Review: Parker Jotter Ballpoint Pen

Review: Parker Jotter Ballpoint Pen
Parker Jotter bond street black with Mozart Sonata K.330 III. sheet music (it seemed fitting)

The Parker Jotter is one of Parker's most affordable offerings in their lineup of pens. Although available in fountain pen and rollerball form, the Parker Jotter ballpoint pen is the most iconic for its metal body at an affordable price, along with plenty of Hollywood appearances.

First Impressions

Man! This pen is small! Being more accustomed to larger fountain pens, I was shocked by the relatively small size of the pen. It's relatively small and can fit in pockets or many other small spaces you can store stationery.

The Jotter also seems very high quality for the price. All the components of the pen seem to be made out of lightweight metal, which, for the sub-$10 price tag, is very impressive. I got my Jotter in "Bond Street Black" with a polished stainless steel barrel and a coated black grip section. Neither of the two sections feels uncomfortable to handle or slippery.

Clicking the pencil produces a loud, almost clunky sound that may be unappealing. If you bring this pen to a collaborative environment and fidget with the clicker, be prepared to receive nasty stares from your peers. The Parker Jotter's clicking mechanism is noticeably louder than many everyday carry pens, such as the Pilot G2.

A Deeper Look

The Parker Jotter uses Parker-style ballpoint refills (of course), which are pretty much the industry standard. This allows the usage of a wide variety of refills in this one pen, essentially allowing you to change the writing experience in a matter of seconds. For those looking to try nicer ballpoint pens (and the many refills accompanying them), the Jotter is a great entry to the Parker G2 refill pens at a low cost.

Towards the top of the pen lies the iconic Parker arrow clip. It feels very stiff compared to other pens. The details on the clip aren't the sharpest, but that's pretty much expected when dealing with pens under $10. Nevertheless, the clip is the most defining feature of this pen and makes it easily recognizable.

The Jotter has made plenty of Hollywood appearances, from the TV series Mr. Bean to the James Bond movie GoldenEye. As Parker's best-selling retractable ballpoint pen, it has sold over 750 million units, making it one of the most influential pens of all time. Given the high quality of the instrument, it's easy to see why.

Compared to other pens, the Parker Jotter is on the smaller side. The pen is easily dwarfed by bigger instruments such as the Pilot Custom 743 or the Lamy Safari. It is shorter than all the pens I'm comparing it with as well. The pen's diameter is on the smaller side, which, along with a tapering grip section, can make the pen too small to be comfortable for longer writing sessions.

Writing Experience

Writing with the Parker Jotter is pretty pleasant. Although it's not the highest-quality writing instrument, the Jotter feels solid. As noticed earlier, it is a little annoying to use for prolonged periods of time due to the small size of the pen itself. Yet, I still find this pen very charming and it will definitely make it into my pen rotation.

Nathan Ma

Nathan Ma

Hi! I'm Nathan, and I'm a stationery enthusiast. I've been in love with anything regarding writing and have built up a huge collection that I can now share with others!