Last updated: September 6, 2021

Our method

17Products analysed

21Hours spent

11Evaluated articles

36User reviews

People can remember facts or contexts better if they are handwritten. Because of the complex movement sequences, the written word is not only stored as an image, but as a movement sequence. So it is all the more tragic when your favourite ballpoint pen runs out of ink.

To ensure that it can continue to be used, almost all ballpoint pen refills can be replaced with the right ones and your favourite ballpoint pen will be as good as new. To make it easier for you to buy a new ballpoint pen refill, we have compared different models with each other and then listed the most important factors that you should look out for when buying.

The most important factors

  • Ballpoint pen refills are a practical tool to always be able to use your favourite ballpoint pen or to protect the environment by using the ballpoint pen case several times.
  • Due to the huge price range in which ballpoint pen refills are available, everyone can find the right refill for them. The refills differ primarily in the material and the line width.
  • Ballpoint pen refills are produced by countless stationery manufacturers.

The Best Ballpoint Pen Refill: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for ballpoint pen refills

There are countless variations of ballpoint refills on the market. To help you choose the right ballpoint pen refill, we have identified some buying criteria. These should give you an overview and make it easier for you to choose the right ballpoint refill. The criteria you can use to compare ballpoint pen refills include:

In the following, we explain these buying criteria in more detail:


A biro refill can be made of a wide variety of materials. Most materials are wood, plastic or stainless steel. Stainless steel is known for its first-class screws and is one of the highest-quality materials. If a biro refill is made of high-quality stainless steel and is sealed airtight, this guarantees that all the ink in the refill is used up.

Line width

Ballpoint pen refills vary in diameter from a line width of 0.2mm to 1.4mm. This line width is freely selectable for each ballpoint pen - even if the previous ballpoint refill had a diameter of 0.8mm, a refill with a smaller or higher line width can be selected when replacing it.

The line width of the ballpoint pen refill can therefore be adapted to individual needs and everyone will find what they are looking for. If you are unsure, you can visit a stationery shop and test the different widths there.


The size of your ballpoint refill is elementary so that it can later be inserted into the pen. You can find out which size fits into your pen by unscrewing the pen. You can take the empty refill out of the pen and find the DIN-ISO standard on it - this is the size of your refill.

If this number cannot be deciphered or is not available at all, you can contact the manufacturer. If the manufacturer is not known, for example if the ballpoint pen was a promotional gift, the only option is to take the refill to the stationery shop and compare it directly.


As with the line width, you have a wide choice of colours for your ballpoint pen refill. Almost all colours are available on the market, from pink to neon colours to standard colours such as blue or black. It may happen that your desired colour is not available in the size you need. But this is a case that happens very rarely. So even if the pen refill was black before, you can still choose another colour when changing.

Item weight

This criterion may not be important for everyone, but it can still be important or become important because you may not have been aware of it before. Ballpoint pen refills also weigh different amounts. It is often not noticed until a different ballpoint pen or refill is used that a model with less weight can be used or vice versa. The weight of the pen model is a matter of taste. If you are unsure, you can test the weights in a stationery shop.

Shopping Guide: Frequently asked questions about ballpoint pen refills answered in detail

In this section, we will answer the most frequently asked questions about ballpoint pen refills.

Who are ballpoint pen refills suitable for?

Ballpoint pen refills are suitable for anyone who writes with a biro. Even though a lot of writing is already done on tablets due to digitalisation, ballpoint pens are not losing their importance, especially in everyday business life. When buying a new ballpoint pen, as well as promotional pens, a refill is included. A ballpoint refill therefore only needs to be purchased when the refill of the ballpoint pen is empty.

Ballpoint pen refills are particularly suitable for refilling in the favourite ballpoint pen, but also for any other ballpoint pen. (Image source: Unsplash / Dan Dennis)

The suitability of refills for everyone is also characterised above all by the fact that ballpoint refills are available in all possible variations. The material, the colour, the line width and even the weight can be individually determined. You can buy refills for one euro, but you can just as easily buy ballpoint pen refills for 100 euros.

What types of ballpoint pen refills are there?

The types of ballpoint refills can be differentiated according to criteria. These include:

  • Size: The size of the ballpoint pen refill is not freely selectable when the refill is exchanged. The size of the ballpoint pen refill can be taken from the inscription on the empty refill. On the cover of the refill you will find a DIN-ISO standard which indicates the size of the refill.
  • Line width: Ballpoint pen refills also differ in their line width. There are line widths from "extra fine line", which is approx. 0.3mm, to "extra wide", which is approx. 1.4mm.

Besides these two criteria, there are others according to which the types of ballpoint refills can be distinguished. For us, however, these were the two most meaningful criteria.

Who makes ballpoint pen refills?

Ballpoint pen refills are produced by a wide variety of companies. However, they are mainly produced by companies that exclusively produce stationery. Many of the manufacturers have committed themselves to a certain size or line width in their production. If you are looking for a refill for your model, you will usually find what you are looking for at the manufacturer of your ballpoint pen.

How should ballpoint refills be stored?

Storing ballpoint refills is very simple. They should be stored at room temperature in a drawer - so they can easily be stored in your desk. They should not be stored in places that are too warm or too cold, so as not to jeopardise the quality of the ink. You should also make sure that you store the ballpoint pen refill with the tip facing downwards or lay the refill down.


Ballpoint pen refills can be replaced at any time without any problems. The fact that the refill cannot be replaced happens at most with promotional pens, but even in these the refills can now almost always be changed.

Refilling the refills in promotional pens is often not worthwhile in terms of price, but it is still good for the environment. From an ecological and economic point of view, it always makes sense to change ballpoint pen refills. This also makes particular sense if the ballpoint pen has become the centrepiece with a personal engraving or similar.

Image source: Unsplash / Syed Hussaini

Why you can trust me?