Favourite ballpoint, rollerball and other refills

This document is old and only partially contains current information. I'll update it.


Generally, I prefer larger refills to smaller ones and those who fit in more than one brand's pens, so mostly I use the ISO 12757 G2 style ones (Parker, Rotring), Ballograf and Fisher with adapters.

I think ballpoints generally don't write very black when they contain black ink, so I usually only buy them in blue and green nowadays.

The wider the tip, of course the shorter the expected write length of a refill. For example, Cross says that a medium will write 20% longer than a bold and a fine 70% longer than a medium.


Fibre tip

I've so far only found one refill which is really good and fits in my pens: Caran d'Ache's. It's their blue I use.


Gel inks have their advantages like generally smooth writing, and disadvantages like cost and the relatively short writeout of the refills. It seem like Parker supports the usual claim they write 1/8:th of ballpoints for similarly sized refills.

They can be pretty permanent and water resistant compared to rollerballs and they certainly write smoother and can lay down a better line than ballpoints, so there are applications for them besides metallics and pastels.

Note that while they may appear to be similar, they don't necessarily have the same properties.

Writing instruments - >Favourite ballpoint, gel and rollerball ink refills<