The “Parker-style” or G2 refill is one of the the most common pen refills sold today. This long-standing design is not only an internationally accepted ISO standard, but is a size and shape that is conducive to making great pens.
So with thousands of different refills to choose from, which Parker-style G2 refills should you be buying?
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Gel pens use water-based ink that writes wonderfully but is prone to drying out. This means a refill that looks full might not write. What a waste, right? Not quite, but these pens can often be restarted.
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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?
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Pen refills come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Some of these are standards, shared across pen brands and decades of pen designs, while other are propriety and limited to just a few brands or even a few models. This means that replacing the ink in a pen, especially an older one, may end up being a more difficult task than you’d expect.
The goal of this article is to make buying a new ink refill for your pen as easy as possible. A secondary goal to this guide will be maximizing the number of refill options available for each pen. This is only possible once you have a good understanding of refill shapes and which are interchangeable.
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The Schneider Haptify is a retractable ballpoint pen with an ergonomic rubber grip.
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The Schneider Express 75 is a ballpoint pen refill that uses an ISO 12757-2 A2 standard size.
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The Schneider Express 225 is a ballpoint pen refill in a G1 size.
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One popular question we get with people who are interested in pen mechanics is: Do any rollerballs use fountain pen ink? The answer is yes, but fewer than you’d expect. Here are a list of some of the top rollerballs that can be filled with fountain pen ink.
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The Schneider Gelion 39 is a Parker-style G2 refill that adheres to ISO 27668-2 standards. It uses a gel ink which is not very long lasting but has great color quality and seems to pop right off the page.
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Picking the best pen is never an easy task, but one thing is clear: there is a big difference between a pen that you will use for a few minutes here and there and one that has to be used for sustained periods of time. Just like when you are running and marathon shoes are different from sprinting shoes, pens for writing a lot tend to be very different than other pens.
The thing with pens though, is that there is no category of pens for extended time periods or distance, so we need to come to our own conclusions.
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The Schneider Slider Rave — often seen in the Extra Broad version, the Slider Rave XB — is a retractable ballpoint pen. It has a contoured, grippy body that is very comfortable and excellent ballpoint ink. The Rave is one of the smoothest ballpoint pens sold and it has the added perk of using a Parker-style G2 refill, which gives the pen body many options for other refills.
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The Schneider Easy is a simple, plastic fountain pen designed for students. It’s quite similar to the Pilot Varsity, but the Easy has two advantages: it’s refillable and it has a quirky design (complete with a mustache print on the mint green model).
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