The Pilot G2 Gel Ink Pen is one of the most popular pens out there according to various sources. If you believe their own packaging it is the #1 selling pen in America. It is currently in the #1 spot on Amazon’s list of Top Pens and Refills and is #1 on the Amazon list of Top Rollerballs as well. Personally, I’ve never been convinced that it was the best pen out there. This seems to go against commonly accepted opinion among people who enjoy their pens.
Criticism of what many call the best pen
Writing up a review of what many consider to be the best pen out there has the potential to be dangerous because I know that there are many people who are fanatical about the Pilot G2. I guess I’ll take the risk of offending those folks if I say anything bad about it. I don’t hate it, but I do have my issues with it. I think some of my issues stem from the fact that I read a lot of hype about it before I tried it for the first time a while ago. Maybe no pen would ever live up to the kind of hype it has recieved. I do like some things about the G2 like the fact that there is no doubt in my mind that it is very comfortable to hold and write with. The balance of the pen and the nice smooth and easy to hang onto rubbery grip make it almost as if it is an extension of your fingers. I also like the firm and smooth action of the plunger when you click to expose the retractable tip. Some pens are kind of loose or clunky feeling in that area but not so much with the G2. I do somewhat enjoy the way the pen writes and I find it to be far superior to many other options out there. I’ve found that there are just quite a few other pens that I think write nicer. The good thing about this pen being so popular is that at least if you find yourself somewhere without a good pen, you can usually find these in a local convenience store or supermarket along with their refills as well, and they do come in a few different sizes and colors so you have some options there as well.
Now maybe I am being a bit overly critical, but for some reason there is one thing that has always REALLY bugged me when it came to the appearance of the G2. It doesn’t take much to notice the strange rusty dirty looking gel that is behind the ink in the ink cartridge. On most pens, this is a clear gel substance but for whatever reason, its this awful shade of dirty brown, which would be fine if it the pen didn’t have a clear plastic barrel that allowed you to see it so well. One other thing that I don’t like about the visual appearance of it is the clip. The round ball-like tip of the clip and the big gold ugly tacky font of the text on the clip cheapen the look of the pen in my opinion. Personally I believe that in order to be considered the best pen there should be some visual design consideration that comes into play as well.
Would the best pen write like that?
The most important thing that one should be concerned about with a good pen is how it writes. The above writing sample for the Pilot G2 was done in a Black n’ Red Notebook, which handles most pens very well. As I said before, it writes much better than most other pens you will find, but I guess Im holding it to a higher standard because of its amazing popularity. I’ve found in my writing with it that although it lays down a nice line, the ink tends to feather just a bit, and it even skips a tiny bit here and there. If you click on the photo, you can see where I’ve pointed out a few of these instances in the red writing. The last part of the writing sample you see up there is the test I did to see what the dry time was. It pretty much took about 9 full seconds to dry. Usually I dont care too much about dry time, but I know that for left-handed writers it can be an issue. When it takes THIS long to dry it does become an annoyance for me. Between the skipping and the incredibly long dry time, I really cant see how this could be considered by some as the best pen out there.
Luckily there are lots of options out there to try, and although in my mind, one of the best pen s available is the Uniball Signo DX, its not easily available other than at JetPens so I might just have to do a review/comparison of the Amazon list of Top Rollerball Pens. For now though, this office supply geek does no think the Pilot G2 is anywhere near being the best pen out there.
You can also check out the write up that we did showing the Best Pen as per a recent Amazon listing, but the best part of that write up is all of the great response in the comments section from readers about what they believe the best pen is.