Refilling a Pilot Varsity/V disposable fountain pen

Please see youtube link for video:

Find a syringe whose internal diameter is 9mm. Chop the front off. Make sure that the section of the Pilot pen fits tightly inside. If too lose, wrap plumber's white tape around the pen section until u get a good air tight fit.

Holding the syringe upright, opening facing upwards, fill in about 2.5ml of ink with an eye dropper or another syringe, push pen into the syringe opening. Now hold it such that syringe is above and the pen is below. Gravity would cause the ink to flow down into the vacuum that would be created.

Pull piston to get a slight vacuum in the pen cavity. About 1-2 ml of vacuum is enough. Push piston so that ink flows into the pen cavity. Repeat process until all ink in syringe is transferred into pen.

If the pen is above and the syringe is below during the pull/push action, ink flows out from the pen into the syringe. This is to empty the pen really quickly so that u can refill it with your favourite ink.

Please remember not to push the piston too far down, we want to use a vacuum to suck ink inside. Not apply +ve pressure in the pen cavity. If there's +ve pressure, the ink will be blown out causing a mess.

Finally, pull the piston slightly and remove pen. The slight vacuum will cause whatever ink near the ridges to be sucked into the pen and not blow out.

You can use the same technique to refill different types of disposable pens that are using liquid ink. Just be sure to use similar type of ink and ensure an airtight seal between the syringe and the pen. Remember, the vacuum is your friend, else splat!

Ink used is Parker Quink.

You can get Pilot Varsity pens on Amazon or in most stationary shops.

The refill method has been tested and works on the Pilot VBall pen
The syringe I used is a 3ml syringe whose outside diameter is 10mm, internal diameter is 8.9mm.

Feel free to buy me a US$1 a virtual drink if you find the above useful :-)



Netizens have been writing to me to ask what type of syringe to get. When I tried to buy the syringe myself, what I thought was an easy task, turned out to be a real challenge. I visited every shop I could find and none of them sold that particular size of syringe.

I started to think of an alternative, something that could use the syringes that are now commonly available; ie: EXTERNAL diameter is 9mm, same size as the Varsity/V pen.

I first tried heating the cut syringe and expanding it over a cylindrical object to flare it out. After spoiling a few syringes, I finally made one that worked! However, I don't think most people would have the patience to try this out. It was also dangerous for younger folks as it involved high heat.

Some kind of coupling was needed. Just like in model rocketry where a coupling was used to join 2 tubes of differing diameters.

I thought of using clear acrylic tubes but these were costly and difficult to cut to size. Furthermore, if the manufacturing is not too accurate, it won't fit. Something flexible and preferably clear was needed. The hunt for such a tubing started.

I finally found a PVC clear tube with an internal diameter of 3/8". A short length of about 45mm is needed. One end is put over the pen, the other end goes over the syringe. The video shows how it is done.

If u find it difficult to find a suitable syringe or flexible tube, I have some left overs from my experiments which I can send to u for US$5. Before u send money, pls email me (kenneth at leewm dot com) with your full address and to check if I still have stock.

Syringe used is 3ml with an outside diameter of 9mm.
Ink used is green Pelikan 4001.