Parker 51 - The best pen ever made?

Discussion in 'The Nib' started by onotoman, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. Contentious I know, but in terms of all-round performance and looks, I'd have to say that the Parker 51 takes some beating.

    The Aerometric Parker 51s (made after the early Vacumatic types) are just about bulletproof, have a great ink capacity, seldom leak or blot, the filler lasts forever being made from silicon and these pens perform exceptionally as writers. For a pen designed in 1940s, they also look modern, even today.

    So, what more could you ask from a Fountain Pen and there are some still to be had for a very reasonable price?

    I have to admit that when I first started collecting pens, I steered clear of P51s (too modern looking for me) and went for the early Duofolds, Conway Stewart, Onoto, Swan etc but over the years, I've found all of these ot be less than perfect as daily writers.

    I use a P51 as a daily writer and even with a broad nib it behaves perfectly, I use it much more often than my much more expensive Mont Blanc 149!
  2. Legion

    Legion Moderator Emeritus


    They are a classic that deserves its reputation. I really can't fault it, unless you want something that looks fancy. It is a bit plain looking, but that is a YMMV thing.
  3. You can always go for one of the wierd and wonderfully coloured custom shells if you want a spectacular looking P51 :)

  4. The Nid Hog

    The Nid Hog Moderator Emeritus

    My dad wrote with Parkers, but they disappeared somewhere over the years. I have never written with one as an adult, but I'm looking forward to it. Although trying one out might just lead me down the rabbit hole!
  5. I look for excuses to use my Parker 51 at work. It performs flawlessly for me every time I reach for it.
  6. Indeed and unlike many modern pens (even the Meisterstucks etc) the Parker 51 can take some throwing around, dropping etc without ink weeping into the cap. Probably due to the hooded nib and that amazing feed system.

  7. maxman

    maxman Moderator Emeritus

    The 51 is definitely a solid pen. It's perfect for the office.
  8. It is a classic favorite, it is well built.
  9. beginish

    beginish Moderator

    In before Brian!

    It's an excellent pen. It is not yet my favorite, but with more regular use, I expect it to get pretty close.
  10. brianw

    brianw Moderator Emeritus

    HEY.... Classic, built like a tank, years ahead of it's time. A pen every FP'er should have. I may carry a sailor, Pel, CS, vintage Conklin, or whatever else is the fancy for the day.... But the second pen in the top pocket (not the pen case) is a "51". There are always at least 2 inked at any one time.
  11. DET


    Another big fan of the Parker 51 here as well, though I prefer the vacumatics to the aerometrics. The one thing that would stop the 51 from being a perfect fountain pen is that the nibs are nails, with no ability to get the type of line variation that some of the best fountain pens offer. Otherwise, though, it is indeed one of the best pens ever made.
  12. brianw

    brianw Moderator Emeritus

    I have a "51" with a medium Crisp Italic nib, Lots of variation
  13. Great pen.
    Pelikan M series not too shabby also, for best pen ever.
  14. DET


    That's a good point. I was thinking of variation from flex, and didn't think about italics. Italics are pretty rare on Parker 51s, though, in my experience.
  15. I just am not digging the looks of the hooded nibs. Maybe one day I will "get" it.
  16. brianw

    brianw Moderator Emeritus

    Very rare. The Flighter I have with the Crisp was a Factory special nib installed for my Grandfather
  17. The P51 has become my favorite pen, as mine always work when I pick them up!!! I was leery at first, but after succumbing to the Economic Stimulus Advisors around here I bought my first and couldn't believe how great it wrote!!! Several of mine will need restored as they don't seem to be holding as much ink as they should and from my research it looks like the feed tube replaced. If you don't have one I would say get one!!! I am now in search of a Flighter!!!

  18. The 51 was never really my favorite pen. It took many years for me to want to write with them. Pretty stiff nibs, and as long as you like Fine nibs, you're in business (yes, I know, others are made, but the majority you run across are F or XF).

    Now all that being said, I have a 1947 Cordovan vac demi with a fine nib on my desk at work today. :001_tongu


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