July 2, 2016

pens that accept Pilot G2 refills

12/16/2016 update! The G2 does NOT fit in the Pilot Axiom! A reader posted my mistake and when I went back and double-checked, the refill I hacked into the Axiom pen is an energel refill. I'm so sorry!

11/29/2016 UPDATE!!!
I've discovered that you can modify a G2 refill to fit the Pilot Axiom ballpoint (cost is about $20).
Usually, the Pilot Axiom takes Dr. Grip™ Center Of Gravity Ballpoint Pen Refills, but I realized that the G2 could be hacked to about the same length (see the images here- the G2 is the orange).
 As you can see in this picture, I did a quick hack-- but it can certainly be done more cleanly.
Once that's done, it fits into the all metal Pilot Axiom without a problem-- and voila, an all metal clickable G2 pen.

My favorite ink is Pilot's G2. I know that lots of people love this ink; there are also lots of people who don't...I happen to in the former camp. One of the reasons I like it so much is that it comes in so many colors:

Aren't they gorgeous? I want all the colors; I've tried the Teal, Burgundy, and Green and all three are just beautiful. In addition to the colors, many of them come in all of the following tip options:
  • Ultra Fine (0.38mm)
  • Extra Fine (0.5mm)
  • Fine (0.7mm)
  • Bold (1.0mm)
So what pens accept the G2 refills or hacked versions of the G2? Without further ado, here's a (non-definitive) list...

Karas Kustoms Retrakt Pen ($55, $80 (brass), $105 (copper)) depending on what material you choose). I am currently pining for the brass version of the pen. It looks beautiful and is basically a retractable G2! It's been noted as being rather weighty-- about 2.5 oz-- so I'm still debating it.
image is from The Well Appointed Desk
Karas Kustoms Bolt G2 ($65, $90, $115) A stunning pen with an absolutely amazing mechanism. I wanted to love this pen so much, but I found it a little too long for my small hands. I also found that it seemed a little top heavy for me. I ended up giving it to my husband who seems to love it.
from Karas Kustoms
Karas Kustoms Render K Another stunning pen from Kara Kustoms. It has a separate cap so it'll require posting.
Retro 1951 Tornado Rollerball (require a little modification, but works well). This pen comes in so many colors and is so relatively inexpensive that it seems like everyone should own at least one. The pen is all metal and has a nice weight.  

image is from ColoradoPen.com (I've ordered from them before and they're great)

Pilot Ageless gel (also requires a very easy modification (post coming)). There are several "collections" of this pen; the Present collection comes with resin barrels in Teal, Rose, and Carbon Grey for about $53 while the Future collection comes with metal barrels in Carbon Grey or Copper. The Future collection with metal barrels retail for about $67 but can be found for about $53 at Amazon. In short, the Present collection is colorful and resin, the Future collection is a bit more conservative and metal; so pay particular attention when you're buying them (I inadvertently bought the resin one because I didn't realize that the colorful ones were resin (but I still love it)). Also pay close attention to whether you're looking at the gel or the ballpoint pens since both types of pens are in both collections.

in copper
The Pilot Metropolitan CollectionPilot MR Pop Collection, and Pilot MR Animal Collection pens are some of my favorite pens. They have all-metal bodies and accept G2 refills and range from $13-$18). I have one from the Metropolitan collection and one from the MR collection. Aren't they beautiful? 
from JetPens
Waterman Hemisphere Rollerballs also accept G2 refills. I believe that most Waterman Rollerball pens will accept G2, but the Hemisphere line is probably one of the less expensive lines. The line ranges from $56-$70 while other Waterman lines can easily cost over $100. I have this one and it's a dream to use.

The following suggestions come from Pens and Planes and this Reddit discussion.
  • OHTO Rollerball (all-metal), 
  • Pilot Limited (all-metal body), 
  • Lamy 2000 rollerball (interesting material),
  • Lamy Studio rollerball (metal), 
  • Lamy Safari rollerball (plastic, about $20), 
  • Lamy Al Star rollerball (plastic, about $25) 
  • Lamy Tipo rollerball (plastic)
Truth be told, I already have a Retro 1951, the Pilot Ageless (in Teal), two of the Metropolitan pens, and the Waterman. They're all quite good and I enjoy using all of them, reaching for them fairly regularly. The only reason I'm looking for another pen is that I was hoping to find a pen that is 1) all-metal, 2) retractable (rules out the Pilot Metropolitan and the Waterman), and 3) requires no modifications to the refill (since the modifications to both the Retro 51 and the Pilot Ageless require shortening the standard G2 refills, they can be kind of a hassle, albeit an easy hassle). To be honest, I think Pilot is really missing out on a huge demographic here, adding a nice retractable all-metal pen to their affordable Metropolitan line would have a huge market!

So what do you think of the list so far? Do you have another favorite?


  1. "Adding a nice retractable all-metal pen to their affordable Metropolitan line would have a huge market ". Funny, I recently sent an email to Pilot stating that very same thing (as I too am looking for a nice, retractable, all-metal G2 compatible pen).
    I bought a Karas Retrakt, which is very fairly priced. I like it but do not love it. I'm still looking for a perfect EDC pen; I think a retractable Pilot Metropolitan could be the ticket!

    1. Thanks for reading and for making the suggestion to Pilot! I just updated the post with a new idea for an all-metal, clickable G2 pen! Try hacking the G2 refill into the Pilot Axiom (see the above update). Thanks, again!

  2. It would appear that my G2 refill tip is wider than that of the ink cartridge inside the axiom I bought... so even if I cut the ink tube down it won't work. Wasted $20.

    1. I'm so sorry! After I got your message, I went back and double-checked. Indeed, with all the pens I have floating around I put the wrong refill in. The correct refill is a energel refill! I'm so sorry!

  3. I'm obviously not alone in my search to find a nice, stylish metal pen that can take the Pilot G2 refills. It's just frustrating that the rest of you guys posted almost a year ago, but nothing new is on the market yet to accommodate for what we are looking for.

  4. Eva have a look at bigidesign.com. I've got two of their pens that take G2 refills and use them all the time.