Inexpensive Pilot G6 gel pens (or at least as good alt)?
January 7, 2008 7:05 AM   Subscribe

Help me find webshops with inexpensive Pilot G6 gel pen cartridges, or at least as good alternatives, that ship to private customers in Europe?

BACKGROUND:
I write a lot by hand with gel pens, specifically the Pilot G6, mainly black or blue color. http://www.pilotpen.us/products/ ; screenshot: http://img299.imageshack.us/img299/2814/pilotrangelt1.png . I think Pilot uses the same ink cartridge for G2 mini, G2 pro, G2 and G6.

ALTERNATIVES:
Alternative pens/catridges should be at least as good as the G6. They should have the same or similar qualities as the G6, G2 et al: good flow, dry quickly, no "stuttering".

EXAMPLE:
I have locally found the Niji J-clear range of pens and have "testdriven" them for a while (http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/9688/nijijclear05ea7.jpg ; I can't find an official website when googling). The J-clear is normally almost as good as G2, G6 et al. But lines drawn with the Niji pens are in my experience always a bit more "fuzzy". And, a more serious problem, some of the Niji pens began to "stutter" after a while. With "stutter" I mean that even with least half the ink left in the cartridge the regular think ink flow frequently gets interrupted by half flow or no flow but then later works as it should again. That really makes a pen unreliable and obstructs efficient use. (I should note that I bought all the Niji test pens at the same time so maybe I good a batch that was old or otherwise nonrepresentative.) So any alternative to G6 et al should be "fuzzy" or "stutter".

VOLUME:
The pens/cartridges should also be available for bulk purchase by some internet enabled store that ships to Europe (to Sweden specifically). With bulk I mean something around 50-100 pens (I use up around 50 pens a year). But if a GREAT bargain price was available if a larger batch is purchased then that might also work.

PRICE:
the Niji pens cost the equivalent of 1.5$ over the counter where I live. That's for one pen (casing) including its ink cartridge. I have not found a place that sells just Niji cartridges. The G6 cartridges also costs around 2$ at local office supply stores.

But I have a hunch that there are DRASTICALLY less expensive gel pens/cartridges around somewhere but that I have just not discovered the brand name and where to get them. Maybe in the sub 0.5$ price range. Maybe from some webshop outlet in east asia with very low bulk prices even with the shipping cost to Europe included.

My hunch is based on my experience from purchasing electronical devices cheaply from such webshops, from reading about eye glasses consumer activism at http://glassyeyes.blogspot.com/ and from sheer optimism. If it works for mp3 players and glasses then why not pens, right?

Ok, I hope that is enough details for the question. Now I hope for your feedback.
posted by nolnar to Shopping (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I'm not sure that this fits your requirement of cheap, but if you're looking for quality, supposedly replacing your Pilot refills with Mount Blanc refills is pretty easy.
posted by pete0r at 10:55 AM on January 7, 2008


pete0r: though it didn't fit the requirement it was still an interesting read. I had not thought about hacking cartridges like that before. It also got me thinking on a related hack: might it be possible cheaply buy gel ink of G2 quality in some larger container and then manually refill the G2 cartridges (compare manually refilling printer ink cartridges).

I still hope for others to answer my initial questions.
posted by nolnar at 3:14 AM on January 10, 2008


Realize I'm late but I did eventually try replacing the G-2 cartridge with the Mont Blanc one and really thought the G-2 wrote better. Plus I lost the pen for a month or so and when I found it again the Mont Blanc started skipping so I threw it away.

Have you tried contacting asking at your local stores to see if they'll do a better rate for bulk purchases? Or maybe try to find out who distributes Pilot in Sweden. eBay is another possibility. I see there's quite a few G-2s, at least, and maybe you can find someone who'll sell you a bunch and ship them.

Good luck. The G-2 is the only pen I've ever found that's made me think "I like this enough to go out of my way to buy more."
posted by 6550 at 7:21 PM on January 12, 2008


6550, yes I've looked around for bulk discounts. I might save around 10% that way it seems. I've also googled frenetically for webshops that sell G2 and ship to Sweden. I've found many relevant online stores in the UK and US but either they don't ship here or the price difference is so small that it would be evened out by the shipping cost. So I'm beginning to think that the prospects for finding drastically cheaper G2 original cartridges might be slim. I have greater hope that someone will point me to some much cheaper but qualitatively similar cartridge, a "G2 clone" if you will. Since the G2 has been around for quite some time, is well known for its quality and still costs pretty much it strikes me as likely that there are such cheaper, high-quality clones out there.
posted by nolnar at 11:31 AM on January 16, 2008


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