Best Parker Fountain Pen: a Comprehensive Buying Guide
best parker fountain pen

The world has gone digital, but many people remain committed to collecting and even using fountain pens. Fountain pens are no ordinary pens – they are valuable items to make your writing stand out, are beautiful in nature, and oftentimes viewed as a status symbol. 

Parker pens have been in the game for 130 years. That’s more than enough time to build a reputation as one of the best fountain pen manufacturers in the world. So if you are curious about what Parker pen to buy, our guide will leave you in no doubt as to the best Parker fountain pen for you. 

Now, let’s dive into our top five picks. Hopefully, you will find one that suits your specific needs.

Here’s Our Pick of the Best Parker Fountain Pens

1. Parker Sonnet Fountain Pen Matte Black Lacquer 

Parker Sonnet is hand-assembled, and it’s composed of 17 pieces. It comes in matte black and gold with black ink. Despite the attention to design, Parker Sonnet is easy to hold and guarantees comfortable writing. 

Parker Sonnet comes in a beautiful package, with a welcome note that makes it perfect for a gift. The box also contains two refill inks and the pen has a medium-sized nib. 

What We Like

  • Parker Sonnet is finely crafted and shows a timeless elegance
  • It is a perfect luxury gift
  • It comes with a converter and two cartridges.

What We Don’t Like

  • If pressed tightly, the sharp nib can pierce your writing paper
  • The pen takes a while to start and you may have to recross Ts and dot Is

If you are equally concerned with both the looks and the functionality of your fountain pen, this pen is a great choice.

2. Parker 51 Fountain Pen

The Parker 51 Pen is an elegant Parker pen that comes in the midnight color with black ink. It has a hooded stainless steel nib that looks like a ballpoint on first inspection. Also, the pen has a screw-on/off cap instead of a pull-on/off, so it’s more securely held. 

This pen uses an ink cartridge rather than a converter. Nonetheless, you can use it with a Parker converter. It has a fine-sized nib. 

What We Like

  • The pen comes in a simple, elegant box perfect for gifting and shipping
  • The pen is comfortable to hold and is great for beginners 

What We Don’t Like 

  • The pen skips, especially after having sat for a few days 
  • It feels light, altering the classic fountain quality it represents 

If you want a pen that achieves a delightful blend between classic and conventional, the Parker 51 is the right choice. 

3. Parker Duofold Centennial Fountain Pen

The Parker Duofold Centennial is the flagship of Parker pens. This means the line has existed for over 100 years now. The pen has etched chevron patterns with metallic blue varnish and 23-carat gold trimmings. 

The barrel and nib on this pen are wider. It is constructed from 21 individual pieces and it has a fine nib plated with 18-carat solid gold, so it appreciates better. The Duofold Centennial comes with a Parker Deluxe ink convertor and two cartridges. 

Naturally, the Duofold Centennial is a high-end product and you will have to part with a large sum to secure one. 

What We Like

  • Duofold Centennial falls on the heavier side, making it glide effortlessly on paper
  • The pen looks highly prestigious and worth the high-end price
  • Each one is individually tested for quality before shipping
  • The metal section is brushed, which makes it very comfortable to hold 

What We Don’t Like

  • It does not have an integrated filling system 
  • The product promises a luxurious casing, but the box is not any different from the other Parkers 

Parker Duofold is a legacy pen, so if you want a prestigious pen to add to your collection, you can’t go wrong with this one. 

4. Parker 51 Deluxe Fountain Pen

The Parker 51 Deluxe is a modern version of the 1941 Parker 51. This pen comes in solid resin plum with gold trim. It has a hooded medium nib and purple or black ink. The nib is also plated with 18-carat gold. 

Since the pen is made from resin, it is very lightweight. As a result, Parker 51 Deluxe is easy to handle when writing.  

What We Like

  • It has an uninterrupted ink flow, and the writing has a smooth feel 
  • This pen is perfect for long writing sessions

What We Don’t Like

  • The filling quantity is less than the original and constantly requires a refill 
  • The pen doesn’t give the same classy feel as the original
  • It feels very fragile and lightweight

Compared to the original Parker 51, this pen is light and it has a screw-on slip that will keep you at ease when travelling.

5. Parker Sonnet Fountain Pen

Parker Sonnet comes with an 18-carat gold plated nib. It has palladium finish trims and blue satin varnish. What this achieves is a beautifully handcrafted pen that has a solid weight. Both the product and the packaging differ from the Parker Sonnet Matte Black. 

The box comes with two ink cartridges below the pen compartment. The Parker Sonnet writes beautifully, although it takes a while for the ink to flow when the cap is left open for long. 

What We Like

  • The pen has exceptional finishing and balance, so it stands out easily
  • Parker Sonnet feels smooth on all kinds of paper

What We Don’t Like

  • There’s no documentation on the box and it doesn’t even include a warranty card 

If you love beautiful but simple fountain pens, this is the right choice.

Tips to Help You Find the Best Parker Fountain Pen for You

Pen novices may find it easy to understand why there’s so much hassle around fountain pens, but you probably know. Choosing the right fountain pen is a matter of understanding a few basic things, and we will discuss them here. 

Nib Type

Since a fountain pen is ultimately for writing, one of the most important considerations you should have is the nib type. The nib is the sharp edge of your pen with which you write. Nibs come in different types, such as broad, fine or medium. 

Most manufacturers now make nibs medium-sized as this is preferable for everyday writing. However, the Parker Deluxe Continental comes with a broader nib, making the writing perfectly aligned, especially when using Clairefontaine

If you are new to fountain pens and are unsure what nib suits you best, a medium-sized nib is a good place to start and you can’t really go wrong with it.

Metal or Gold Nib? 

Nibs may either be made with metal or gold. Most Parker pens are made with gold nibs, making them less prickly on paper. However, metal nibs are not bad if properly made, but if you want a more luxurious-looking pen, you should go for gold. 

Price Range 

You can’t talk about fountain pens and ignore the price. One essential thing you must do before purchasing these timeless pieces is to determine what your budget is, especially since the prices on these pens are pretty steep. 

You will soon discover that there’s a Parker fountain pen for almost every price bracket, so it’s best to know exactly how much you are willing to spend. This helps you make the best choice for you quickly and efficiently. 

Material & Weight

What determines your experience with your pen is the materials that go into making them. Generally, many people prefer fountain pens because they have a solid weight. 

Still, even some fountain pens are heavier than others. A pen made from resin will feel lighter than one made from lacquer or metal. If the pen is plated with gold trims, it will feel heavier. 

So if you want that luxurious antique feel when you write or want to control your handwriting more, the Parker Deluxe Continental is a great choice. On the other hand, if you tend to feel tired faster, write lengthy articles, the Parker 51 and Parker 51 Deluxe are preferable choices. 

Size

While size may not be important to most people, it can factor in if you have particularly small or large hands. People with large hands prefer larger and longer pens, while smaller hands prefer more compact pens. You can always ascertain the size and length of Parker pens before purchasing them on Amazon. 

Fit for Purpose

Ultimately, the biggest thing to factor in is whether the pen you are buying suits the purpose you are buying it for. For example, if you have to carry your fountain pen around a lot, the Parker Sonnet is great.

However, if your job requires long hours of journaling or you have to take notes very quickly, the Parker 51 Deluxe pen is a great fit. 

Personal Appeal

It may not sound like much, but if you are going to be using a pricy pen, you may as well like the way it looks. So if you are not a fan of antique-looking pens that seem like an inheritance, the modern blend of the Deluxe 51, with its hooded nib, will serve you better than the Deluxe Continental. 

In essence, choosing the best Parker fountain pen is about ensuring that your budget and needs are well aligned. You also need to be fully informed about all the variables involved and confidently choose one that will suit you best.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do the pens come with converters? 

Yes, most Parker fountain pens come with converters that you can refill with syringe fillers when used up. Besides, almost all the products discussed in this guide come with two refills that can and will sustain you for quite some time to come. 

Why are the pens so expensive? 

Fountain pens are valuable and timeless. They will remain useful for centuries. In addition to this, most Parker pens are handmade with carefully selected materials, and some of them have 18-carat gold nibs. A Parker pen is more expensive due to the higher quality and supply limits.

Are Parker Pens made in China? 

No, most Parker pens are now made in France. While brand ownership has been transferred, the brand maintains its western heritage. 

Why is my pen stained when I just got it? 

If you notice a stain on your pen when you open it, don’t worry too much about it. It’s a sure sign that Parker tested your pen before shipping. Since the pens are pricey, the brand ensures that they are in perfect working condition before shipping them to buyers. 

Conclusion

Thank you for checking out our guide on the best Parker fountain pen. In summary, the best pen for you is the pen that appeals to your needs and suits what you plan on using the pen for.

Once you have an understanding as to why you are investing in a fountain pen and how much you can afford to spend on getting one, it becomes easier to narrow down on what the perfect pen is for you. You should carefully consider the nib type, size, weight, and look through each product carefully. Don’t forget, reviews are important, too, and can tell you a lot about each pen and what their biggest pros are.

Finally, don’t feel too pressured when buying a fountain pen. Parker pens come with a 2-year warranty, and the warranty can be extended to four years if registered. You can also depend on the Amazon free return policy if you get a defective pen. 

If we have to recommend just one of these pens, we will definitely choose the Parker Sonnet Fountain Pen Matte Black Lacquer. The elegant packaging and the fine finishing make this pen a blend of aesthetics and functionality and you are sure to appreciate and love this one as much as we do.  

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