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As a company, we realise there’s a lot to think about when looking for the perfect pen. Ink type, ink colour, pen width, pen colour, pen weight, writing purpose and paper type all affect the writing experience for each individual user and there’s nothing worse than finding the perfect solution for your needs, only for it to run out soon after!

Here at Refillogy, we’re dedicated to ensuring that replacement refills continue to provide the quality you’re looking for using a combination of international standards testing and in-house methods.

International Testing Standards

ISO 12757-1: Many refill and pen manufacturers claim to test their pens to this standard, but what exactly does it mean and what tests does it include?

ISO 12757-1 is a set of standards used to establish only the minimal quality requirements for ballpoint pens and refills for general use, including the following;

  • Writing performance

  • Strikethrough

  • Drying Time

  • Reproducibility

  • Water Resistance

  • Light Resistance

  • Shelf Life

Writing Performance (Tested In-house!)

Writing performance is one of the most popular qualities to judge a refill by and describes just how long a refill will last. The length is described in meters and considers writing length while ensuring there are no defects in the ballpoint or fluctuations in its function. Our refills are tested using high-quality equipment to determine their writing length.

Supplier Tested


Strikethrough is a measure of excessive ink penetration through the paper and how visible the print is due to this occurrence. We measure this to make sure you can use both sides of a page when writing, in turn ensuring the most economic and effective performance possible.

Drying Time

Nobody likes a pen that smudges. That's why testing for drying time is so important, as it allows us to make sure that the ink dries quickly once it is transferred to the page. Drying time is measured over a standard period of 20 seconds, at which point the ink should not smudge.


Reproducibility looks at whether or not the ink is still visible after being photocopied.

Water Resistance

At some point or another, we’ve all experienced the headache of spilling a cup of tea over the piece of writing we’re working on. We diligently test our refills to ensure optimum water resistance by immersing the ink in water to check how well it performs.

Light Resistance

Light resistance measures how well a printed ink holds up after prolonged exposure to light and is compared against a standardised scale. This means that inks on documents exposed to light won’t fade too soon, keeping their integrity for as long as possible.

Shelf Life

Shelf life is tested to make sure that, when our refills are stored, they are still functional by the time they leave our premises and reach the end user. These tests take into account a wide temperature and humidity range.

Extra In-house Testing

We like to go the extra mile, making sure that our refills not only conform to international standards, but also to our own idea of what makes a great refill. This is achieved by carrying out various tests which look at the daily use of the refills where minimum standards just aren’t enough!

Height testing

Height testing involves dropping refills inside their pens from various heights, including the average desk height. Pens tend to roll away from desks frequently, and it’s our job to make sure the refill isn’t affected in any way should this happen.

Forgotten Pens

Most of us are guilty of having one or two ballpens rolling around on the floor of a car or at the bottom of a handbag, only pulling them out for occasional use. For that reason, we’ve come up with a few tests to ensure infrequently used pens still work to the best of their ability.

We conduct tests to ensure that refills left in cars do not dry up, preventing the pen from performing correctly. Tests involve leaving the refills in a car in all weathers for over a week to make sure the temperatures reached don’t cause the ink to dry up. We also leave the pens in a variety of states with the pen lid left open or twist action mechanism not fully closed to see how our refills perform.