The Parker Jotter is my work horse pen, I use one nearly every day. So, I guess it makes sense that it should be my first review on this site.
You know there is something good to be said about a pen when it has its own Wikipedia page. The Jotter seems to have a large following, with nearly one billion pens being produced since the introduction of the Jotter in 1954. The Jotter comes in a number of different styles and price ranges, likely helping to boost its popularity.
While the Jotter does come in a number of different styles, they all follow the basic design – a long, narrow barreled, easy to grip pen, with the trademark arrow clip. Barrels come in plastic and metal, with metal barrels tending to command higher prices. Plastic barrels come in a number of colors, with blue, black and red seeming the most common, but also available in green and pink.
Through the end of 2012, sales of Pink Ribbon Jotters contributed toward City of Hope breast cancer research. I’m uncertain if this has been extended into 2013, and while I can still find these pens for sale online, I haven’t seen one in a local store for some time.
Overall, Parker Jotters are probably best known for their reliability and ruggedness. My use of them has borne this out. I’m pretty hard on pens, chucking them into backpacks, taking them out camping or on photo shoots in all kinds of weather, and so far, I have not managed to kill a single one I’ve used, regardless of barrel material. This has surprised me, honestly, as I’ve killed many, many other plastic barreled pens this way.
The mechanism of the pen is smooth, with a satisfying click. Like the barrel, it is reliable and I’ve never had one fail on me.
The weight of the pen is squarely in my “just right” area. This is subjective, of course, and different people with different writing styles may feel different. However, I find the width and weight perfect for what I do. And I have to say, this is one area I’m particularly picky. The barrel size was one of the reasons I first picked up one of these pens.
There are a few cons to this pen that are worth mentioning. As with many pens with metal clips, I find the one on the Jotter has a tendency to bend. This isn’t that big a deal to me, as I have habit of just tossing the pen into a backpack or pocket. However, people who clip their pens to notepads or other items may find that if they clip it to something thick (a bunch of papers, for example) that the clip may bend. I’ve never had it break completely, but I do now have a few that seem loose.
Another item that may just be local is that I’m now having a hard time finding refills. I can’t find the Jotter (or any Parker pen, for that matter) at our local Fred Meyer, which is where I originally purchased my first one. Office Max carries them, but seems to have a limited stock of refills. Again, this may just be a local thing, and refills are easy to find online at e-retailers such as Amazon.com.
Overall, I love my Parker Jotter. I actually own several at this point and use them both at home and at work. It’s easily my favorite workaday pen. It’s dependable, rugged and even stylish. This is a pen I would definitely recommend to people.