The Pilot G2 lineup


in Daily updates, Geek stuff, Writing

Lovers of the Pilot G2 series of pens, take note: the so-called G2 ‘Pro’ version of the writing implement is only very marginally superior to the disposable model. Both are made of similar plastic, and the clicking system for retraction actually feels a bit cheaper on the $5 ‘Pro’ pen than on the $1 disposable pen. Since the ordinary version takes refills just as well as the more expensive one, there is no real reason to make the switch. In fact, the cheaper pen actually comes apart more elegantly to be resupplied with ink.

If you want a genuine step up, using the same ink cartridge system, hunt around for the metal bodied, $12 G2 Limited.

On a side note, it strikes me as odd that, while I have dramatically more expensive pens than the G2, I rarely feel comfortable carrying them around. As such, they languish in boxes in my apartment while everything from letters to to-do items on 3.5″ cards emerge from the tip of Pilot’s low-cost devices.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

. August 5, 2008 at 11:03 am

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Litty August 5, 2008 at 12:23 pm

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Emily August 5, 2008 at 12:38 pm

I am not sure why anyone has ‘dramatically expensive’ pens. It seems to be the case that unless you have studied calligraphy, nothing will make your (anyone’s) chicken scratch look any less chicken-scratchy.

I think it’s hard to beat a G2 for writing, and for drawing the ultra fine tip sharpie permanent marker.

Anything else should wait until you’re so bored with your executive office that you get the masochistic urge to start collecting pens that physically pain you to lose.

Milan August 5, 2008 at 1:33 pm

I can appreciate the reasons for which people buy expensive fountain pens, but find it more difficult to justify spending $400 or more on a ballpoint pen with a disposable writing system.

That being said, people spend huge amounts of money on beautiful things. If they find pens beautiful, why not buy them instead of paintings, sculptures, etc?

Scott August 5, 2008 at 3:54 pm

At last someone that appreciates the G2!
My personal preference is the blue 07mm, though at UBC I used the 05.
Best everyday pen that money can buy.

(I am one of said fountain pen owners… used for special occasions only)

Milan March 8, 2009 at 8:40 pm

The G2 Limited is very hard to find.

I lost one ages ago, and have been looking ever since.

Tristan March 8, 2009 at 11:51 pm

My cross pen is remarkably less useful now that the refills are made in China, and seem to be of lesser quality. Some require almost no pressure to maintain ink flow, and leak ink on the fingers. Others require much pressure, don’t leak ink, but consequently – have no writing advantage over cheap ball point pens.

Milan March 9, 2009 at 3:16 pm

It’s a shame to hear about the reduced quality of their refills. Maybe you can find a store or website that has a stock of the old ones.

On a semi-related note, this blog entry lists relatively affordable ($100 or so) fountain pens. I like the look of the Sailor Sapporo/1911M, and would like to see how the Pilot Vanishing Point feels in my hand.

Unfortunately, there don’t seem to be any good pen websites that ship to Canada. has quite a number of reasonably priced writing implements, but they refuse to ship them to addresses north of the border.

Tristan March 9, 2009 at 8:53 pm

I went to my local art store and bought a cheap fountain pen ($10.15 with tax) – a parker reflex. Seems fine, but the blue ink has a cheap look to it. I will try to get black ink refills for it.

It does require some force for ink to be fed through, and the nib is a bit large for my liking. But, I don’t think I can complain at the price. If I felt assured that I would be happy with it for a long time, I would not be opposed to spending 100$ on a pen – the cross pen has proven I can keep a pen for a long time without loosing it.

Milan March 15, 2009 at 1:06 pm

Cleaning out my basement, in anticipation of a visit from my mother, I found my Pilot G2 Limited and an ordinary red G2 in a laptop bag I rarely use.

I am very glad to not have to go through the song and dance required to import one from the US again.

Milan July 28, 2009 at 8:32 pm

My Pilot G2 Limited accidentally went through a complete wash and dry cycle with some dress shirts. Not only did it not ruin any shirts, but I was able to put it together fairly easily and it still works fine with the old ink cartridge.

Emily July 28, 2009 at 11:53 pm

That pen sure is resilient!

Milan September 30, 2009 at 11:23 am

These pens are getting more and more difficult to find. Staples no longer seems to carry the pens or the refills (before, they had four packs of red, green, blue, and black along with blue and black refills) and other shops don’t seem to carry the red and green versions either.

That is annoying, since the green is my favourite colour for annotating books.

Luke October 15, 2009 at 10:54 pm

The UBC bookstore carry these pens. I saw some while I was in there.

Milan December 1, 2009 at 1:41 pm

I was able to restock on G2 pens when I was in Vermont recently, Unfortunately, not even Staples had green refills or green pens sold in pairs. As such, I had to buy sets of five pens (2 black, green, red, blue) to get the green pens I find so useful for marking up books.

Oh well, I can always use the six black ink catridges in my Pilot G2 Limited, and the pens I got in the US were 0.5mm, which I find nicer looking than the 0,7mm versions I bought previously in Canada.

Matt January 25, 2011 at 7:11 pm

I use a 0.5mm Pilot G2 at work (three, actually. Blue, Black and Red.) We ordered them from Grand & Toy, a box of 12 was $2.54. They weren’t difficult to procure at all.

Phooph January 26, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Pilot G2s are all good so far, even the B2p which is made of old water bottles. I have not come across a disposable model, however, all seem to be refillable. Is there a G2 I don’t know about?

Milan January 26, 2011 at 6:06 pm

The green ones are very hard to find, and I like them best for taking notes in books.

Milan April 7, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Pilot G2 pens may be increasingly hard to find – especially in red and green – but their ink is definitely bold and satisfying. It looks much better on the page than the thin, semi-transparent ink of Sharpie pens.

. September 12, 2013 at 1:10 pm

For an affordable pen that writes smoothly; dries quickly and indelibly; won’t bleed, skip or feather; and has the best ink flow of any non-fountain pen; grab yourself the uni-ball Jetstream. Available in a number of sizes and colors, it’s the best affordable pen around for taking notes at school or a meeting.

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