The Rollerball Pen Guide
We recently started our new series on fine writing instruments with a focus on ballpoint pens, and today we want to help you to find the best rollerball pen for you. While ballpoints make an excellent everyday pen and are especially useful for left handed people since the dry so quickly, rollerballs are generally considered a higher quality pen and the next best thing to the fountain pen.
Roller ball pens use the same mechanism as a ballpoint but utilize a water or gel-based liquid ink rather than an oil-based viscous ink that’s found in the ballpoint pen. The ink found in the rollerball gives the pen a different writing style which is closer to the smoothness found in a fountain pen. The tip at the end of the pen is actually a very small ball that quite literally rolls as you write on paper causing the ink to transfer from the ink reservoir to the paper as you write.
The History of the Rollerball
All credit for the history of the rollerball goes to a gentleman named Adam who was kind enough to find an article in Polish and translate it to English for the forum users. There isn’t a great deal of published information on the history of rollerball pens so I must thank Adam for making this information publicly available.
According to the information, the rollerball pen was actually designed by a man named John J. Loud in 1888 as a tool that was capable of writing on rough surfaces. Despite the patent being filed before the dawn of the 1900s, the pen never actually surfaced on the market until the end of World War II in 1945. Many improvements to the original model came after with pens created for writing on materials such as fabric and even wood. Despite the tool being created, the ink available on the market wasn’t as viscous as was required. As decades passed and inks changed over time, the rollerball pen was introduced to the public by various pen manufacturers such as Parker. Despite the capabilities of the rollerball pen, it never actually reached the height of its popularity until the mid 1970s. Today, pen aficionados tend to favor the rollerball pen in comparison to the ballpoint. As far an everyday carry pen, the rollerball is an exceptional choice for those who seek a smooth and comfortable writing experience, especially for those who are partial to fountain pens.
Benefits of a Rollerball Pen
The flow of a rollerball pen is far more consistent than that of a ballpoint and skips less than a ballpoint as well. The writing experience of a rollerball is similar to that of a fountain pen as it requires far less pressure to produce ink on the page.
The writing style is far cleaner and less stressful on the fingers, the wrist and the hand itself. It’s far more comfortable to write with a rollerball and saves energy permitting for extended use without having to resort to shaking the hand; something commonly done with higher impact writing instruments. The inks are typically available in more color options than the standard black, blue and red and there are many options when it comes to the type of ink. Of course, with less stress to the pen and hand, the writer has the ability to write faster than they would with a pencil or ballpoint pen. In addition, the ink on paper tends to be clearer and more dramatic.
Ballpoint Pen, Rollerball & Fountain Pen – PROs and CONs a Comparison
The Disadvantages of a Rollerball
Of course, it goes without saying that many pen collectors will say the biggest disadvantage of a rollerball is that it’s not a fountain pen. For true pen connoisseurs, there is no substitute for a well made fountain pen and no finer writing experience because a flexible gold nib glides over the paper like butter, and with the rib width, it creates a unique handwriting and look that is one of a kind. That aside, a signature is much harder to fake when using a fountain pen.
However, most will argue that when it comes to other styles of writing instruments, the rollerball is a close second to the fountain pen.
Rollerballs Don’t Work for Left-Handed People
I am not one of those people. In fact, I actually find rollerball pens to be abhorrent and it’s for one simple reason: I’m left handed.
There is nothing more annoying to a left handed person than smudging ink all over the side of your hand and the paper you’re writing on. Since the ink used in rollerballs is liquid-based, the chance of smearing the ink is far greater than if you use a ballpoint. With fountain pens, you also see far less smudging and have the ability to use a wider range of ink styles.
I own a number of pens but truth be told, I don’t think I own a single rollerball even though I have tried many. They simply don’t work for left handed people.
Left handed people aren’t the only ones who have to worry about smeared ink, if you are right handed, you are free to choose.
Disadvantage of being left handed
Drying Time Required
One issue many have with rollerballs is that the ink needs to have time to dry before you cover the paper. In other words, if you’re using a notebook or completing a draft that’s multiple pages, once you close one page on top of the other, you run the risk of the ink staining the opposite page. In addition, the ink tends to bleed through the pages easier which can result in stains on paper or even your writing surface. Those who inadvertently leave the tip of the pen on the paper while pausing to think will also notice that the ink will create a blotch on the paper and bleed through onto the next pages or your desk. Gel based inks tend to dry quicker but are still prone to smudging and bleeding more than a ballpoint pen.
Rollerballs Need To Be Refilled More Often
In addition, rollerball pens will usually run out of ink much faster than a ballpoint since they use a large portion of the ink in the reservoir than the ballpoint does. Because the ink is liquid or gel based, rollerballs will also leak more often and easier than a ballpoint which can cause significant issues, especially if you are prone to keeping a pen in your breast pocket or briefcase. Of course, like fountain pens, rollerballs can be difficult to travel with as the change in pressure while flying can result in the pen leaking. In addition, one of the key drawbacks to using a rollerball is that they’re prone to clogging which can render the ink cartridge inoperable requiring you to replace the cartridge, clean the reservoir or replace the pen in some cases.
Gel Based Ink
Rollerballs don’t just come in one-size-fits-it-all but instead you can choose between various tip widths ranging from 0.2mm over 0.5mm and 0.7mm up to 1mm and 1.5mm. Unlike fountain pens, the tip always remains round, which means the width stays the same when you write.
The nibs on wider fountain pens like B or BB are straight, creating beautiful curves when you write, which will make your handwriting look special.
So, if the look of your handwriting is not important to you, the a rollerball is just fine. What tip width you should opt for depends on your needs and tastes though most people seem to like a 0.7mm tip width for general use.
Recommended Rollerball Pens
by Sven Raphael Schneider
|G2 Retractable Premium Gel Ink Roller Ball Pens, Fine Point, Black, 12-Pack (31020)||Pilot||$|
|Jetstream RT Fine Point Retractable Ball Point Pens, 3 Black Ink Pens (70877)||Uni-ball||$|
|Safari Charcoal Rollerball Pen – Charcoal – Model 317||Lamy||$|
|R200 Rollerball Pen Black||Pelikan||$$|
|Sonnet Lacquer Medium Point Rollerball Pen with Golden Trim, Black (1743581)||Parker||$$|
|Expert Rollerball Pen, Fine Point, Matte Black with Chrome Trim (S0951880)||Waterman||$$|
|Classic Century, Lustrous Chrome, Rollerball (AT0085-74)||Cross||$|
|Aurora Bordeaux Resin Rollerball, Gold Plated Trims, Black Lacquer Ring (B71-X)||Aurora||$$|
|Classic Pernambuco Rollerball||Graf von Faber-Castell||$$$|
|Silk Way Limited Edition Sterling Silver Rollerball Pen||Omas||$$$|
Despite the fact that the core of rollerballs is not hugely different, you can buy some for $1 or others for several $1,000
Of course, I recommend avoiding dollar store pens and spending some additional money to procure a pen that will not only last and serve you well, but also matches the rest of your outfit.
For the Budget Conscious not Concerned About the Look of the Pen
If you really don’t care about the look of the pen (why on earth you would not care for the look is beyond me) or if you constantly loose them and you simply want a great pen that writes well, do not just grab the Pilot G2. Although many reach for the Pilot G2 once they want to upgrade from free pens, it can be rather inconsistent in its performance and so I recommend you try a few different ones as well.
Parker has a good gel pen refills or the uni-ball Jetstream RT Fine Point Rollerball Pen works well too. It is less expensive than the Pilot G2 and in my experience it outperforms it in all things concerned writing .
That being said, I would suggest you never carry this kind of a pen with a sport coat combination or a suit simply because it looks extremely cheap. If you are all dressed in a custom three piece suit, your $2 pen will spoil the look in the same manner a cheap tie or poor quality shoes would.
Rollerballs for +/- $100
In this price range, you won’t fine the absolutely top notch pens, but they are a huge step up from all the ugly plastic pens out there. In this price range, we recommend to take a look at the Pelikan R200, the Parker Sonnet Lacquer or the Waterman Expert. All of them are classic and perform well.
Use Gel Refills Instead of Ballpoint Refills
Chances are, you are different than me when it comes to pens. With rollerballs you can actually mix different the outer shells with different refills. What matters is that the refill fits your outer shell. For example you might like the Parker Gel Refills and they fit the Pelikan R200 or Waterman Expert. So if you want to use a Rollerball, I would suggest you test various refills until you find one that you really like.
Once you have decided on a refill, go look for pens that you really love in terms of look, feel and weight, because not all pens are alike and different people prefer different things. Some want a heavy pen because it feels more like quality, other prefer a lighter pen so their hands get tired quickly. It really all depends on your needs, and combining pens in this manner will help you to get the ultimate rollerball for you.
High End Rollerballs
Some of the best known companies that make high quality rollerball pens are Omas, Aurora, Montblanc, Graf Von Faber-Castell, Pelikan, Parker, Cross, Waterman, Lamy and Sheaffer. All of them have different strengths and prices for upscale versions start at around $300 with no end in sight. At this level, I would personally opt for a fountain pen but if you are set on a rollerball, consider the looks weight and feel because as I mentioned before you can change the refill in most cases.
For example OMAS produces beautiful, handmade celluloid shells in great swirls and colors. Every piece is unique so you get a one of a kind piece. At the same time, they are a bit on the lighter side. Montblanc is usually less colorful but a bit heavier and every brand offer something unique to them. At the end of the day it is up to you to decide what you like because all of them are good in terms of quality.
Apart from these manufacturers you will find other high quality pens on the market but I couldn’t possibly list all of them.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this short primer on rollerball pens. Stay tuned for our next article in the series where we’ll focus on the best pens of all; the fountain pen.
What’s your favorite rollerball pen? Do you prefer water or gel based inks?
Best Rollerball Pens for Writing and Drawing – ARTnews.com
Whether or not you’re a pen aficionado, you probably know the satisfying feeling of writing with one that performs smoothly on paper. As their name implies, rollerball pens use a small revolving ball at the tip to guide ink from the pen’s reservoir to the paper. Unlike ballpoint pens, however, which use thick, oil-based inks, rollerballs use a free-flowing, water-based ink that makes them well suited for taxing work, from fast note-taking to long sessions of sketching. Rollerball pens may seem commonplace, but there is an overwhelming variety of them available. Whether you are drawing, writing a letter, or working on your bullet journal, finding the right one can make all the difference in your creative flow. Below are our picks of the best.
1. Arteza Rollerball Pens
This lightweight black-ink pen is a reliable instrument to have at hand, whether at your desk or on your person. Its fast-drying ink (no smudges—even for lefties!) makes it suitable for everyday writing or for creative projects, from detailed sketching to embellishing watercolors. Using it feels pleasing, as it glides smoothly while producing crisp, uniform lines with no scratching. And with its acid-free formula, you won’t have to worry about faded lines over time.
Arteza Rollerball Pens
2. Pilot G2 Premium Gel Roller
This refillable pen has an ultrafine tip and writes with a dark black ink with minimal pressure. One of its best features is its rubberized grip, which helps to prevent cramps over long periods of use. This pen also features a well-engineered retractable tip that keep it from staining if carried on the go—a smart solution for anyone prone to losing pen caps. While the ink comes out in an ultraclean and smooth line on most papers, it can smudge slightly if your hand moves too quickly; it also does not dry well on waxy or glossy surfaces.
3. Uni-ball Vision Rollerball Pens
Available in eight colors, this pen can last years even if used frequently and features a window for tracking its ink supply. It has a slightly heavy ink output—almost like a marker—which yields a very smooth experience for any writing and drawing that does not require superfine lines. This pen is best suited for those with a light touch, as too much pressure can cause the ink to bleed through lighter papers. The dark and vibrant ink makes it an ideal tool for bold outlining.
Uni-ball Vision Rollerball Pens
4. Scriveiner Luxury Pen
If style is of the essence, this brass and silver chrome pen, complete with 24-karat gold finish, is an ergonomic option. Its weighted body makes it beautiful to hold, and its tip yields a pleasing, skip-free experience. The ink flows seamlessly for effortless writing, with a feel similar to that of a fountain pen. Although it is jazzier than your average pen, it is still well suited for use as a go-to writing implement. Each one arrives in a sophisticated box that includes an ink refill.
Scriveiner Luxury Pen
5. Inc R2 Roller
This perfectly utilitarian pen produces smooth lines and has an ink flow that is consistently thick and dark. While smudging can be a problem, especially for speedy writers, it is a reliable and affordable pen you can hold comfortably for an extended period, thanks to its rubberized grip. Because the ink is so free-flowing, it has a tendency to bleed through thinner papers, making it most suitable for single-sided projects.
21 Of The Best Rollerball Pens For A Smooth Writing 🤴
Do you have the curiosity to know about the Best Rollerball Pens to buy in 2021? 🤔 You can easily Find out now in this definitive list with our detailed review.
Without any further delay let’s find out. 👓👓
Rollerball Pens are a perfect option to gain ease of flow by creating a comfortable and smooth writing experience. Rollerball Pens have smooth ink flow, which is ideal for writing texts without any hassle.
The Rollerball Pens are available in various colors as it especially uses the water-soluble dye. Get the most amazing writing experience with the best rollerball pen suitable for your daily needs. Rollerball Pens uses unique ballpoint writing mechanisms having extensive water-based gelled ink or liquid.
Having Rollerball Pens shows your professionalism and gives a better option to write more comfortably. These pens have strong stainless steel equipped with a micro or fine point as well as a matte finish.
These pens look more stylish for writing and completely consistent. Rollerball Pens are available in the stick and grip versions. When you like to get an awesome writing implement, then picking the finest Rollerball Pens would be a great option.
Best Rollerball Pens: Our Top Pick 👌
1. uni-ball Vision Rollerball Pens
Rollerball Pens are completely reasonable at cost and perfect for a person who likes to give quality writing options. Writing in the Rollerball Pens gives you a suitable solution without any frills.
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In fact, these pens do not have a refillable option. this Rollerball pen is used by many numbers of people as it is a complete quick-drying, medium-width grip, smooth line of ink, as well as clear writing feature.
Vision series is quite famous in the modern-day as it is available in a wide variety of colors to give the smooth writing method.
Below are some of the features of the uni-ball Vision Rollerball Pens that earned it a spot in our list of Best Rollerball Pens to get in 2021.
- Smooth and Free-flowing writing
- Visible ink supply window to indicate how much ink stays
- Consistent smoothness in writing due to a uni-flow rollerball ink system. This feature also provides rich color intensity.
- Uni super ink protects your writing from water, fraud, and fading.
2. Fisher Space AG7 Original Astronaut Space Pen
Fisher Space Original Astronaut Space Pen is quite classic and smooth for enjoying efficient writing. Having this tool would be a much more significant option for easily gaining convenience in writing to the maximum.
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When you are working in terrible weather conditions, then this rollerball pan would be the right choice. No need to fear ink freezing in the cold weather season as this rollerball pen writes even in extreme temperatures.
Most of the electricians love to have these pens as they could write even when face-up or crawlspace for making measurements. The construction of this stylish pen has not changed for more than 36 years.
People love the quality of this rollerball pen as it is lightweight and looks more stylish with the specialized design.
Below are some of the features of the Fisher Space AG7 Original Astronaut Space Pen that earned it a spot in our list of Best Rollerball Pens to get in 2021.
- It gives you the facility to write from Zero Gravity.
- You can write in extremely low temperature (-30F) or extremely low temperature (250F) with this pen.
- Every Fisher pen is perfectly assembled and Hand tested
- It comes with a lifetime guarantee against any manufacturing faults.
Note:- I have written a post for people looking for the Best Pen For Exams To Buy, do read it If you are interested.
3. Visconti Impressionist Van Gogh Fountain Pen
Van Gogh is quite famous for it’s quality and artistic genius. When using the Visconti Impressionist Van Gogh Rollerball Pen, you would definitely appreciate the beautiful reproduction of work in a unique way.
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Get a new classic experience of writing with this stylish pen. Van Gogh Rollerball Pen is equipped with a gentle magnetic cap closure to safeguard the tip. Of course, it is suitable for daily usage for its smooth action.
You would definitely get better comfort and ease of writing with this pen. When you are in an artistic field, then this pen is your best option for showing off your taste. Get the most amazing experience of writing with this rollerball action pen.
Below are some of the features of the Visconti Impressionist Van Gogh Fountain Pen that earned it a spot in our list of Best Rollerball Pens to get in 2021.
- Magnetic locking system
- Iconic Visconti Clip
- Secures cap
- Fast converter filling system
- Finely engraved steel nib
- Hand-made in Italy
4. Pilot Precise V5 RT Retractable Rolling Ball Pens
The Pilot Precise V5-RT RollingBall Pens are made from professional-grade stainless steel with giving a more classic workman-like appeal. When you like to write constantly, then choosing the best rollerball pens would be a suitable solution.
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Pilot Precise V5 RT Retractable RollingBall Pens are made of good quality and simple with giving the best performance on the whole without any hassle. Picking this super affordable rollerball pen is suitable for school and college students.
Of course, you can easily complete your segment much faster with smooth writing techniques. Pilot Precise V5 RT Retractable Rolling Ball Pen has been equipped with a modern mechanism allowing it to provide superior performances easily.
Below are some of the features of the Pilot Precise V5 RT Retractable Rolling Ball Pens that earned it a spot in our list of Best Rollerball Pens to get in 2021.
- Modern design
- Classic design
- Super smooth with a comfortable grip
- Affordable price range
- Well balanced pen
- Innovative retractable plunger
- Easy-to-hold knurled metal grip
- Better writing stability
5. PILOT Vanishing Point Collection Refillable Pen
PILOT Vanishing Point Collection rollerball pen with the highly optional nibs provides you the smoothness to the maximum level.
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It can operate smoothly in the toughest script of calligraphy and copperplate so that you can easily grab the opportunity to portray a good impression of the style. This pen works perfectly with its ragged and splotched edges.
A beautifully crafted piece gives your hand complete facilities to enjoy a better experience. It mainly allows you to easily make the simple click and begin to write even without the constant recapping and uncapping. Lend a touch of elegance with writing on this most amazing PILOT vanishing Point rollerball pen.
Below are some of the features of the PILOT Vanishing Point Collection Refillable Pen that earned it a spot in our list of Best Rollerball Pens to get in 2021.
- Pilot’s patented design
- Rhodium-plated 18K gold nib
- Smooth-writing luxury fountain pen
- Airplane safe
- Exceptionally crafted
- Great gifts for holidays
At the time of our research on “Best Rollerball Pens”, we found a video about “10 Signs You’re Way More Intelligent Than You Realize” which is worth watching. 🏆🔎
6. Cross Townsend Black Lacquer Selectip Rollerball Pen
Stylish looking Cross Townsend Black Lacquer Selectip Rolling Ball Pen ensures to offer the complete beauty in writing and gaining the smoothness maximum.
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Get the imminent touch of elegance as well as sophistication that you need with the use of this ultimate rollerball pen. Whether you like to get the complete writing style or gifting, then this rollerball pen would definitely give you a perfect option.
Cross Townsend pens have been mainly designed as well as assembled in the US. In fact, when writing with this pen, ink flows smoothly and stable. The weight of the pen is completely perfect for everyone.
Cross Townsend Black Lacquer Selectip Rolling Ball Pens are completely guaranteed for life against mechanical failure. Boutique-quality gift packaging
Below are some of the features of the Cross Townsend Black Lacquer Selectip Rollerball Pen that earned it a spot in our list of Best Rollerball Pens to get in 2021.
- Selectip gel rolling balls
- Specially formulated cartridges
- Bottled inks
- Re-invented writing instruments
- Jewelry-quality craftsmanship
- America’s first manufacturer
- Guaranteed against mechanical failure
7. Lamy Safari Charcoal Rollerball Pen
Safari Charcoal Rollerball Pen mainly matches the unique function and is available at the most affordable price range.
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When you are looking for a stylishly designed rollerball pen, then picking this Safari Charcoal Rollerball Pen would be a great choice as it is much easier to write with smooth options.
These rollerball pens have unisex designs, but this piece is quite heavier. Charcoal Rollerball Pen mainly increases penmanship by giving you a better writing experience on the whole.
Below are some of the features of the Lamy Safari Charcoal Rollerball Pen that earned it a spot in our list of Best Rollerball Pens to get in 2021.
- Sharp and highly polished designs
- Caters modern and tapered silhouette
- Glossy attractive black lacquer finish
- Durable and smooth to use stainless steel fine nib
- Excellent experience in writing
- Highly reliable for personal use
- Ergonomic and highly comfortable shape
- Paired with haughty craftsmanship
- Evokes the rich heritage of this brand
- Affordable yet highly sophisticated gift
8. uni-ball ONYX Rollerball Pen
The Roller Ball Pen is perfect for the smooth writing experience and is available in carbon forms. Sharp and clear edge nib gives the best writing experience on the whole.
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Lowest cost also makes this pen quite considered by many numbers of people. It is considered a perfect pen for men having smaller hands. Uni-ball Onyx Stick Micro Point Roller Ball Pen is a long-time favorite for ink artists.
Below are some of the features of the uni-ball ONYX Rollerball Pen that earned it a spot in our list of Best Rollerball Pens to get in 2021.
- Dependably smooth
- Free-flowing writing
- Cost-conscious design
- 80% post-consumer recycled electronics
- Protects against water
- Strong 0.5mm metal tip
Note:- I have written a post for people looking for the Best Camera Pens To Buy, do read it If you are interested.
9. PARKER Premier Ballpoint Pen
Parker Sonnet Premier Ballpoint Pen is specially engraved with rectangular pattern-based rubberized enamel, thus making the pen to make a more bold statement. Fashion-forward selection makes it completely simple with direction.
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The cartridge is much easier to be replaced with a satisfying firm grip. Iconic Parker arrow clip gives more beauty to this pen.
Below are some of the features of the PARKER Premier Ballpoint Pen that earned it a spot in our list of Best Rollerball Pens to get in 2021.
- Sophisticated designs
- Bold contemporary shape
- Perfect for the modern business executive
- Carry a commanding presence everywhere
- Matte brown lacquer with a soft and rubbery feel
- Twist-action ballpoint tip
- Reliable ink
10. Pelikan Tradition 200 Black Rollerball Pen
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Whether you like to choose a strong needlepoint tip, then picking the richly infused ink Pelikan Tradition 200 Black Rollerball Pen gives the classic option. This stylish looking rollerball pen is known for its functionality and a perfect steel writing instrument.
Below are some of the features of the Pelikan Tradition 200 Black Rollerball Pen that earned it a spot in our list of Best Rollerball Pens to get in 2021.
- Pelikan 338 Rollerball refills
- Length closed: 5″;
- Durable stainless steel tip, barrel, and clip
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11. Lamy Unisex Tipo Rollerball Pen
Lamy Unisex Tipo Rollerball Pen is one of the best options in the world; it is a good quality pen that works based on the clip-push mechanism. It is a good quality pen that comes with a simplistic design.
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Most importantly, it has a smooth body structure so that it can be the right choice for better handwriting. Overall, this pen looks like a unique design. Lamy Unisex Tipo Rollerball Pen is a better choice because it comes with a lot of features.
This pen is well-matched with Lamy M 66 Broad refill and available with complete packing. This model established a clear as well as unmistakable design so it can be the right choice for people who prefer a stylish pen.
Below are some of the features of the Lamy Unisex Tipo Rollerball Pen that earned it a spot in our list of Best Rollerball Pens to get in 2021.
- Simple and easy to use maneuver
- Fine writing
- Strong Plastic body for smooth operation
- Elegant design
- Non-toxic ink
- Quality writing performance
12. Allegory Handcrafted Goods Model R Rollerball Pen
This pen is made with reclaimed wood as well as it is hand-crafted in the USA. It can be the right choice for serious writers.
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Especially the beauty and uniqueness of the pen attract people, and it is a really gorgeous writing instrument as well as this pen is also has a high flow, which is ideally suited to your specific needs. This pen is perfectly suited for light as well as dark finish.
This pen is very versatile at the same time perfectly suits both left as well as right-handed users. Especially this can be perfect for large fingers as well as a small screen.
Below are some of the features of the Allegory Handcrafted Goods Model R Rollerball Pen that earned it a spot in our list of Best Rollerball Pens to get in 2021.
- The fountain
- Fine-point felt the tip
13. Monteverde Invincia Rose Gold Fiber Rollerball Pen
Monteverde Invincia is one of the best choices; it can come with fiber creation features, especially it can come with a unique grip so which is great for both left and right-hand writers.
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The rollerball provides complete comfort. The special in-built twist-down mechanism present in this pen ensures that it won’t be accidentally triggered and hence it enables that there is no chance to drop the ink and destroy your costly clothes.
It is recommended for the job going people. The natural metallic hues completely enhance the pen’s character. The stark black contrasting accents help to create a stunning color.
Besides, this pen also comes with an elegant presentation box, so it is the perfect addition for people who prefer fine writing instruments. This pen has the following features
Below are some of the features of the Monteverde Invincia Rose Gold Fiber Rollerball Pen that earned it a spot in our list of Best Rollerball Pens to get in 2021.
- Rose gold color
- Virtually pristine in appearance
- Excellent meshed texture
- Beautiful carbon fiber
14. Montblanc Rollerball Refills (M) Mystery Black Pen
Mont Blanc provides stunning pens with a no-leak guarantee. In general, this pen also comes with a screw-top cap that helps to ensure your comfort level. This pen comes with great qualities that prevent smearing for an elegant.
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Most importantly, it gives a neat look on paper. This pen comes with the highest quality as we as the most excellent craftsmanship. It is the perfect choice for modern life, and this will add more considerable significance.
The rollerball pen refills beautifully fluent as well as this will ensure consistent ink flow. Overall, it offers a smooth writing experience. It is really perfect for executive business, drafting documents, drawing, etc. it comes with new features that include
Below are some of the features of the Montblanc Rollerball Refills (M) Mystery Black Pen that earned it a spot in our list of Best Rollerball Pens to get in 2021.
- Medium tip
- Perfect for writing on precious paper
15. PILOT G2 Premium Refillable Rolling Ball Gel Pens
It is the ideal pen for overachievers because it can provide smooth writing as well as supports for long-lasting writing.
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It is the premium gel ink pen that also features a comfortable rubber grip at the same time. It also comes with an ultra-fine as well as a bold point. However, this brand also comes with some unique features that offer the longest-lasting benefits.
Below are some of the features of the PILOT G2 Premium Refillable Rolling Ball Gel Pens that earned it a spot in our list of Best Rollerball Pens to get in 2021.
- Refillable gel ink
- Preferred for smooth-writing
Overall, it can be a classic choice for covering different writing needs.
This pen comes in barrel designs and colors. It is the preferred choice for writing in a bullet journal. In general, the pilot is the perfect choice for you.
The pilot is one of the exceptional writing instruments that offer great roller ballpoint pens for every writing style.
16. Aurora Bordeaux Resin Rollerball
This pen is perfect for people with a strong attitude. It is the everyday companion for those who work as well as study.
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In general, this pen comes with an exclusive Y-shaped clip. An excellent choice for every day, this pen comes with a smooth finish as well as offering luxurious looks. In general, this pen made in Italy Comes with a cap as well as a barrel in burgundy resin.
In addition to this, it comes with a black lacquer ring along with gold plated trims this pen is perfect for both writing styles.
Below are some of the features of the Aurora Bordeaux Resin Rollerball that earned it a spot in our list of Best Rollerball Pens to get in 2021.
- Smooth nib
- Study construction
- Classic style and sleek design
- Bold ink
17. Parker Dark Gray Lacquer Trim Pen
Parker Parker Lacquer Medium pen is perfect for smooth writing. This pen is combining contemporary style, so it is an excellent choice of pen for writers to experience long-lasting benefits; it is a perfectly balanced pen now you can find diverse modes that offer quality finishes. This pen shows sophisticated harmony and comes in both gold as well as silver.
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It features colorful lacquers so that it can be the perfect choice for writing. This pen comes with cutting-edge multi-layer decors that also provide the latest features.
It is the modern twist and definitive Parker style. In general, this pen comes with innovative features that include
Below are some of the features of the Parker Dark Gray Lacquer Trim Pen that earned it a spot in our list of Best Rollerball Pens to get in 2021.
- Black glossy finish
- Overlaid with multiple layers
- It comes with rich lacquer to provide a silky feel
- Comes with premium Parker Gift Box
18. Waterman Expert Matte Black Rollerball Pen CT
Waterman Expert Matte Black rollerball pen comes with Waterman Expert Matte Black. This pen comes with a wealth of excellent materials, and this will suit your writing style.
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This pen is made in France, and every waterman pen is the best choice for a job-going person because it comes with no ink leak guarantee. This will ensure ultimate comfort as well as convenience.
Most importantly, this pen also comes with a palladium-plated trim as well as a smooth finish. However, it is the ultra-contemporary matte black pen that creates a completely elegant design. Waterman Expert Matte Black has stunning features,
Below are some of the features of the Waterman Expert Matte Black Rollerball Pen CT that earned it a spot in our list of Best Rollerball Pens to get in 2021.
- Hand-crafted in France
- Comes with a luxury gift box
- gold or chrome trim
- Sophisticated design
- Suitable for high-precision writing
19. Uni-ball, Jetstream RT Retractable Roller Ball Pen
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Jetstream RT Rollerball Pen comes with stunning features; it is perfect for the writers who need a smooth performance like a gel, of course, this pen is suitable for left-hand writers.
The ink also dries quickly because this pen features Uni Super Ink. It provides safe writing with exclusive features.
Overall, this pen contains specially-formulated ink even it becomes trapped in paper, at the same time highly prevent criminal check. On the other hand, it is the recommended choice because of its archival quality.
Most importantly, acid-free hybrid ink is also ideal for documents. Even it plays a crucial role in record-keeping.
Unlike many other pens, it comes with fade-resistant as well as water-resistant quality. Rollerball pen features retractable tip as well as stainless steel accents; even it comes with following features,
Below are some of the features of the Uni-ball, Jetstream RT Retractable Roller Ball Pen that earned it a spot in our list of Best Rollerball Pens to get in 2021.
- Uni-Super Ink eliminates document fraud
- Quick-drying ink
- Perfect for left-handers
- Fade-proof pigment ink
- Waterproof ink
- Windowed grip
20. Picasso 916 Malage Rollerball Pen Original Box
Picasso Art Collection offers an attractive range of pens with unique qualities. It is globalizing designed as well as promoted, with a combination of like and art.
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This will be turning life into art. It is manufactured in Italy, the US, Germany, Japan, Korea, Switzerland, and Taiwan. The pen body comes with a unique carving technique.
This also embosses mysterious net patterns. It is full of charm and also available in four different shining colors. This roller pen provides a fine writing experience. It gives a nice experience with its exclusive features.
Below are some of the features of the Picasso 916 Malage Rollerball Pen Original Box that earned it a spot in our list of Best Rollerball Pens to get in 2021.
- It gives the right balance for writers
- Great flow of ink
- Versatile with another pen refill
Overall, a rollerball pen is perfect for smooth writing, and you can easily refill it from a standard inkwell, sometimes it works like a fountain pen.
The rollerball pen is specially designed to match the writing need for decades. Especially the solid and bold implementations help for excellent writing.
Rollerball Pen is a unique choice for enjoying long-lasting benefits. Hence prefer the above-mentioned options for smooth writing. We hope, this article will help you to choose the best rollerball pens under your budget.
The Best Pens for Everyday Use in 2021
The best pens feel natural in your hand, with ink that flows smoothly without feathering, blotting, or smudging. There are pens to suit each purpose, and everyone has their favorite. In each category, there are some standout performers that glide and move with delicate precision.
This list of pens contains some top picks for specific tasks like bullet journaling and calligraphy, as well as different pen types, like felt tip, gel, and ballpoint.
- BEST OVERALL: PILOT Precise V5 Stick Liquid Ink Rolling Ball Pens
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: PILOT G2 Premium Refillable Rolling Ball Gel Pens
- BEST FELT-TIP PEN: Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pens
- BEST GEL PEN: Uni-Ball 1790895 Signo 207 Retractable Gel Pen
- BEST FOUNTAIN PEN: Asvine Matte Black Forest Fountain Pen
- BEST FOR BULLET JOURNALS: Sakura Pigma 30062 Micron Blister Card Ink Pen Set
- BEST CALLIGRAPHY PEN: Pilot Parallel Calligraphy Pen Set
- BEST BALLPOINT PEN: Cross Classic Century Lustrous Chrome Ballpoint Pen
- BEST ERASABLE PEN: PILOT FriXion Clicker Erasable Gel Ink Pens
- BEST BRUSH PEN: Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pens
Photo: amazon. com
Types of Pens
Different types of pens produce different results. Some inks dry almost instantly, while others soak into the paper. Sometimes a bright, sharp edge might be your goal, while in other cases, you’d rather let the ink fade into the background for a subtle stroke. How you use the pen has a lot to do with the type that’s best for you. Keep reading for more details on the most common pen types and the best uses for each kind.
Ballpoint pens’ popular design and thick, oil-based ink distinguish them from other pen types. Ink flows over the ballpoint, a metal ball at the tip of the pen. Usually made of steel, tungsten carbide, or brass, the ball prevents ink from leaking out of the pen when it’s not in use. This is the most widely used type of pen because it’s cleaner, less expensive, and easier to use than other types of pens.
Oil-based ink resists drying better than water-based inks, and it’s less likely to soak and fade into the paper or feather. Oil-based ink is viable much longer than water-based ink, which is why ballpoint pens can be tossed aside and forgotten but still work well when you pick them up again. The problem with oil-based ink is that it’s more likely to leave blots, which can then smudge.
A rollerball pen’s design is similar to that of a ballpoint pen, with ink released through the pen’s end via the ball. Rollerballs require less pressure than ballpoint pens to release ink, which means less hand fatigue for the user.
Rollerballs typically have tips with small, sharp points. The major difference between rollerball and ballpoint pens is that rollerball pens use water-based liquid ink. Water-based inks tend to soak into the paper more than oil-based inks, creating a well-defined line. The brightness of the line varies, depending on whether the ink includes pigment or dye.
Pigment liquid inks, even water-based types, contain beds of pigment that don’t soak into the paper as much as dye inks. This is why rollerball pens with pigment ink can make lines that are almost as defined as those of a ballpoint pen.
The upside to using a rollerball pen with water-based ink is that you won’t leave as many blots or smudges as you would using a ballpoint pen. The downside of writing with a rollerball is that the ink can fade over time. These pens tend to dry out faster, too, sometimes before you have a chance to use all of the ink.
Gel pens are actually a type of rollerball pen. They contain water-based ink with pigments and come in a wide array of colors. Gel ink flows well, but is more prone to skipping and blotting than liquid rollerball pens. The gel ink also takes slightly longer to dry, creating plenty of opportunity for you to rub the side of your palm in your writing and smudge it.
Because they come in such fun, bright colors, gel pens are widely used for artwork and bullet journaling. Gel-pen aficionados who work in office settings can, of course, find conservative blue- and black-ink versions of their favorite pens.
Felt-tip pens are made with one of two tip types. The first is a thin, plastic nib surrounded by metal. It dries quickly and creates an even, smooth line with little bleeding. The other nib type is soft and cone-shaped, allowing the user to write with the nib’s tip or its side.
Felt-tip nibs vary in size, but 0.5 mm or 0.7 mm are the most common for everyday use. Because these tips grab the paper slightly as you write, using them feels somewhat like writing with a marker. Whatever your favorite type of ink, there’s a felt-tip pen out there for you: There are felt-tip pens with water-based, oil-based, alcohol-based, acid-free, and permanent ink on the market today.
Fountain pens have a pointed, metal nib connected to an ink cartridge, internal reservoir, or converter. Models with an internal reservoir and converter require bottled ink to refill the pen. Pens with ink cartridges are easier to refill, but the ink is more costly in the long run.
High-quality fountain pens are still popular in the business world for their professional, styled appearance. Many of them have refillable ink wells, so you can invest a little more in the pen itself.
What to Consider When Buying Pens
The biggest factors in choosing a pen are how you want it to feel in your hand and how you want the pen strokes to look. Some pens have a wider barrel and are made of chrome, making them heavy in the hand, while other pens are slim and lightweight. Your preference determines which kind of pen is right for you. Before you go shopping, however, consider these other features, too.
Smoothness has to do with how easily the ink flows from the pen. Water-based inks produce a smoother stroke than thicker, oil-based inks. An ink’s other characteristics, like whether it’s acid-free or permanent, can also affect its thickness and, therefore, its smoothness.
Smoothness also has to do with how ink is applied to paper. Fountain pens can produce a beautifully smooth stroke, but knowing how much pressure to apply while keeping the pen moving at a consistent rate is an acquired skill. Liquid-ink rollerball pens tend to have more smoothness because of their fine tips and water-based inks. Gel pens rank a close second because they’re similar in design, but put out thicker ink that often skips or smudges.
Smudges happen when the ink comes out too fast, or you slow your stroke and the ink keeps flowing, leaving a blot on the paper. Smudges are more common when using a pen with an oil-based ink because these inks take longer to dry, leaving time for your arm or hand to land in wet ink. Because gel ink also takes time to dry, gel pens are also prone to smudging.
Everyday pens don’t typically need to be fancy or expensive. You just need them to write consistently. On the other end of the design spectrum are fountain pens, which remain popular because of their sleek, professional appearance. A stainless-steel fountain pen with a gold tip makes quite an impression in a professional setting.
Many pens have design features that make them more comfortable to write with, including easy-to-grip textures or rubber grip pads on the end of the pen. If you write a lot, these features can help you maintain control as your hand gets tired. They’re also a nice feature for those who struggle with hand strength.
Bleed-through, or ghosting, is when the ink absorbs into the paper and is visible on the other side. It’s more common with water-based liquid inks because these inks quickly soak through the paper. If bleed-through makes you crazy, opt for a ballpoint pen with oil-based ink.
Our Top Picks
Ten pens made our list of top pick, based on their reliability, quality construction, and extra design features that make them fun—and comfortable—to write with.
The Precise V5 is everything an everyday pen should be: smooth, smudge-free, reliable, and solid in the hand. This 0.5-mm liquid-ink rollerball pen glides smoothly over rough paper, leaving behind a bright, distinct line that’s appropriate for business, bullet journals, or daily notes. The PILOT Precise has a visible reservoir so you can see when your ink is running low.
There are several variations of the PILOT Precise: There’s a retractable version with a wider barrel, a fancier Art Deco model for a little visual appeal, and 0.7-mm or 0.3-mm versions. The 0.5 mm comes in several colors like green, teal, pink, and purple.
PILOT created a gel pen that’s affordable but provides consistent results. The G2’s gel runs smoothly but dries quickly, making it a good option for left-handed writers. It has less drag than comparable gel pens and doesn’t require a lot of pressure to use, which reduces hand fatigue. The 0.7-mm tip leaves behind a midsize line, and the pen comes in several colors, including black, blue, lime, red, and pink.
Felt-tip pens grip the paper with a slight, satisfying drag. Paper Mate’s Flair pens have just enough give in the tip to leave a wide or thin line based on how much pressure you use. The ink soaks into the paper, leaving behind a standard black line on some papers but sinking in for a fainter gray line on others. Though it leaves some variation in color, the consistency in line definition is beautiful.
The Flair comes in black, blue, and a rainbow of colors. The black and blue are great for everyday use, while the colored pens are good options for bullet journaling and other creative work.
Uni-Ball’s 207 gives you everything you love in a gel pen: a steady line that dries quickly, smooth movement, and a visible ink well that lets you know when it’s time for a new pen. The Uni-Ball’s comfortable, cushioned rubber grip is what really sets it apart from the competition, as does the fact that it doesn’t take heavy pressure to leave behind a smooth line. If you’re looking for a pen that will reduce hand fatigue, this is the one.
The 207 comes in an ultra-micro 0.38-mm tip or medium 0.7-mm tip to give you some variety and precision based on what you need to write or draw.
A chrome barrel protects the ink converter in this attractive fountain pen from Asvine. The barrel’s textured surface helps the user maintain grip and control through each stroke. You get a true fountain pen experience with an inner converter that requires an ink bottle for refilling. While this pen costs more upfront, the barrel and tip will last and perform as long as it is well cared-for.
The Asvine fountain pen’s barrel comes in several colors, including black, blue, dark blue, yellow, pink, and purple. You’ve also got some choices in the nib design: Choose from extra-fine, fine, or bent nib.
The Sakura Pigma pens offer clear, crisp lines for creating bullet journal layouts of all types. This set includes pens in six tip widths, ranging from 0.2 mm to 0.5 mm. Thicker tips work well on the outlines for calendars and dailies, while the thinner tips are good for the flourishes and artwork that infuse your journal with personality.
These pens are designed for archival work, so they’re pH-neutral, waterproof, chemical-free, and fade-resistant. The pigment-based ink resists bleeding, smudging, and dries quickly. The Sakura pens produce bright, clear lines that maintain their color and crispness over time.
PILOT’s calligraphy pen set comes with four pens with four nib sizes, plus an extra cartridge. Cartridges are easier to manage than converters and bladders, and they don’t require the use of an ink bottle. Once you’ve installed the cartridge, it takes a couple of light squeezes, and the ink starts flowing.
We like how these pens’ sharp nib edges give you precise, tight curves and strokes while their broadsides flow smoothly. Their ink doesn’t tend to dry out in the nib the way it does in some other pens, which means less skipping and smudging if you pick up the pen after not using it for a while. Though these pens offer consistent ink flow, it can take some practice to master managing them. Overall, it’s a set that beginners can grow into and advanced calligraphers can rely on.
The Cross Classic is a ballpoint pen that’s worth refilling: its chrome barrel adds weight that helps propel the tip while you write, and its ballpoint tip glides smoothly over paper without blotting or smudging. This model has a rotating barrel that retracts the tip when not in use.
Cross’s classic design is appropriate for professional settings, and it makes a great gift, too. The Classic Century is also available in other finishes, including 10k gold.
Thermosensitive gel ink is the secret behind PILOT’s FriXion pens. Once the ink comes in contact with the friction-based heat of the eraser, it turns clear. You can write and rewrite until you’ve created the right words, doodles, or drawings. The FriXion’s retractable design makes these pens easy to take anywhere, including to school with kids. Kids and adults will both like the rainbow of colors that include black, blue, navy, red, green, purple, pink, turquoise, orange, and lime.
Tombow’s Fudenosuke brush pen set includes both a soft- and hard-tip pen. The soft brush tip lets you shift and drag to change the angle and width of each stroke. You can create characters, do calligraphy, or add flourishes as angles and pressure change. The hard tip offers the solid stroke of a traditional pen. Tombow’s pigment-based ink offers bright, clear lines and is less likely to soak through the paper. These pens also come in a rainbow of colors.
FAQs About Pens
Pens are an everyday tool, and you may not think about them much until you realize you have to buy new ones. When learning about pens, there are a few common questions.
Q. How do erasable pens work?
Erasable pens have thermochromic ink that turns clear when heated by the friction created by the eraser.
Q. How do you recycle pens?
Pens contain metal and ink that cannot go through the regular recycling channels. Some companies like TerraCycle recycle mechanical pencils, highlighters, markers, and pens. They sometimes partner with retailers to set up drop-off sites. Other companies, like Crayola, recycle their products. Check with the manufacturer or look for a recycling center near you that accepts pens.
Q. How do you refill fountain pens?
It depends on the type of fountain pen you have. Fountain pens either contain a piston converter, cartridge, or ink bladder. Ink bladders and converters have to be refilled with bottled ink. Cartridges are self-contained and can be thrown away when empty. With this type of fountain pen, you simply insert a new cartridge.
If the fountain pen has a converter, you must take off the barrel and place the tip in a bottle of ink. You then turn the converter counterclockwise to force air out and draw ink into the converter.
To fill a fountain pen with a bladder, you place the nib in a bottle of ink and deflate the bladder. As you slowly release the bladder, it pulls ink into the pen.
A Comparison Guide For Writers
What’s the difference between rollerball vs ballpoint pens?
Is there really such a difference that you might want to choose one over the other? Or, are they virtually interchangeable?
Some people may simply pick up any pen from a random pile. Some others may go for an expensive elite one like a Montblanc Meisterstuck pen or a Montblanc Starwalker as a status symbol.
But, that’s not the case for writers, is it? You probably care deeply about your writing utensils!
If you’re anything like me – when your parents said you could go buy something as a child, you skipped the rows of toys and went for a new pencil, eraser or some kind of writing instrument.
When you’re putting pen to paper, it needs to feel right. But we all have different preferences. Let’s compare these types of pens, so you can decide which one might give you a better writing experience.
This post contains some affiliate links, meaning I earn a small commission if you purchase the products I recommend.
Rollerball vs Ballpoint Pens: What are the Differences Between Them?
The main difference between a rollerball and a ballpoint pen lies in the ink.
And, there are more ways in which they differ. Let’s see what they are:
A rollerball pen uses thinner water based ink that comes in liquid or gel consistencies. The ballpoint pen uses thicker oil based ink.
The water-based liquid ink or gel ink flows smoothly, just like a fountain pen.
When you write, it’s easy for a rollerball’s gel ink to smudge, while ballpoint ink dries almost instantly on the paper.
But, a rollerball’s gel ink can dry up inside the pen. While this doesn’t happen as quickly in a ballpoint pen, its oil based ink can get sticky and thick. This may lead to ink blobs or trouble getting the pen to start writing again. On this point, they both have their challenges.
Rollerballs and ball pens have different types of barrels due to the inks used. The rollerball pen’s water based ink can dry out if exposed to air, so it’s nib needs to be covered with a cap.
The oil based ink of a ballpoint pen will not dry out if exposed to air, so it doesn’t need a cap. It can be operated with a twist or click mechanism.
3. Price Difference
Basic models of rollerballs are usually a bit more expensive than ballpoint pens. While ballpoint pens start at less than $1, roller balls may start from $1-$2. The price of luxury pens will vary greatly, of course. (For example, a Montblanc Meisterstuck Classique PT 164 Ballpoint starts above $300.)
4. Writing experience
The liquid or gel based ink of rollerballs provide a smoother writing experience that requires you to use less pressure compared to a ballpoint. The fluidity of liquid or gel ink makes for finer and darker lines when using rollerballs. However, the ballpoint may give you a more controlled action.
Both pens are leak-free. In fact, the rollerball pen was introduced as a leak-free option to a fountain pen.
But, in a situation where the pressure varies – like on a flight – a half-filled roller ball pen can leak, causing a mess. So it’s always better to carry a full or empty rollerball gel pen when you fly. A ballpoint pen doesn’t leak during pressure changes.
6. Bleeding through paper
Lastly, the thinner rollerball gel ink tends to bleed through paper, unlike a ballpoint – especially if you use poor quality paper.
Besides all these factors, the topic of rollerball vs ballpoint pen for lefties may also be important for many of you.
Let’s address that.
Rollerball vs Ballpoint Pen for Lefties
The hand you write with can impact which pen is best for you. When you write with your left hand, your hand slides over the words you just wrote as you move from left to right on the page.
This can be problematic with roller ball pens because the liquid or gel ink takes longer to dry and is highly likely to smear as you write. Because of this, ballpoints are generally the better choice for lefties (unless you’re someone who writes with your fingers lifted, so they don’t touch the page as you write).
So now that we’ve figured out the major differences between rollerball pens and ballpoint ones, it’s time to delve deeper into their finer details of rollerball pens and ballpoints.
What Is a Rollerball Pen?
Simply put, a rollerball pen is one that uses the writing mechanism of a ballpoint pen, but with water-based liquid ink or gel ink.
Rollerball gel pens are considered by many to be of higher quality than ballpoint pens. This is because its water-based liquid ink or gel ink is similar to a fountain pen but without the price tag. Of course, whether rollerball gel pens are better than ballpoint pens is just a matter of opinion.
When and Where Was the Rollerball Pen Invented?
The rollerball pen was developed by Ohto, a Japanese company that manufactures writing utensils.
Nakata Touzaburo, the founder of Ohto, first developed a Japanese version of the ballpoint pen in 1949 after the American Army brought ballpoint pens to the country after World War II. In 1964, the company introduced the rollerball pen to provide a smoother writing experience similar to a fountain pen.
This rollerball pen featured the same ball and socket design as the ballpoint pen, with only slight alterations. (The ballpoint was first designed by John J. Loud in 1888. Laszlo Biro patented a modern version of it in 1938.)
How Does a Rollerball Pen Work?
The rollerball pen may seem similar to a fountain pen, but its inner workings and ease of use are closer to that of a ballpoint pen.
Rollerball gel ink pens have a reservoir to hold the water-based liquid ink or gel ink. In the end, it has a ball in a socket. As you hold the pen upright to write, the liquid or gel ink moves down onto the ball that rolls over the paper and releases ink along the way.
Parts of the Rollerball Pen
Here’s what the detailed anatomy of a rollerball pen with a nib, ink cartridge, and a barrel looks like:
Source: Pen Blanks
How to Refill a Rollerball Pen
Rollerball pens come in both disposable and refillable forms. The ones with a cap are refillable, and the ones without are usually disposable.
You can also buy ink refills of rollerball gel pens – so, you won’t have to throw away your used pen.
Note that a rollerball pen uses three times more ink on paper than a ballpoint pen. So, you’ll need to replace the ink cartridge, or rollerball refills more often. (Interestingly, some of them can be refilled with fountain pen ink as well.)
Rollerball Pen: Pros and Cons
If I were to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of rollerball pens:
- Free-flowing water-based liquid ink or gel ink like a fountain pen
- Comes in more environmentally-friendly disposable models that you can reuse using rollerball refills
- Great for writing for long periods
- The liquid ink or gel ink takes longer to dry
- Likely to smudge (especially for left-handed writers)
- Water based ink is likely to bleed through
Now for the next important question: Which rollerball pen should you buy?
Best Rollerball Pens
I chose these rollerball pens based on smoothness, color, tip size variety, and affordability.
Vision Elite Rollerball Pen
The best-selling Uni ball Vision Elite Rollerball is one of the best rollerball ink pens to own. You’ll love it because of its smoothness when writing and because it is long-lasting.
It is also ideal for signing important documents and checks because of its fraud-resistant design.
I like that this pen comes in various styles so that everyone can find their preference. You can choose between 0.8mm and 0.5mm tips based on whether you prefer smoother or more controlled writing.
You also get a choice of colors, including black, red, blue, purple, or an assortment.
The Vision Elite has a fancy look fit for business use. It has a sturdy feel to it, as it’s a relatively large pen. You’ll need to decide whether you mind its heaviness and the fact that it doesn’t have a finger grip.
The Pilot Precise V5 gives you excellent value for money – you can get a full box of these disposable pens at an affordable price.
It comes in a variety of colors, so you can pick how simple or full-of-flair you want your writing to be.
The V5 has an extra-fine tip that gives you good control of your writing. You also get a smooth writing experience from the rollerball style. You could even choose a different Precise version with a slightly larger tip if that’s what you prefer.
A nice feature is that you get the option of a capped or retractable top to fit your preference. If you’re the type who loses the cap of your ink pens all the time, go for the retractable option.
Besides these, other popular options like the Uni ball Signo Retractable Gel Pens and the Pentel Energel Gel Ink Pen may also give you a smooth writing experience.
You could even try the Pilot FriXion Clicker Erasable Pens with thermosensitive, gel ink that disappears when you erase.
Tips for Buying a Rollerball Pen
When choosing a rollerball pen, consider the tip size and the feel of the pen itself for an idea of how your writing experience will be.
This type of pen comes with ink in a variety of colors, so you can pick standard blue or black or even bright hues to have a little fun.
When deciding which pen to buy, you may be looking for a lower price and simplicity, or you might prefer a pen with a fancy or executive look and feel. Some types even offer a compromise in price and style.
Check the pen design as well. It must store ink in such a way that it doesn’t dry for as long as possible.
Consider your specialized needs depending on how you’ll be using the pen. For instance, some rollerball gel pens are fraud-resistant for signing legal and financial items, and some have airplane-safe ink that doesn’t leak with pressure changes.
- Consider how the tip size and feel of the pen will impact your writing experience.
- Choose from ink colors to fit in different situations.
- Decide whether you care more about good value for money or a fancy/executive style.
- See if the pen design contains the ink to keep it from drying up.
- Determine whether you have special requirements such as fraud-resistance, airplane-safe ink, or other features.
How about ballpoint pens?
What Is a Ballpoint Pen?
Ballpoint pens are simple, standard pens that are often inexpensive. You’ll see them as giveaways or as promotional items (probably as often as you’d see a pencil in a birthday return-gift bag).
These pens use an oil-based viscous ink that tends to dry as soon as you write, yet it doesn’t dry up quickly in the ink cartridge of the pen.
When Was the Ballpoint Pen Invented?
John J. Loud came up with the first design for a ballpoint pen with a ball in a socket, which he patented in 1888. He only intended the pen to write on rough surfaces, so it was not useful for writing letters. It didn’t become commercialized, and the patent lapsed.
Later, a man named Laszlo Biro invented the modern ballpoint pen in the 1930s. This Jewish-Hungarian journalist and artist was inspired by the method of the printing press, which had ink that dried faster than a fountain pen. He patented his design with the ball tip and a faster-drying ink in 1938.
How Does a Ballpoint Pen Work?
Ever been curious about the mechanism of a ballpoint pen while writing with it?
It uses the same actions as a rollerball pen (or, more accurately, the rollerball uses the same mechanisms as a ballpoint pen, which was around earlier).
The ballpoint pen features the same ball in a socket at the end, which gets covered in ink coming down the ink reservoir as you hold the pen up. As the ball rolls, the ink slides onto the paper.
Parts of the Ballpoint Pen
Ballpoint pens come in three typical designs: stick, retractable, and twist designs, with each having some common parts.
- A stick ballpoint pen has a nib, a grip, barrel, ball, socket, and ink chamber.
- Besides, a retractable pen has a thrust device, thrust tube, spring, nib, and a clip.
Source: Quality Logo Products
- A twist type pen has a twist mechanism as its name goes.
How to Refill a Ballpoint Pen
Most ballpoint pens are disposable. Only the more expensive options are refillable pens. However, along with disposable pens, most manufacturers now offer ballpoint refills or ink cartridges to refill yours as well.
Let’s look at both sides of the coin.
Ballpoint Pen: Pros and Cons
- Oil-based ink dries faster on paper
- You get disposable options, and ballpoint pen refills as well
- Doesn’t bleed through paper
- Disposable ones generate plastic waste
- Need to apply more pressure to make the ink flow
- Tends to skip (write inconsistently) when bubbles interfere with the ink flow to the pen’s nib or due to dried ink blocking the passage.
Here’s how to fix a ballpoint pen that skips: Dip the nib in rubbing alcohol, and slowly heat the nib with a lighter. Repeat this process a few times to melt the dried ink and make it flow freely.
Now, which ballpoint pens should you buy?
Best Ballpoint Pens
ballpoint pens made the cut based on look and feel, writing experience and
price. These are some of the best ballpoint pens at an affordable price.
Jotter Ballpoint Pen
The Parker Jotter has a great balance of different factors, which makes it a great pen overall. It gives you a medium size and weight that feel nice to hold and write with, and you get good value for money at an affordable price for a luxury design.
This stainless steel pen offers a sleek, professional look, and you get to choose the color of the bottom half from blue, red, black, purple, and other options.
This is the type you refill with an ink cartridge, which adds the benefit that you can choose the tip size and ink color of your preference.
You click this pen to open or close the tip, and you’ll find that you can write easily without the ink drying quickly.
It offers a smooth writing experience with ink that comes out dark on the page and provides much writing control.
Slider Memo XB Medium
The Schneider Slider Memo XB is an excellent disposable ballpoint pen. You’ll only need to pay a reasonable amount for a whole box of pens.
This pen glides smoothly as you write, and you won’t have to hold it under much pressure.
It gives you waterproof, quick-drying ink, so you can move along on the page without worrying about smudges.
Based on your preferences, it’s worth considering that this pen has a reasonably large design and writes a thick line of ink. The company claims the design to be ergonomic, so you may find it comfortable in your hand during extended writing sessions.
You’ll face a hundred more options when you set out to buy a ballpoint pen – including plenty of good ones like a Pilot FriXion Clicker, Pilot Acroball, or a Uni-Ball Jetstream retractable ball pen.
So, is there something you should keep in mind when you buy one?
Tips for Buying a Ballpoint Pen
I can’t definitively decide on the best ballpoint pen in the world because I know everyone has individual preferences. That’s why it’s better for you to see the options and choose your ballpoint pen.
With a ballpoint pen, you can choose between differing tip sizes and a few color choices. Consider whether you’d rather have a disposable type or the type that you refill with ink cartridges or ballpoint refills.
Do you prefer a heavy or light feel, or something in between? Also, consider whether you care about the outer look of the pen or whether you are indifferent about the design.
- Decide on your favorite tip size.
- Choose from different ink colors to fit your style of writing.
- Consider whether your preference is disposable pens or refillable pens.
- Determine whether the size, weight, and style of the pen matter to you.
Final Thoughts on Rollerball vs Ballpoint Pens
Hopefully, you now have a better idea of whether you’d prefer rollerball vs ballpoint pens, and which one to buy. Overall, buying a pen is a personal choice based on smoothness, writing control, the feel of the pen, and other factors.
That said, these different types of pens are not the only ones that exist. Some of these might work for you, but it could also happen that none of them ends up as your favorite. Feel free to consider all the best pens for writing before deciding on one.
You could even decide on one type of pen for writing in your journal, another for signing contracts, and so on. There’s no right or wrong way. It’s all about what works for you.
Do you prefer ballpoint or rollerball pens? What’s your favorite pen? Let me know in the comments.
Pen Buyer’s Guide Resources
Fancy Pens You’ll Love Writing With
Why Is The Montblanc Ballpoint Pen So Expensive?
Best Gel Roller Pens
What Is The Smoothest Pen to Write With?
Best Pens for Writing
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The Best Executive Pens of 2021
We’ve covered the types of everyday pens you’ll find around the office in our other review of the best office pens, but here’s a detailed breakdown of how pen types compare in more premium designs.
Fountain pens: Fountain pens put down a heavy line of water-based ink with barely any pressure on the page. There’s a wide selection of beautiful inks you can refill with, but they bleed and feather on common paper types, and the pens need messy maintenance. Despite these difficulties, the most prestigious pens are still fountain pens.
Rollerball: Take the same dye-in-water ink that fountain pens use, then put it in a ball-tip disposable refill, and you’ve got a rollerball pen. This setup is less finicky to write with than a nib, and also much easier to refill. Rollerballs should write effortlessly and can create very fine lines — and unlike gel pens, the ink dries quickly enough for left-handers. Like a fountain pen, the ink can feather and bleed through some paper, and the ink can leak out of the cartridge when air pressure drops on an airplane. Rollerballs also need a cap to stop them from drying out.
Fineliner or porous-point: Like a cross between a felt marker and a rollerball, a fineliner refill for a rollerball pen uses a tough porous plastic material for its tip. The ink is usually the same as in rollerball and fountain pens, but the porous tip puts down just enough for a bold line, with an even quicker dry time. These are often popular among left-handers. Sadly, fineliner refills dry out quickly if you leave the cap off your pen.
Gel: A hybrid between the thick ballpoint ink and free-flowing rollerball ink, gel ink uses archival-grade pigment in water-based gel. If you’re looking for smooth-flowing ink with strong colors and sharp, featherless lines, then a gel pen is probably a great choice for you. That said, if you’re left-handed, you should be wary of gel ink — it smudges more than ballpoint and rollerball ink.
Ballpoint: These no-fuss pens were invented as an everyday replacement for fountain and rollerball pens, and they’re popular for good reason. The oil-based ballpoint ink sticks to paper more than it really dries, but the refills last longer and don’t dry out. A ballpoint’s ink doesn’t flow as quickly or smoothly, so these pens require more pressure when writing and the lines aren’t as bold. Note that the firm pressure required to get ballpoint ink on the page means these pens are much better for filling out carbon-copy forms or checks.
How we selected
Our tester for this post is a relatively obsessed fountain-pen enthusiast, so he found it tricky to narrow down a manageable list of finalists. Fortunately, he’s married to a lawyer who owns and uses very nice rollerball pens but isn’t as picky about design history or score-keeping.
Over the course of two months our tester double-checked his own preconceived ideas about what makes a pen “executive.” He looked at guides and discussions on boards like the Fountain Pen Forum and sub-reddits like r/pens. He also looked at all the top recommendations from pen blogs and YouTube channels like “The Well Appointed Desk,” “Figboot on Pens” and “The Pen Addict.”
Here are the qualifiers we came up with when narrowing down the list of contenders:
Suitability as gifts: Graduations, promotions and career milestones are great occasions to give a nice pen as a gift, and even the budget-friendly pens we picked come in elegant keepsake packaging. Though most of the top pens we selected can be purchased as fountain pens, we stuck with rollerball and ballpoint options for our list since most gift recipients will have no idea what to do with a fountain pen. Gift-suitability also rules out inexpensive pens that are made specifically to look like better pens.
Real-world performance: An executive pen should always write well and feel good in your hand. To that end, we tested the pens on nice Clairfontaine writing paper, as well as cheap legal pads, brown kraft paper, receipt paper and glossy cover stock to compare smudging, bleed and feathering.
Refill compatibility: The best pen in the world isn’t any good if you run out of ink. To help ensure that you or the person you’re buying for can keep on writing, we checked to see which pens take our favorite refills: the Schneider – Topball 850(a standard-size wet-ink rollerball that’s an excellent value), the Uni – Jetstream (a standard-size ballpoint refill with smooth-flowing ink), and popular Japanese gel refills like the newer Uni – Signo 307 ultra-fine-tip gel or the winner from our best “regular” pen review, the easy-to-aquire Pilot G2.
Subtle styling: An executive pen should look good on a desk or conference-room table. Flashy details have their place, but the safe bet is something minimal and traditional like black with gold trimming.
Discreet opening mechanisms: We also prefer twist-open capless pens over anything with a “clicky” nock mechanism, since habitual pen-clicking will get you in trouble during meetings. (Don’t worry, there’s still one classic clicky on the list.) In capped pens, we selected snap-on caps over threaded designs, since it can be awkward stopping to screw a pen cap back on when someone interrupts you while you’re writing.
After our two testers checked dozens of pens against each other, considering all of the above points, we selected the top ten best executive pens and ranked them as follows.
Montblanc – Meisterstück
Of the most iconic pen designs in history, the Montblanc – Meisterstück takes top prize without much competition. The Meisterstück Classique 163 is an old-school luxury product, but it’s also a practical gift that a graduate, friend or colleague will be able to use every day. This is also about as affordable as a world-class prestige gift can get — $300 isn’t pocket change, but you can’t get a Rolex watch for less than $3,000. Every person we’ve met (outside of collectors at pen shows) who owns a Montblanc received it as a gift.
The gigantic cigar-shaped Meisterstück 149 Diplomat fountain pen is the flagship of the Montblanc fleet, but the slimmer, rollerball-tip 163 Classique is easier to hold (about 3/8 inch at the grip section), easier to maintain and easier to purchase than the 149. If you’re looking for a middle ground, the 162 Le Grande rollerball fits bigger hands better at just under half an inch, but it uses a screw-on cap instead of the nifty snap-cap of the 163. Montblanc pens are fairly light compared to some on this list thanks to the so-called “precious” resin (better known as acrylic or plexiglass), but the balance is perfect, and they’re great for taking notes or writing long letters.Read more…
If you’re writing on extra-smooth paper and find that rollerball ink tends to smear, you can also get fineliner (felt-tip) refills for Montblanc pens. Fineliner ink dries instantly but bleeds through cheap paper even more. If you need a ballpoint for carbon copies, there’s also a capless ballpoint design.
- The definitive executive pen
- The pen emoji icons are based on
- One of the few elite-tier luxury products that doesn’t cost more than a car
- The 163 Classique is slim, the 162 Le Grande is thicker, both are perfectly balanced
- $300 for a plastic-body (“precious resin”) pen
- Only takes proprietary screw-in refills
- Collectors of Pelikan pens will start fights with you
If a legendary German masterpiece is too rich for your blood, the Cross – Townsend is a home-grown prestige pen. It’s just as good a writing instrument as the Montblanc. In fact, we slightly prefer the gel-like ink Cross uses, and the heavier metal body is a little bit more impressive for shorter writing sessions.
The Townsend is the primary signature pen used by all the sitting U.S. presidents since Reagan, and it’s available in classic black-and-gold for less than $100. (Note that while the company headquarters are still in Rhode Island, only the most expensive Cross pens are now made in the U.S.A.) The gel-rollerball refill beat most other pens in this roundup for drying time, feathering resistance and deep color on most types of paper. The quick-drying fineliner refill is also good if you’re left-handed like half of the presidents who’ve used this pen.Read more…
Cross sells the Townsend in a wide range of colors and patterns, even making collectible Ferrari and Star Wars special editions for those who want an ostentatious edge to their desk accoutrements. We like the basic black-lacquer finish with gold or rhodium plating on the hardware; the 10-karat-plated version is simultaneously gaudy and cheap-looking next to high-karat gold. If you like slimmer pens, the Century II sometimes used by the current president is very similar to the Townsend except for its smaller girth.
- The Cross – Townsend is elegant and writes with the best
- Metal body with top-quality finish feels great in the hand
- Refills are top-quality, affordable and easy to find
- A bit heavy for long writing sessions
- Other popular refills don’t fit
- Not actually made-in-U.S.A. for $100 models
Uncapping the Lamy – 2000 for the first time, you might think it’s a new, innovative design from recent years. In fact, it’s one of Lamy’s early pens, dating back to 1966 and designed by Gerd Alfred Müller (who also worked with Dieter Rahms on the classic Braun products.) This is another all-time-classic pen, but you can buy the rollerball version for about $60.
The 2000 feels as good as it looks. “Makrolon” fiberglass-reinforced polycarbonate makes up the body, and it’s deceptively thick in the middle, but the balance and tapered shape allow big and small hands a comfortable grip. The snap-on cap and spring-pivot clip are perfect.Read more…
Note that Lamy made the sneaky decision to make refills for this pen just a bit longer than standard rollerball and gel-ink refills; Lamy’s rollerball ink is fine, but if you prefer to use a gel or felt-tip refill for absorbent or rough paper, you need to add a spacer and possibly a bit of a sleeve or spring at the front to keep it in the right place.
If you’re looking at the fountain pen version, the Lamy – 2000 also features one of the most affordable gold nibs in current production — though some users complain they need some tweaking from a nib-meister to be perfect. The 2000 looks and feels great in brushed-charcoal-gray, but you can also buy the fountain-pen version in all-stainless if you want a heavier pen.
- A masterpiece of Bauhaus-inspired design
- Weight, balance and ink are all excellent for long writing sessions
- Modest brushed finish is interesting without being flashy
- Lamy ink feathers a bit on cheap paper
- Standard gel and fineliner ink refills need spacers to fit
- Uses unattractive metal tabs to hold the cap on
If you’re looking for executive-suite style in a budget-friendly pen, the Pilot – Metropolitan Rollerball (also in ballpoint and fountain pen versions at this link) has a balance and refinement that would be competitive at three times its street price. The Metropolitan pens come in a display case, so this still makes a nice gift despite the under-$20 price.
The Metropolitan has a brass body under the paint, so it has just enough heft despite the shorter length. If you post the cap on the tail end, it moves the balance point up the barrel, so those who prefer to write with a heavier pen have options. The biggest styling let-down is the glossy mid-section of the barrel, it looks cheap on the animal print and “retro-pop” editions but on the all-black version it doesn’t stand out. The paint on our tester’s fountain pen shows some scuffs after a year of carrying it around in a messenger bag; sadly you can’t buff them out the way you can with a resin-body pen like the Montblanc or Lamy – 2000.Read more…
Pilot includes the love-it-or-hate-it G2 gel refill in the rollerball version of this pen, while the ballpoint includes the same good hybrid gel-ballpoint refill as their Dr Grip pen. These are both good refills, but the wet-ink rollerball refills in more prestigious pens dries quicker on standard paper than the G2 gel. Pilot gel pens also take a standard rollerball like the Schneider – Topball 850 without modification, if that’s your preference, but a Montblanc fineliner or different gel refill needs spacers to fit well.
- Sleek, balanced and writes very well
- One of the nicest pens you can buy for less than $20
- Available as a great ballpoint, rollerball, and fountain pen
- Not everyone likes the gel ink in the rollerball version
- Some alternate colors and styles look cheesy
- Painted body shows scratches over time
ACME Studio – Rollerball
Rounding out our top five is a pen with a bit more personality: The ACME Studio – Rollerball comes in dozens of collectible looks inspired by great artists, designers and even musicians. You’ve got the whole gamut represented in this collection, from Frank Lloyd Wright to Karim Rashid. We picked the Verner Panton “Circle” edition for its elegant-yet-intriguing etched metal body and rubber grip, but there’s something for nearly everyone.
The ACME Studio rollerball comes in either a generic mid-century cigar or flat-top design. It’s long, but not too long, and on the heavier side when you buy the etched-metal versions. The refill included with the capped versions is an ACME-branded Schmidt 888 refill, which took the runner-up position in our smudge and bleed tests. This would be an ideal desk pen for signing documents. If you sign carbon copies, the ballpoint (retractable) versions of these pens come with an excellent Easyflow 9000 refill, and they’re also compatible with the Uni – Jetstream and Parker refills.Read more…
ACME Studio is also one of the few companies that sells a converter kit to turn their rollerball into a fountain pen with a standard steel Schmidt nib — They’re inexpensive and collectible enough that it makes more sense to buy a second pen, though. ACME Studio also sells matching pencils, card holders, compact mirrors and other giftable accessories.
- A great pen that comes in very collectible designs
- Bigger metal body good for large hands
- Takes affordable refills that ranked second in our tests
- Feels heavy during long writing sessions
- Designs might be too much for some people
- Price is steep if you don’t care about the patterns
Like its big brother the 2000, the Lamy – LX is a classic design from one of the current leaders in pen making. The LX (you’re supposed to pronounce that “lux”) is a special edition of the popular plastic Lamy – Safari, but with an anodized aluminum body and precious metal plating on the clip and end cap. We went for the gold edition, but Lamy also sells this pen in ruthenium, palladium and rose gold.
The LX features polarizing design choices. The price is low (between $40 and $60), and the form is subtle, but the bold metallic finish is too flashy for some boardrooms. It’s on the bigger side, but surprisingly lightweight. It has a triangular contoured grip for an ergonomically correct finger position, but some people prefer to hold their pens other ways. Lamy’s ink writes well and dries quickly on most types of paper, but on other paper it skips or feathers out. This paradoxical nature kept the LX out of our top five, but if you fancy collecting a few nice pens the LX is an affordable way to round out a small collection.
Uni – Jetstream Prime Twist
If you sign a lot of carbon-copy forms, a ballpoint pen is still your best bet for transferring all the way to the bottom sheet. The Uni – Jetstream Prime Twist is a slim and elegant pen that comes loaded with one of the most consistent ballpoint pen inks you can buy. The twist-advance design means there’s no cap to lose, and dried-up ink isn’t a worry with this latest-generation formula. The understated black paint on the body has a matte texture that we love. For about $20, this is neck-and-neck with the Pilot – Metropolitan for best value, but the Uni doesn’t come in a rollerball, gel or fountain-pen version.
If you don’t like the traditional shape and balance of typical pens, the Baron Fig – Squire is a breath of fresh air that might earn a place on your desk. The deceptively tapered shape fills out to a thick 10 mm next to the point, so it offers a range of grip options for different hand sizes. You’ll pay more than $50 for a ballpoint that doesn’t do anything fancy, and the prominent name and logo might be a turn-off to some, but this is a very nice pen to write with. It comes with an excellent refill, almost certainly based on the Schmidt – P8126, which is as smooth-flowing as a rollerball but doesn’t need to be capped.
For those who are looking for a reliable metal-body pen with some affordable flair, the Retro 51 – Tornado is one of the most collectible series of all time. We bought a base-price peacock blue model to brighten up our collection and to see how it compares in its most essential qualities, but there are more than 50 designs currently listed. Prices range from $20 all the way up to $400 limited editions.
Editor’s note: as we finish this post, Retro 51 has just announced that they are planning to stop production of their product line after 2020. Collect them while you can!Read more…
As a basic capless rollerball, we were a little bit underwhelmed after hearing so much praise from collectors of these pens. The smooth-turning twist-open mechanism is fine, but not as satisfying to use as the snappy mechanism Baron Fig has. The pen is tapered to give different hand sizes some options, but it doesn’t feel carefully balanced the way the Lamy – 2000 does. If you find a color scheme or special edition you like (check out these editions for fans of: copper, Animal rescue, vintage aircraft) the Tornado could easily become a favorite pen, but if you want something less flashy there are better options than a basic Tornado.
Parker – Jotter Premium
Rounding out our list with an affordable classic, the Parker – Jotter has a strong following among pen collectors because of its reliability, the confidence-inspiring metal “click” sound it makes and the price. We’ve sprung for the upgraded “Premium” finish on this one, but it goes for as little as $9 in more basic editions. Parker has set the standard with this ballpoint refill and mechanism; it’s a reliable writer that just works the way you hope for a ballpoint to work.
The Jotter is a good fit if you like slim pens, but those with big hands should consider the Jotter XL or the Pilot – Metropolitan ballpoint. It’s not as heavy or smooth-writing as other pens on this list, but if you like ballpoints the Jotter is one of the classics.
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Daniel is a Canadian farm boy who grew up to be a nerd with a literature degree and too many hobbies to count. He emigrated from Canada to California in 2013, and now writes for Your Best Digs full-time. Daniel remains unapologetic about Canadian spelling, serial commas, and the destruction of expensive travel mugs.
5 Of The Best Rollerball Pen: Fluent & Convenient 2021
Rollerball pens live in a happy middle space between ballpoint and fountain pens, but they don’t always get the credit they deserve. We reviewed some of our favorite rollerball pens and discussed whom they will benefit the most to help you find your favorite.
We don’t often give a lot of thought to what we use to write on a daily basis. For some of us it’s based on cost alone, for others, it’s a matter of how fluidly our utensil writes, and for still others what we write with is simply a matter of convenience. For those of us who journal or still write by hand regularly, the type of pen we use is important to our efficiency and style.
There are three primary types of pens on the market: Fountain, ballpoint, and rollerball. Rollerball pens don’t always get the love that ballpoint and fountain pens receive, but they fit into a happy medium between the other two types that is great for many different tasks and types of writers.
Even within these three primary pen types, there are distinguishable ink types, brands, and characteristics to consider when looking for the best pen. Our focus today will be on finding you the best rollerball pen for you. To do that, we’ll dig briefly into the history of the rollerball pen, discuss what to look for in this type of pen, and then give you details on the best rollerball pens.
|uni-ball Vision Elite BLX Infusion Rollerball Pens, Bold Point (0.8mm), Blue/Black, 12 Count – 61232||$26.02||Buy on Amazon|
|Pilot G2 Retractable Premium Gel Ink Roller Ball Pens, Bold Point, 6-Pack, Black Ink (31250) with 6…||$20.13||Buy on Amazon|
|Pilot Precise V5 Stick Rolling Ball Pens, Extra Fine Point, Black Ink, 6 Pens 35334||$10.00||Buy on Amazon|
|Paper Mate InkJoy Gel Pens, Medium Point||$11.02||Buy on Amazon|
|Parker Sonnet Black Lacquer Fountain Pen, Medium Nib, Black Ink||$97.73||Buy on Amazon|
History of the Rollerball Pen
Rollerball pens came into existence in the 1960s when a Japanese company by the name of Ohto introduced them as a unique writing utensil to add a middle ground between ballpoint and fountain pens. Rollerball pens used liquid ink versus the viscous ink in ballpoint pens, which makes the writing experience smoother.
In the earliest days of pens, fountain pens were about your only option. Although they wrote beautifully and created thick lines, their ink took a long time to dry, and they weren’t ideal for writing on course surfaces like leather or wood. When the ballpoint pen was invented in the 1880s, it took up the job of writing on these surfaces, but writing with it was a rough experience.
Rollerball pens take the ease of use of the ballpoint pen and mix it with the beautiful style of the fountain pen to create a smooth and simple writing experience. The liquid ink in these pens is either water or gel based, meaning you’ll be able to choose which ink you like best or which one fits best into what you’re writing at a given time.
The gel inks available in rollerball pens allow for more color and styles than water-based inks, often making them the most popular of the rollerball pen options out there. Gel-based rollerballs can even allow heavy pigments like glitter, so you’ll never be short on style with these pens.
What We Don’t Like
There are some downsides to rollerball pens that we think are worth mentioning. First, they act like fountain pens in that their ink doesn’t dry instantly. Ballpoint pens are convenient because they are the only pen type to offer instantly drying ink, which makes them a better choice for lefties or for those who write from right to left. Rollerballs can smudge and look unpleasant for lefties.
If you’re the type who uses corrective fluids often in your writing, you may also want to avoid rollerball pens. If the correctional fluid you’re trying to write on is not completely dry when you begin to write over your mistake with a rollerball pen, you could end up jamming or clogging the pen, which will make it unusable.
The final negative with rollerball pens is that they can dry out. If you don’t replace the cap before placing it in a pocket, you could end up with a nice ink stain on your favorite shirt or pair of pants and a dry pen.
Best Rollerball Pens
To find the best rollerball pen for you, we will review a few options. These options will be categorized based on who or what they would be best for, so keep an eye out for where your needs fit best in our list.
Despite their minor issues, rollerballs pens are probably our favorite type for individuals who journal, hand address envelopes or need a smooth writing experience in their everyday lives. Let’s look at some of our top picks for the best rollerball pens on the market.
Best for Travelers
uni-ball Vision Elite
The Vision Elite by uni-ball is an excellent option for individuals who enjoy rollerball pens but often travel by plane. Because of the type of ink in rollerball pens, some are prone to leaking due to changes in cabin pressure, but not the Vision Elite. It is specially engineered to avoid these types of leaks.
This pen uses uni-flow, uni-ball’s system of creating a smoother and more consistent color in its pens. The pen is available in eight total colors and two point sizes for either micro or bold lines. If you’d like a pen that looks as beautiful as it writes, you can upgrade to the Vision Elite Designer Series, but you will have to settle for black ink in this model.
Best for Bulk Buying
Pilot G2 Premium Gel Roller
Probably the best “cheap” rollerball pen is the Pilot G2. It’s readily available in your local big box store or online, comes in a wide variety of colors and points, and is inexpensive to buy in bulk. If you are a chronic pen loser, this might be the right choice for you. It’s also a good stepping-stone into rollerballs if you’ve used only ballpoints in the past.
The G2 does have its disadvantages. It isn’t as reliable as some of the other pens on our list regarding smoothness or line thickness. It also runs out of ink quickly. It is refillable, but because it’s so inexpensive to bulk buy, you may find the temptation to just grab another pen is strong. We like this pen for those experimenting with rollerballs for the first time.
Best for Environmental Consciousness
Pilot Precise V5 Rolling Ball Pen
Another Pilot pen, the Precise V5 is a great addition to your desk if you’re looking to add environmental consciousness to your daily routine. This pen is made from 89.2% recycled content, but without giving up any of your smooth writing experience. It comes in only an extra fine point but is available in three colors: red, blue, and black.
The upgrade from the G2 to the V5 is one that you can see in the look of this pen, but you don’t have to worry about too much of a jump in price. Although these pens are slightly more than their siblings, they are well worth the additional dollars. This .5mm precision point pen is perfect for both professional writing or bullet journaling.
Best for Bullet Journaling
Paper Mate InkJoy Gel Pen
Paper Mate InkJoy Gel Pens, Medium Point
- Dries 3x faster* for reduced smearing
- Smooth ink keeps the ideas flowing across the page
- Colorful gel ink brightens your writing
- 0.7mm medium point spreads ink beautifully
- Includes: pink pop, red rush, luscious green, teal zeal, bright blue bliss, pure blue joy, charming purple and jet black gel pens
If you’re looking for a solid rollerball pen that comes in a variety of colors and multiple sizes to make your bullet journal look like the best around, you should definitely check out InkJoy. It’s a beautifully designed pen made for both comfort and precision, but with the variety, you’ll want for creating a masterpiece all your own.
The pen comes in both .5mm or .7mm point sizes and a total of 14 colors, including classic black. InkJoy is readily available at your local retailer too, so that you won’t have a tough time finding it. Its fast drying ink technology is another benefit to this pen, so you can be less concerned about smudges in your art.
Best for Those Without a Budget
Parker Sonnet Lacquered Black Rollerball Pen
If you’re looking for a customizable, beautiful, and undeniably excellent rollerball pen, you should look at the Parker brand. These pens are made for pen people. Not only can you customize the Sonnet down to writing type, nib size, and finish, you’ll get a specialized gift box and gold finishes to add elegance to your writing experience.
Parker is known for high-quality pens, and the Sonnet is symbolic of their quality and sophistication. This pen comes with a two-year warranty against defects, not something most pens can offer you. This is a pen for someone who takes their writing utensils seriously, but the quality you get with the Parker brand shouldn’t be taken for granted.
We have talked about a wide array of pens today, from those available at your local convenience store to those you’ll have to special order and customize, your perfect rollerball is sure to exist somewhere here. We love these pens for their ability to mate smooth and precise writing with user-friendliness and durability.
As technology advances, some rollerball pens have started to keep left-handed writers in mind with quick drying ink. Although these pens are still not perfect for lefties, they are far better than fountain pens for those folks and have many advantages over ballpoint pens for individuals who spend a good chunk of time writing or journaling.
90,000 Parker rollerball pen – what is it?
Among all Parker pen models, the roller version stands out favorably. This product is the result of a cross between a fountain pen and a ballpoint pen. Manufacturers have tried to adapt the product as much as possible to the needs of the consumer. That is, they have fully worked not only on the appearance, but also on the internal design of the product. Parker rollerball pen – what is it? How is it different from a regular ballpoint or fountain pen?
What is the difference between a rollerball and a ballpoint pen
The principle of operation of these two products is quite identical, since in the first and second cases the ink is supplied to the ball-roller.But in roller versions, this ball is slightly smaller in diameter, and the ink has a different composition and consistency. The writing liquid is supplied through a special capillary.
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Several advantages of the roller:
- Ink has a lower viscosity than ball paste, so it is more easily absorbed and quickly absorbed on the paper, does not smudge.
- The hand does not get tired, as you do not need to exert special effort to get straight and clear lines. The pen is capable of leaving a mark even under the influence of its own weight – you just need to move it across the paper.
- The design of the roller-Parker handle is simple and reliable, every detail is in its place, there are no backlashes and irregularities.
- The product will perform its task qualitatively where a ballpoint pen fails.
- The ink is not afraid of temperature fluctuations – it does not leak out at high temperatures and does not freeze during frost.
- The lines are clear and straight, identical to those of a fountain pen.
- Ink dries almost instantly, does not print onto another page, does not leave “greasy” marks.
Rollerball pens are usually the choice of artists and writers. After all, the product allows you to get an even and clear mark without much effort, which is very valuable when you have to write or draw a lot due to the nature of your activity. The rollerball lasts much longer than the ballpoint.A cartridge change is required every six months.
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You can write with a rollerball in any position thanks to the special ink supply mechanism.
How to choose the best rollerball pen
First of all, you need to decide for what purpose the product is purchased – as a gift or for personal use? In the first case, you should pay attention to gift options.Parker usually offers a wide range of merchandise of various models. Such items can be made of precious and semi-precious metals, decorated with stones and engravings. Gift options are usually packaged in more colorful containers, which adds style to the present.
If the product is purchased for personal use, then you can turn your attention to the classic models of roller pens. They are made of stainless steel, brass, titanium.The design and color of the product should be selected based on your personal preferences.
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If the pen will be used intensively, then make sure you have spare replacement ink cartridges.
Carefully check the product for authenticity if you do not buy it from an authorized representative.Pay attention to the characteristic features of the original – the presence of a logo, a clip with a picture, a smooth body without burrs and irregularities.
We recommend not to take risks, but to buy roller-Parker pens only on official websites or in company stores.
The SONNET Collection | Parker in Russia
Parker Sonnet Entry Point Red Steel Ballpoint Pen Gift Box
Parker Sonnet Entry Point Black Steel Ballpoint Pen Gift Box
Parker Sonnet T539 Rollerball Pen, color: Laque Black CT, refill: Fblack in gift box
Parker Sonnet Ballpoint Pen, Stainless Steel GT
Parker Sonnet Entry Point Rollerball Pen Blue Steel Gift Box
Parker Sonnet T546 Red CT F Rollerball Pen Black Ink Gift Box
Parker Sonnet Entry Point Black Steel Rollerball Gift Box
Parker Sonnet T546 Stainless Steel CT F Rollerball Pen Black Ink Gift Box
Gift Set: Undated Diary and Parker Sonnet Ballpoint Pen K527 Color: St.Steel gt
Parker Sonnet Ballpoint Pen, Lacquer Intense Red GT
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Parker Sonnet Entry Point Blue Steel Fountain Pen Gift Box
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Ballpoint Pen Parker Sonnet`11 Pearl CT K540 Pearl / Metallic Refill: Mblack
Gift Set: Planner & Ballpoint Pen Parker Sonnet Black GT
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Parker Gift Set: Parker Sonnet Ballpoint Pen and Reptile Look Brown Diary
Parker Sonnet Red Intense Rollerball Pen – Black F, in gift box
Rollerball Pen Parker Sonnet Black Lacquer
Rollerball Parker Sonnet Blue Subtle
Parker Sonnet Rollerball Pen, Lacquer Intense Red GT
Parker Sonnet Rollerball Pen, Matte Black GT
Parker Sonnet Rollerball Pen, Matte Black CT
Parker Sonnet Fountain Pen Gift Set with Stainless Steel CT Case, M Nib
Parker Sonnet Red GT Intense Fountain Pen, F Nib in Gift Box
Parker Sonnet Black Lacquer F Fountain Pen
Parker Sonnet Blue Subtle F Fountain Pen
Parker Sonnet Fountain Pen, Matte Black CT
S0833880, S0808800, S0808810, 1931499
Parker Sonnet F539 Fountain Pen, Color: LaqBlack CT, Nib: F (Steel)
Parker Sonnet Special Edition 2018 Metro Black CT Ballpoint Pen
Ballpoint Pen Parker Sonnet, Metal and Pearl Lacquer CT
Parker Sonnet Premium Refresh BLUE Ballpoint Pen, Mblack Ink Color, Gift Box
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Parker Sonnet Fountain Pen Gift Set with Black CT Case, M Nib
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Rollerball Parker Sonnet, Metal and Pearl Lacquer CT
Parker Sonnet Premium Refresh BLUE Rollerball Pen, Fblack Ink, Gift Box
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Parker Sonnet Fountain Pen, Metal and Pearl Lacquer CT, nib: F
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Parker Sonnet Premium Refresh BLUE Fountain Pen, 18K Nib, F Thickness, Ink Color Black, Gift Box
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Parker SONNET SPECIAL EDITION Fountain Pen
90,000 Fountain pens and their benefits
Ballpoint and gel pens are inexpensive and easy to use.However, their predecessors – fountain pens – do not give up their positions and have a lot of fans. Let’s figure out why.
Fountain Pen: The Highest Writing Culture
Feather models are not outdated. Today, it is with them that European schoolchildren write at the initial stage of mastering writing. Also, students and other people use these devices when performing large volumes of recording.
Let’s list the main advantages of these pens:
- Ease of writing.The pen glides over the paper very easily and freely, without pressure. The hand does not get tired for a long time, and you can write for hours. This is especially important for large volumes of work.
- Health. If you work a lot at the computer, you run the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. This is due to the fact that the movements of the hand on the mouse and keyboard are rather monotonous, and the nerve on the hand is pinched. The feather helps to cure this disease and prevent it. It is enough to write on A4 sheet for them once a day.This way of writing implies smooth and varied hand movements – the best warm-up.
- Saving. People who have to write a lot use more than a dozen rods per year. For the same period, a couple of bottles of good Waterman or Parker ink will be quite enough. In sum, this is cheaper than rods.
- The beauty of handwriting. The pen helps to form correct, good handwriting. In addition to aesthetic pleasure, this is an excellent help in business.
- New sensations. You can change the ink as often as you like. You can match the color to the mood or style of the document, even to the shade of an eye or a tie. In addition, different nibs write differently – the thickness and saturation of the line, the elasticity of the nib, the shape of the body, etc. vary.
- Finally, the most prestigious are the feather models.
Prestigious Waterman and Parker
Branded writing instruments are essential fashion accessories.If we talk about manufacturers, then first of all it is worth mentioning Parker and Waterman fountain pens, which have become the standard of style and quality.
Our online store can offer you many options for models from Parker and Waterman for every taste. For a respectable businessman, for example, the elegant model Waterman Exception Night & Day Black CT F.
And if you’re looking for a gift for a lady, check out the Parker Duofold Historical Colors Centennial White Ivorine GT F gold-plated pen.
LAMY Safari –
LAMY Safari is one of the favorites in the world of minimalist writing instruments. Since its launch in the 1980s, the LAMY Safari series has expanded from a fountain pen to a wide range of other writing tools such as rollerballs, ballpoint pens, and mechanical pencils. LAMY did not stop there: it was soon joined by the aluminum handle known as AL-Star, followed by Vista and Lx.In this guide, we’ll discuss the unique features of Safari and its brethren.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LAMY SAFARI AND AL-STAR?
After the massive popularity of the Lamy Safari pen, LAMY made a transparent version and called it Vista, followed by the addition of the AL-Star series in aluminum and the Lx luxury series. They use the same design as Safari, but if the handles look the same, what’s the difference between them?
Here’s a handy guide to the unique features of Safari, Vista, AL-Star and Lx:
- Original ABS handle
- Available in unique colors available as limited edition
- Available as fountain pen, rollerball, ballpoint pen, mechanical pencil
- Made of transparent ABS plastic
- Available as fountain pen, rollerball, ballpoint pen, mechanical pencil
- Made of anodized aluminum
- Available in unique colors available as limited edition
- Available as fountain pen, rollerball
- Made of anodized aluminum
- Precious metal topcoat
- Laser engraved PDV coated pen
- Includes a deluxe tube-shaped pouch to match the color of handle
- Only available as fountain pen
FEATURES LAMY Safari
The design of LAMY products is guided by the Bauhaus principle, in which form follows function.The LAMY Safari designers applied this philosophy to design a fountain pen that is versatile and attractive for all ages. Since many European schools use pens to teach children how to write, it was important to create a pen that could withstand constant daily use. To this end, the LAMY Safari is made from durable materials and has the thoughtful ability to be a durable and ergonomic grip.
LAMY Safari and Vista handles are made of plastic, but they are definitely not fragile.They are made of ABS plastic which has excellent impact resistance. It is used to make large car parts, home appliance housings and many other items. You may have also encountered ABS plastic in everyday products such as LEGO ™ or computer keyboards.
Lamy Safari – ABS plastic body
LAMY AL-Star and Lx handles are made of aluminum, a durable but relatively light material. The surface of the handle is treated with a process called anodizing.A thin and durable oxide film is created on the surface of the case, which is painted in the desired color, thus, during the use of the pen, the paint does not peel off it in pieces, as is the case with ordinary painting.
Lamy Al-Star – anodized aluminum body
Ergonomic grip and cap with wire clip
LAMY Safari has a triangular grip area to encourage proper grip retention. Recessed grooves guide thumb, index finger and middle finger into position.
The wire cap clip is by far the most recognizable feature of the LAMY Safari. The large and wide clip is very durable and attaches securely to pockets and notebooks. Rollers and fountain pens are equipped with caps to prevent the nib assembly from drying out. The ballpoint pen and mechanical pencil both use a retractable mechanism, but they still feature a recognizable clip.
Fountain pens LAMY Safari
The LAMY Safari fountain pen is an excellent choice for kids learning to write thanks to its robust design.As with other fountain pens, you don’t have to press too hard on the nib to get a smooth, straight and consistent ink line. The wide and medium nibs have a luscious ink flow and write very smoothly, while the thin nibs have little feedback. The pen comes in four different nib sizes: extra fine, fine, medium wide. Safari and AL-Star are also available with a left-handed pen with a slightly angled nib for left-handed writing.
Also available for most Lamy pens are interchangeable calligraphy nibs with a nib width of 1.1mm, 1.5mm and 1.9mm.
Feathers can be easily changed to fit any occasion. From writing tiny notes to bold calligraphy with a flat nib.
Another useful feature of the Safari fountain pen is the window on the side. This lets you know how much ink you have left in the cartridge or converter.
Please note that most LAMY Safari fountain pens may have ink residues on the nib after testing at the LAMY factory.As with all fountain pens, we recommend cleaning your Safari before using it for the first time.
Lami Safari – an artist’s dream
It should be noted that Safari was not the top model of this manufacturer. Released in 1980, this pen was marketed as an inexpensive, comfortable and virtually indestructible pen for teens 10-15 years old. As popularity grew, the company launched a line of pens with multi-colored bodies. Moreover, each color corresponded to the shades of the current fashion season.Since then, Safari has been collectible.
But the main advantage of the accessory was something else. A special feature of the model was a set of removable nibs, which allowed writing in different fonts. There were six types of feathers in total, which were easily replaced by hand.
However, in order to create works of art with a fountain pen, a set of pens is not enough. The writing instrument should have a comfortable shape, fit easily in the hand, allowing you to create both light thin lines and volumetric strokes.In this regard, Safari was more than successful. Its body is large compared to other Lamy models, making it look like a painting brush handle. To see this, just google “Lamy Safari reviews artists”.
Also the Lamy Safari is an excellent sketch fountain pen and is very popular with artists and sketchers alike.
Inks and cartridges
Lamy Pen Writing Sample
The LAMY Safari fountain pen comes with one T10 cartridge.The cartridge is supplied in a pen body and a cardboard ring placed between the sections prevents the cartridge from being punctured accidentally. In order to start using the pen, you need to remove the protective cardboard ring and twist the pen, the neck of the cartridge will be pierced and the ink will begin to flow to the pen.
You can buy cartridges in our online store when the included cartridge is empty. You can also buy the LAMY Z28 piston converter to refill the pen with the bottled ink of your choice.Learn how to use the fountain pen converter by reading our guide.
Ballpoint, rollerball, feather. What do these words mean and what exactly do I need?
One of the most common things in everyday life of any person, whether he is a busy business person or a housewife, is an ordinary writing pen. A variety of writing instruments have always accompanied people – be it the ancient Roman stylus or the medieval goose quill. Every day a person uses a writing instrument in one way or another, most likely a pen with ink.What are the pens and how do they differ from each other?
In general, all ink pens are divided into three types – ballpoint pen, rollerball pen and fountain pen.
The most popular, of course, is the ballpoint pen.
In almost all European languages, the phrase “ballpoint pens” is associated with the word “ball”. This writing pen uses a tube filled with paste-like ink (a so-called rod) with a ballpoint pen at the end of the tube.The channel through which the ink passes is blocked at the end by a small metal ball, which, when writing, rolls along the surface of the paper, wetting it with ink from the back – this is the ball-point writing unit. The ink itself is pasty, which is the main difference between ballpoint pens and other types of pens. Also, this type of ink prevents flowing out of the refill, but, unfortunately, ballpoint pens can also leak.
Ballpoint pen today is a very cheap, simple and common writing instrument that has served us for over 128 years.How many of these ballpoint pens do you have at home? There are definitely three or four pieces lying somewhere.
A curious fact about a ballpoint pen: the first major customer for ballpoint pens was the British Air Force, since in the 1930s, the then popular fountain pens were leaking in airplanes from the decrease in atmospheric pressure during climb.
■ has a ballpoint pen
■ paste ink
■ low cost
The second most popular is the rollerball.
In general, such a pen is a ballpoint, with one big difference – a gel or other water-based coloring liquid is used in the ink. The lower viscosity allows the ink to absorb better, allowing these pens to leave a more beautiful fountain pen-like mark that is the hallmark of a rollerball pen.
The big advantage of such a pen is its greater simplicity and ease of sliding, in comparison with ballpoint pens.Also, the trace of such a handle is clearer. But, unfortunately, such a pen runs out faster, and the chance of leakage is much higher than that of a ballpoint pen.
A curious fact about rollerballs: rollerballs also include capillary pens, which use ink as ink, and the pens themselves are usually used for drawing or drawing. Also, capillary pens are distinguished by a variety of writing thicknesses and a large number of ink colors.
■ also has a ballpoint pen
■ gel ink
■ clearer writing line
A fountain pen is an ancient liquid ink writing instrument.
A modern fountain pen usually consists of a body with a refueling mechanism, an ink reservoir, and a metal bifurcated nib.
At the present time, their popularity is much lower than ballpoint pens and rollerballs, but they still remain a popular gift and an image symbol, competing, however, in this area with rollerballs. They are more expensive, harder to use than ballpoint pens, and most importantly, they require special skills to use. Modern pens are not dipped in ink containers, although such models are also available, but are refueled with special cartridges.
A curious fact about a fountain pen: An ordinary quill pen is, in fact, also a fountain pen. Unlike the stylus, which did not need any ink, the nib is used only with liquid ink of various origins (for example, the juice of black berries such as blueberries), which means it is a fountain pen.
■ uses liquid ink
■ requires skills to use
■ high cost of the handle
Let’s sum up the results.There is no telling which pen is the best. Someone loves the soft ride of rollers, someone writes love letters with fountain pens, someone does not want to bother and writes with what came to hand. The ballpoint pen will become your loyal and reliable companions in daily affairs, it will also be a loyal friend to schoolchildren and students, as it has the least chance of leaking into bags.