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.


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