Pentel EnerGel Philography: High-end Gel Ink Pen

The long-selling EnerGel ballpoint pen sold by Pentel is highly popular. And the Pentel EnerGel Philography is a high-grade pen for such EnerGel lovers. Here is an in-depth look at the basic features, design, and compatible refills.

Basic Features of EnerGel Philography

Pentel Energel Philgraphy
Length143mm (5.63 inches)
Diameter (center of grip)10mm (0.39 inches)
Pen Tip0.5mm (0.02 inches)
Ink TypeGel
Price (inclusive tax)JP ¥2,200 (approx. US $20)

Color variations

There are a total of 8 different colors for the body. So we can pick up a color we like.

Dark Blue
Turquoise Blue
Warm Silver

In this article, I will introduce turquoise blue.


All EnerGel Philography has 0.5mm thick black ink by default. But, it is compatible with all Pentel EnerGel series refills. So you can choose from a wide variety of colors and thicknesses to replace them.

Available Pen Tip Sizes:
0.3 / 0.4 / 0.5 / 0.7 / 1.0mm

Refill Colors:
Black, Red, Burgundy, Blue, Blue Black, Orange, Rough Gray, Pink, Turquoise Blue, Violet, Brown

Refills are available at less than $1 each. So the running costs are very low.


Beautiful metallic body

The shiny metallic body and turquoise blue color give it a luxurious look. The surface is also smooth and very comfortable to touch. The center of its grip is 10mm in diameter, which is relatively thin. So it is especially recommended for those who like thin pens.

body of energel philography

The clip is attached to the high point of the pen. Compared to other pens, it is obvious that the position of the clip is much lower.

clip of energel philography
different pens' clips comparison

It doesn’t stick out when you put it on a book cover or in a jacket pocket which gives a stylish and clean impression.

energel philography pen in a black jacket's pocket
energel philography attached to book cover

The grip part is also beautifully curved, with no border between the grip and the body.

pen tip of energel philography

Twist Mechanism

The internal structure looks like this.

internal structure of energel philography

Since it is a twist pen, it is divided into two parts in the middle. The inside is also made of metal, which gives it a solid and luxurious feel.

Comparison with the cheaper edition “EnerGel Infree”

Here’s a comparison with the cheaper EnerGel Infree, which only costs $1. EnerGel Infree is a cheap ballpoint pen with a transparent body that shows off its internal structure and a rubber grip. On the other hand, EnerGel Philography has a luxurious look indeed.

comparison between energel philography and energel infree

Quality of Ink

EnerGel ink

EnerGel ink is a water-based gel ink developed by Pentel. The most significant feature is that it changes from a gel to a liquid when it leaves the pen tip much faster than conventional pens.

Writing test

I did a writing test with the black 0.5mm, and the blue-black 0.4 and 0.5mm.

writing test of energel philography

It gives a very smooth writing experience without any ink fading. The colors are especially good with vibrance, which looks great on the paper. However, with 0.4mm, I felt the nib is a bit scratchy while I was writing. So I recommend 0.5mm or thicker to take advantage of the smoothness of Energel Ink.

In addition, according to the official Pentel announcement, the ink dries faster than usual gel ink ballpoint pens because it penetrates the paper quickly. But when I traced the ink lightly with my finger after a few seconds, it actually bled.

ink bleed

The paper I used for the writing test was Midori MD paper, which I think is a relatively rough paper with a high penetration rate. So, depending on the paper, EnerGel’s quick-drying properties don’t seem to work well from time to time.

Things I Noticed

More weight on its head

As you can see from the picture, the center of gravity is much more on the head rather than the central part compared to the other pens. If you are writing by holding the pen’s center, you will feel comfortable with this structure. However, it may not be suitable for those who write by holding near the pen’s tip.

weight position comparison of different pens

Strong holding power of the clip

The power of the clip to hold is very strong. Even if we put it on a book cover and hang it, it won’t fall off or even not move at all.

holding book cover with energel philography

It is convenient because we can quickly keep it with a book or notebook without putting it back in a pencil case. However, because of its hardness, the clip cannot be opened widely. If you force it open, it may break, so be careful about that.

Twist mechanism is a little stiff

The nib is a bit stiff to twist. You have to turn it firmly to take the nib in and out. We don’t have to worry about the nib shaking, but some may find it troublesome.

High Compatibility (C-300)

The refill fits “C-300” standard, which is the most common refill type among Japanese pens. So it is compatible not only with the same EnerGel series but also with various pens even from other companies. I did a quick test and found that it was compatible with Uni JETSTREAM, Zebra Blen, Zebra SARASA dry although they have different thicknesses in diameter. It enables us to use the EnerGel Philography body with our own favorite ink.

refill size comparison of different pens
From the left,
Pentel EnerGel Philography
Zebra Blen
Zebra SARASA dry

However, please be aware that Energel Ink does not necessarily fit on the body of other pens the other way round.

Where Can We Get?

Most online stores that carry a lot of Japanese stationery seem to have stocks. Here are a few stores that offer Pentel EnerGel Philography with international shipping.

From Amazon Japan, we can buy it from Japan with international shipping. And the original price is less than half of the regular price, which is about $10.

For more information about buying from Amazon Japan using the Amazon Global Service, please refer to the following.

Overall Score

radar chart of overall score
Overall Score: 4.2 / 5

The design of Pentel EnerGel Philography is excellent, as expected from a high-end line. And it is compatible with other companies’ pens as well. So we can use it in a wide range of ways as we like. The ink color is excellent, smooth, and easy to write with. But be aware that the ink may stick to our hand or get bled depending on the paper we use.


One thought on “Pentel EnerGel Philography: High-end Gel Ink Pen

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