February 25, 2013

Office Pen Quest is Over (For Now)

Pen Acquisition Disorder swept over me while I was trying to find good general purpose pens for daily use at the office. I tried a bunch of gel pens, some ballpoint pens, and even the famous "Mont Blanc refill in a G-2 pen" hack. I tried capped pens, retractable pens, multipens, etc.

After trying many different brands, colors, sizes, and styles, I decided that I prefer the retractable Pentel EnerGel pens the best. I like the 0.5 mm needletip version, which is offered in blue, black, and red (the three standard colors used at the office). However (there is always a "however"), I'm not a fan of the fat barrel and gaudy design of the retractable EnerGel pens that are commonly available in the United States. Although the alternative design of the retractable EnerGel pens are easier on the eyes, they still suffer from fat-barrel-itis. Fortunately, I've found that the refills used in the retractable EnerGel pens also fit and work in at least three other pen bodies: Pilot G-Knock; Pilot G-2; and Uniball Signo DX RT. I wrote about the latter in this post.

The above picture shows four pens that all work with the EnerGel 0.5 mm refills (LRN5 is the product code for these). From top to bottom: the ugly Pentel EnerGel retractable; the better looking but still undesirable Pentel EnerGel retractable; Pilot G-Knock; and Uniball Signo DX RT.

I bought the red "alternative" EnerGel retractable in a delusional moment when I thought that perhaps maybe possibly the barrel might be narrower than the barrel of the blue "standard ugly" EnerGel retractable. I don't own (and didn't want to buy) a caliper, but the two barrels look and feel about the same to me.

The Signo DX RT body looks pretty cool and it fits the needle tip of the EnerGel refill perfectly with no play or wobbling. The G-Knock body merely looks OK, but I like the grip section better than the grip of the Signo DX RT body. Although not shown here, the EnerGel refill also fits the standard Pilot G-2 pen body. I like the grip of the G-Knock body better than the grip of the G-2, too. Functionality and ergonomics won out here, and I chose the G-Knock body as my preferred EnerGel refill receptacle.

Winner On The Right
So . . . I now have black, red, and blue Pilot G-Knock bodies, all loaded up with EnerGel 0.5 mm refills. I think this is a great combo for me, and I'll be able to order the Pentel LRN5 refills as needed. This combo will be my new standard office pen until something displaces it.

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