Parker Vector Fountain Pen Review

parker vector fountain pen review

We’ve all been there. You’ve made the decision to experiment with using fountain pens, but taking the leap to invest in a premium pen seems premature. What better way to get your feet wet than with an inexpensive entry-level fountain pen?

We’ve put together a Parker Vector fountain pen review to help you out. 

It can be hard to find an inexpensive fountain pen that’s not only budget-friendly but high-quality as well. The Parker Vector is one of the cheaper pens on the market, and although it’s been on the market for years, we wanted to take a closer look to see just what makes this pen tick and decide once and for all: Is the Parker Vector worth it?

Parker Vector Fountain Pen (Our Review)

Parker Vector Standard CT Fountain Pen Black Body Fine Nib - INCLUDES 1 FREE Parker BLUE INK CARTRIDGES
  • Parker Vector Standard CT Fountain Pen (Black) -INCLUDES 1 FREE INK CARTRIDGES
  • Pen Opening Mechanism: Cap on Cap off
  • Piston-Style Convertor: Yes
  • Nib/Tip Grade: Fine

Overall Assessment

Parker has been one of the leading pen brands in the world for the last few decades, and they are well-known for their quality writing instruments. The Vector was introduced by Parker as a fountain pen for beginners and has a significantly lower price point than a lot of their mid-range collections.

But how does it fare compared to some of the other entry-level pens available? It may come as a surprise to some die-hard Parker fans, but unfortunately, the Vector doesn’t live up to the standard of the Parker brand, even taking it’s reduced price tag into account. 

The plastic fountain pen is flimsy at best, and can be irksome to write with because of its poor grip design. While the pen sits comfortably in your hand, the pen loses some of the elegance and opulence we have all come to love about a traditional fountain pen.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Poor grip
  • Converter not included

Detailed Analysis

Body

The Vector has a sleek design, and its cylindrical body is slim and fits comfortably into your hand. 

The body of the pen is made up of lightweight plastic which isn’t surprising considering its price. But compared to some of its other entry-level competitors that also sport plastic bodies, the Vector looks and feels quite cheap. 

While it has some metal accents, including the signature Parker arrow-shaped clip, they do little in terms of making the pen feel more luxurious. This may not be off-putting if you are buying the pen for a beginner or as an alternative to your more expensive pens when traveling, but it’s definitely a deal-breaker for a veteran writer. 

Nib

The stainless steel nib comes in a choice of fine or medium tip. Although the medium tip works well and has a generally nice, smooth touch to it, the fine tip has a more scratchy and uncomfortable writing feel. 

The nib is also relatively rigid, making it pretty limited in terms of its writing capabilities. Additionally, applying too much pressure to the nib can quite easily cause it to bend or warp and damage it beyond repair. 

This can throw even experienced, veteran writers for a loop as you tend to have to use some pressure on good nibs to get decent line variation.

Reservoir

The Vector comes with a blue cartridge which can be replaced easily. Unfortunately, if you prefer writing with a converter and bottled ink, these pieces are sold separately. We can’t say that we mind it too much, though, as it’s relatively common for cheaper pens to be sold without the converter. 

If you enjoy filling your pen with bottled ink, we would suggest investing in a different pen, as the Vector’s converter will cost you almost as much as the pen itself. 

The ink stored in the cartridge does seem to last for a good amount of time, though, and shouldn’t need to be replaced too often if you are using it for the occasional journaling session.

Overall Writing Experience

The Parker Vector writes just as well as most entry-level fountain pens, although there are some pens that have a better overall experience at a lower price point. 

The feel is smooth if you are using a medium nib, and the pen itself doesn’t need to be primed before writing, which makes it great to pick up and go whenever you need to. We also found that the ink flow is good, and it hits that goldilocks zone of not coming out too wet or too dry.

There seems to be good line variation with the medium nib as well, and there is a clear definition between thicker and thinner lines. 

When you’re writing with the Parker Vector, however, it seems to have poor grip and the plastic body can feel quite slick. So you may just find yourself having to adjust your hand while you write. This may not bother you if you’re only using it to sign the occasional piece of paper, but any extended periods of writing quickly turn into a frustrating exercise.

Our overall impression of the Vector was sub-par, and we feel that you may be better off choosing some of the other ‘beginner’ pens on the market. All in all, our takeaway is that the Vector simply does not stand up to the classic Parker pen standard.

If you want a beginner pen for a similar price that we absolutely loved, check out the Muji Aluminum fountain pen.

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