The Ultimate Guide to Euro Format Rollerball Pen Refills

What is a Euro Format Rollerball Pen Refill?

A Euro Format Rollerball Pen Refill conforms to international standard 12757-1 RB, which defines the dimensions of a standard rollerball refill as 6.3mm in diameter and 110mm in length.

In theory, you can swap any Euro Format refill from one pen to another. However, this is not the case.

In this guide, we explain the different refills in the ISO Standard 12757-1, Euro Format Refill compatibility, who the leading manufacturers are, and what to look for when deciding which Euro Format refill to try to see if it will fit your pen.

The Ultimate Guide to Euro Format Pen Refills

1. International Standard 12757-1

ISO.org produces a set of standards for a huge range of things, from how to make a product, deliver a service or manage a process.

These standards are recognized internationally and are devised by experts in that field.

International Standard 12757-1:2017 Ballpoint pens and refills – Part 1: General use is a set of standards that relates to the manufacturer of ballpoint pens.

The most relevant part of the standard as far as we are concerned is section 4.2, Shapes and Dimensions of Refills.

The two best known are D1 format refills, a min refill used in a wide variety of multi-function and compact pens.

Check out our Ultimate Guide to D1 Refills for more information.

The other is the G2 refill, referred to as Parker Style G2 refills. These are widely used in many pens, including Parker, who initially held the patent for this style of refill.

Check out our Ultimate Parker Style G2 Refill Guide for more information.

There are several other refills defined in the standard, but these are not as popular, which brings us to the RB standard, commonly known as Euro Format Refills.

2. ISO RB Standard Refills Euro Format

ISO 12757-1 RB states that a standard rollerball refill should be 6.3mm in diameter and 110mm in length.

For the D1 and G2 standards, manufacturers strictly adhered to the guidelines, and for the most part, you can use any make of D1 or G2 refill in any brand of pen that is fitted with these refills.

Unfortunately for the RB or European Format, as it is known, the manufacturers did not adhere strictly to the standard, and not all Euro Format refills can be swapped between different manufacturers’ pens.

3. Euro Format Refill Comparisons

Euro Format RB Refill Comparison

Most big brand manufacturers ‘Euro Style pen refills will be 110 mm in length. However, if you look at the above image, it shows five different Euro format refills from top to bottom; these are:

  • Schmidt 5888 Refill
  • Pilot G2 Refill
  • Schneider Topball 850 Refill
  • Ohto C-305 Ceramic Refill
  • Pentel LR7 Refill

You can see that the refills can be made from metal or plastic, but if you look closely, you can see that there are differences between the refills.

The first is the capped end; each one is slightly different; next is the stepped part where the refill joins the barrel again; they are all different, and the length and diameter of the plastic sleeve covering the tip differ between the refills.

It is not quite as obvious, but the barrel diameters between all the refills differ ever so slightly.

This is why Euro Format refills are not as easily swappable between brands even though they adhere to Iso 12757-1 section 4.2 RB

Despite the differences, some Euro format refills can be used in other brands of pens and will work perfectly fine we will go into more detail in the next section.

4. Euro Format Refill Compatibility

The only real way to tell if a Euro refill will fit your pen is trial and error, but there are a few things you can do to minimize ending up with refills that are no good.

Avoid Using Japanese Refill Brands

Japanese manufacturers make some of the best pens and refills in the world.

However, generally speaking, Japanese plastic euro refills from brands such as Pilot, Pentel, and Zebra are not very compatible with other brands of pens.

A Spring Can Help

The differences in the size of the plastic stepped part of the refill usually make things feel a little slack and wobbly. 

This is where using a spring can firm things up again trial and error if you have any cheap plastic disposable retractable pens lying around, grab the spring and give it a go.

It’s Probably Made by Schmidt

Schmidt 5888 Euro Refill

Many of the refills in big brand name pens are actually branded and manufactured for them by a German German company called Schmidt Technology.

If you have a metal euro refill, there is a good chance that it is either a plain unmarked, or rebranded Schmidt 5888 rollerball refill or one of their other refills.

Look at the above image of the Schmidt 5888 rollerball refill. Does it bear an uncanny resemblance to the one in your pen or that you are thinking of buying?

If it is a fineliner, then it could be a Schmidt 6040 Euro Format Refill; we go into more details later on where we have listed all the main Euro Format refills.

Ask on Reddit

As they say, there is a lot to be said for the wisdom of the crowd, and the chances are somebody else may have tried and failed or succeeded in using different manufacturers’ Euro Refills in different pens.

Try posting a question on the sub-Reddit R/Pens they are a really helpful bunch, and somebody usually responds quite quickly.

5. A-Z List of Branded Euro Format Refills

Now that you know what to look for if you are itching to try a different refill in your pen, then here is a list of all the branded Euro Format refills that I can find.

5.1. Caran d’Ache Fibre Tip Refill

Caran dAche Fibre Tip Refill

The Caran d’Ache Fibre Tip Refill is one of the few Euro format refills that have a fiber tip and can be used for fine line marking.

It is available with a fine or medium tip and black or blue ink.

5.2. Caran d’Ache Rollerball Refill

Caran dAche Rollerball Refill

The Swiss-made Caran d’Ache Rollerball Refill is initially designed for use with Caran d’Ache luxury rollerball pens.

It is available with a fine or medium tip and black or blue ink.

5.3. Diplomat Rollerball Refill

Diplomat Rollerball Refill

The German-made Diplomat rollerball pen refill has a medium tip and a choice of black or blue ink.

5.4. Faber-Castel Fibre Tip Refill

Faber Castel Fineliner Refill

The Faber-Castel Fibre Tip Refill is a smooth writing liquid ink fine liner in the Euro Format and has black ink.

5.5. Faber-Castell Rollerball Refill

Faber Castell Rollerball Refill

The Faber-Castell Rollerball Refill is their standard refill for rollerball pens. It has a medium tip and is available with black or blue ink.

5.6. Faber-Castel Luxury Rollerball Refill

Faber Castel Luxury Rollerball Refill

The Faber-Castel Luxury Rollerball Refill is for their premium rollerballs such as Graf von Faber-Castell and Porsche Design.

The only visible difference between this and their standard refill is that this has a long metal tip, whereas their standard refill has a plastic sleeve covering most of it.

It has a medium tip and is available with black or blue ink.

5.7. Foray Rollerball Refill

Foray Rollerball Refill

Foray rollerball pen refill is most likely an unbranded Schmidt 5888. I only listed it as it may be found on a deal somewhere.

It has a medium tip and is available with black or blue ink.

5.8. Kaweco Euro Rollerball Refill

Kaweco Euro Rollerball Refill

The Kaweco Euro Rollerball refill has a medium tip and black ink; being a German company, they have a long-standing relationship with a specialist refill and nib maker.

It has a medium tip and black ink.

5.9. Montegrappa Rollerball Refill (Old Style)

Montegrappa Rollerball Refill Old Style

The old-style Montegrappa Rollerball Refills are euro format; however, they have changed the refills to a non-euro format for their newer rollerball pens.

It has a medium tip and is available with black or blue ink.

5.10. Monteverde Ceramic Gel Refill K23

Monteverde Ceramic Gel Refill K23

The Monteverde Ceramic Gel Refill K23 is a euro-format capless rollerball refill designed to fit Pelikan rollerball pens.

it has a medium tip and is available in black, blue, blue-black

5.11. Monteverde Ceramic Gel Refill W22

Monteverde Ceramic Gel Refill W22

The Monteverde Ceramic Gel Refill W22 is their standard rollerball refill in euro format and will fit most rollerball pens.

They give a big hint on their website as to its origins with the phrase “This German Made”

It has a medium tip and is available with black or blue ink.

5.12. Ohto Ceramic Roller Refill

Ohto Ceramic Roller Refill

Japanese-made euro-style ceramic ball roller refills with vibrant liquid ink with a choice of black, blue, blue-black, and red ink colors.

The Ohto Ceramic Roller Refill is available in the following four tip sizes:

  • Extra Fine 0.4mm – C304
  • Fine 0.5mm – C-305
  • Medium 0.7mm C-307
  • Broad 1.0mm – C310

Check out our Complete Guide to Ohto Pen Refills to see this and all the other refills that Ohto makes.

5.13. Ohto F-300 Fude Pen Refill

Ohto F 300 Fude Pen Refill

The Ohto F-300 Fude Pen Refill is not your everyday Euro Format refill as it has a Japanese-style Fude brush instead of a rolling ball tip.

A little hard to find in the U.S, but they do exist, so if you are feeling adventurous and want to try something different, here you go.

The Ohto F-300 has black ink.

5.14. Otto Hut Rollerball Refill

Otto Hut Rollerball Refill

Otto Hut is a high-end German pen manufacturer, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out who makes the refills for them.

The refill has a medium tip and is available with black or blue ink.

5.15. Pentel LR7 Energel Roller Refill

Pentel LR7 Energel Roller Refill

The Pentel Energel is a very smooth writing pen; the LR7 refill is their most popular size, but they do make it with a needle tip LRN 5 or a broad tip LRN 10

5.16. Pilot G2 07 Gel Refill

Pilot G2 07 Gel Refill

Probably one of the most famous gel pens in the world, the Piot G2 is available in a vast range of ink colors and tip sizes.

Check out our Ultimate Guide to Pilot G2 Pens for more information.

5.17. Pilot LP2RF Refill

Pilot LP2 RF Refill

The Pilot LP2RF refill has a 0.5mm is used in Pilot Juice gel pens and is available in a vast range of colors and different tip sizes.

5.18. Schmidt 888 Rollerball Refill

Schmidt 888 Rollerball Refill

The Schmidt 888 Rollerball Refill is a Euro Format refill with a plastic barrel.

It is available with a fine, medium, or broad tip and either black or blue ink.

5.19. Schmidt FM 5020 Fibre Refill

Schmidt FM 5020 Fibre Refill

The Schmidt FM 5020 Fibre refill is a euro format refill with a fiber tip and a choice of black or blue ink.

5.20. Schmidt 5285 Rollerball Refill

Schmidt 5825 Refill EF

The Schmidt 5285 rollerball refill has an extra 0.5mm ceramic ball tip. It is available in black or blue ink.

5.21. Schmidt 5888 Rollerball Refill

Schmidt 5888 M Rollerball Refill

A lot of the Euro Format rollerball refills in this list are rebranded Schmidt refills, and the Schmidt 5888 is one of the most popular ones.

Schmidt 5888 refills have a medium tip and a choice of black or blue ink

5.22. Schmidt 6040 Fineliner Refill

Schmidt 6040 Fineliner Refill

The Schmidt 6040 Fineliner refill has a spring-loaded plastic nib and is available as a fine F 0.8mm or medium M 1.0mm.

It usually has either black or blue ink.

5.23. Schneider Topball 850 Fineliner Refill

Schneider Topball 850 Fineliner Refill

The German-made Schneider Topball 850 Fineliner Refill has a fine tip and a choice of four ink colors.

5.24. Schneider Topliner 970 Fineliner Refill

Schneider Topliner 970 Fineliner Refill

The Schneider Topliner 970 Fineliner Refill has a 0.4mm fiber tip and is available with black, blue, green, or red ink.

Check out our Complete Guide to Pen Refills for more information on the Schneider Topball 850 & Topliner 970 refills.

5.25. Sheaffer Slim Rollerball Refill II

Sheaffer Slim Rollerball Refill II

German-made Sheaffer Euro Format Slim Rollerball refill with a choice of black or blue ink.

Check out our Ultimate Sheaffer Refill Guide for more information on this and all their other refills.

5.26. Visconti AA40 Rollerball Refill

Visconti AA40 Rollerball Refill

The Visconti AA40 Euro Format refill fits rollerball pens made by the Italian Luxury goods manufacturer. The refill has a medium tip and a choice of black or blue ink.

There is a reason why all these luxury brands use Schmidt refills in their pens quite simply, they are high-quality, dependable refills.

5.27. Waterman Rollerball Refill

Waterman Rollerball Refill

The Waterman Rollerball Refill has a medium tip and a choice of black or blue ink.

Check out our Complete Guide to Waterman Refills for more information.

6. Where Can I Buy Euro Cheap Format Refills

You can buy Euro Format refills online from either the manufacturer’s website or a number of pen retailers.

Probably the cheapest option will be from Amazon, have a look at the above list to see which refill you need, and then click the button below to go to Amazon and see if it’s there.

Buy Euro Format Refills on Amazon

Leave a Comment