The Rotring 600 ballpoint and Rotring Rapid Pro look extremely alike. If you don’t deeply know pens then the differences between the two might not be apparent. This article will talk about both pens and discuss the differences between these two excellent pens.
This article will be a quick comparison of the Rapid Pro and the re-released modern Rotring 600, two fine ballpoints that look almost the same in pictures on the internet, but are much different in person.
The two pens vary considerably in size and weight. The Rotring 600 is a considerably smaller pen. Both are technically full-sized pens, but the Rapid Pro is a good deal larger.
The Rapid Pro is 145 mm long and 9.0 mm in width. It weighs a reasonable 25.3 grams.
The Rotring 600 ballpoint also weighs about 23.7 grams and is 9.0 mm wide, it’s just 137 mm long though.
It doesn’t seem like a lot on paper, but the Rapid Pro is a considerable larger pen and is acceptable for use by people with large hands where the Rotring 600 is generally not.
This is one area where the Rotring 600 takes a clear lead. Both pens look amazing and feel nice in your hand. They have great finishes and super nice buttons. The 600 has a hefty brass body and all metal parts — including the threading that connects the grip and barrel.
The Rapid Pro doesn’t use metal threading. Rather this entire connector piece is plastic that is epoxied into the barrel. A number of people on message boards and comments have identified the plastic piece as a breaking point: the pen snapped when they sat on it, or a dropped book bag cracked the plastic, etc. It’s unclear how much of an issue this is, but it never come up with the Rotring 600.
Aside from the plastic both pens are really excellent overall and have some of the nicest knurling on their grip of any pens sold today.
Prices can vary considerably based on the current demand, season, and even if you want black or silver. That said the Rapid Pro was generally the cheaper of the two, but throughout 2019 the Rotring 600 got cheaper and cheaper, making it almost always more affordable than the Rapid Pro.
The Rotring 600 does have a lot of price fluctuations when not sold through official dealers, so if you aren’t in a rush, you can save a fair bit.
Both pens use Parker-style G2 refills. They both ship with Rotring Jumbo ballpoint refills, the 600 usually in place and the Rapid Pro in blue. These are 1.0 mm refills.
One thing to note here is that the Rotring 600 can have some tip rattle with some refills. This is pretty annoying, so you might need to try a few refills. This is not generally an issue with the Rapid Pro
When you are actually writing, both pens are excellent. Typically the Rotring 600 is a great performer, but it is on the small side so writing for extended periods can be uncomfortable. The Rapid Pro feels much larger but also more comfortable — it gives you more to hold, grip is wider, and the edges on the hexagonal barrel are rounded.
In most ways the Rapid Pro is the better performing, better writing, pen. It’s just not — and never will be — the iconic pen that the Rotring 600 ballpoint is.