Monday, November 7, 2011

Review: Pilot G2 0.7 mm Retractable Gel Ink Pen Navy Blue

This is a review of the Pilot G2 0.7mm gel ink pen in navy blue.

I was kindly offered a couple G2 in navy blue by Jose Noyola - and they arrived in the mail three days later! Thanks a million, Jose! Obviously, I was super excited! I love getting mail, especially when it’s pen related! Plus, I was having a crummy week so this was a great mood picker-upper! Pen peeps are the best.
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Everyone has heard of G2s before, right? Of course. They’re classic icons in the pen world. The packaging says it’s America’s #1 selling gel pen. I’m not sure if that’s true... but I have no way of checking so let’s just pretend it is. Packaging would never lie to us, right?! Never.

Features (from Pilot)

    Dynamic Gel Ink Formula that's smooth writing and smear-proof
    Contoured rubber grip for writing comfort
    Retractable and refillable
    Acid free for documenting and record keeping

- Comes in a variety of nib sizes: bold (1.0mm), ultra fine (0.38mm), extra fine (0.5mm), and fine (0.7mm)
- Nice range of colours: black, blue, red, purple, green, navy, burgundy, hunter green, orange, pink, turquoise, caramel, lime green, periwinkle, and teal

- G2s have a pretty good looking, soft finished plastic body. It’s the kind of plastic that doesn’t feel like it’ll have sharp shards if you were to somehow break it. They’re clean and simply designed. I do like the ink-matching tinted barrels instead of clear barrels.

- The clip is pretty solid and has a bulbous type end against the body so it holds papers pretty snug. It’s a thick clip though so I wouldn’t pull it back too far just in case it snaps. ... Which is strangely satisfying to do. I think the clip looks a bit like girly bubble writing.

- The clicker is great. I love the sound it makes and it clicks with no doubt about what it was put there to do! Sometimes I just sit around, clicking it over and over and over (which inevitably drives everyone insane).

- Nicely shaped grip that extends far enough down to the tip that I can get a good hold of the pen. You may know that I hate when grips don’t extend far enough and leave a plastic space before the tip (such as with the Uni-ball Signo DX and the OfficeMax Gel).

- Most importantly, the ink. G2 ink is really nice - if you don’t get a skippy pen. It’s smooth and from my experience with this 0.7mm, there’s little skipping or scratchiness. I usually find most gel pens are a wee bit skippy when they’re being broken in but once you get the ink going, it’s smooth sailing. I don’t actually consider 0.7mm to be a “fine” tip and I rarely have problems with scratchiness or skipping with this size of nib in other pens. This is super nice ink though - intense, deep navy that flows well but isn’t too wet so it can be used for anything you’re doing - work-related or for fun! I found that writing at an angle resulted in less skipping than writing with the pen straight up and down.
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In Rhodia "R" Pad No. 16
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In Quo Vadis Habana with white Clairefontaine paper
- For my style of writing, the pen writes really nicely, aside from just the smooth ink. The weight and shape of the pen is very pleasing and doesn’t really feel cheap, and it comes together well for a generally positive experience.

- G2s are common and popular enough to be available in many stores - Target, Wal-Mart, Staples, Office Depot, and drugstores so if you ever need a “nice” pen in some sort of emergency state of desperate stationery shopping, G2s are a solid, dependable choice.

- A strange choice of font and colour on the clip to label the pen. It’s gold and bubbly (bubbly seems to be the theme here). And is written in three different fonts for each word... which is visually confusing. Where's the uniformity? Oh well, that’s a minor thing.

- It’s been noted by other reviewers that there’s a strange colour to the gel in the ink barrel. The gel at the top of the barrel (protecting the ink) is kind of orangey rusty... on the navy pens I’ve got here, it’s not as dark as I’ve seen in other G2s and other reviews but it’s noticeably NOT clear. I think it would look nice if it was clear.

Other reviews that may float your boat:

Office Supply Geek
Rhonda Eudaly
Pen Quest


Staples - $16.49 per dozen
Refills at Staples - $2.29 per pair
JetPens - $1.40 but no navy blue :(

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Top to bottom: Pilot G-2 0.7mm, Zebra Sarasa 0.7mm, Zebra Sarasa Clip 0.7mm, Zebra Sarasa SE 0.7mm, Pilot B2P 0.7mm, Pilot Hi-Tec C 0.5mm
I like Pilot G2s, especially in this navy ink. Good for everyday writing. It’s a well-priced pen for its quality and writes well and almost all paper so it’s very versatile. If you’re looking for something similar to the G2, you can check out Zebra Sarasa. If you’re looking for something with a bit more pep and zing, try out Uni-ball Signos, Uni-ball Signo DX, or Uni-ball Signo 207.


Shangching said...

They used to be my go-to pen after I gave up on Dr. Grip. Nice thing is that both pens shared the same refill. After writing with Uniball for awhile now, G2 all of the sudden is as slippery as an eel. Oh well, must be me.

GourmetPens said...

Not just you - I love Uni-ball. I'm still trying to think if I've met a Uni-ball I didn't like...

Kerry said...

I like G2's, but with the 0.5 and .38 tips. Though, Uni-ball Signos are the best!

GourmetPens said...

I've never even seen the 0.5 and 0.38 G2s! Darn. I'd like to try them. Gotta search around a bit!

Matsufuru said...

I used to be a huge Pilot fan. I think they have been surpassed by Uni. Especially with the amazing properties of "super ink'.

GourmetPens said...

I agree. Uni-ball is taking over!

Matsufuru said...

I don't know if you are in the US, but most Wal-Marts seem to have 0.5 and 0.38 mm G2s pretty reliably.

Anyone else notice that the US made G2s are of much lower quality than the Japan made ones. This is especially bad since I have bought US G2s that said "Made in Japan" on the package...

I would rather have a Signo 207 anyway. Walmart usually sells the 0.5 mm 207s as well as the 0.7mm ones.

Penacious H said...

I've always found the Uni Signo's too the bold 1.0 better though something in between would be perfect...not made? Uni vision .8 on clearance at Office Depot the other day...4 for $2 (in NJ anyway). Also took someone's advice and tried a 0.7 Sarasa refill in a Pilot g2 Ltd (bright blue and red barrels now at some Office Depots!) the write better on Sarasa...

GourmetPens said...

@Matsufuru - YES! I love 207s!! And great color array!

@Penacious H - I have found that with most micro tips or pens around 0.7mm... it really depends on the batch you get. Most work perfectly but sometimes I'd get one that just skips non stop, no matter how much I try to get it writing smoothly. I have yet to try out a 1.0mm tip though. I imagine they must be quite nice :D Gonna check out my local Office Depot... just in case they've got some clearance on Visions! Love them. Also, I enjoy your name hehe

Anonymous said...

These pens smear waaaaay too much. When i take notes and when I'm writing essays, it ruins them. However, i do believe this pen has a potential to be good if they fix the issue of smearing. Its smoothness, grip and style all feeel very sturdy and nice. But when you have a pen that constantly smears and ruins your important works, it defeats the purpose of using the pen. If they fix the smearing issue 100%, I would no doubt recommend this pen to anyone. However, that is not the case. It smears a lot and that, to me, prompts me to give this pen a 1 out of 5 stars. A pen that smears isn't a pen at all.......

D Marshall Lemcoe Jr said...

I'm a student and I've used the same model pen for the past 12 years (seriously) of my scholarly career: the Blue Pilot G-2 07. I haven't used a pencil more than twice in the past 12 years except for standardized tests, and I don't plan to use one in the future. I even use it in high level Mathematics courses!

The feel of the pen and the visually appealing blue ink is what makes me buy it again and again. If you're looking for a new pen, look no further. Go to the Office Depot and try all the different thicknesses to see which one feels best in your hand, because they do feel different - I like the 07 the best. 

Regularname said...

The Signo 207's clip breaks to easily, and it hurts if you continue to try to use it. The clip on the Pilot is so sturdy. It attaches to everything, and never falls off. I've been using it since 7th grade, 13 years ago! But the ink does flow better from the Signo. The G-2 sometimes sticks.

Azizah Asgarali said...

That's a good point. The clip is super sturdy on these. I've never had a Signo clip break but I can imagine what you mean - it's probably a sharp shard :| Eep!

Lauren Kaplan Rutley said...

I've never been that interested in pens except when I can't find a good one. Grabbed a G2 07 from a colleague's desk and decided not to give it back because I love it so much. The ink is running low, so I must get a new one.

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