Pilot Better Ballpoint Pen, Really?

The Pilot Better Retractable Ballpoint Pen

The Pilot Better Retractable Ballpoint Pen

Pilot says they have a Better Retractable Ballpoint Pen, and in my mind, whenever someone has to tell you how good they are it instantly raises a flag.  With the appropriate caution flags raised, I clicked the “Add to cart” button on Amazon for the Pilot Better Ballpoint Pen, and patiently waited for this “better” pen to arrive.

Pilot Better Ballpoint Pen

Pilot Better Retractable Ballpoint Pen Grip

The body of the Pilot Better Ballpoint Pen itself isn’t anything flashy or different from what we have all seen in the past.  It is a hard plastic, smoke colored translucent barrel, with silver accents for the tip, clip, and plunger.  The grip section which is made of the same hard plastic as the rest of the body has a series of tightly spaced ridges.  The pen feels very well balanced in your hand while writing with it, and the plunger mechanism is very firm and responsive with no extra play in it.

Pilot Better Ballpoint Pen Writing Experience.

Pilot Better Retractable Pen Writing Sample

The Pilot Better Retractable Pen Writing Sample

Writing with the Pilot Better Ballpoint Pen proved to be a fairly reliable and solid experience, however I did get some occasional and minor rattling in the tip when I wrote particularly fast with it.  It was not nearly as bad as what I’ve experiences with some other pens, but it was noticeable on a few occasions, so if you are sensitive to that, this might not be the pen for you.  The ink flowed smoothly for the most part, but as you can see in the above writing sample, there were 3 spots where the ink did get a little splotchy on me.  In my daily work use with the pen over the last few weeks, this was about on par for how frequently I saw any splotching like that so you could say it was a fairly infrequent occurrence.

I’ll give Pilot the benefit of the doubt on this one because I guess it really is a “Better Ballpoint” because it is better than many others out there, but they were right not to call this the “Best Ballpoint” which is a title that I think would be a little over optimistic in this case.

©2015, Brian Greene. All rights reserved.


  1. 1
    Michael says:

    I always have really bad luck with all Pilot products (I’m certain I’m doing something wrong) so I will just stick with my 2 favorite ball point pens, the stainless-steel Zebra F701 and the Uni-ball Power Tank Smart Series. I carry these with me all the time; they both write fantastically and handle comfortably. These are both pressurized so they write in almost any circumstance and they are both refillable.

  2. 2
    lee swagerty says:

    Hmmm. Try a Pilot Precise V5 or V5 RT (RT is the retractable/clicker model).

    The ink is fantastic and the pen is pretty comfortable. I really wish this ink would go in my Fisher Bullet or Zebra F-701.
    The Pilot Precise just looks cheap, where as the Fisher Bullet and Zebra F-701 look classy and sturdy.

  3. 3
    Anonymous says:

    Yeah, Pilots have never been my favorite, so you might not be doing anything wrong…you have to stick with what you like and what works for you. :)

  4. 4
    Anonymous says:

    You are right, I love the Precise V5 RT, although comparing it to these pens wouldnt be fair because they are different inks. The V5 is a very smooth liquid ink, while the pen in this review is just oil based ballpoint ink.

  5. 5

    […] Pilot Better Ballpoint Pen – Office Supply Geek […]

  6. 6
    Dan says:

    I’ve never liked fine point pens, especially fine point gel pens, because I’ve always found them to be scratchy. I’ve always gravitated towards good old medium point ballpoint pens. Bic has always proven to be the most reliable and durable among the bunch. I’ve also found in recent years that Papermate’s quality has suffered drastically over the last few years, with their pens always bursting, and failing to write. Papermate use to produce quality products (I remember my Dad using them all through law school), but now they just produce JUNK.
    I also enjoy fisher space pens very much. I use a Cap-O-matic model space pen currently.

  7. 7
    Anonymous says:

    I’ve been using this pen (usually black, usually fine pt) on and off since high school (Class of ’84) and it’s always been my go-to pen, despite the 8 kajillion others I’ve tried in the past 27 years). (I still have four or five coffee mugs filled with alternates, but when I (rarely) need to write checks and to-do lists, this is what I reach for.)


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