Luckily, one Wirecutter tester vouches for our suggested alternative: “My go-to pen is the Pilot G2; the Uni-ball Signo (307) feels the closest to it.”. More than two-thirds of our testers said the Jetstream’s ink dried the fastest and smudged the least. The 'Parker-style' ballpoint refill is actually a standard pattern refill known as the G2, and is used by many manufacturers for their ballpoint pens. Tip width as tested: 0.7 mmWidths available: 0.38 mm, 0.5 mm, 0.7 mmStyle: rollerballInk type: gel. On the third day, we hosted a more focused testing session during which more than 65 of those employees received Signo 307 pens and a wider variety of high-quality notebooks to write in. The Parker style standard G2 ballpoint refill is the most common pen refill on the market. “I like a thicker line than the Jetstream provides,” wrote another. We also skipped a number of pens that were well-regarded among reviewers because none of the experts recommended them over our picks, either in our interviews or on their blogs. Probably the best “cheap” rollerball pen is the Pilot G2. Inside the cartridge, you'll find a thick, oil-based ink. After more than a year of regular use, Staff Writer Thom Dunn extolled the virtues of the Pilot Precise, telling us “[it’s] the best affordable pen I’ve found so far, and I’m absolutely a convert to it.” But he also warned “however, it has made me understand the value of a pocket protector—I usually carry a pen in my pants pocket, and I’ve accidentally clicked the Pilot Precise open on more than one occasion, causing my pants to absorb a small spot of black ink.” Staff Writer Rachel Cericola added “I also love the Pilot Precise. Pen experts in 2013 gave the Jetstream a perfect score for feathering, bleeding, and drying time—and our staff testing in 2018 bore that out. Rollerballs use water-based ink, which provides smoother, finer lines. Compared with our top pick, the Uni-ball Jetstream, the Pilot Frixion produces more inky results, with a slightly thicker line, a bit more pooling, but less skipping. If you’re looking for a pen that has a bit more character but may be harder to find, more expensive, or not quite as good for every possible situation, we’ve also assembled a list of some of our staff’s favorite pens. Is it the World's Best Pen? We like the Schmidt EasyFlow 9000 refills for their dark lines that go onto the page extra smooth. While the Fisher Space Pen and Pilot G2 refills are the most popular, there are hundreds more to choose from (yes, really). Beyond the tip width, you can upgrade your Jetstream choice in a number of ways while keeping the smoothness and ink performance: Jetstream pens feature Uni-ball’s Super Ink, a type of ink that’s resistant to forgery by means of removal (such as with acetone), water, and fading; in addition, the ink can write well on glossy paper, including receipts. The ParKoo Retractable Erasable Gel Pens ranked among the best erasable pens we tried. We scoured picks throughout our site to find 50 of the most useful things under $50, Our testing group agreed with our experts: The Uni-ball Jetstream is the best pen for most everyday writing tasks. And if you’re wondering what the difference is between ballpoint, rollerball, and gel pens—and which one might suit your writing style best—we have a pen-type primer below. This pen writes like a satisfying inky gel pen but erases cleanly. The Jetstream has been a Wirecutter pick since 2013, and remains widely loved. More than half of our staffers said the Jetstream’s ink feathered the least of the three testing pens. Available in a variety of tip widths and colors, the Jetstream is sold in office-supply stores and through online merchants. We considered the very wide array of Uni-ball pens for this updated guide, and we tried the Vision Elite with BLX inks. We researched and tested over 30 pens to find the best pen for writing that's reliable, comfortable, and provides the smoothest writing experience. Let us know in the comments below. It has a retractable tip (that’s what the “RT” stands for), so it’s pocket-safe and you won’t lose any caps. They leave a dark line of ink behind, and look great on the page. On top of that, the Basic version is thin at its grip and less comfortable than our picks. While the Fisher Space Pen and Pilot G2 refills are the most popular, there are hundreds more to choose from (yes, really). Of the six erasable pens we tested, Pilot’s FriXion Clicker Erasable Retractable Gel Pen came out on top for its satisfyingly inky, quick-drying writing and its easy-to-hold body; we also like that it erased cleanly, leaving just a slight trace behind. Rollerballs shine on high quality paper, but the liquid ink tends to go right through the page on cheaper paper. We’re also fans of Pilot’s Erasable FriXion ColorSticks, but they don’t have a grip, a design that could cause some finger pain if you’re writing for a long time. Now, the next step to having an awesome writing experience in your day to day is finding the right refill to put in it. But the most important part of an erasable pen is its ability to erase cleanly. This video is a review of the Pilot G2 Limited. In Wirecutter testing, a nearly equal number of our testers found the Precise V5 RT as comfortable to hold as the Jetstream. 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