It isn't very often that a refill gets an entire post all to itself. Let's face it, when we hear the words "This pen takes the Parker style refill", many of us almost cringe at the sound. Ugh, another ballpoint? With a pen world full of gel and rollerball inks that leave a nice dark, pretty line, who in their right mind would want just a plain ole' Parker style ballpoint?
Oddly enough, ballpoint pens are something I've found myself recently fascinated with and turning to as a daily carry on most days. There is a convenience to ballpoint inks as they tend to write well on most surfaces, dry quickly, and the refills don't really dry out. Also, there are a ton of cool retractable pens that don't take a rollerball or gel that easily.
Now, this is where the Schmidt Easy Flow 9000 comes in. It is actually kind of a hybrid ink between a ballpoint and rollerball. This is kind of cool, because a rollerball is actually kind of a hybrid of the convenience of a ballpoint with the ink flow of a fountain pen. So, kudos to Schmidt for filling the gap between ballpoint and rollerball. If that was kind of confusing, I've provided a diagram:
The Easy Flow 9000 really is a great refill. It writes super smooth, dark lines, and rarely skips or leaves white inside the letters due to thin ink flow. It is a really comfortable writing experience and is my go-to "Parker style".
I know Parker makes a gel refill, but I've probably thrown 50%+ away after only writing with them for a day or two because they just stop working. I don't know if it is an ink issue, quality control issue, or what, but my failure rate with them has simply led me to stop buying them altogether. With the Schmidt, I don't think I've pitched a single one in the rubbish bin for lack of working.
There are actually a lot of really great pens that you can get to take the Schmidt, so hearing the words "Parker style" doesn't need to create fear any longer! I'm going to start a trend and call "Parker style", "Schmidt style" instead because of how good they are. That way when you hear it, you'll be excited rather than depressed. Probably won't last.
Some of the pens you can get to take the Schmidt refills are:
The Retro 51 Tornado (although the Schmidt Cap-Less Roller is better)
Rotring 600 ballpoints (or Rapid Pro)
The Karas Kustoms Render K, Bolt, and new Retrakt
Kaweco Classic or AL Sport (although, again, the Cap-Less Roller is better)
And you could swap out the gel insert of the Moleskine Clicky pen (much to the chagrin of Mr. Brad Dowdy...).
Granted, this is just a really small handful of pens that can take a Schmidt style refill, so when you hear Parker style, think Schmidt Easy Flow 9000 Style from now on...you may just save an old ballpoint from decaying in the bottom of a drawer forever.
I would definitely recommend picking up a pack to try if you haven't yet.