I was asked by Arch Drafting Supply via Twitter what my opinion of the Pilot G2 pen was. My frothing knee-jerk reaction was “IT IS THE WORST THING“, followed by conceding that the 0.38mm Pilot G2 was inexplicably not an affront to human decency / everything beautiful in the world. But I still hadn’t done a comprehensive review of the Pilot G2 line. High time we change that.
I’ve already laid down pretty much all the harshness I can in my previous post reviewing the 0.38mm Pilot G2—the design has reached the pinnacle of boringness. Can any pen hope to claim this title from the Pilot G2 through innovative use of the most uninspired and unappealing design techniques known to modern man? Unlikely. A design this steadfastly boring is a classic that will stand the test of time and remain just as boring 20 years from now as it is today.
There are three elements of design that vary among the different sized models. One is the color of the barrel; the two larger tip sizes (1.0mm and 0.7mm) have smoky translucent barrels, and the two smaller tip sizes (0.5mm and 0.38mm) have clear barrels.
Second element: the writing on the clip—gold for the 1.0mm and the 0.7mm, silver for the 0.5mm, white for the 0.38mm.
And your final element: the color of the plastic on the tip (something that most people probably won’t notice, because who refills a Pilot G2 when it runs out? I’m pretty sure everyone just throws them away) is different for each tip size. But enough about the design. What really matters is what’s on the inside. In the spirit of fairness, I went out and bought these pens brand new for this review, hoping that the abysmal quality control would finally break in my favor, unlike every 0.5mm and 0.7mm Pilot G2 I would attempt to use at my last job.
Thankfully, I had no experiences of utter frustration resulting in throwing the pen across the room while writing this review (this happened several times with several previous G2 pens). All of the pens did what a pen is supposed to do, which is write.
Of the bunch,
I loathed the 0.5mm the most the 0.5mm was my least favorite. There was something that felt off, unsteady, annoying when I was writing with it. The 0.7mm came in at the cut-off of acceptable: perfectly fine if I need to write something down right now, but if I have the time and opportunity to go find another pen to write with, I will. The two extremes, 0.38mm and 1.0mm, turned out to be my favorites.
Having such an audaciously huge rollerball made the 1.0mm the smoothest among the G2s. My writing looks awful and messy, but I wasn’t getting resistance from the pen (one of my main concerns). And the performance of the 0.38mm is no surprise; we already knew that one was a favorite, with neat, precise, and constant lines.
I doubt I’ll ever go out of my way to make sure I have any of the Pilot G2 models in my daily arsenal, but the 0.38mm and 1.0mm would be just fine in an office drawer, and those pens can rest easy knowing they probably won’t be evicted from one of my many homebound pen cups.
No link, because you can find these pens pretty much EVERYWHERE. Probably even convenience stores and bake sales. They’re ubiquitous.