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Paper Mate Contour Powerpoint refills

Paper Mate Contour retractable ballpoint pen from the 1970sHere’s a Paper Mate Contour ballpoint pen that hails from the 1970s. It’s been a loyal old family friend that’s still comfortable and easy to use. The problem is of course that Paper Mate Powerpoint refills are no longer available. A quick search on Ebay unearthed a few old mouldy-looking ones mostly from the USA, and they were selling for (wait for it) £30-£45 each!

After a lot of searching around I came across an excellent UK supplier of pen refills called Cult Pens who confirmed the old Powerpoint refills are long gone. The nearest you will get is the Paper Mate Lubriglide refill which is also obsolete. Again some American suppliers were selling these on Ebay for really eye-watering amounts.

Fortunately Cult Pens has turned up trumps with a suggested alternative, namely the Schneider Express 225 which is roughly the same form factor as the old Powerpoint one. Their price (£2.25) was also very affordable and they are available in black, blue, green and red.  Looking around the Cult Pens website, some other hard-to-get refills also caught my eye, namely MonteVerde equivalents for a Sheaffer ballpoint refill (much cheaper than Sheaffer K biro refills) and another for my Sheaffer No-Nonsense Rollerball pen. It wasn’t long before an order was on the way, carriage paid over £10.

In fact it arrived extremely rapidly along with a sample disposable mechanical pencil and some Haribo!

Comparing Schneider Express 225 (top) with a Paper Mate Powerpoint refillHow did the Schneider Express 225 ballpoint refill fit in my Paper Mate Contour? There is a very slight difference in length as the above photo shows. In practise I found that when the biro was ‘retracted’ there was still a tiny length of tip showing, so it did not retract fully into the biro body.

Top-bottom: Schneider Express 225 filed down slightly, original Express refill, Paper Mate Powerpoint refill [click to see]The simple answer is to shorten it by removing no more than 2mm maximum from the plastic end of the refill. I did this in seconds using my Dremel and a sanding drum, but you could carefully file it down instead, taking care not to snap the plastic tip off.  That worked a treat, and now the refill retracts fully and the pen is good to go.

I found Cult Pens offered a terrific service, so if you need any pens, pencils or hard to find refills check out their website straight away!

Reader Comments (2)

Thank you very much for the information. I have an old PaperMate Contour that I used ....40 years ago. It was always a favourite but has for many years been sitting in a pen drawer. I have it out now and would like again to use it but was unsure of first the model name of the pen and then which refill it should take. I'll order from Cult Pens (I already know of them) and will soon be writing with it again. Thanks again.

October 15, 2017 at 22:26 | Unregistered CommenterSimon / Norway

I also bought some Schneider Express 225 refills from CultPens. They fitted most of my old PaperMate ballpoint pens - the plastic ones and the metal over plastic thin retractable ones with USA around the barrel and separate chrome tip. I had to do the same refill mods as you for some pens by removing a little from the plastic at the end - I used a craft knife and removed just 1mm.

I did have trouble with one of my oldest pens. A chrome papermate retractable which is all brass with chrome over the top and the little hearts on the clip are black on chrome - without the white background of the later model. This has PAPERMATE W.GERMANY around the join in the barrel. This will not take the G1 lubriguide refill which is 5.0 mm diameter as it was designed to close spec to take the older Powerpoint refill which is only 4.80mm diameter. So be warned.

February 1, 2018 at 16:17 | Unregistered CommenterAndy Tate

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