There has been a history of people claiming that their retractable Sharpie Pens didn’t seem to last as long as the original and grip versions of their Sharpie pens, so a little while ago got out the power tools and cut open some Sharpie pens to get to the root of the problem. I quickly found that the claims were likely true, because I found that the ink cartridges inside the retractable versions were much shorter to accommodate for the inner mechanism that allows the tip to retract. Now that the new body style of the Retractable Sharpie Pens are available, I promised that I would hack one of those apart too so we could see if there was also an internal redesign to solve for the issue of limited ink capacity.
So as they say, a picture is worth 1,000 words, and as you can see above the old retractable Sharpie Pen ink cartridge (left) and the new retractable Sharpie Pen ink cartridge (right) are pretty much identical when it comes to the ink inside. They are leaning up against the hacked apart remnants of one of the new body style bodies, and the top of the picture is where the tip that you write with is, and the bottom of the picture is the part that extends up into the plunger inside of the pen. The only real difference you can see is that the new body style has a longer stem that comes out of the top of the ink cartridge that presumably is involved in the change in how the plunger rests while writing with the new body style. If you didn’t read the review on the new body styles, the only functional difference is that the plunger on the new version rests in the depressed position instead of extending back up as on the old version.
Bottom line, don’t expect that the Sharpie Retractable Pen with the new body style is going to going to last any longer than your old versions, and it certainly wont last as long as your other standard version or grip version of the Sharpie Pen. On the positive side, the new body style DOES look much nicer, and it IS still a Sharpie pen, so the writing experience is pretty fantastic.