On Pens

I loathe crappy pens.
Only problem: I lose pens all the time, so losing expensive fountain pens and the like is a pain.
I’ve made up for this by buying disposable fountain pens like the Pilot Varsity, but those have trouble on certain types of paper.
The best inexpensive ballpoint I’ve written with is the $1.50 Pilot G2. I’ve never had issues with smearing (I’m left-handed), it writes smoothly and consistently, and it’s cheap enough that I don’t cry if I lose it. Basic Bic pens almost always work (but the knockoff ones suck), but I prefer the retractable point on the G2.
Thanks to the internet, I recently discovered — to my immense glee — that Mont Blanc rollerball refills fit in the G2 barrel with only a slight bit of filing on the plastic cap opposite of the point. Once about 1/8″ of material is removed, it fits perfectly. My main G2 needed a refill last night after a substantial amount of writing, so I bought a pair of the Mont Blanc refills as well as a 12-pack of new G2s (just in case). The Mont Blanc refills were only about $12 for a pair, so now I have a $7.50 pen that writes as well as a $200+ fancy pen. While losing a $7.50 pen is a bit more of a hassle than losing a $1.50 pen, at least I’m not losing something really expensive. If so, I do have spares.
Since the Mont Blanc refills apparently last longer than the G2 refills (gel pens go through ink like crazy, while the Mont Blanc refills are designed to write for 10,000 meters), I may end up actually saving money this way. We’ll see.

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