Review: Rotring 600 Ballpoint Pen

Review: Rotring 600 Ballpoint Pen

The Rotring 600 ballpoint pen is the ballpoint variant of the classic Rotring 600. It takes a standard Parker-style refill that extends with a clicker mechanism. The Rotring 600 is pretty much a timeless classic among precision instruments, and its ballpoint variant stays true to the design.

A look at the pen, deconstructed

The Rotring 600 ballpoint features an all-metal body. It feels very solid to hold and seems to be pretty reliable. The clicking mechanism is crisp and satisfying to operate. However, it's also pretty loud, so fidgeting with it may annoy those around you. Other than the different mechanism, the pen looks pretty much identical to the Rotring 600 mechanical pencil. The only noticeable exterior differences are the different nib units and different lettering on the barrel. The mechanical pencil variant has a small opening and nib for the mechanical pencil lead, whereas the ballpoint version has a larger opening for the larger ballpoint refill. The red lettering on the mechanical pencils has more text that indicates the lead size inside.

The pen's nib with a refill inside

Rotring is well-known for making high-quality writing instruments, and the Rotring 600 is generally regarded as one of the best products that they put out. This holds generally true with the ballpoint variant of this pen. I do love the high-quality, all-metal build of the pen, but there are some parts of it that are pretty janky. In the past, when I was using the included Rotring ballpoint refill, the mechanism completely broke and I was unable to advance it. However, as soon as I swapped out the refill, the pen worked normally. I’m still unaware of what caused this problem, but I thought I should mention it. Regardless, I’m not too upset with this issue because I prefer gel pen refills and would have swapped it out anyways.

The clicker that advances the refill

Besides that problem with the included refill, I haven’t encountered anything else that has deterred me from this pen. It’s a great quality instrument at a decent price. I was lucky enough to buy mine during a sale a while back during a holiday sale (it’s been too long… I don’t remember which one it was, but if I were to make a guess, I’d say it was the President’s Day sale). If you can find the Rotring 600 ballpoint on sale, or even at a low price on a secondary market, I’d say it’s worth the purchase.

Writing sample

Unlike mechanical pencils and fountain pens, the writing experience of ballpoint pens is pretty much dependent on the refill you put inside them, so you can’t really rate the writing experience of this pen — it’s essentially the same as any other Parker-style ballpoint pen out there. The only difference is really the body. However, it is a great, high-quality build that is worth the money. If you’re interested in a ballpoint pen that’d last you quite a while, the Rotring 600 ballpoint pen may be a great contender.

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!