The Pilot G-2 is a favorite with many and for good reason; it’s an affordable pen that writes well and can take a bit of a beating compared to others in its class.
Consider this review a foray into the world of affordable pens...
The G-2 is constructed from relatively robust plastic. The walls of the barrel are relatively thick making the pen more sturdy than others in its class. That said, it’s still plastic and plastic is prone to breakage when compared to other materials. I have experienced some cracking on older G-2s (around the seam between the two barrel parts and on the pocket clip).
Everything fits together well on the G-2. The barrel screws together without any noticeable play. The pocket clip assembly (the blue section at the top of the pen) rotates slightly if lightly pushed.
The click mechanism is executed pretty well. The point deploys crisply with a relatively loud “click-click.” The plunger travel isn’t too long - one might say it’s average. The plunger doesn’t spring back up when the point is deployed; it’s a minor detail, but annoying nonetheless.
The G-2 I’m using is a 0.5mm model. The ink is of the gel type. The pen writes very well, laying down a clean, smooth line without any skips or scratching. The G-2's writing performance is probably one of its biggest selling-points.
The drying time is average, it can smear slightly if you quickly attack a line you've just laid.
Writing Comfort: 2
The G-2 is comfortable when writing. It features a rubber grip area which is contoured slightly. I would prefer the grip area to extend further toward the point to accommodate a greater variety of writing styles, but this is more subjective than anything; as it currently sits the grip’s placement is not detrimental. Sometimes I find myself placing only my thumb on the grip section and my index and middle finger on the plastic below it.
Design Concept: 1
It’s not an exceptionally beautiful pen by any stretch, but it’s not exceptionally ugly, either. For the price, it’s relatively well-designed. It’s an average pen in most respects.
Markings and Insignia: 2
The only well-visible markings on the G-2 are on the pocket clip. “PILOT G-2 05,” it reads. There are embossed markings reading “PILOT JAPAN” by the seam between the two body sections; they are not readily visible and blend with the barrel. Overall, the markings are relatively minimal and are not intrusive.
Of course, as the pen barrel is predominantly clear, markings on the ink cartridge are also partially visible.
Carry Method: 1
The G-2 is secured into the pocket by way of a traditional pocket clip. It protrudes approximately ¾ of an inch from the top of the pocket. Most of this (about ½ an inch) is the plunger, the remainder being the upper portion of the barrel / pocket clip assembly. The inherent nature of a pocket clip that is molded into the barrel causes extra material to sit above the pocket-line.
It’s certainly easy to retrieve as the plunger offers enough space for a decent purchase with one’s fingers. The clip itself isn’t overly intrusive but I would prefer less of the pen to sit outside the pocket. Occasionally, I have found the contours of my jeans pushing the plunger when I sit or bend; never enough to fully click the pen, though.,
Carry Durability: 1
Like the rest of the G-2, the pocket clip is plastic. It appears to be durable simply due to the thickness of the clip itself. I haven’t encountered any breakage problems when carrying this particular pen for the past week or so but can attest to the fact that the G-2 plastic clips do fail quicker than their metal counterparts.
Carry Comfort: 2
The G-2 isn’t burdensome to have in one’s pocket. It’s not particularly uncomfortable or irritating. The grip isn't sticky enough to catch in the pocket, but it does collect a bit of pocket fuzz; again, a minor detail that doesn't really detract from the pen itself.
The Pilot G-2 is a well-rounded and affordable pen. The pocket clip's styling and plastic construction don't make it an ideal pen for everyday carry, in my opinion, but it's certainly a favorite among many.
It's available in most retail stores (usually in packs of 4 or 12) and typically for just over a dollar per pen. Alternatively, they're available individually (in many colors and line widths) from JetPens.com.