The most common type of pen in the world today is a ballpoint pen. Easy-to-use with either a twist-action mechanism or click-top, the ballpoint ink is readily accessible with one hand operation and usually requires no cap to prevent the refill from drying out. The type of ballpoint ink that is usually found is a paste-like viscous ink that is sheared off by the rotating tungsten-carbide ball that is in the tip socket, laying down ink as the ball rolls across the paper.
Pros : Convenient, long lasting in the pen, longer shelf-life, less apt to dry-out, good for writing on carbon copy paper. Cons : Need to exert more hand pressure to get a dark ink mark on the paper, as ballpoint ink is not very fluid. However, most ballpoint pens can also accept a Gel Ink Ballpoint Refill, which allows more flow and less hand pressure required to write fluidly on paper.
Most mini (or pocket-sized) pens and multi-function ballpoint pens use a D-1 Ballpoint Refill, which has a more compact shape and is usually not compatible with larger ballpoint pens.
Common types of Ballpoint Pen Refill Cartridges
Parker-Style Ballpoint Pen Refill
Used in about 90% of all the world's ballpoint pens, the "Parker-Style" ballpen refill is named after the Parker brand that made it so popular. Since it is so widely used, several manufacturers produce the same model refill which is compatible with most click-top and twist-action ballpoint pens. It is distinguishable by its slender tapering toward the tip and the plastic back-end piece that is uniquely shaped to fit most common ballpoint pen mechanisms.
Pen Brands that fit Parker-Style Ballpoint Refill : Aldo Domani, ACME, Aurora, Bexley, Brossert & Erhard, Colibri, Delta, Diplomat, Elysee, Faber Castell, Foray Focus, Hauser, Inoxcrom, Itoya, Jean Pierre Lepine, Krone, Marlen, Montegrappa, Monteverde, OMAS, Parker, Pelikan, Retro 51, Rotring, Schmidt, Schneider, Stipula, Visconti, Yafa.
Mini D-1 Size Ballpoint Refill
This toothpick sized refill is common to mini or pocket sized pens and multi-function pens. The D-1 sized refill is typically not as long-lasting as a larger ballpoint ink cartridge due to the volume of ink that it holds. They are most commonly found in multi-functional pens since the pen houses more than one color at a time. Some brands, like Cross and Parker, may differ ever-so-slightly in size, so please double-check the length of your D-1 refill to confirm which replacement would be the best fit.
Pen Brands that fit Mini D-1 Size Ballpoint Refill : Aldo Domani, ACME, Delta, Lamy, Monteverde, Pelikan, Retro 51, Rotring, Schmidt, Staedtler, Yafa.
Parker Style Gel Ballpoint Refill
Sometimes referred to as a capless rollerball, superbowl or gel pen refill, the Parker Style Gel ink ballpoint refill uses the same shape and size as the standard Parker Style ballpoint cartridge, but carries a different type of ink technology that allows for smoother and wetter writing experience. Gel ink is specially formulated to give the writer a better flow without requiring a cap to prevent the tip from drying out. They do require more frequent replacements, but the writing quality and comfort is substantially better than the paste ballpoint ink.
Pen Brands that fit Parker-Style Gel Ballpoint Refill : Aldo Domani, ACME, Aurora, Bexley, Brossert & Erhard, Colibri, Delta, Diplomat, Elysee, Faber Castell, Foray Focus, Hauser, Inoxcrom, Itoya, Jean Pierre Lepine, Krone, Marlen, Montegrappa, Monteverde, OMAS, Parker, Pelikan, Retro 51, Rotring, Schmidt, Schneider, Stipula, Visconti, Yafa.
Fisher Space Pen Pressurized (SPR) Ballpoint Refill
Fisher's claim to fame is the patented pressurized Space Pen refill that can enable the writer to use their pen at any angle, in extreme temperatures, on a variety of surfaces and... in space! The pressurized cartridge forces the uniquely formulated ink through the tip only when it is being written with. Each of the Fisher refills is sold with a plastic adapter that allows compatibility with a Parker-Style Ballpoint Pen.
Pen Brands that fit Fisher Space Pen Refill : Aldo Domani, ACME, Aurora, Bexley, Brossert & Erhard, Colibri, Delta, Diplomat, Elysee, Faber Castell, Fisher, Foray Focus, Hauser, Inoxcrom, Itoya, Jean Pierre Lepine, Krone, Marlen, Montegrappa, Monteverde, OMAS, Parker, Pelikan, Retro 51, Rotring, Schmidt, Schneider, Sensa, Stipula, Visconti, Wagner Swiss, Yafa.
Fisher Space Pen Pressurized Ballpoint Refills: Fisher
Other Manufacturer - Specific Ballpoint Pen Refills
Caran d'Ache Goliath Ballpoint Pen Refill
Caran d'Ache 828 Frosty Ballpoint Pen Refill
Cross Standard Ballpoint Pen Refill
Waterman Ballpoint Pen Refill
Sheaffer Ballpoint Pen Refill
Mont Blanc Ballpoint Pen Refill
Lamy M16 Ballpoint Pen Refill
Lamy M22 Mini Ballpoint Pen Refill