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FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

How come my ballpoint pen does not write anymore?                                                                                                                                                
A1. If it is from a cheaper brand name, it is probably made with paste ink which tends to clog.
A2. If it was left without the cap on, the ink may have dried out or if it was left in the cold, the ink may have frozen unless it was oil based ink.
Are ballpoint pens permanent?
A1. Depends on the ink. Oil based inks are more permanent than water based inks.
How do I refill a pen?
A1. Depending on the pen, the refill is accessed by one of these methods:  hold the lower part of the barrel and twist the upper part in counter direction.
What pen would you recommend for comfort and least strain from writing?
A1. Pilot has designed a whole series of pens called Dr Grip with an ergonomic and contoured grip to maximize comfort and remove writing stress. The range of Dr Grip comes in regular oil based ink, gel ink, and is also available in a mechanical pencil in 0.5 mm and 0.7 mm
What pens are environmentally friendly?
A1. Pilot offers a complete range of pens, pencils, markers and correction tapes made from recycled materials that are called BEGREEN. All of these products contain a minimum of 70% recycled materials and cost the same price as our regular products. Most products are also refillable so you reduce waste and save money.
Are markers permanent?
A1. Yes, most markers come with permanent ink. Use waterproof ink for writing on laundry and fabrics like our permanent markers or if you want water resistant pigment type inks, use the Pilot drawing pens that come in 5 point sizes.
What can I use to write on surfaces likes plastic, glass and metal?
A1. The Pilot range of Super colors are available in extra fine, fine, broad and jumbo colors. The gold, silver and white are opaque, xylene free and leave a very brilliant metallic finish.
How come my tips always get crushed?
A1. If too much pressure is used when writing, the tip will usually wear down faster unless the tip is made of polyacetal which will give it longer use. Always look for stainless steel mounts to protect the tip. The Fineliner is a superb pen that does not wear down.
How come my lead gets stuck in my mechanical pencil?
A1. Residue from the lead often clogs up the tip so it needs to be cleaned. The last half inch of the lead cannot be used and will not advance requiring one to replace the lead.
A2. If the lead used is not the same diameter as the mechanical pencil, then lead breaks easily and gets stuck.  Mechanical pencils come in 0.3 mm, 0.5 mm, 0.7 mm and 0.9 mm. One must get the corresponding lead size.  
A3. Pencils can usually hold only 2 or 3 leads so you cannot insert more which will block the flow of lead.
How come my lead always breaks?
A1. You may be using low-grade lead or pressing too hard
A2. You may have too many leads in the barrel. Best is to have 2-3 leads, not more.
A3. If you press too hard all the time, we suggest you change to a 0.7 mm or 0.9 mm pencil
How come my roller ball leaks?
A1. Roller balls have more "dimples" i.e. ink openings than regular ballpoint pens so there is more ink flow. Always remove the cap with your pen pointing upwards if you have been on a plane or in an area with high elevation levels.
What is the difference between roller balls and ballpoint pens?
A1. It is in the design of the tip. Ballpoint pens have a little ball that rolls around at the tip letting the ink flow while roller balls have tiny microscopic holes at the tip to let the ink flow.
How should I clean my fountain pen?
A1.  Fountain pen should be cleaned every two months. Never clean a pen in hot water or alcohol. Use cool water only. If the pen is very dirty, use a solution of two-thirds cold water and one -third non sudsing household ammonia. Shake out any excess water and dry nib with a soft cloth. If you are travelling by plane, either fill your pen all the way, or leave it empty. Remember to always uncap the pen with tip pointed upward. A sudden change in cabin pressure may cause any pen to leak if you do not follow these instructions.