The Signo DX is, by far, the finest gel pen I’ve ever owned. And I am speaking both in terms of line width AND overall quality. I picked up this pen after spotting it on the Pen Addict’s “Top 5” pen list of items available over the counter. The pen is available for purchase individually and in a variety of colors from JetPens.com for under three dollars, making it a very easy to acquire pen with very little impact on the bank account. I picked up the standard Black as well as a “Bordeux Black” for when I’m feeling saucy.
I started by jumping in with both feet. I shelved the Jetstream and put the Signo in my pocket for daily use, I started using it for everything from quickly scrawled notes at the office to fairly extensive note-taking and transcription in my free time. After about a week I wanted to go right back on to JetPens and order a whole box. This is one of the smoothest writing instruments I had used to date, and the Gel Ink is very dark and solid on the page, unlike anything I’ve seen from rollerball or hybrid ink pens. Even though it has a very fine tip, the pen glides across every paper type I’ve tried with minimal effort.
And then there was the G2; Pilot’s supply store powerhouse. This thing has been around for years with little to no change for a very simple reason: it didn’t need to. Yes, the Pilot G2 is essentially the Alligator of the disposable pen world. I remember using the bolt 1.0 mm G2 in high school. I remember an inky and sometimes skippy pen that everyone seemed to be using. I remember hating it. For that reason, I was reluctant to pick it up again. But after striking out at a local stationery store and retreating to a nearby Target, I needed a little pen purchase therapy.
For most reasonable and casual users, these are for all intents and purposes the same pen. On paper, the output of the G2 .38 and the Signo .38 look almost identical. When you look closer you can see that the G2 is somehow slightly blacker than the Signo. The Signo, however, is ever so slightly smoother and the G2 when writing quickly and for extended periods.
As a result of random timing and convenience, I ended up purchasing the retractable G2 and the capped Signo. For quick and easy access, you can’t beat a retractable pen. As a result, the G2 is my go-to when I pocket the Field Notes and head out the door. However, if I had to choose one of these pens to cast into the fire of Mount Doom, it would be the G2. I just like the look and feel of the Uni-Ball Signo Non-Retractable much more. And the huge range of unconventional ink colors available make this a must have for and mobile writer or note taker.
Uni-Ball Signo (JetPens)
Pilot G2 (JetPens)