Ugh. So I recently went down the ‘nice pens’ rabbit hole, and have been lurking around here some. Anyways. I discovered something I hadn’t seen anyone else commenting on yet about the Zebra F-701 pen. It’s well known as being a nice metal pen at an affordable cost, but the refill isn’t great, but there’s some hacks to make it better. The space pen refill hack – I can’t speak to that as I haven’t tried it. Swapping in the metal clicker mechanism from the F-402 – DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME. All the posts and you tube videos make you think this will give you an all metal mechanism that’s more durable. Unfortunately, that’s a load of crap. Apparently no one bothered to look at the actual pieces inside the mechanism. All it gives you is a metal collar that the mechanism sits inside, the actual guts (with the gears/teeth that do the work) is still plastic. The shiny metal collar threads into a plastic tube. Also, there’s a new version of the F-701 that is supposedly all metal. The packaging even says “all metal inside and out”. If you’re like me, you think that means the pen is truly all metal, with no plastic. Sadly, you would be wrong. It’s literally full of plastic. I mean, aren’t there laws against false advertising??? There’s a plastic piece inside the tip, there’s a plastic tube in the body, and the clicker mechanism is plastic. And FYI, the tip and the clicker thread into the plastic tube inside the body, not the body itself. You can actually disassemble the pen, get the tube out of the body, throw the body in the trash, and then re-assemble the pen and it’ll function fine. In other words, the mechanism, and all the connections between the various parts of the pen are plastic. Only the exterior is metal, all the insides are plastic. It works fine, but if you buy it expecting it to actually be an all-metal pen as advertised you’ll be disappointed. Lastly, I did find a useful hack to get a Parker G2 cartridge to work 100% of the time. It involves some work with a file and/or a Dremel tool. EDIT TO ADD: This hack only appears to work in the older style F-701 with the plastic ring around the clicker button. Unscrew the tip, remove the stock cartridge, remove the plastic piece inside the tip. File down the tip to make it shorter, remove all the material behind the threads, see the pic below. Be careful not to get into the threads themselves and bugger them up. FYI, the metal is really soft and it doesn’t take a heavy hand with the file. I wouldn’t use a power tool for this job. Use a Dremel with a cone-shaped abrasive bit and open up the inside of the tip, on the back where you just filed it down. This takes about 2 seconds. That back edge will now be thin and sharp, don’t cut yourself. Take your Parker G2 cartridge and remove the plastic plug on the back. Be careful not to distort the shape of the cartridge body any, it’s a tight fit in the Zebra pen so you don’t want to ovalize it. Reassemble pen with the Parker G2 cartridge and the modified tip. You can re-use the stock spring. DONE! You have to modify the tip of the Zebra pen because when you push the button all the way in and the cartridge is pushed all the way forward, the leading edge of the body of the cartridge will hit the back side of the tip. This will either prevent the cartridge moving enough to work properly, or, because of the shape of the cartridge body (it’s tapered at the point that hits the tip) it can jam/stick. So by shortening the tip, and opening it up a bit, you get enough clearance so there’s no contact and it never sticks. Shortening the tip alone isn’t enough, it will still hit, just barely, and occasionally stick. You don’t want to shorten the cartridge because then the tip won’t stick out far enough when trying write. I’ve only done this with a Parker G2 gel cartridge, no guarantees other brands will work as well. OKAY, on to some pics. This is the “all metal inside and out” F-701 mostly disassembled. You don’t see the plastic piece inside the body here, or the little piece in the tip. But still, you can see quite a bit of plastic. A not terribly in focus close up of the plastic click mechanism. These parts are the same in the “all metal” F-701, the older F-701 with the black plastic ring on top, and the F-402. The plastic tube from inside the body. The clicker mechanism threads onto the fat end, the tip threads onto the skinny end. Stock tip vs filed down shorter tip Filed tip after opening it up a bit with the Dremel. Parker G2 cartridge in the Zebra F-701. As you can see, you don’t want to make the cartridge any shorter. It’s the perfect length by simply removing the plastic plug on the end. Again, non-Parker brand cartridges may nor may not work exactly the same.