A popular change to make to a pen is to swap out the included ballpoint refill for a smooth-flowing gel one. Gel refills are quite popular these days because they write well, the ink looks great, and they are fun to use. Ballpoints have these uses of course, but if you are predominantly writing paper and don’t need the versatility of a ballpoint, gel can be the way to go.
So what are the best gel refills in the Parker-style G2 shape?
Schneider Gelion 39
The current Unsharpen favorite in the Parker-style gel refill category is the Schneider Gelion 39. This refill brings everything to the table that you want to see in a gel ink: quick drying, bright colors, no smearing, and it’s fun to use. The refills don’t last very long but they write very well, are super smooth, and the ink looks great.
The Gelion 39 is one of the best ways to bring new life to an old ballpoint pen that you’ve perhaps gotten a little bored with.
Ohto Flash Dry Gel
The Ohto Flash Dry Gel is the same ink that ships with Ohto’s popular Rays pen. The Flash Dry is, as the name suggests, a quick drying, low-smear gel ink that will be a significant upgrade to anyone who is tried of a traditional ballpoint ink. It’s one of the highest performing refills in this category as well as one of the best Parker-style refills sold in 2021.
This is also one of the few needle-tip pens in this category. This is a love-it-or-hate-it quality, so this refill will have major appeal for some people but be an no-go for many others.
Parker Quink Gel
The Parker Quink Gel is one of the most popular gel refills in this size. It ships with some versions of the Parker Jotter (sold as the Jotter Gel Point). This refill uses a loose, watery ink that doesn’t write like a Jotter at all.
The Monteverde Gel is essentially a budget version of the Parker Quink Gel, with a very similar watery, rollerball-like ink. The refill is sold in large packs of 6 or more refills and easily findable on Amazon as well as through pen stores. It features nice colors, an interesting blue in particularly, but doesn’t do much to distinguish itself from the Parker aside from being a good deal more affordable.
Aside from the low price this refill is notable largely for being one of the few in the category that have a broad size. This refill is very wet and lays down a considerable flow of ink, more than almost any other Parker-style refill.
Premec Jumbo Gel
Swiss ink maker Premec isn’t a name that comes up very often, but it makes a Parker-style gel refill that is worth trying out. It’s another plastic body gel refill that has a bright blue and a smooth ink. Premec’s Jumbo Gel is sometimes white labeled for other brands — for example Xiaomi uses Premec ink in their Mijia pen.
This refill is hard to find in the US, but you can usually get it on Ebay and sometimes on Amazon.
Pierre Cardin Roller Gel
The Pierre Cardin Roller Gel is a gel refill that has a vibrant blue, just like the Gelion 39, as well as a deep black. It’s a smooth writer, but not as quick to dry as some other gel ink blends. This refill isn’t common in the US, but it’s more widely available in Europe and, even more so, in India. It’s a fun refill to use with a clear, plastic body that looks great in any demonstrator-style pen, like the Kaweco Sport Roller.