Pen Hacks

This is a list of pen and refill hacks that I know of. If there are any that you are aware of that are not listed feel free to let me know. Most will require a spacer to fill in the backspace. I use plastic tubing that I’ve gotten with some of my Karas Kustoms pens, but the extra plastic on the back of a standard ballpoint refill (like a Bic Stic) will work just as good and the length of the spacer will vary depending on the refill, just measure enough to lengthen the non-stock refill to the stock refill. I’ve included some pictures to give an idea of the lengths of the spacers needed for the Lamy rollerball pens.

Lamy Safari and Al Star rollerballs:

The Schmidt P8126/P8127, any Pilot G2 sizes, Pilot FriXion, Uni-Ball Signo 207, Uni-Ball Jetstream, Zebra Sarasa Clip, Pentel OH! Gel, and Pentel EnerGel refills will work, though a spacer will be required. The Signo 207 and Jetstream tip will extend a little farther out than the others but shouldn’t affect how it writes. If this bothers you, just trim a little bit of plastic off the back of the refill. Mont Blanc rollerball and FineLiner refills will work with a small spacer. The tip of the Mont Blanc refills won’t stick out as far as some other refills, and I think this is due to the threading on the Mont Blanc refills, but this shouldn’t affect the usability of the refills. Pilot Precise V5/V7 RT, and Pilot V-Ball RT (Pilot Greenball) refills with a spacer should also work though I haven’t tried them. (Pilot FriXion and Uni-Ball Jetstream hacks submitted by Michael Green)

Lamy 2000 rollerball:

Any Pilot G2 size, Pilot FriXion, Uni-Ball Signo 207, Uni-Ball Jetstream, Zebra Sarasa Clip, Pentel OH! Gel, and Pentel EnerGel refills will work with a spacer. The Signo 207 and Jetstream tip will extend a little farther out than the others but shouldn’t affect how it writes. If this bothers you, just trim a little bit of plastic off the back of the refill. Mont Blanc rollerball and FineLiner refills will work with a small spacer. The tip of the Mont Blanc refills won’t stick out as far as some other refills, and I think this is due to the threading on the Mont Blanc refills, but this shouldn’t affect the usability of the refills. Pilot Precise V5/V7 RT, and Pilot V-Ball RT (Pilot Greenball) refills with a spacer should also work though I haven’t tried them. The Schmidt P8126/8127 refills will NOT fit. The P8126 refill is wider than the stock refill and the tip won’t come through the nose cone of the pen. I think the P8126 hits the metal tension ring inside the barrel and that this is what stops it. (Pilot FriXion and Uni-Ball Jetstream hacks submitted by Michael Green)

Lamy Studio rollerball:

The Schmidt P8126/P8127, any Pilot G2 sizes, Pilot FriXion, Uni-Ball Signo 207, Uni-Ball Jetstream, Zebra Sarasa Clip, Pentel OH! Gel, and Pentel EnerGel refills will work, though a spacer will be required. The Signo 207 and Jetstream tip will extend a little farther out than the others but shouldn’t affect how it writes. If this bothers you, just trim a little bit of plastic off the back of the refill.  Mont Blanc rollerball and FineLiner refills will work with a small spacer. The tip of the Mont Blanc refills won’t stick out as far as some other refills, and I think this is due to the threading on the Mont Blanc refills, but this shouldn’t affect the usability of the refills. Pilot Precise V5/V7 RT, and Pilot V-Ball RT (Pilot Greenball) refills with a spacer should also work though I haven’t tried them. (Pilot FriXion and Uni-Ball Jetstream hacks submitted by Michael Green)

Lamy Tipo

Any Pilot G2 size, Pilot FriXion, Pilot V-Ball RT (Pilot Greenball), Uni-Ball Signo 207, Uni-Ball Jetstream, Zebra Sarasa Clip, Pentel OH! Gel, and Pentel EnerGel, refills will work with a spacer. The Jetstream refill will need to be trimmed some in order for the nock to lock in place. Mont Blanc refills, and Pilot Precise V5/V7 RT refills with a spacer should also work though I haven’t tried them. I don’t own a Tipo so at this point I’m not sure if the Schmidt P8126/P8127 refills will work or not. (Submitted by Michael Green)

Karas Kustoms Render K:

The Uni-Ball Signo DX (UM-151) refill will fit, it just needs to be trimmed to the same length as the Pilot Hi-Tec-C. This hack is for the regular Render K, not the Render K G2 model.
The Uni-Ball Jetstream refill can be hacked to fit the regular Render K. To do this, the collar on the Jetstream refill needs to be sanded down to fit into the Render K body and a spacer will be needed to fill in the backspace. Cutting the collar can achieve the same result as sanding it down but for some reason cutting the collar off seems to affect how the refill writes so it is better to sand it down. (Jetstream hack submitted by Aaron Stanley)

Karas Kustoms Render K G2:

The Uni-Ball Signo 207, and Pentel Energel refills will fit. The tip on the Signo 207 will extend a little further than the tip of the Pilot G2 tip but shouldn’t affect how it writes. If this bothers you, just trim a little bit of plastic off the back of the refill. The EngerGel refill fits a little more snugly in the body of the Render K G2 so you may have to twist the refill a little bit as you insert it into the body of the Render K G2 but it will fit. The tip may extend a little further as well, but again shouldn’t affect how it writes.

Karas Kustoms Retrakt

The Uni-Ball Signo 207, Pentel Energel, Zebra Saras Clip, and Pilot Precise V5/V7 RT refills will fit. There are a couple of different ways to get the refills to fit. All of these refills have a large hole at the back of the refill instead of a plug (the Precise V5/V7 RT has a plug but it’s shaped differently than the G2 plug so it has the same issues as the other refills listed.) which causes the clicky mechanism to go into the hole and not extend the refill. One way to solve this problem is to fill in the hole with glue, a plug from a Pilot G2, pieces of tape, etc. all of which can still cause issues getting the refill to extend. The simple solution is to trim the aforementioned refills to the length of a Parker Ballpoint style refill and use the black plastic spacer that Karas Customs includes for use with Parker Ballpoint style refills. (You still use the spring for the Pilot G2 refill.) (Hacks submitted by various people but I can’t remember the names, sorry.)

Bic Clic:

Yes, the lowly Bic Clic can be hacked with a better refill, in this case the Pilot Hi-Tec-C Slim Knock refill. The Hi-Tec-C Slim Knock refill is shorter than the Bic Clic refill so a spacer will be needed to fill in the backspace and the tubing of the Bic Clic refill is perfect for this. Simply cut enough tubing to lengthen the Slim Knock refill and tape the two pieces together. Due to the clicky action of the pen, taping the two pieces together ensures everything works as it should. (Submitted by Chase Nordengren)

Karas Kustoms ReBolt

This isn’t a refill hack per se, but more of hacking two pens, the Karas Kustom Retrakt and Karas Kustoms Bolt, together. I believe I first saw this on Instagram but can’t remember. There are a few simple steps to make a ReBolt and the guys over at Nock Co have done a blog post on it, so instead of posting everything here, I’m simply going to link to their post.

Ti2 Design TechLiner

The Pentel EnerGel refill will fit the TechLiner. Simply trim the collar on the refill a small bit so the magnet seats fully onto the refill. (Submitted by Jeffrey Bruckwicki)

The Uni-Ball Jetstream will fit without any modification but I have heard of ink flow problems attributed to the magnet not playing nicely with the hybrid ink. (I’ve seen a few people mention this hack but the only person I can think of now is Ian Hedley so sorry to those of you whose name I can’t remember)

Retro 51 Tornado rollerball

The Uni-Ball Signo 207, Uni-Ball Jetstream, Pilot G2, and Pentel EnerGel refills will fit. Simply trim them to the same length as the Schmidt P8126/8127 refills. (Pentel EnerGel hacked borrowed from Mike Rohde. Other hacks submitted by various people but I can’t remember the names, sorry.)

Fisher Space Pen

There are a couple of different hacks that I am aware for the Fisher Space Pen. Both hacks were done with the Fisher Bullet but I don’t see a reason why they wouldn’t work with the entire line of Fisher pens.

The first hack uses the Uni-ball Style Fit refill. Ana at The Well-Appointed Desk did a post about this hack so I’m going to link to her postThe other hack uses the Pilot Hi-Tec-C Slim Knock refill. For this hack, you leave the Fisher spring in place, add the Slim Knock spring into the barrel (yes, two springs) and toss the Hi Tec C Slim Knock refill in and you’re done. If you notice any wiggling of the tip when writing, you can add some washi or scotch tape to the end of the refill just above the tip. (Pilot Hi-Tec-C Slim Knock hack and photos submitted by Aaron Stanley)

Lamy Swift Rollerball


Lamy Swift Schmidt P8126/8127 Hack

TOP: Lamy M66

BOTTOM: Modified Schmidt 8126

RED ARROW: the Schmidt refill was modified by cutting down the ferrule of the point as shown. The remaining “flange” is about the same thickness as the Lamy cartridge. A razor knife or razor blade works well with patience.

BLUE ARROW: the end caps have been switched. The Schmidt refill now holds the Lamy’s original cap. A small pair of needle nose pliers removes the caps easily. I did not put a micrometer to them, but they seemingly fit perfectly.

GREEN ARROW: That adapter is made from the shipping protective cover/seal that comes on each Schmidt 8126. Cut off approximately 4mm and slip it over the Lamy end cap.

The outer edge of the end of the gray plastic adapter (furthest from the tip of the cartridge) needs to be chamfered (the edge rounded off) to work properly and some minor sanding need to be done the get the correct length for the adapter. Too short and the tip does not protrude past the nose of the pen enough, and if too long the cartridge will not lock in the extended position.


Schmidt P8126 with spacer for Lamy Safari, Al-Star, and Studio


 Pilot Juice with spacer for Lamy Safari, Al-Star, Studio, and 2000


 Pentel Energel in Lamy 2000


 Uniball Signo 207 in Lamy 2000


 Pilot Hi-Tec-C Slim Knock hacked for Bic Clic (submitted by Chase Nordengren)


 Pilot Hi-Tec-C Slim Knock refill hacked for Fisher Space Pen


 Pilot Hi-Tec-C Slim Knock refill hacked for Fisher Space Pen


 Pilot Hi-Tec-C Slim Knock refill hacked for Fisher Space Pen


 Fisher Space Pen with Pilot Hi-Tec-C Slim Knock


 Lamy 2000 with Mont Blanc refill


 Lamy 2000 with Mont Blanc Fineliner refill


 Lamy Al-Star with Mont Blanc rollerball refill. You can see in this picture how the tip doesn’t stick out as far

15 Replies to “Pen Hacks”

    1. Steve,

      I don’t have any on hand to try, but they should fit. I’ll try to pick up some Signo 207s in the next couple of days and test. I’ll let you know either way, and if they do I’ll update the post as well

      Like

    1. Denis, sorry it took me a bit to respond. I’ll try to get a photo up on this post, but if you go to my Lamy 2000 review (www.pensandplanes.com/blog-lamy-2000-review) there’s a picture of a Pilot Juice (same size as G2) in that post

      Like

  1. The first "pen hack" I became aware of a few weeks ago was of the Pilot G2 with adapted Mont Blanc refills. Today I said, "Ah, fuck it," and went and got myself a bottle of Mont Blanc Mystery Black ink and filled my Pelikan fountain pen.

    It’s not the greatest ink I’ve ever used (kind of gray and watery) but the bottle is amazingly designed for the purpose of filling a pen with the plunger assembly. The salesman at the store admonished me to not throw it away, and I kind of said to myself, "As if!"

    Like

  2. For my Retrakt, I have found that the smaller zebra and signo refills (0.4 and 0.38 mm) are different than their larger versions (0.5 mm and larger). The smaller ones have a smaller inside diameter that doesn’t need an end cap for the Retrakt.

    However, you might still want to trim it and use the spacer because it occasionally will jam the knock with either spring.

    I may have to try the Bic Clic hack though.

    Like

  3. Hi Jimmy,

    I’d appreciate if you can review our ball pens too. I’d be happy to send a few samples over to you and would love to get featured on your blog. You can check out our entire products range at http://www.elkospens.com Feel free to get in touch with me for any information.

    Like

    1. Frank,

      I make my own spacers with some plastic tubing that Karas Pen Co (Karas Kustoms) includes with most of their pens, but any small plastic tubing (such as an empty ballpoint refill) should work. An empty ballpoint refill works good, because it is small enough to fit in a pen and is strong enough to be used.

      As far as making the spacer, I just line up the stock refill and the refill I want to use, and trim the tubing to fill in the extra space to make the new refill as the stock refill. (A good example is with the Lamy rollerballs. The Lamy refill is longer than a Pilot G2, so I cut the spacer so that that when placed behind the G2, the G2 is the length of the Lamy refill)

      Let me know if you have anymore questions.

      Like

  4. I’ve got a Karas Kustoms EDK that came with a Schmidt P8126 refill. I’m absolutely hating it. Skips like crazy. What are my alternatives? Can I fit a Fisher Space pen or maybe a Montblanc?

    Like

    1. Michael,

      You can use any Parker ballpoint style refill in the EDK, so a Fisher Space Pen refill will work if use the little plastic cap that comes with it. If you’re looking for a gel refill, the Moleskine gel refill and the Itoya Gel refill are both nice options. If you get the Itoya refill, be sure to get the GPR-7 model (they have an AquaRoller refill which is a hybrid refill similar to a Uniball Jetstream). The Itoya refills can be hard to find online. I’ve ordered mine from Penwa, http://www.penwa.com/refills-b/

      Montblanc and Pilot G2 refills won’t work because they’re too long for the EDK, and also because of the way the inside of the barrel is designed, the tips of the G2 and MB refills won’t come out.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s