The Epic Refill Reference Guide: Rollerball, Gel and Ballpoints

Lots of pens available these days accept either a “Parker-Style” G2 refills, a Pilot G2 refill (adds to the confusion for sure) and the Pilot Hi-Tec C style refills.  I thought I’d try to come up with a list of refills that fit into these categories. This is by no means a definitive list but should provide you with lots of options for your favorite non-fountain pens.

parker style refills

There are so many potential options for a “Parker-style” refill (which annoyingly enough is also referred to as a G2 though it is not necessarily compatible with a PILOT G2 style pen). The G2 refill is 98mm long and approx 5.8mm diameter on the main barrel.

Parker Style Refills

Here’s a list of most (but probably not all) of the Parker-style refills:

  • Diplomat EasyFLOW Ballpoint Pen Refill
  • Faber-Castell Ballpoint Pen Refill
  • Faber-Castell Scribero Gel Ink Roller Refill
  • Fisher Space Pen Refill, PR Series- Colors (Bold, Medium, Fine)
  • Fisher Space Pen – Universal Ballpoint Refill
  • Foray (Office Depot) Ballpoint Refill for Parker (Medium)
  • Kaweco Soul G2 Refill 1.0mm
  • Kaweco Sport Roller Ball Pen Refill
  • Moleskine Ballpoint Refill
  • Moleskine Gel Refill (0.5 and 0.7 mm)
  • Moleskine Roller Gel Fluorescent Refills
  • Monteverde Ceramic Gel Refill (Broad)
  • Monteverde Needle Point Refill (Fine)
  • Monteverde Soft Roll- Colored inks (Medium)
  • Monteverde Soft Roll- (Superbroad, Medium, Ultrafine)
  • OHTO Needlepoint Ballpoint Pen Refill PS-807NP
  • OHTO PS-205NP Extra-Fine 0.5mm Ballpoint Pen Refill
  • Parafernalia Ballpoint Pen Refill NO LOGO
  • Parker Ballpoint Pen Refill (Broad, Medium, Fine)
  • Parker GEL Ballpoint Pen Refill (Medium)
  • Parker Quinkflow Ballpoint Pen Refill (Medium, Fine)
  • Pelikan Giant Ballpoint Pen Refill 337 (Broad, Fine, Medium)
  • Pentel KFLT8 Ballpoint Pen Refill
  • Platignum Standard Ballpoint Pen Refill
  • Retro 51 Tornado Roller Ball Refills (REF5P) (Made by Schmidt)
  • Schmidt 9000M EasyFlow Pen Refill
  • Schmidt P8126 Capless Rollerball (Fine)
  • Schmidt P8900 Super Bowl Refill (Fine)
  • Schmidt P900 B Ballpoint Pen Refill (Broad, Medium, Fine)
  • Schmidt P950M Megaline Pressurized Ballpoint Pen Refill (Medium)
  • Schneider Express 735 Pen Refill (Broad, Medium, Fine)
  • Schneider Slider 755 Pen Refill (Extra-Broad, Medium)
  • STABILO EASYgel Refill
  • Stabilo Ballpoint Refill
  • Tombow BR-ZLM Ballpoint Pen Refill
  • Visconti Ballpoint Pen Refill AA49 1.4 (Broad)
  • Visconti Gel Refill (Broad, Medium, Fine)

Retro 1951 + Pentel EnerGel Refill Hacking

Mike Rohde of Sketchnoting fame hacked a Pentel Energel refill (normally a Pilot G-2 sized refill) to fit into his Retro 51 by trimming the end of the refill to be the right size. If you’re willing to experiment, other refills might also survive this sort of hack. I’ve hacked the end off a few refills in my time to make them fit as well. Just grab a craft or utility knife or a sturdy pair of scissors, line up the old refill and the new refill and snip. Voila.

If you love a particular sort of pen refill, you can also lengthen a refill that’s too short by adding a bit of plastic tubing to the end of the barrel. The fine folks at Karas Kustoms provide a length of plastic tubing with their Render K, RETRAKT and BOLT pens that could be used with other brands as well or you could snip off a section of an empty plastic refill to length a new refill to fit.

The best source I found for ALL the Parker-style refills was Cult Pens in the UK. They stock over 30 different styles of Parker-style refills.  Another option is Refill Finder.


European International Rollerball / Pilot G-2 style refills

G2/Schmidt/Euro Rollerball (and similar) Refills:

The Pilot G2 style refill, also described as the Schmidt/Euro Rollerball refill size are about 110mm long:

  • Caran d’Ache Fibre Tip Refill
  • Caran d’Ache Rollerball Refill
  • Faber-Castell Rollerball Pen Refill
  • Faber-Castell Fineliner Pen Refill
  • FORAY (Office Depot) Pen Refill For Schmidt Rollerball
  • Kaweco “soul” refill G2
  • Kaweco G2 Gel Roller Pen Refill
  • Hi-Tec-C Cavalier refill
  • Monteverde Fineliner Refill G52
  • Monteverde Ceramic Rollerball Refill W22
  • Monteverde Spring-Loaded Tip Fineliner Refill G62
  • OHTO Ceramic Rollerball Pen Refill
  • OHTO F-300 Fude Refill Black
  • Pentel LR7 Energel
  • Pilot Frixion Erasable Gel
  • Pilot Juice (removed from plastic retractable pen)
  • Pilot G2
  • Pilot LP2RF Gel Refill (Juice refill code)
  • Schmidt Capless Rollerball 8126 and 8127 (shorter models can work with an extension hack)
  • Schmidt 6040 FineLiner refill
  • Schmidt 888 Safety Rollingball Ceramic Plastic refill
  • Schmidt 5888 Safety RollingBall Ceramic Metal Tube refill
  • Schmidt 5285 Safety Rolling Tube Needlepoint Tip
  • Schneider Topball 850 Pen Refill
  • Schneider Topliner 970 Pen Refill
  • Sheaffer Fineliner Refill
  • Visconti Rollerball Pen Refill AA40 0.7
  • Zebra JT refill
  • Zebra Sarasa Clip refill (removed from plastic retractable pen)

Using a spring around the tip of the refill will help to stabilize these. Use either the spring provided by your pen manufacturer or steal one from a retractable plastic pen body to get the perfect fit.

Cult Pens has a great selection of these refills in their “Euro Refills” section.


HI Tec C style refills

Pilot Hi-Tec C Refills:

The Pilot Hi-Tec C style refills list doesn’t look as extensive as the other refill styles but the Hi-Tec C line has a huge assortment of color options and tip widths to provide quite a variety. The Pilot Hi-Tec C refills can be purchased individually or liberated from any Pilot Hi-Tec C pen including the Maica line.

  • Pilot Hi-Tec C (available in 0.25, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5)
  • Pilot G-Tec C (same as the Hi-Tec C but renamed for the American/European market)
  • Uni-ball Signo UM-100 Gel
  • Uni-ball Signo DX UM-151 Gel
  • Uni-ball Signo Broad UM-153 Gel

I’ve found that the Uni-Ball Signo refills may need to be trimmed slightly to fit but they work great. Just use scissors, a craft knife or blade to shorten the length to match the original length. I liberate Signo refills from plastic pens found around my office as well as occasionally purchasing proper refills.


D1 Refills:

D1 style refills

Then there’s the D1 sized refills. These are the super slender and used in multi-pens and mini pens. The Sharbo-X is a great example as is the Retro 51 Tornado Touch.

The D-1 mini refills are about 66-67mm long and there are quite a few refill styles to fit into these pens:

  • Acme Black 4FP Four-Function Pen Ballpoint Pen Refill
  • Acme Highlighter 4FP Four-Function Pen Multi Functional Pen Refill
  • Aurora Mini Medium Point Ballpoint Pen Refill
  • Caran D’ache Ecridor XS Mini Refill
  • Cross Matrix Ballpoint Pen Refill
  • Cross Micro Ballpoint Pen Refill
  • Kaweco D1 Soul Ballpoint Refill
  • Monteverde Soft Roll Ballpoint Pen Refill – D1 (628)
  • Ohto R-4C7NP Needle-Point Ballpoint Pen Refill
  • Parker Mini Ballpoint Refills
  • Parker Vector 3-in-1 Ballpoint Refills
  • Pelikan 38 Ballpoint Refills
  • Pilot BRF-8M Ballpoint Pen Refill
  • Platinum BSP-60 Series
  • Platinum BSP-100
  • Retro 1951 D-1 Ballpoint Refill
  • Rotring Tikky 3-in-1 2-Color Ballpoint Refills
  • Tombow VS Ballpoint Pen Refill – D1
  • Uni SXR-200 Jetstream Ballpoint Multi Pen Refill (0.5 and 0.7mm)
  • Zebra 4C-0.7 Ballpoint Pen Refill
  • Zebra Sharbo X Ballpoint Multi Pen Refill Component – D1
  • Zebra Sharbo X Gel Ink Multi Pen Refill Component – D1

Another option to consider:

Tofty on Shapeways creates 3D printed sleeves for many proprietary refills that allow you to use a D1 refill instead of the harder to find Lamy, Diplomat, Caran d’Ache and others. He will also work to make a custom 3D printed sleeve to meet your needs if you email him directly. I’ve ordered several pieces from him and they work really well and have allowed me to use the Zebra Sharbo-X extra fine gel refills in my Fisher Space Pens. This is 21st century pen hacking at its finest!


Big thank you to Dan at Karas Kustoms for giving me his list as a starting point. Thanks to The Pen Place in Kansas City for letting me try out lots of refills. The rest of my info came from Jet Pens, Cult Pens and Refill Finder.

Monteverde is modifying some of their refills to fit pens with more proprietary sizes like Lamy. Lamy is the most finicky of all the pens. If you have good alternatives for refills for Lamy rollerball and ballpoint pens, let me know.

Don’t forget to check your local office supply or pen store (even those big box shops) and play around with the pens and refills you have. You’d be surprised what might work.

I’m working on a handy printable pocket guide of all these pen refill options but I want to make sure I haven’t left anything out or gotten anything wrong. So let me know which of these refills work for you and which don’t.


Note: I have not tried EVERY refill with every pen so your results might vary. Please leave notes in the comments about your favorite pen and refill combination for other readers. Thanks!

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166 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I currently own a retro 1951 tornado rollerball and have successfully been able to cut a uni-ball signo 207 ultra micro 0.38 refill to fit. I just simply lined up the stock refill and cut to match the length. The only issue I am still working on is the spring. I had to stretch the one that came in the uni-ball and it loses strength over time causing a noticeable “tip wiggle” when writing. I can stretch it back out and the tip will stay solid for a while.

  2. Hi! I use a Visconti Van Gogh pen, with Parker GEL Ballpoint Pen Refills. I love the smooth feel but unfortunately, I am a student in exam season, so I’ve been going through at least two refills a week with essays and revision and whatnot. Does anybody have any recommendations for refills that last slightly longer or should I just write shorter essays?

    Thanks!

    1. I’ve hunted and hunted through my stash to find which refill that was. I think it may have been a Pentel of some sort but I cannot confirm this. I’ll keep looking.

  3. I would like to find a refill for my Cross select tip and Monte blanc Meisterstuck ball point that is as good quality as the uni-ball Signo Bold 207, do you have any recommendations?

    1. Closest to 207 for MB BP is Uni-ball Jetstream 101 (DIY compatible). Casemate retractable gel from Walmart isn’t as good but cheap and DIY compatible (all worked with my Rouge Et Noir & Noblesse Oblige BP).

      P.S. MB Solitaire BP (25th Anniv) will take a trimmed down 207/307 refill directly (same mod for Waterman RB pens).

  4. Hi, I am looking for a refill for my pen I believe it’s a Rollerball pen refill the only identifying information is “paraphernalia 710” on the cartridge & “paraphernalia” with no number on the pen barrel. Can you help me?

  5. The zebra style of refils seem to be a family all of their own… I’m keen to get the F701 all metal zebra, but I hear their ink is inferior to many other pens. Wondered if there were better alternatives to Zebra refils?

    1. I have modified a Zebra-701 and Zebra-402 to work with Fisher pressurized ballpoint refills. The opening of the pen body typically requires some slight modifications, but you can find detailed guides on google on how to do it.

  6. This may already be commented, but the G2 style refills can fit in Lamy pens for the Lamy M63 refill. The G2 style is the same shape, but just a touch shorter. All you need is something to put in the back of the pen to keep the refill from going back up in the pen. Another pen spring cut a little up would work or even just some rolled up paper cut to the size would work. Just thought I would throw that out there to help other people save some money since those Lamy refills are $5 a pop!

  7. I have this Bettoni pen that I received as a promotional item. https://www.amazon.com/Bettoni-Rollerball-Pen-PROMOTIONAL-CUSTOMIZED/dp/B01GHAYP52/ref=sr_1_8?s=office-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1475790113&sr=1-8&keywords=bettoni+pen. Unfortunately, there is no model number that I can post.

    Came with a Hauser 777 cartridge. I was able to replace it with a Schmidt 888. Problem is they run out quickly and I’m really not a fan of roller ball pens. Any suggestions on a refill that I could get for this that is a ballpoint pen?

  8. Amazing information here. Thank you.
    I lost the spring for my pen that uses a Schmidt ceramic roller 888 F. Do you happen to know how I figure out what size spring I need to make my pen work again?

    1. Itoya gel refills are good. That’s what maxmadco.com puts in their new pens. They are cheap on Ebay. Just make sure you get the gel and not the aqua roller refills.

      1. Ana,

        I’m interested in the utility you mentioned to Jeff.

        I’ve started a comprehensive spreadsheet of pen models and compatible refill models. I’m recording refill/pen compatibility that I’ve personally verified, someone else has (specifically) verified, and manufacturer specified compatibility. Hoping for two counts on individual testimonies.

        I hope to expand on your excellent work here. Focusing on sub-$50, without modifications. Appreciate any advice / info / resources you can recommend.

        I’ve got several models/refills I have personally confirmed, thanks (cough) to this site and Pen Addict.

  9. Hi! I am new to pen collecting and am actually starting by buying gifts for friends first 🙂 . That being said,I have already purchased a Waterman Carene rollerball for one friend and am considering purchasing a Visconti Rembrandt rollerball for another friend today. The latter friend is an elderly woman who is not going to want to hunt down Visconti refills online. I am trying to find (and probably purchase several) other more accessible options. Am I to understand (please be patient with me; all of this is so new and almost overwhelming to me 🙂 that the Pilot G2 rollerball refills will also fit the Visconti Rembrandt (I know they fit the Waterman Carene rollerballs)? What ballpoint refills will also fit both pens? Thanks!

    1. According to the listing on the Monteverde packaging for their standard metal tube rollerball G2/Euro-style refills:

      “Fits most of the world’s finest capped rollerball pens. This refill is compatible with brands such as : ACME, Aurora, Bexley, Delta, Diplomat, Faber Castell, Hauser, Inoxcrom, Itoya, Krone, Marlen, Montegrappa, Monteverde, Omas, Pelikan, Retro 51, Rotring, Stipula, Waterman and Visconti.”

      So, I feel fairly confidant that ANY of the G2/Euro refills listed should work for Waterman Carene and the Visconti Rembrandt.Some manufacturers might try to insist that you only use their refills but its bullocks. If another refill fits and writes better, more smoothly or in a color or fineness or boldness preferred by your friend, then buy them in a gross. I hope that helps. Happy writing!

      1. Thank you so much, Ana! I appreciate it. Now, what ballpoint refills would also fit these same pens (in case they want to switch up)?

        Thanks!

        1. For whatever reason I’ve never figured out, rollerball pens only ever hold refills with rollerball ink but the best solution I’ve found is a gentleman on Shapeways who has started making refill converters that will accept D1 refills which are the most common ballpoint refills for any pen. He 3D prints the converter tube and then you can slide a standard D1 ballpoint refill into it (available at any Staples, Office Depot or big box store) then when the refill runs out, pull the refill out and put a new one in. I’ve purchased a couple from him for other pen configurations so I can vouch that the products work. I keep meaning to write a post about these. Very clever. Otherwise, I’d recommend just sticking with the rollerball refills.

          1. After reading your experience with Shapeways adapters, I wrapped some gaffer tape to fatten up a mini D1 refill and inserted it just enough for proper length into a juice box drinking straw. (My personal option was to use a dollar store “Studio” brand gel refill that matched the mini D1 diameter.)

            It fitted my Montblanc ballpoint pen Noblesse Oblige with additional tape to stop the spring.

            Following the positive result from this experiment, I assumed cutting an existing refill would create a reusable adapter for most brands.

          2. Tape was my first solution too. The Shapeways adpaters are a good long term solution. Best $5 I ever spent.

  10. I’m hoping someone can shed light on this issue. I recently inherited some Levenger Rotring pens. I have two mechanical pencils, two ballpoint pens (though one is missing the ink), and one fountain pen with an “EF” sticker on the bottom. I love pens and stationery, but I am admittedly unknowledgeable as to what refills I could use with them. From my own cursory research, it seems as if these pens are no longer made. They look like this: http://bit.ly/2flpet6 (Not my image.) They do not say “600” anywhere on them. (Side note: I know these are valuable from what I see people selling them for on the internet, but I am not interested in selling them as they were a family member’s who passed away.) Thank you for your help!!

  11. Old-Model Kaweco “Sport” ballpoint pen:-
    Refills for this pen are no longer available (at least in the UK).
    the original refill, which was manufacted to DIN 16554, has a “ridge” around the refill, about a third of the way up, something that the modern version does not have, and without which the refill will not work.
    Does anyone know of a refill that will fit and work in the pen, or that can be”modified”?

    1. Mike, I’ll look into this and see what I can find out. I believe that Kaweco uses Schmidt refills so I just have to find the correct replacement.

    2. If the ridge is used to stop the spring, then just find any refills that fit into the pen and wrap a few rounds of electrical tape in place of the ridge. Trim the refill down if necessary.

  12. Have a Visconti Kaleido Voyager rollerball; was looking for a .5mm refill, and discovered that one from a Pilot precise v5 RT works fine.

  13. I’m not very into pens, but I bought my wife one for work. I’ve been on a mission to find a cartridge refill for the pen, with a smaller line size/tip size.

    I believe she’s using a .7mm and I’m looking for a .38mm or even smaller if possible. But it has to fit a d1 cross type pen. Also needs to be an black ink pen, not gel.

    Any suggestions? Would love to purchase one asap.

    Thanks for your time

    1. The size/numbering system between gel pens and ballpoint and rollerball/ink get a little confusing. As far as I know, there are not any rollerball or liquid ink options available in D1 refills but you might try a needlepoint ballpoint as an alternative for the finest available D1 refill. The OHTO Needlepoint is listed as a 0.5 but writes very fine as does the Uni Jetstream and the Zebra Emulsion which are also listed as 0.5 as well. The only way to get a finer refill for D1 is to go to a gel and get the Zebra JSB series Gel D1 refills which are available in an 0.4mm size. For D1 pens, they are my favorite refills but I understand if you are using your pen for carbons they might not be suitable. They also churn through ink quickly so most people end up needing to purchase them in quantities but I find its the best of both worlds — fine lines in a pen that only accepts a D1. I hope that helps!

  14. I am looking for a modestly up-scale pen that fits HI-Tec-C 0.25 or Uni-Signo 0.28 refills. Any ideas?

    Also are there uef nib replacements sold anywhere for Platinum fountain pens?

  15. I was able to fit a Montblanc Fineliner refill into my Waterman Charleston. Looks like the MB roller is the same sized cartridge too.

    You’ll need to file off about 2 mm from the rear of the MB cartridge. The plastic is very soft and this can be done with a household nail file.

    1. Caran D’Ache offers a refill called the Goliath. It’s a ballpoint refill available in fine, medium or broad and is touted to write up to 600 pages from one refill.

      I am digging around my house to find my 849 to verify that other standard Parker-style refills will also fit. It looks like a normal Parker-style refill so chances are pretty good that most Parker-style refills should fit but I can’t guarantee it. I’ll keep you posted.

      1. I would love to know if I could get some kind of rollerball or Schmidt refill in my 849. I love this pen but I’m not a big ballpoint fan.

        1. Thanks, do let me know! I love the pen and have tons of refills in varieties. Don’t mind spending money on the pen want to save on the refills.

          Thanks!

  16. Looking to find a more upscale pen that will take a Signo 207. I’m not interested in having to modify it at all. Are there any upscale pens out there that are fully compatible?

  17. I love Monteverde Broad point ceramic gel refills for Parker style ballpoint pens. They have blue-black color too. Hard to find but I have Staples order them for me about $20 for a package of 6. Now all my Parker style ballpoint pens can use smooth broad point gel inks. Thanks for the great pen info.

    1. I only found average performance from my Montblanc version of the Monteverde gel ballpoint refill, especially disliked the small amount of ink it contained.

      So I refilled an emptied one by using a drinking straw to ‘carry’ Pilot G2 gel ink with stopper fluid inserted into the refill.

      It worked, but a messy hack job to do on a regular basis. This was just one of my many experiments.

  18. This is such a helpful resource!!! It inspired quick research on Fountain Pen Network which yielded excellent outcome!! A Pilot G2 refill fits perfectly in my Sheaffer Prelude rollerball. The pen was gifted to me years ago and I never used it cause read that Sheaffer roller ball refills aren’t the best. I just forgot about the pen until I saw this article. Thanks so much for all the info here. So cool to be able to revive useless pens!

  19. Waterman Rollerball and Pilot G2 (without its end cap) refills are compatible with the metal Lamy Swift Capless Rollerball pen.

    Since they are slightly shorter than the Lamy M66 refill, the refill tips will not stick out as far as the M66.

  20. Hi,

    I have a Graf von Faber-Castell Tamitio Rollerball Pen and wondered whether it would be able to take a ballpoint refill? If not, any other refill that anyone could suggest which is closer to a ballpoint?

    Thank you for all your help, very much appreciated.

    1. I looked into an option for you and all I found was a retro-fitted Acme that added plastic parts to a Parker-style ballpoint refill. I found it on the CultPens Euro rollerball page.

  21. Hi Ana,

    Thanks a lot for featuring my printed refill adapters as part of your Epic Refill Reference Guide.

    There has been a noticeable increase in refill adapter interest over the last month or so, leading to some very interesting discussions, which in turn has rekindled my interest in this project.
    Since then I have been expanding the range of adapters that are on offer, with over 30 different refill sizes now having adapters for them.

    I have also started making adapters for other replacement refills, not just the D1 Mini and the slightly shorter Cross Matrix.
    The plastic tubed 3mm diameter refills, often found in Japanese multi-pens are what I’ve gone with.
    There are 3 different refill lengths that I have incorporated: 88mm (Uni SXR-80), 93mm (Pilot Hi-Tec C Coleto) and 98-99mm (Uni Signo UMR-109, Pentel Sliccies XBGRN, Zebra Surari EK, etc).
    The Pilot Coleto refill will be familiar to some for it’s pleasant writing characteristics and the very fine writing tips it offers (0.3, 0.4 & 0.5mm), while the 98-99mm refills come in many varieties of ink, from oil-based, to gel, emulsion and hybrid.
    Since the bodies of these refills are plastic, the longer ones can be cut shorter to fit into adapters that could not otherwise take the longer refills.

    Some pens, such as the Lamy Safari Ballpoint, won’t accept alternative refills, due to the shape of the pen’s tip section, so I’ve also looked at printable replacement pen tips. Thus far I’ve only created 3D models for the Lamy Safari and Parker Jotter, but they have yet to be printed and tested.

    As Ana correctly stated above in the article; I’d be happy to help create custom refill adapter solutions to suit specific requirements, so long as it’s physically possible and I’m given enough information. If it’s not hugely complicated I don’t tend to charge for such design work.

    Please feel free to get in touch with me if you are interested.
    Cheers.

  22. Hi all! I’ve got a beautiful chromatic dual-color pen body that belonged to my grandfather; it takes the full-length (97mm) Fisher #SU1 refills. However, even the “fine” ballpoint refills are too broad for me. I’d like to replace the refills with something like a sliccies or hi-tec-c refill, but the plastic barrels on all the Japanese pen refills I love are a bit too wide to slip into the metal casing that holds the space pen refills.

    Any advice on how to hack this without damaging the vintage pen? Thanks!

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