Parker IM Fountain Pen
Black with Gold Trim
– Handwritten Review –
- Review Paper: Kyokuto FOB COOP B5 Dot Grid
- Description: A beginner fountain pen with classic styling and a great feel in hand
- Nib: Steel Medium
- Body: Lacquered Brass
- Measurements: 5.4″ capped, 6″ posted, 0.5″ in diameter
- Review ink: Noodler’s Cayenne
- Color Options: Lacquered brass body (Check them all out at JetPens!)
Handwritten Review Scans:
This is my 3rd Paker. The IM has joined my modern Sonnet Cisele and a vintage Parker Vacumatic Major. The IM comes with a medium nib (that writes a bit dry) and boasts a metal construction and classic styling. The pen comes in at $28.50, making it a solid entry-level fountain pen that will appeal to a lot of people. The pen has a professional look and feel without the big price tag typically associated with both of those features. Huge thanks to my friends over at JetPens for sending over the pen!
Check out JetPens for tons of awesome Japanese pens and stationery. Free shipping on orders over $25, and hitting that is pretty easy with all the great stuff they have. So thanks again!
Appearance & Packaging:
The IM comes in a nice gift box. This is a nice touch, especially for a sub-$30 pen. It would definitely make a nice gift for a new fountain pen user. The pen has a classic black an gold color scheme and a modest, unassuming shape. The pen is at the upper end of the beginner fountain pen price range, but it doesn’t feel cheap at all. I particularly like the brushed metal grip and the contrast it provides against the shiny metal rings on the pen above and below the brushed section. The cap has a nice weight and is adorned with the classic Parker arrow-shaped clip. It’s a great looking pen and feels great too.
Nib Performance & Filling System:
The medium nib on the Parker IM is fueled by a proprietary cartridge / converter system. I used the converter from my Sonnet, and I’m glad that I did. The Parker converter is not included and is a $9.25 add-on (!!!). You’d be much better off saving yourself the money and refilling the included cartridge with a syringe. I think the price point of the pen is great, but adding almost $10 to be able to used bottled ink is a bit crazy. The Parker converters are very high quality and are well-made, but I think they simply cost too much.
In my opinion, the medium nib writes more like a fine than a medium. This may be due in part to the flow being slightly on the dry side. I don’t mind the flow being a bit dry because it allows for easier use on cheaper paper. Being that this is an entry-level pen, the drier nib will help new fountain pen users cope with bleeding and feathering much more easily.
The IM has a nice, premium feel to it. It’s nicely weighted and balanced, practically disappearing in hand. The black finish is smooth and without flaws. The pen is a bit shorter than I like when used unposted, but the cap posts securely onto the body. The metal grip may not take too kindly to very long writing sessions and/or death grips, but I like the overall shape and feel of it in hand. The Parker IM feels like it could be double its asking price. It’s a small detail, but I also noticed the awesome tacile “click” sound and feel when the capping the pen. It adds to the overall experience, and little things like that resonate with me enough to include them in the review. The pens clip is sturdy and should hold up to normal use.
- Solid build quality
- Nice weight / balance
- Smooth medium nib
- Great value
- Proprietary cartridge costs way too much (in my opinion)
- Flow may be a bit dry for some right out of the box
The Parker IM is definitely a solid choice in the world of under-$30 fountain pens. Great build quality, nice weight, great writing performance and a nice presentation round out a well designed beginner pen from a classic brand. The only real downside is the $9.25 converter, it adds a rather large barrier to inky freedom. Would I recommend the pen? Absolutely, definitely to those who want to try fountain pens but don’t like the looks of the Lamy Safari or Pilot Metropolitan.
Huge thanks to my pals over at JetPens for sending the pen over to review, check out their site for more info on the pen!
Disclaimer: This pen was provided to me as a review unit, free of charge, by JetPens. I was not compensated for this review, and this did not have any effect on my thoughts and opinions about the pen. Thank you for reading!
4 thoughts on “Parker IM Fountain Pen Review”
Excellent review, as always. I just picked up an IM without the gold trim for $20, and its performance is in every way comparable to my TWSBI 580. If all continues to go well, I’d rate this right up there as a fine starter pen. But the converter/cartridge issue has become a bit of a scam that someone should look into. Adding $6-$8 to the cost of decent value-priced pen seems like bad marketing and a tad sleazy on the part of manufacturers..
Thank you, Randy! It’s definitely a great option if you’re not fond of the way other entry level pens look. It’s a bit more refined than the Pilot Metro and definitely way more classic looking than the Lamy Safari.
It’s a tough thing to break down, I bet the tooling costs are quite expensive on the converters. It’s definitely high quality, but it tacks on way too much money. I think you’re better off getting a blunt tipped syringe and just refilling a cartridge.
Thank you for the review. I agree that the IM is a reasonably priced pen that is suitable for beginners. I recently picked up the “Premium” version of the IM in blue-black, which pays homage to the classic Parker Quink ink color. I love the color and overall feel of the pen. If I were to have any gripes, it would be that the nib seems a bit small, given the size of the pen, but it’s how you use it that counts, right? 😉