a couple of USA made all stainless Jotters with metal cap inserts. Handling one of these vintage Jotters next to a new Jotter is a telling experience.

    Once the Jotters were made in the USA, UK, then France. I’m not positive but I think the Jotters are made only in France now. But I bet they’re headed to China soon – if not already.

    I agree, the Parker 0.7mm GEL refills really enhance this pen. But I have experienced varying quality with these gel refills straight out of the package. If the gel refill doesn’t write a wet smooth juicy line with no skipping at all – it is likely defective. Try buying another from a different store. I’ve complained to Parker USA about this and even sent them a detailed report which compares a bunch of gel refills I bought which were both bad and good. They never replied.

    Thanks for the review – David

  8. I’ve a soft spot for the jotter too, although it’s the stainless steel “flighter” i like. They write great with Parker’s gel ink bp refills, imo – I keep one around for lending out, or addressing envelopes &c.


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