refills


D1 ≠ D1 2

Not everyone shares this opinion, not even everyone in my household, but I think gel refills are so much nicer than ballpoint refills. My holbein x Rotring 600 3 in 1 came with ballpoint refills, so it was a prime candidate for an upgrade: replacing the ballpoint refills with gel or hybrid refills. I had the idea after A.J. talked about the D1 refills in a comment on my video about this pen.

I started by consulting Ana’s refill guide to look for some nice refills.

It didn’t take long to pick some cool stuff for my order, not only refills, also a new pen (the Jetstream Edge in white). To get free postage with my order I also picked a few more refills with the intention of improving my wife’s Lamy 2000 multipen (the original Lamy ballpoint refills often skip when you start writing).

The two patients of this operation: Lamy 2000 and holbein x Rotring 600 3 in 1

What did I order? Jetstream refills, I like them based on my positive experience with them from the Hobonichi pens and from my Jetstream 4 in 1. I also got some Zebra refills. I haven’t used them myself but bought them before to go with a pen I gave someone as a gift.

When trying to fit the Zebra refills into the Lamy 2000 there was big disappointment. They didn’t fit. A quick look at the end revealed that the Lamy refills are slightly slimmer. Maybe D1 isn’t quite as standardised as I thought. I have to admit though that I don’t have much D1 experience as I generally prefer pencils and fountain pens.

A quick check with the callipers revealed that there are minute differences in the diameter. The Lamy M21 diameter is 2.32 mm, the Zebra JSB 0.5 diameter is 2.36 mm. 0.04 mm (0.0016 inches) difference. I also measured the Uni SXR-200-07 which turned out to have a diameter of 2.33 mm. Even though the Zebra didn’t fit the Lamy 2000 I managed to squeeze it into the Rotring 600. That left me with the uni for the Lamy 2000. The refill is only 0.01 mm wider but that was enough the turn a relaxing Sunday drive refill with butterflies (and the Loving You song in the background) into a heavy metal squeeze fest (with some Rammstein song playing from a broken stereo) with thoughts in my head that the Lamy 2000 will crumble under all the pressure. In the end it did, luckily, work. According to my own refill guide the D1 diameter is 2.35 mm. Who would have thought a fraction of a millimetre makes such a difference…

Since I talked about Holbein: Radio 4’s book of the week happens to be about him: The King’s Painter: The Life and Times and Hans Holbein.


Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Refills* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) 2

Retro 51

The stationery community has been writing a few Retro 51 articles on stationery.wiki. When I tried to make the information in these articles semantic [1]To allow exciting queries like the one producing this table. I came across a few issues.

One issue is related to Retro 51’s refills, one related to their categories, lines and editions. Luckily the users in The Pen Addict’s Slack channel are extremely helpful and knowledgeable when it comes to Retro 51 so the confusion with Retro 51’s series, categories, lines etc has been solved.

The other issue, relating to their refills, took me a while to figure out. This was probably not helped by the fact that I don’t own a Retro 51.

The short answer is: I think Retro 51’s rollerballs accept standard G2 refills, which means you can turn them into rollerball, gel or ballpoint pens.

Here are some of the bits of information I found along the journey. They might be old information for you, but since I am more into pencils and fountain pens than refillable non-disposable rollerballs a lot of this was new to me.

ISO standard

Refills are standardised in the ISO standard 12757.

ISO 12757-1 is for general use, i.e. there are not too many demands on the ink.

ISO 12757-2 is for documentary use, i.e. for writing documents that are required as evidence and the standard also looks into things like how the ink is coping with bleach, etc.

Refill overview

Confusion

There seems to be contradictory information on the web when it comes to the G2 refills. This is probably not helped by the fact that Pilot has a pen called the G2. Based on what I have seen so far G2 and RB refills tend to get confused.

The G2 standard seems to have its origin in Parker’s Jotter refills, which came out in the 1950s.

I have produced a little table with further information about these refills. It also includes average writing length per refill based on the information by Premec. Other refills may vary.

TypeDiameterLengthNameAvg writing lengthInk charge
D
D1 mini
2.3557.1 or 67.0multicolor
marker
350 m0.1 g
Japan Style2.9-3.0variable600 m -
2000 m
0.22 g - 0.32 g
Spezial3.061.0 or 66.5
X103.05106.8ballpoint standard
X203.05106.8ballpoint standard
large capacity
C13.05117.4ballpoint
international
0.8 mm:
2200 m
1.0 mm:
1900 m
0.4 g
B33.05132/103
63/43
ballpoint
stick refills
1700 m0.375 g
A23.20106.8ballpoint
standard
G13.20106.8ballpoint
large capacity
G26.0098.1ballpoint / gel
large capacity
0.7 mm:
400 m (gel)
5000 m (oil based)
0.7 g (gel)
1.1 g (oil based)
RB6.30110.0standard rollerball0,5 mm: 500m
0.7 mm: 400m
0.8 g
130.8 (stick)
110.5 (retractable)
gel refill0.7 mm:
450 m (stick)
600 m (retractable)
0.7 g (stick)
0.9 g (retractable)


For more information about refills see The Well-Appointed Desk’s Epic Refill Reference Guide and The Refill Finder.

The diagram is from Qniemiec, translation by Francis Flinch and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.