Introduction: Save $200 in 2 Minutes and Have the World's Best Writing Pen

Hack together your very own Mont Blanc writing pen for only $15 in about 2 minutes! This video is entirely based upon the awesomely successful Instructable Save $200 in 2 minutes and have the worlds best writing pen

Mont Blanc pens employ some mighty fine technology and are widely regarded as one of the best writing implements in the world.  So what's the problem?  They typically cost between $200 and $300 - a little too expensive of a pen for most of us.  What's the solution?  Modify the ink refill cartridge in 2 minutes of course so that it fits in a regular old Pilot G2.

We're such a fan of kingant's Instructable that we decided to make a little video about it!


VictoriaMo (author)2016-11-20

This was an awesome hack! I have lots of faux Mont Blanc pens and made a bunch for friends. Thanks!!!!!!

Green Silver (author)2010-06-11

And everybody looks at the pen you have and thinks " That cost less than $5" LOL The Americans developed a pen that would write in zero gravity, cost... $10,000 to develop. The Russians used a pencil! Russia ONE, America NIL... The same as this instructable! Oh Btw. Did the cheap pen work?

goood one!!! hahahaha!! and btw its a true story

Tomasauk (author)Green Silver2011-09-09

Apparently old ballpoint pens had pistons in them to push the ink into the ball, but they got rid of that. I think that is how the space pen worked.
Also when you write down scientific stuff it is preferable to use a pen, because it can't be erased.

MiloM2 (author)Tomasauk2015-01-15

Erasing in zero G's seems like a very risky endavour.

Advar (author)Tomasauk2013-08-26

A bit of clear tape to cover it...

mechanixman (author)Green Silver2010-10-25

okay im tired of hearing this saying. its INNACURATE. russians AND americ ans used pencils in space, but the lead was too fragile for this use, so the americans spent $50!!!!! to make this pen not $10,000 not a million. plus, everyone uses this pen in space. and dont think im ragging on the russians, becomes i am russian-american

UberPest (author)mechanixman2011-12-29

Not to mention it was the Fisher company, a private company, who developed the pen, then marketed it to NASA.

sway (author)Green Silver2010-07-19

That's rude

Green Silver (author)sway2010-07-19

I beg to differ, the only person that will know you have a posh pen refill is the person whom modified the pen. The expense of this pen is the actual pen build, and not the ink refill, hence the price of the seperate parts.

Syera (author)Green Silver2010-06-24

Actually, both the Americans and Russians used pencils in the early days. The reason NASA developed a pen was because the bits of graphite that went flying around could be dangerous - they could get into the machinery or into the astronauts' eyes.

DivineDragon1952 (author)2016-02-18

Tried to view your video but just get a message saying the uploader has not made this video available. Same problem on you tube.

jimdkc (author)2010-12-15

I tried this, and it was great... for about a month. That's when the Mont Blanc refill dried up and quit working. You see, that's the thing about most rollerball pens: they have to be capped to keep from drying out. Mont Blanc pens included. If you look at the actual Mont Blanc rollerball pens, you'll see that they all have a removable cap.

But, I may have a solution: A bit of internet research and I found Schmidt Capless Rollerball Refills. They come in short and long versions. The long version looks like the same length as the Mont Blanc refills (4 1/4"). They sell for around $4 each, and appear to be quite similar to the Mont Blanc refills... they may even be made in the same factory in Germany!

jimdkc (author)jimdkc2011-01-03

No go... The Schmidt refills are too large in diameter to fit most G2 pens (standard G2 and G2 Limited), and on the G2's where they're not too fat (G2 Pro), they have a slightly different tip configuration.

jimdkc (author)jimdkc2015-05-04

Schmidt model 888 refills (also sold under the "Private Reserve" name) fit and work in a G-2 pen perfectly (the ones I tried before that didn't work were Schmidt model 8126 Short). The Schmidt refills are intended for many rollerball pens, including capless models. You can get them for around $2-3 each on Amazon or eBay. They come in a wide variety of ink colors and come in fine (0.6mm) and medium (0.7mm) tips. There you go... a smooth writing ceramic rollerball pen with a German-engineered cartridge in a readily-available, inexpensive Pilot G2 body for about $5.00 that WON'T dry out in a couple weeks. And, I think they write every bit as good as a Mont Blanc!

fibonacci112 (author)2012-09-11

Funny, but I do the exact opposite. I have some really fine writing instruments (though not a Montblanc) and for those I can, I replace their cartridge with the G2 refill. In my opinion, the gel ink in the G2 is among the best available and the refills cost a lot less than the expensive name brand replacements. the results look better and write better than what you are doing.

Mr.Unknown (author)2011-02-08

$200... for a PEN!!?? that is incredibly overpriced, but that not even the part that writes. the part of the pen that does all the work is the ink cartridge writing and all you know Why is so much crap overpriced these days! Go back a couple hundred years and you could buy whole countries for the cost of that pen : P wait, now wityh that thought i will take the $200 in my piggy bank and build a time machine. then after that i will buy a country... Instead of STUPID OVERPRICED PEN : ). who needs such a fancy pen anyway i am fine with a regular old ballpoint pen thats like $5 for a 25pack. darn business making pens 200 dollars!

account3r2 (author)Mr.Unknown2012-03-27

I can get 30 pens for 99 cents... and also, the ink tube is so big, you can write without the rest of the pen as long as you don't mind it not retracting... That's what I do with some of the G2 ink tubes I find or take out of the rest of the pen...

zazukain (author)Mr.Unknown2011-10-23

How is the different from $1000+ watches? They all tell the same time, just like how all pens (for the most part) write.

mr.noris (author)2010-10-26

just use a normal pen

Green Silver (author)mr.noris2010-10-26

You can't beat a cheap or even free pen, you can chew the end, scrawl on the bench and it it breaks.. What have you lost? Absolutely nothing apart from a worthless pen, which can be replaced for nothing...

"I bought a seven dollar pen because I always lose pens and I got sick of not caring." --Mitch Hedberg

pdub77 (author)shaneomacmcgee2012-01-09

Classic Mitch. Miss that guy. . .

Rolexpert (author)2011-11-07

I didn't have access to a razor blade or exacto knife set so I used my girlfriends nail file (emory board) to sand down the plastic to perfection. The pen retracts perfectly. I would suggest the sanding method to ensure it precise. If you cut it, you might cut to much off etc. Here it is finished!

rbohringer (author)2011-09-22

That's genius.

thomasthetankengine (author)2011-08-31

Wrong. $195.00 in 2 minutes. =P

lgotingco (author)2011-08-28

Does it have to be the pilot G2- 05

terribug (author)2011-08-22

Uh. Not to be awful, but what could you possibly be writing that could be worth that kind of money? Really. For most uses, go to Target or Walmart during the Back to School sales and pick up a pack of Bic 10/$1 and go spend your money on something that will actually do somebody some good.

imaMaker (author)2010-05-12

What a waste of $13 for two Monte Blanc refills.  It worked fine for a couple hours and has been skipping ever since.  Neat idea but it just doesn't work.

fasil (author)imaMaker2011-07-18

Cool trick, but the same happen to me. both Mont Blanc are dead for good, Tried a few tips, hot water, eraser, anyone with a great solution ?

RetroTechno (author)imaMaker2010-06-29

Mine works just fine. It really is the best ballpoint pen I've ever used. Maybe you got a really old refill from the store or something. Don't get me wrong, I don't think this pen is $200 good, but it's definitely $12 good.

pbonk (author)imaMaker2010-05-20

I've had the same thing happen with 4 Mone Blanc refills. Thankfully office depot has a decent return policy.

yasminekke (author)2011-04-11

You can also just ask a pen in class and never give it back, secretely take a pen out of someone's pencil case ^.^
But in lot of stores, bares.. you can take free pens, sometimes they write verry good

saint.jude (author)2011-01-21

Well great idea but honestly, the Mont Blanc ink isn’t the best ink for writing, what makes the pen is its great shape. If you really want the best writing ink you should go for ViscoGlide-ink it’s priced around 5$ but you’ll never wrote like this before! (It even fits into a Mont Blanc Pen because some people prefer this ink They have it in several sizes or as a standalone pen without exchangeable ink)
Check my review here:

pirateaboard (author)2010-02-16

I wanted this to work, I really did.  However two of my Mont Blanc replacements wore out within the first week.  I bought them from Staples so I doubt they are relabeled third party inks.  Awesome instructable but it looks like I'm sticking with the original ink cartridge and avoiding Mont Blanc at all costs.

noahw (author)pirateaboard2010-02-16

The problem is that the Mont Blanc refills are a liquid ink and the Pilot G2 pen has a gel ink, so without a cap of some sorts, the Mont Blanc refills have a tendency to evaporate outside of their normal air tight homes. 

If you can fashion some sort of a pen cap for the G2, then you've solved the problem.  That...or give up the G2 and use some other brand of Pilot based gel pen technology that comes with a cap.  From Pilot's website it looks like that might be the Pilot Neo Gel.  Has anyone tried using that pen or come up with suitable a pen cap?

pirateaboard (author)noahw2010-02-17

Probably worth mentioning before everyone wastes $12 on ink refills for a G2 as recommended in instructions.

noahw (author)pirateaboard2010-02-17

I found out about the problem myself when I did a little research on the subject to answer your first comment and read up on the hack a bit more.  I've been looking at other pens that can accept the G2 refill form factor (of which there are many) that also have a cap, so I think things are still a go.

But there's more to this story that needs pens that I know of have air tight caps to begin with because it would pose a choking hazard, so I'm not too sure if the cap theory I originally postulated is entirely correct and the only reason why you were having trouble with your cartridges drying out.

We need expert opinions here.

~Z~ (author)noahw2010-03-06

 Also, what would happen if you didn't trim the end of the mont blanc refill? 

jimdkc (author)~Z~2010-12-15

If you don't trim the Mont Blanc refill, the G2 clicker won't work.

~Z~ (author)noahw2010-03-06

 You could try covering the end with hot glue.... how long did the ink last for you? I'm wondering because im getting the refill and if it lasts for a very short time i might not use it.

paperclip32 (author)noahw2010-02-22

 it's not worth it with the neo gel.even if it could fit in there,the lack of a rubber/silicone grip thingy makes my hand hurt,and it's very hard to write when my hand hurts.

Tape-structable (author)noahw2010-02-16

Are the blue caps the refills come in reattachable? I was thinking if I ever would get a mont blanc refill, I would just use it like a pico pen. Is it possible? I've never been face to ink with one of these.

DJJazzyj987 (author)2010-08-26

I tried this and it worked perfectly, thanks!

Sparoc3 (author)2010-03-03

 well i live in india $200 is definately very huge amount for a common man 
but...i'm student so even $12 is too much ...i can get a parker roller for 5-6 $ good for high earning people...not for all...

x z i t (author)Sparoc32010-03-03

12$ is too much? how much is a computer?

Johnathan Flippo (author)x z i t2010-03-17

 like 1000 bucks at least

ac1D (author)Johnathan Flippo2010-03-22

fully loaded quad core with 4gb of ram and all: 600$
cheap desktop: 500$
cheap laptop: 400$
netbook: 300$
used p4: -200$
used p3: -100$


fireraisr (author)ac1D2010-03-22

 lol, I saw that ad for the quad core on newegg. Kinda made me go cross-eyed cuz I payed $800 for the same parts 2 years ago and built my own. Buying new would have cost me $1300 or so back then. It hurt to see how much my machine had depreciated.

Ivraine (author)fireraisr2010-08-26

yeah, and the newest processors still have extreme prices, and are only marginally better than the second best, but the second best costs 100-200 dollars less...

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Bio: I've worked for Instructables off and on since 2006 building and documenting just about everything I enjoy doing. I am now the Creative Programs ... More »
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