From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Br Zaborowsky)
Subject: Refilling Pilot Varsity pens
Someone recently asked
about refilling a disposable Pilot Varsity
fountain pen. I had a blue one that went dry a couple of weeks ago
so I took it apart this weekend.
The end cap is just a color
indicator and a barrel plug. When removed you can look half way
down the barrel and see the top of the ink chamber. Half of the
barrel is nothing but dead space. No way to fill from that end.
I popped the cap back on and began working on the nib end.
With a pair of needlenose
pliers I twisted the nib assembly and pulled it out with a bit of
force. It came out with a "plop" like a stopper from a bottle. And
that is just what it is, a ribbed stopper with a stainless steel
nib attached. After adding a shot of Quink blue, I reinserted the
nib section. It took a little force, but went back in and seated
well. It works!!! In fact it works so well I wish I had filled the
ink reservoir instead of adding only 1cc of ink. My guess it will
hold about 2cc.
I wasn't very careful and
the pliers left marks on the plastic under the nib. With the amount
of force necessary to remove the nib assembly there may be no way
to get it out without marring it. This did not effect the nib or
its writing quality. I'm amazed how well these pens write. For a
disposable they are great.
Shame on Pilot for only
filling the barrel half full of ink. Other than a marketing scheme
(read greed), there is no physical reason they could not have made
the entire barrel an ink chamber. At a retail price of $4.50 per
60cc bottle of Sheaffer ink, another 2cc of ink would add only 1.5
cents to the total cost. More like 0.25 cents for Pilot. Certainly
a pretty small incremental cost for a retail $2.95 pen. The pen
is well constructed and it's a shame that it is not readily refillable.