Parker 51 worth it?

Ok ive heard soooo much talk about the Parker 51's and how they are great pens. Are they really worth it? They are ugly as mud, do they really write that well?

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Good Daily Writer BUT Butt Ugly

Yep, the 51 is a tremendous writer, almost bullet proof. It is undeniably ugly, as you pointed out. I have had one for several months. I picked it up on ebay for 25 bucks, spent an hour cleaning it and it can be used as a daily writer. I have used two different waterman inks and Parker's Quink and it writes beautifully with both of them.

It is the second pen in my planner. I usually use my nice (bling) waterman fp but pull out the 51 for it's 'old cool' factor. Think of Clint Eastwood. He's as old dirt but keeps on trucking due to the 'old cool' factor.

Summary: Parker 51 = Clint Eastwood.

Very Best


Worth it--you bet!

I got one for my last graduation from my husband. It was refurbished. I love the classic look and they write beautifully! Buy from a reputable dealer who also fixes them just in case. I have had no trouble in over a year since I got it.

"To fly, we must have resistance."

One of the most reliable pens ever made

I used my father's Parker 51 aerometric pen in college in the 1970's. It has his name engraved on it and he thinks he got it around 1959. It's never been serviced, but wrote great until I finally decided to store it. I've since bought a dozen Parker 51s and if you get them in good condition, they will write well and long.

There are two basic types. The Vacumatic filler version is an older model that has a plunger you push to fill the reservoir. The diaphragm needs replacement probably every 3-4 years. The Aerometric version has a bladder that you squeeze to fill it with ink and it seems to last forever. I have some pens with the original bladder and they haven't leaked yet.

Fine nibs are fairly common and you can find them from reputable sellers in good condition or reconditioned. Other types of nibs, like medium or broad, are more difficult to find. Certain models, caps, and colors are very collectible and pricey. More common ones can be had at reasonable prices, between $50 - 90.

See for some good information on them.

Yes, I recommend them highly, especially the aerometric version for most people. They're classic workhorses. I use one almost every day. I think they're classically beautiful pens. :-)

"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once." Albert Einstein and Buckaroo Banzai

Just added two Parker "51"s to my stash

I found two English made aerometric Parker 51s with lustraloy (stainless steel) caps with teal and burgundy barrels. Beautiful condition and wonderfully smooth medium-broad nibs. The English medium nib tends to be wider than the US ones and these are very smooth and lay down a nice wet line. Each for $79, which I consider to be a really nice price.

You can see pics of them here:, #11 and #13.


"If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything." - Mark Twain

Parker 51

I just bought one off of eBay and am waiting for my Waterman's Florida Blue ink to come in. It's a turquoise and gold, and a fine nib. This is my first time with a Parker. They look so cool. I can't wait.

Parker 51 Dealer

Martin Ferguson:

very reputable
very good service
very skilled repairs
very good personal experience as a customer of his
recommend him highly

Parker 51

I have several 51's. I acquired the tools necessary to refurbish them. A splendid piece of work and a delight to use. As for their appearance, one occupies a spot in the Museum of Modern Art's design collection. Go ahead and treat yourself to one. You won't regret it.

My first Parker 51

Well, everything good everyone says about a Parker 51 is true. I got my ink, filled my pen according to the directions on the bladder holder "thingie", for lack of the proper term, and off I went. It's a fine nib. I love this pen. It writes smooth, without a lot of pressure needed, and I am a leftie and have no problems writing with it. I left it sitting laying down for several hours, picked it up and it wrote as soon as I touched pen to paper. It is one of the older ones, but not a blue Diamond. as I posted earlier, it has a turquoise pen with a gold cap, with the stripes or bars down the cap.

Regardless, I actually went looking for things to write about or work to do so I could use it. It's not refined classy looking, but it's good looking I think and classy in it's own way.

I would never trade it and it will be my everyday pen.

Ebay, for about $45. Try one. Oh, and I picked Waterman's Florida Blue Ink for my first ink. It looks great also!

Good choices!

Florida Blue is one of my favorite inks too, and it's good to know that it dries quickly enough that you can write with it left handed. It isn't waterproof after drying, like some of the Noodlers inks, but it's compatible with a lot of vintage pens, because it's easy to flush out of pens and doesn't readily stain those with transparent barrels.

I also like Waterman Havana Brown, for a rich dark brown. What's nice about their bottles is that the angled lower corners allow you to tilt the bottle at an angle to make it easier to get the last drops of ink out of it. Worth saving the bottles after they're empty to use with other inks.

Sounds like you got a pretty good deal on the Bay, too. Watch out, this might get you started on a new obsession! :-)


"If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything." - Mark Twain