Gel, Ballpoint, or Hybrid? Which Ink is Right for You?
With so many refill options, you might be a little overwhelmed. There are so many factors to finding the perfect ink cartridge, and you might just find that keeping several options on hand may be the way to go. We’ll try to break down the pros and cons of gel and ballpoint to help you decide.
(Monteverde Softroll, Uni-Ball Jetstream, PenGems Standard Ballpoint)
Ballpoints have a thick and oil based ink that is considered to be a paste. The ink is carried in an alcohol solvent that dries immediately. When the alcohol evaporates, the ink is stuck to your paper, but not absorbed. Because the ink sits on top of paper, it should not be used when signing and writing important documents, since it can fade or be removed easily.
Ballpoints can create drag when writing because of the force required to (literally) get the ball rolling. If you press hard on the paper when you write, or have large handwriting, you might prefer a ballpoint. They last a lot longer than gel refills, so they are great for heavy writing, like taking notes or journaling. PenGems pens come with ballpoint ink.
- Lower cost
- Long lasting
- Longest shelf life
- Not as smooth as a gel refill
- Can be difficult to use on some paper
- No paper absorption
PenGems, Monteverde Softroll, Uni-Ball Jetstream are all excellent ballpoints. Uni-Ball Jetstream is the smoothest, but Monteverde offers more colors. See them all here.
This ink is water-based, and not as thick as a ballpoint paste. Gel ink is less likely to smudge or blot, since it is absorbed into the paper. Because of the absorption, these are difficult to remove without removing the fibers of the paper itself.
It also flows freely, allowing a smoother writing experience. That also means it will run out more quickly than a ballpoint pen, and with the small reservoir, they will run out extremely fast. The larger the point size, the faster it flows out. Most gels inks come with smaller nibs (0.5mm or 0.4mm), and if you have a heavy hand with writing, you can scratch the paper.
Gel refills are also very sensitive to temperature. If you’ve left your pen in a hot car, you might notice that the ink stopped flowing. Try putting it in the freezer for an hour or so, it might just come back to life!
- Smooth writing
- Vibrant colors
- More expensive
- Small reservoir means less ink; will run out quickly
- Dries out quickly
- Temperature sensitive
Note: Zebra no longer manufactures the JSB gel ink cartridge. Currently, the only available brand that makes a gel ink cartridge that fits is Pilot.
If you are still looking for something in between, we recommend the hybrid Uni-Ball Jetstream ink cartridge. It has a ballpoint delivery system, but the ink itself is smooth and highly pigmented. It comes in 0.7mm/Medium or 0.5mm/Fine sizes. It might the perfect compromise for you!
Which ink refill do you think is the right one for you? Is it the ballpoint or the gel ink? Well, the answer basically depends on the type of writing. It also depends on your priorities are when you’re choosing a pen – writing experience, cost and the way it looks on the paper. You might find that a good ballpoint pen is great for class, but prefer a gel for quick scheduling notes in your planner.
What’s the Difference between Ballpoint, Gel, and Rollerball Pens?
You probably have seen them every day. And they look the same. But they are not. Ballpoint, gel, and rollerball pens have distinct characteristics that separate one another.
So, what’s the difference between ballpoint, gel, and rollerball pens? The only difference is the ink formulation. Ballpoint pens’ ink is oil-based, gel pen’s ink is water-based, and the rollerball pen uses liquid ink that consists of dyes dissolved in water.
However, the feature that makes them similar is the revolving ball. This thing is installed at the tip and dispenses ink as it revolves.
When writing, the ball turns and touches the ink which in turn coats the ball and the ink flow onto the paper.
The Ballpoint Pens
The common ingredients of ballpoint’s ink are a mixture of alcohol, fatty acids, and dyes. These basic materials have specific functions.
The alcohol, for instance, provides smooth ink flow when writing. The fatty acids, on the other hand, lubricates the tip of the pen that gives extra smoothness.
Because the ink of ballpoint pens is thick, they write on virtually any paper including the low-quality ones. But such great ink feature has a little drawback – it needs more pressure to write.
If you have tried writing notes using a ballpoint pen before, you probably realized that writing with a ballpoint pen can be tiring.
But you might also realize that ballpoint pens are easy to control during long writing sessions. The best characteristic of a ballpoint pen that we love the most is its smudge-resistant, fast-drying, and waterproof ink.
The Gel Pens
As the name suggests, the ink of the gel pens is suspended in a gel. The dense gel locks the ink and prevents it from flowing out of the back. This keeps the gel pens safe in any storing position.
These characteristics make the gel pens vibrant and precise. They provide smooth ink flow and excellent writing performance.
Unlike ballpoint pens, we find that gel pens are easier to write and require less pressure when writing. Gel pens are perfect for long writing sessions.
The only problem we found with these pens is that they skip sometimes. This is something that we don’t normally experience with ballpoint pens and rollerball pens.
The reason behind this is that, unlike ballpoint pens, the ink does not coat the ball as it turns to write. Maybe because the ink of gel pens is thinner.
Gel pens also have problems with the preciseness of the ink. Because the ink is water-based, it takes time to dry making it prone to smudges. If you are a left-handed person, this may not be a good pen for you.
The Rollerball Pens
Rollerball pens have ink similar to fountain pens. The ink flows freely requiring no additional effort on the part of the writer. If you are looking for a smooth and easy to handle pen for long writing sessions, then rollerball pens are for you.
However, the ink of rollerball pens is known to have bled on low-quality papers. This means that when using rollerball pens, choosing thicker and good quality paper to write on is very important.
For safety purposes, we do not recommend using rollerball pens during an exam because these pens might jeopardize the paper. When dealing with important documents, we suggest using ballpoint pens.
When to Use Each Pen?
Obviously, each pen has strengths and weaknesses. If you used one of them before, you might probably realize that each pen type has a specific purpose.
Below are the basic uses of ballpoint, gel, and rollerball pens.
Because ballpoint pens have viscous ink features, they are perfect to write with slick paper surfaces. The ink works well on virtually all types of paper making the ballpoint pens perfect for everyday use.
This is the main reason why most of the students use ballpoint pens in their classes. These pens provide great comfort during a long session of note-taking.
Although they require a little more effort to write, they ensure high-quality writing performance. If you are a left-handed person, you’ll love ballpoint pens and you’ll know why.
Gel pens can also be used for note-taking and another important writing task. In fact, many students love gel pens. However, because of their tendency to skip, it could cause you headaches along the way.
The best purpose we found for gel pens is marking. Because gel pens come with a variety of colors, you can use them to make marks on your notes.
This is helpful especially if you want to emphasize something on your notes or implement a color code. With gel pens, you can easily do that.
Rollerball pens can also be used for any writing task. The free and smooth-flowing ink makes rollerball pens perfect for people who avoid hand cramps during writing sessions.
With free-flowing ink, rollerball pens require almost no effort. The ink will continuously flow with a light touch.
Now that you know the difference between ballpoint, gel, and rollerball pens, it is time to choose which best for you.
These three pens are similar. The only thing that differentiates one another is their ink formula.
So, which one is best for you? Well, we cannot tell you exactly what pens the best suit your writing needs. In most cases, people choose pens according to cost, writing experience, and writing performance.
In terms of expenses, ballpoint pens have the lowest cost. This is because of their ink’s viscosity. The ink only flows and writes on paper when the ball touches the ink reservoir. This mechanism minimizes smudges and therefore saves the ink for longer use.
Because ballpoint pens consume less amount of ink when writing, they are more dependable and durable over time.
People love pens that require little or no effort. This feature is found in rollerball pens. These pens write smoothly as fountain pens. They provide comfort for the writer giving excellent writing experience.
If you want to avoid hand cramps during long writing sessions, then the rollerball pens can be your great choice. If you have hand issues (arthritis), you definitely want to try rollerball pens.
If you are looking for pens with precise and clean writing performance, then you might want to try the gel pens. These pens are great if you want to add artistic value to your writing.
You can use gel pens to make bold signatures and to your artwork. That’s not all, gel pens are also a great writing tool for journal writing.
But again, we cannot tell you which is best for your writing task. You can choose from the three types of pens.
To figure it out, you can try each one of these pens and see what works best for you.
We hope that this post helps you understand how ballpoint, gel, and rollerball pens differ from each other.
To learn more about pens, click here.
Which pens are best?
Your pen may be mightier than a sword, but is it mightier than other pens in its price range? To find out, I gathered over 50 different inexpensive (all less than $5, most less than $2), basic (not specially designed to be erasable, defy gravity, smell like pineapple, etc. ) ballpoint, rollerball, and gel pens and put them through their paces.
There are, first of all, pros and cons to each type of pen that you’ll want to take into account when choosing your writing instrument. Ballpoints, which use the same mechanism as a roll-on antiperspirant, contain an oil-based ink, which is relatively thick and pastelike. They are water-resistant and last longer than rollerballs (a typical Bic is good for up to two miles of writing) but tend to spot and can take a while to get started. Rollerballs use a thin, water-based ink, which means not only that they write more smoothly and with less pressure than ballpoints, but also that they blur when wet and smudge and bleed in the best of circumstances. Followers of etiquette favor them over ballpoints for formal correspondence. Gel ink, developed in the 1980s, is a hybrid of oil- and water-based inks: Gel pens are water-resistant like ballpoints but write with the smoothness of rollerballs. They’re fade-proof and thus good for archival projects, but they smudge egregiously before they dry.
Since my testing pool was so large, and since people have such a wide range of personal preferences (thick vs. skinny barrels, loose-flowing vs. more controllable ink, etc.), I didn’t rate the pens individually. Instead I designed six experiments to test how good different models are at doing the sundry things pens are called upon to do: write, certainly, but also stay attached to pockets, work when held horizontally, underline in books, be tucked behind ears, and not explode on airplanes. I reported only the notably bad (Underachievers) and notably good (Teacher’s pets) performers in each category.
Test No. 1: How well does it write?
I made a note of things I found scribbled on the scratch pads at stationery, art, and office supply stores and strung them together to create a writing test for the pens: “Adriana Adriana Adriana/ it’s nothin’ but sunshine/ Lucy/ whose woods?/ my boyfriend sucks/ I remember when these pens were awesome/ my name is Michael/ nah no good for my taste/ I love Do Keun/ el autor vive en Connecticut/ art sucks/ she came upon me like a sorry sailor/ Is this worth 40 bucks?”
My ideal pen glides smoothly and produces, with only the slightest pressure, a continuous (skip-free) line of consistent width and density. Neither the Pentel Hybrid Gel Roller nor the Pilot Precise Zing came close to fitting that description.The Gel Roller skipped and dragged so much that, writing with it, I felt like I was pushing the pen in a wheelchair, hitting curbs and pieces of wadded up chewing gum along the way. Also, don’t be fooled into thinking, like I did, that the Itoya Paper Skater will glide like an Olympic champion across your page. Instead, think about trying to ice skate on a rink made of paper. It would be tiresome and scratchy, and you would wish you were doing something else, no? Welcome to thePaper Skater. The Sakura Sumogrip stood out as a particularly bad ballpoint. It took a while to start up each time I used it, and when it did get going, its line was more gray than black, and it faded in and out. Also, when writing with a pen, I like it to sound as close to silent as possible. I resoundingly do not like it to sound like an animal scurrying around on the other side of a wall (the Pilot Neo-Gel) or like that squishy noise that results when I rub my eyes too vigorously (the Pilot Precise Zing).
The Pilot Precise V5 is the literal teacher’s pet—just about every teacher, not to mention writer or editor I know, uses one. The V5makes it all seem so simple: Why doesn’t every rollerball write with such a fine and easy line?(The Sanford Uniball Micro and the Staedtler Liquid Point 415 come pretty close.) The V5’s ink also dries the fastest among the rollers I tested, which means it barely smudges and was thus favored by the token lefty whom I had try out some of the pens. The retractable and rubber-gripped Uniball Signo was my preferred gel pen; it glides like a dream and produces a handsome, reliable line. The Pilot P-700 is a close second, though I docked points for the ugliness of its marbleized barrel. As for the cheapest no-frills ballpoints, I have a soft spot for the Bic Round Stic, which creates a richer, denser black line than the Papermate Write Bros.Of refillable (and thus slightly more expensive) ballpoint models, my favorites—for smoothness of writing, comfort, and blackness of line—were the Pilot Easy Touch, the Papermate Widemate, and the Itoya Xenon.
Test No. 2: How well does it stay attached to things?
I stuck each pen in the pocket at the side of my pants with the clip gripping the outside of the pocket. Then I assessed how long the pen stayed put as I kneeled, sat in a Goldilocks-worthy assortment of chairs, squatted, ran down a flight of stairs, and bounded back up. Sometimes I threw in a jumping jack. If anyone happened to pass by, I shot him or her an intimidating look, the upshotof which was I’m working.
A related and far more dignified test was to determine how easily different caps came off by going through the day with all my pens thrown at the bottom of my bag. For one week I subjected the bag to its usual abuse and each night shook out its contents to see which caps had left their pens to leak and/or dry up.
The clips on pretty much all of the pen models made by Papermate (the Clear Point,Write Bros.,andWidemateamong them)tend not to be very strong; they were regularly among the first to lose their grip. Sanford Uniball clips also quickly got bent out of shape. The Sakura Gelly Roll, Uniball Gel Grip,andPentel Hybrid Gel Roller have caps that are so tiny that they 1) don’t grip well, 2) are practically begging to be lost, and 3) make it work to single-handedly uncap the pens they belong to. Meanwhile,at the bottom of my bag, the caps of the Papermate Comfortmate and thePilot Precise V5,which you may remember from Test No. 1 as the critics’ darling (how quickly the mighty fall!), were among the first casualties.
There was something almost poignant about the reluctance of the Pentel Energel,Staedtler Liquid Point 415, and the scrappy Bic Round Stic to relinquish their grips on my pocket. (I get a little choked up just thinking about it now.) As for the bag test, most of the caps (except for the two mentioned above) stayed on despite my best efforts (tossing the bag into the air, kicking it, and shaking it, as OutKast would say, like a Polaroid picture)to encourage them to do otherwise. Of course the best bet for those worried about losing their caps is a retractable pen—all ballpoints but the very cheapest models are retractable and quite a few gels—among them the Pilot G-2,theUniball Signo,and the Zebra Sarasa—are, too.
Test No. 3: How useful is it for underlining in a book?
I selected from my shelves three books that I was supposed to have read in college. I underlined numerous passages and occasionally recreated a late night study session by holding the point of the pen in one spot on the page, as though I’d nodded off to sleep. I hadn’t anticipated just how transgressive it would feel to be underlining without actually reading, nor how exhilarated I’d feel doing it to Derrida’s Of Grammatology.
The amount a pen will bleed depends, to an extent that surprised me, on the type of paper being written on. Rollerballs, almost all of which had been well-behaved on regular printer paper, bled like crazy through the pulpier pages of inexpensive books. Gel pens—with the exception of the Pentel Energel and thePilot G-2, which virtually drooled through my copy of Tristram Shandy—bled far less. On the other hand, all gel pens smudged pretty badly on the glossier paper found in many textbooks. Ballpoints are practically immune to bleeding and smudging, but they require more pressure than rollerballs or gels to draw their ink out, which means that they are prone to creating Braille-like raised lines on pulpier pages.
All things considered, I’d recommend a ballpoint that can be wielded with a light touch, likethe Uniball Jetstream.
Test No. 4: How well does it write against a vertical surface?
I held a piece of paper against a wall and wrote until either the pen or I refused to go on, whichever came first.
As a group, the ballpoints performed the worst because they rely on gravity to pull their ink out. The Pilot BP-S and Bic Round Stichad particularly poor showings, eking out less than 10 words each before shutting down.
Special kudos goes to the Papermate Comfortmateand Pilot Easy Touch—the only ballpoints to outlast me. Rollerballs are pretty dependable, but their lines come out thinner than when the pens are held normally. Gels (with the exception of the Zebra Sarasa Bold,which gave up the ghost after only a few lines)are best for this task; if you have a yen to write your novel longhand and against a vertical surface, do it with the Pilot P-700.
Test No. 5: Will it leak on an airplane?
This is a test only for rollerballs, which, because they don’t respond well to cabin pressure, will potentially leak big globs of ink all over the place if you uncap them on an airplane. I hadn’t known about this problem until I came across two different makes of rollerballs trumpeting the fact that they were “safe for airplane use” (i.e.,guaranteed not to leak).With a sinking feeling, I realized that the other 30-odd rollers in my collection would now have to be branded “not safe for airplane use.” I perked up briefly at the idea of expensing a plane ticket to Slate so that I could study the effects of high altitudes on the uncapped rollerball pen, but the desire to be thought of as non-delusional by my editor got the best of me, and I outsourced this part of the testing to someone flying for a reason other than to see what would happen to her pens.
Shaking his head sadly, like a preschool teacher who has to report to a parent about a child’s misbehavior, my deputy informed me that the Bic Roller Grip embarrassed itself with a messy accident on both of the flights he took. The Pilot V Ball also leaked, though on only one flight, which shows how unpredictable the problem can be. Neither the Zebra Roller 2000 nor the Uniball Vision leaked, but the former wrote more thickly and the latter with a much more wan line than at ground level.
Of the two rollerballs that are specially designed for airplane use (neither of which leaked on the test flights), the Uniball Vision Elite (not to be confused with the plain old Vision) is by far the preferable pen. The other, the Pilot Precise Zing,whose unfortunate barrel design looks like ink has been smudged all over it, writes so unpleasantly—noisily and scratchily and jumpily—on the ground that I’d rather run the risk that my pen would leak on an airplane than have to use this pen at all.
Test No. 6: How versatile is it?
In other words, what can it do for you when you’re not actually writing? Does it twiddle well when you’re gazing at a blank page? Does it tuck comfortably behind your ear when you want to keep it handy? Does it do the trick when you need to keep your hair out of your face and can’t find a rubber band? Is it good to chew on?N.B.: I did not take into account a pen’s usefulness in removing ear wax (thanks, though, to the friend who proposed this area of inquiry and whose pens I will try to remember not to borrow) or follow through on my mother’s repeated suggestions that I test how well different pens would serve as weapons (thanks, though, Mom).
The Pentel RSVP ballpoint was too heavy and long to sit comfortably in my hand while I was writing, let alone put behind my ear or twiddle. The Zeb Roller 2000,a stocky brown pen with a black band around its cap, looks like a potato wearing headphones,and the yellow and black Staedtler Liquid Point,which looks like the costumes once favored by Stryper,is ugly enough that I would recommend against wearing it on your person.
Capped models make better hair clips (the discreet all-blackSanford Uniballgoes with any outfit)because you don’t have to worry about pushing down the pen point and marking up your scalp. The Bic Round Stic cap, meanwhile, tastes the best to me, which is to say the least conspicuously like treated plastic. But, as we all know, you really shouldn’t chew your pens.
Recap (as it were)
Standout ballpoints: Pilot Easy Touch, Papermate Widemate(for general writing and writing on a vertical surface),Itoya Xenon (for general writing), Bic Round Stic(for general writing, staying put, chewing).
Standout rollerballs: Pilot Precise V5 (for general writing),Staedtler Liquid Point (for general writing and staying put),Sanford Uniball Micro (for general writing and hair accessorizing),Uniball Vision Elite(for airplane use).
Standout gels: Uniball Signo and Pilot P-700(for general writing).
The Epic Refill Reference Guide: Rollerball, Gel and Ballpoints
Lots of pens available these days accept either a “Parker-Style” G2 refills, a Pilot G2 refill (adds to the confusion for sure) and the Pilot Hi-Tec C style refills. I thought I’d try to come up with a list of refills that fit into these categories. This is by no means a definitive list but should provide you with lots of options for your favorite non-fountain pens.
There are so many potential options for a “Parker-style” refill (which annoyingly enough is also referred to as a G2 though it is not necessarily compatible with a PILOT G2 style pen). The G2 refill is 98mm long and approx 5.8mm diameter on the main barrel.
Parker Style Refills
Here’s a list of most (but probably not all) of the Parker-style refills:
- Diplomat EasyFLOW Ballpoint Pen Refill
- Faber-Castell Ballpoint Pen Refill
- Faber-Castell Scribero Gel Ink Roller Refill
- Fisher Space Pen Refill, PR Series- Colors (Bold, Medium, Fine)
- Fisher Space Pen – Universal Ballpoint Refill
- Foray (Office Depot) Ballpoint Refill for Parker (Medium)
- Itoya Aquaroller Refill (0.7 and 1.0mm)
- Kaweco Soul G2 Refill 1.0mm
- Kaweco Sport Roller Ball Pen Refill
- Moleskine Ballpoint Refill
- Moleskine Gel Refill (0.5 and 0.7 mm)
- Moleskine Roller Gel Fluorescent Refills
- Monteverde Ceramic Gel Refill (Broad)
- Monteverde Needle Point Refill (Fine)
- Monteverde Soft Roll- Colored inks (Medium)
- Monteverde Soft Roll- (Superbroad, Medium, Ultrafine)
- OHTO Needlepoint Ballpoint Pen Refill PS-807NP
- OHTO PS-205NP Extra-Fine 0.5mm Ballpoint Pen Refill
- Parafernalia Ballpoint Pen Refill NO LOGO
- Parker Ballpoint Pen Refill (Broad, Medium, Fine)
- Parker GEL Ballpoint Pen Refill (Medium)
- Parker Quinkflow Ballpoint Pen Refill (Medium, Fine)
- Pelikan Giant Ballpoint Pen Refill 337 (Broad, Fine, Medium)
- Pentel KFLT8 Ballpoint Pen Refill
- Platignum Standard Ballpoint Pen Refill
- Premec Parker-Style G2 Gel Refill (0.4, 0.5 and 0.7 mm)
- Retro 51 Tornado Roller Ball Refills (REF5P) (Made by Schmidt)
- Schmidt 9000M EasyFlow Pen Refill
- Schmidt P8126 Capless Rollerball (Fine)
- Schmidt P8900 Super Bowl Refill (Fine)
- Schmidt P900 B Ballpoint Pen Refill (Broad, Medium, Fine)
- Schmidt P950M Megaline Pressurized Ballpoint Pen Refill (Medium)
- Schneider Express 735 Pen Refill (Broad, Medium, Fine)
- Schneider Slider 755 Pen Refill (Extra-Broad, Medium)
- STABILO EASYgel Refill
- Stabilo Ballpoint Refill
- Tombow BR-ZLM Ballpoint Pen Refill
- Visconti Ballpoint Pen Refill AA49 1.4 (Broad)
- Visconti Gel Refill (Broad, Medium, Fine)
Mike Rohde of Sketchnoting fame hacked a Pentel Energel refill (normally a Pilot G-2 sized refill) to fit into his Retro 51 by trimming the end of the refill to be the right size. If you’re willing to experiment, other refills might also survive this sort of hack. I’ve hacked the end off a few refills in my time to make them fit as well. Just grab a craft or utility knife or a sturdy pair of scissors, line up the old refill and the new refill and snip. Voila.
If you love a particular sort of pen refill, you can also lengthen a refill that’s too short by adding a bit of plastic tubing to the end of the barrel. The fine folks at Karas Kustoms provide a length of plastic tubing with their Render K, RETRAKT and BOLT pens that could be used with other brands as well or you could snip off a section of an empty plastic refill to length a new refill to fit.
The best source I found for ALL the Parker-style refills was Cult Pens in the UK. They stock over 30 different styles of Parker-style refills. Another option is Refill Finder.
G2/Schmidt/Euro Rollerball (and similar) Refills:
The Euro G2-style refill (very similar to the Pilot G2 but not always the same because of the plastic housing around the metal tip shaft). In some pens with enough clearance, they can be interchanged but of your pen has tight interior clearance, some Japanese refills (highlighted in orange) will not be interchangeable with the European counterparts.
Also described as the Schmidt/Euro Rollerball refill size are about 110mm long:
- Caran d’Ache Fibre Tip Refill
- Caran d’Ache Rollerball Refill
- Faber-Castell Rollerball Pen Refill
- Faber-Castell Fineliner Pen Refill
- FORAY (Office Depot) Pen Refill For Schmidt Rollerball
- Kaweco “soul” refill G2
- Kaweco G2 Gel Roller Pen Refill
- Hi-Tec-C Cavalier refill
- Monteverde Fineliner Refill G52
- Monteverde Ceramic Rollerball Refill W22
- Monteverde Spring-Loaded Tip Fineliner Refill G62
- OHTO Ceramic Rollerball Pen Refill
- OHTO F-300 Fude Refill Black
- Pentel LR7 Energel
- Pilot Frixion Erasable Gel
- Pilot Juice (removed from plastic retractable pen)
- Pilot G2
- Pilot LP2RF Gel Refill (Juice refill code)
- Premec Roller Refill (0.5mm and 0.7mm)
- Schmidt Capless Rollerball 8126 and 8127 (shorter models can work with an extension hack)
- Schmidt 6040 FineLiner refill
- Schmidt 888 Safety Rollingball Ceramic Plastic refill
- Schmidt 5888 Safety RollingBall Ceramic Metal Tube refill
- Schmidt 5285 Safety Rolling Tube Needlepoint Tip
- Schneider Topball 850 Pen Refill
- Schneider Topliner 970 Pen Refill
- Sheaffer Fineliner Refill
- Visconti Rollerball Pen Refill AA40 0.7
- Zebra JT refill
- Zebra Sarasa Clip refill (removed from plastic retractable pen)
Using a spring around the tip of the refill will help to stabilize these. Use either the spring provided by your pen manufacturer or steal one from a retractable plastic pen body to get the perfect fit.
Cult Pens has a great selection of these refills in their “Euro Refills” section.
Pilot Hi-Tec C Refills:
The Pilot Hi-Tec C style refills list doesn’t look as extensive as the other refill styles but the Hi-Tec C line has a huge assortment of color options and tip widths to provide quite a variety. The Pilot Hi-Tec C refills can be purchased individually or liberated from any Pilot Hi-Tec C pen including the Maica line.
- Pilot Hi-Tec C (available in 0.25, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5)
- Pilot G-Tec C (same as the Hi-Tec C but renamed for the American/European market)
- Uni-ball Signo UM-100 Gel
- Uni-ball Signo DX UM-151 Gel
- Uni-ball Signo Broad UM-153 Gel
I’ve found that the Uni-Ball Signo refills may need to be trimmed slightly to fit but they work great. Just use scissors, a craft knife or blade to shorten the length to match the original length. I liberate Signo refills from plastic pens found around my office as well as occasionally purchasing proper refills.
Then there’s the D1 sized refills. These are the super slender and used in multi-pens and mini pens. The Sharbo-X is a great example as is the Retro 51 Tornado Touch.
The D-1 mini refills are about 66-67mm long and there are quite a few refill styles to fit into these pens:
- Acme Black 4FP Four-Function Pen Ballpoint Pen Refill
- Acme Highlighter 4FP Four-Function Pen Multi Functional Pen Refill
- Aurora Mini Medium Point Ballpoint Pen Refill
- Caran D’ache Ecridor XS Mini Refill
- Cross Matrix Ballpoint Pen Refill
- Cross Micro Ballpoint Pen Refill
- Kaweco D1 Soul Ballpoint Refill
- Monteverde Soft Roll Ballpoint Pen Refill – D1 (628)
- Ohto R-4C7NP Needle-Point Ballpoint Pen Refill
- Parker Mini Ballpoint Refills
- Parker Vector 3-in-1 Ballpoint Refills
- Pelikan 38 Ballpoint Refills
- Pilot BRF-8M Ballpoint Pen Refill
- Platinum BSP-60 Series
- Platinum BSP-100
- Retro 1951 D-1 Ballpoint Refill
- Rotring Tikky 3-in-1 2-Color Ballpoint Refills
- Tombow VS Ballpoint Pen Refill – D1
- Uni SXR-200 Jetstream Ballpoint Multi Pen Refill (0.5 and 0.7mm)
- Zebra 4C-0.7 Ballpoint Pen Refill
- Zebra Sharbo X Ballpoint Multi Pen Refill Component – D1
- Zebra Sharbo X Gel Ink Multi Pen Refill Component (0.4 and 0.5mm) – D1
Another option to consider:
Tofty on Shapeways creates 3D printed sleeves for many proprietary refills that allow you to use a D1 refill instead of the harder to find Lamy, Diplomat, Caran d’Ache and others. He will also work to make a custom 3D printed sleeve to meet your needs if you email him directly. I’ve ordered several pieces from him and they work really well and have allowed me to use the Zebra Sharbo-X extra fine gel refills in my Fisher Space Pens. This is 21st century pen hacking at its finest!
Big thank you to my pal Dan for giving me a list as a starting point. Thanks to The Pen Place in Kansas City for letting me try out lots of refills. The rest of my info came from Jet Pens, Cult Pens and Refill Finder.
Monteverde is modifying some of their refills to fit pens with more proprietary sizes like Lamy. Lamy is the most finicky of all the pens. If you have good alternatives for refills for Lamy rollerball and ballpoint pens, let me know.
Don’t forget to check your local office supply or pen store (even those big box shops) and play around with the pens and refills you have. You’d be surprised what might work.
I’m working on a handy printable pocket guide of all these pen refill options but I want to make sure I haven’t left anything out or gotten anything wrong. So let me know which of these refills work for you and which don’t.
Note: I have not tried EVERY refill with every pen so your results might vary. Please leave notes in the comments about your favorite pen and refill combination for other readers. Thanks!
You might also enjoy:
Complete TUL Pen Review — Original Content Books
Q&A WITH NICOLE LORD AT OFFICE DEPOT
I wanted to find out more about these pens and so I reached out to Office Depot and they were kind enough to share their thoughts on a few items:
How do you come up with the new limited edition colors?
We love our limited-edition colors because they allow us to showcase the pens our customers trust for outstanding performance in a unique way. Each limited-edition story and color palette is carefully selected by our in-house designers based on the anticipated trends of the season. We also recently introduced our exclusive line of TUL notebooks and accessories into these limited-edition collections.
Can we start to get excited about a new limited edition or new product coming out soon?
Earlier this year, we launched TUL Brights pens available in 14 vivid colors and note-taking system available in four bold limited-edition colors that TUL enthusiasts can purchase online or in store. Look out for our newest limited edition pen and notebook collection in stores and online in October – our most giftable TUL collection yet!
What is the meaning/history behind the name TUL?
TUL was developed by OfficeMax in 2006 as an exclusive writing brand that delivers affordable luxury to our customers. We strive to be the go-to tools for entrepreneurs and business leaders who are seeking products that inspire with design and are precision engineered for outstanding performance.
Can you share how these pens are made or a bit about the design process?
Each one of our TUL pens is precision engineered, hand assembled, and hand tested for outstanding performance. We take pride in ensuring our customers that our pens consistently deliver smooth, vibrant lines at first write. And, we believe the discipline and rigor behind the making of these products helps us deliver on that promise.
Frequently Asked Questions | uni-ball Company
What is the difference between Gel, Roller, and Ballpoint pens?
In short, liquid ink gives Rollers free-flowing, fluid writing, Gels deliver thick and vibrant lines, and our unique Jetstream pens are known for their incredibly fast and effortless writing. Learn more about their distinct technologies here.
Which pens help prevent document fraud?
Many uni-ball pens, including the uni-ball 207, protect against water, fading, and fraud. They contain pigment-based ink that forms an indelible bond in paper and resists criminal check washing. Any uni-ball pen with Super Ink™ is archival quality and perfect for any writing that needs to stay put.
Which refill works for my pen? Where can I find it?
Check the Refill Guide to see all refillable uni-ball pens. Refills can be purchased at most office supply stores, but if you have any questions please reach out to us using the contact form.
Why do some pens leak in airplane cabins or at high altitude?
Rollerball pens contain thinner, less viscous ink than a ballpoint, typically contained in a closed tube. Fluctuations in pressure while flying cause air to expand inside the ink chamber leading to unexpected inkblots in your briefcase. If you’re unsure your pen is airplane-safe, you can equalize the pressure inside the pen by taking its cap off while holding it tip up. Or, if you want total certainty, look for our airplane-safe pens, such as the Vision Elite™.
Where can I find my favorite uni-ball pen?
Most office supply, superstore, discount, drug, and grocery stores carry many uni-ball pens. If you can’t find your favorite, our Customer Service team will help you — submit a question using the contact form or send us a message on Facebook.
I just got a new uni-ball pen. What’s the waxy material on its point?
That is a protective wax that preserves the ink and protects the pen tip. It is an extra step that guarantees your pen writes as intended; simply remove it before writing.
What should I do to remove clothing stains from uni-ball pens?
Act as swiftly as possible by testing the below stain removal techniques on a hidden part of the garment to ensure the garment does not become discolored. Stain removal techniques vary for the type of ink:
Found in the uni-ball Vision (fashion colors), Vision Exact, Onyx
Step 1 – Soak in skim milk 1/2 hour to 1 hour. Scrub the stain with an old toothbrush or cuticle brush. Rinse with warm water.
Step 2 – Combine powdered color-safe bleach, such as Clorox 2, with warm water to make a paste the consistency of undissolved sugar. Put this mixture on the stain for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Scrub the stain with an old toothbrush or cuticle brush. Rinse with warm water.
Step 3 – Repeat Step 1 and Step 2, if needed.
Step 4 – Launder with a protein-based detergent, such as Era Plus. Make sure the stain is completely removed BEFORE putting the article of clothing in the dryer, as this may set the stain.
DRY CLEAN ONLY GARMENTS
Take the item to a commercial dry cleaner who employs a “spotter” and advise him/her that the water-based ink stain contains water-soluble dyes.
Found in Deluxe, Roller Grip, Vision (in black or blue), Vision Elite, Micro & Fine Roller, 207, all Gel and JETSTREAM pens
Step 1 – Use household ammonia* and water (*1 teaspoonful of ammonia per gallon of water). Add a protein-type detergent, such as ERA.
Step 2 – Scrub the stain with an old toothbrush or cuticle brush. Rinse with warm water.
DRY CLEAN ONLY GARMENTS
Take the item to a commercial dry cleaner who employs a “spotter” and advise him/her that the stain is a pigmented, water-based ink.
What is your product guarantee?
uni-ball Corporation guarantees smooth, worry-free writing with every uni-ball® product. If you’re not completely satisfied with our product, simply return it for replacement or a full refund. Use the Consumer Returns form to initiate your return.
How can I contact uni-ball directly?
Use the contact form or call us at 833-999-9UNI.
OHTO Rays Flash Dry Gel Ballpoint Pen
There are three things that make this pen something we had to bring to the UK. It has classic styling; uses a very well-liked extra-fine gel refill we already stocked; and it’s amazingly good value.
The styling is a classic look. Metal upper barrel in brushed steel, with a practical metal clip and polished metal retract button. A little polished metal at the tip adds to the look, as well as making the tip stronger. The lower barrel is plastic, with a choice of colours to add a bit of extra character if you want it, or stick with plain black for a more understated look.
The refill is the OHTO PG-105NP, which is very well-liked by those who enjoy a smooth fine line. It’s an extra-fine tip, with gel ink for a smooth, dense line. OHTO’s gel ink dries quickly. It’s a great refill, making the pen really nice to write with. It does take standard ‘Parker-style’ G2 refills, so you could change to any one of a huge number of other refills, but you may find many of them would cost more than this pen! That brings us to our third point…
It’s amazingly good value. OHTO have made a pen that writes nicely, looks good, and feels nicely made, with metal where it’s needed for strength and durability; yet somehow it’s around the same price as many disposable or semi-disposable plastic pens. Then they gave it a name that sounds like a 1950s American dry cleaner.
|Advance Mechanism:||Retractable, Push-Button|
|Ink Type:||Hybrid Ink|
|Refill Type:||Refillable, Parker-style G2 Refill, Pen Refill|
Orders placed before midday Monday to Friday will normally be sent out the same day.
FREE First Class Royal Mail delivery for orders over £25, and just £2.95 for smaller orders. Royal Mail Special Delivery available for £6.95 extra, or FREE with any order over £100 – but note that coronavirus means the usual guarantee doesn’t apply – sorry. No delivery surcharges for Northern Ireland, Highlands & Islands or anywhere else!
International deliveries vary in cost, so you’ll need to add the items you want to your basket, and enter the checkout to see the options for delivery. Prices and payment methods will reflect your country, and many countries have all taxes and duties included to make things easier and more predictable.
Orders over 2kg
For all orders outside the UK, heavy orders may cost more to send, but the shipping cost will be displayed in the checkout before you commit.
For more, see our Delivery Information page.
How to get a pen off a white shirt: 5 tips
Use glycerin, shaving cream or foam, ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, toothpaste or whiteness to remove stains of varying severity without damaging the quality of the fabric.
Not only a child, but also an adult can get dirty with a pen, because defective stationery is often found.
The pen can leak at the most inopportune moment
Often stains appear on the eve of the most important event, important negotiations, and in order to return the “happy blouse” to use, you need to use the following ingredients:
- citric acid;
- hydrogen peroxide;
- stain remover;
- low-fat milk;
- Shaving foam or greasy cream;
- detergent / soap;
- Whitening toothpaste.
It’s hard to imagine, but even some ingredients useful in cooking can remove the blue from the pen from the pockets. The main thing is to choose a product and carry out the procedure correctly, starting from the degree of pollution and freshness of the stains.
Glycerin and salt
Washing with glycerin is highly effective, therefore it is used on the farm to remove rust from textiles or blood stains from white clothes, and even to eliminate the smell of cat urine from shoes.
Glycerin – a cheap but effective remedy for the pen
But in order to get the desired effect, you will have to adhere to some peculiarities.
To wash a ballpoint or gel pen off white clothes with glycerin:
- Pour some glycerin over the stain and let the blouse sit for about an hour.
- Pour warm water into a basin, dilute 1-2 tbsp. l. salt.
- Wash the jacket.
This method is good for removing fresh stains, but if they are dry, the procedure must be repeated. If a slight blue tinge remains after washing, wash the blouse with regular soap or with a bleach stain remover.
Ammonia and soda for soaking extensive contamination
Ammonia has not only medicinal properties, but also bleaching properties, which is why it is actively used for cleaning kitchen utensils and clothes. To remove ink with baking soda and ammonia, follow this sequence:
- Mix the ingredients in a 1: 1 ratio.
- Pour 1 tbsp into the mixture. water.
Dip the stain into the solution or pour liquid over the soiled area of the blouse.Wash your clothes as usual after 3 hours.
Note ! If the paste has leaked, leaving a large, bright mark, it is recommended to wash the stain by hand after treatment with ammonia, not in a machine. Then the paste is better washed off without leaving a trace on the clean area of the blouse .
Hydrogen peroxide and ammonia
The combination of hydrogen oxide with ammonia allows not only to remove stains from white fabric, but also to whiten a blouse or old tulle, to give an attractive look to yellowed plastic windows.
Simple Medication Combination Helps Remove Tough Pen Stains
This recipe removes stains well, but is best not used on colored clothes.
- Pour warm water into a glass.
- Mix and add 1 tsp to the water. ammonia and hydrogen peroxide.
In the resulting solution, moisten a piece of cotton wool and place it on the stain. After 20-30 minutes, hand wash the fountain pen stain, then immerse the blouse in the machine and wash again.
Dish detergent is available in every office, and if you accidentally get dirty, it can help remove a fresh pen stain from a new white blouse.
Apply a thick layer of detergent to the stained area for 30 minutes, then wash the stain under running water. It is not very convenient to tidy up dirty clothes at work, but it is possible.
Dishwashing Gel or Laundry Soap
If your child comes home from school with a fresh stain on his T-shirt, take action immediately and treat with laundry soap or dishwashing gel.
Ordinary laundry soap can clean a shirt from the handle with minimal effort.
Lather the stain, let the clothes sit, and then wash by hand and in an automatic machine.
Hand or shaving cream
On a train or on an airplane, there is not always a tool on hand with which you can wipe off the stains of the handle from the shirt. Then use the shaving foam or hand cream that you always have in your travel bag.
- Apply foam or cream to the stain.
- After an hour, wash the dirty area under the tap.
The fresh stain should dissolve and remove without problems, but if the blue mark remains, on arrival home / at the hotel, treat it with any stain remover, hydrogen peroxide or whiteness, and then wash the jacket thoroughly.
Note ! Use a greasy cream. It displaces the paste well from the fabric, but leaves an unattractive greasy mark that can be easily washed off with ordinary powder, soap or detergent.
Lemon juice or vinegar
Table vinegar (9%) and citric acid are used together or separately to remove fresh stains on white, pale pink, or other light colored fabrics, including marker prints from clothing or silicone sealant from the fabric.
Simple household ingredients
- Soak the stain in vinegar or citric acid.
- Wash after 30-40 minutes.
These ingredients do not cause greasy stains and remove leaked paste without leaving a residue.Their action is due to the effectiveness of the acid in dissolving stains.
Note ! These ingredients can remove light, stubborn stains or large, slightly dry stains in 2-3 treatments. Vinegar and citric acid can be used on polyester, synthetics, cotton, silk and knit fabrics.
You can enhance the effect of acids with salt. Sprinkle it over the stain, drip some lemon juice or vinegar on top. Wash the jacket after 15-40 minutes.This method is only effective on fresh stains. It is problematic to withdraw an old handle in this way.
Ethyl Alcohol – rubbing alcohol, moonshine or vodka helps wipe the gel pen ink off a white shirt. In relation to the ballpoint, the ingredient is less effective.
Alcohol instantly dissolves the traces of the pen
Wipe off gel stains as follows:
- First of all, blot the stain with a wet, unnecessary towel so that the stain is absorbed into the rag and not the structure of the blouse.
- Place a dry towel on a table and a cotton nursing gown or a stained synthetic shirt on top of it.
- Dip a piece of cotton wool in alcohol or vodka and place it on the contaminated area.
Alcohol will dissolve the gel stain, and it will not be on the blouse, but will drain onto a towel, which you can clean using a regular stain remover or whiteness.
Solvents: kerosene, gasoline, acetone or nail polish remover
These products work in a similar way to alcohol, so if the pen accidentally leaks, take acetone and place a wet piece of cotton wool over the dirt.This will remove the fresh gel stain from your white cotton robe or jersey.
Minor pen stains can be removed with ordinary acetone
Gasoline and kerosene also dissolve the pen well, but leave a greasy mark and a pungent odor. Use them when less smelly substances are not on hand, but be sure to wash your clothes with fabric softener and powder to remove the pungent odor.
Low fat milk
Low fat sour milk dissolves stains well due to its acidic properties.It is not surprising that housewives use milk to clean their hands from garden dirt and remove old stains from the tablecloth, and serum to clean aluminum pots.
This ingredient is not suitable for removing stubborn dirt, but it will make it easier to clean the pen paste from a white or colored blouse. Soak the stain in milk, then do a standard wash with detergent.
You can rub the stain with toothpaste using a brush. Fresh pasta will fall behind immediately, and the dried one will have to be rubbed.
Toothpaste copes with paste from a gel or ballpoint pen
This cleaning method is effective, but requires caution. If you rub the fabric hard, you can damage its structure and ruin your favorite jacket.
Hairspray or antistatic spray
Hairspray is unlikely to protect clothes from the paste, but this ingredient is useful to cleanse your skin.
Spray the skin with antistatic spray or hairspray, and then wipe off with a napkin, avoiding additional stains (on the blouse).
Stain removers and bleaches against traces of gel and ballpoint pens
A gel pen can be removed from white clothes not only with folk (improvised) means, but also with substances specially designed for washing.
Stain remover suitable for bleaching shirts from the handle
- Oxygen bleach. If the blouse is soaked for 1-2 hours in oxygen bleach, the stain will dissolve safely for the jacket itself. Oxygen bleach for colored clothing is commercially available.It will help remove pollution from bright things.
- White. The product is used only for white clothes. Gives linen freshness, snow-white and removes a lot of stubborn stains, including from a gel, ballpoint pen. Pour some whiteness into warm water, put the jacket on and leave for 1.5-2 hours. Then wash the blouse with regular powder to eliminate the unpleasant smell of bleach.
- Ink remover. A rare remedy, but if you wish, you can buy it on the Internet. Presented as a handle with a sponge at the end.There is a special liquid inside. If you get smeared with the paste, run the ink remover sponge over the spot, the liquid coming from it will dissolve the paste, making it less noticeable.
It is best to combine folk remedies with special ones, because the former actively remove intense pollution from the outside, and the latter remove deeply ingrained stains.
Note ! Ballpoint / gel pen contamination can be up to 15 cm in diameter.If for some reason you could not immediately wash the stain, take the blouse to dry cleaning so that the specialists independently act on the pollution with chemicals that do not damage cotton.
To see how easy household chemicals can handle a pen, watch the video on how to get rid of ink stains with oxygen bleach:
are suspicious or may leak in the near future.Take the time to prepare the storage area for the pens. Make a container or stand and always put the handles with the rod down. This factor will reduce the likelihood of paste leakage and contamination of your clothing.
Removing ink stains from clothes
Almost every day we use a ballpoint or fountain pen in the office, children write with it at school, and in everyday life, a pen often comes to the rescue. All this practically guarantees the appearance of ink stains on clothes. It is not easy to remove such stains, but nothing is impossible, and we will tell you exactly how you can get rid of ink marks on clothes at home.
To begin with, it’s worth figuring out what we are dealing with. There are three types of ink, and each ink is drawn in a different way:
Water-based ink stains
This ink is the easiest to remove due to its composition. You can find them in markers, but they are also contained in some inks for printing on T-shirts.Most of these inks are environmentally friendly. To remove the water ink stain from clothing, place a towel or some paper towels under the stain. After that, take a cotton pad or just a piece of cotton wool and moisten it with alcohol or alcohol. Apply the disc gently to the stain without applying too much pressure until you remove it. After that, you can wash the item as usual.
If the stain is not removed, you can repeat the same technique, but hold the alcohol for about half an hour so that it is absorbed, then rinse the cloth under cold water.
Permanent ink stains
This ink has earned its name for a reason, it is definitely not easy to remove it, if not impossible. However, if you act quickly, you can remove at least most of the stain.
First try the same method as for the previous ink – alcohol. After you have removed at least most of the stain, be sure to wash the item to remove any residual alcohol.
If alcohol did not cope with the task, you can repeat the same method, but use either nail polish remover or acetone as a means.If the stain is fresh, you will most likely be able to remove it using one of the methods described.
Ballpoint pen stains
These stains are more common than others and, unsurprisingly, are not difficult to remove. Because inks are made from pigments and special dyes, they are greasy and dry slowly. Of course, the first method to try is alcohol.
However, if it does not help or is simply not at hand, foam shaving cream will come to the rescue.Apply it to the stain and wait about 20 minutes. After that, wash the stain and rinse the item thoroughly.
Another option to remove the stain is with vinegar. You need to dab a little vinegar on the stain and let it soak, which will take about 10 minutes. After that, a liquid dishwashing detergent will be used, it must be rubbed into the stain and similarly left for a few minutes so that it absorbs and corrodes the ink. Over time, wash the stain under cold water.
Vinegar is not recommended for use on dyed fabrics.It can be used with caution on cotton, silk and synthetic fabrics as it weakens the threads.
If you spot a stain, never despair, as most stains can be removed!
Set for removing traces of ballpoint pen
Ink Remover Kit removes ballpoint pen stains from your favorite leather goods. It is designed in such a way that, while removing stains, it practically does not destroy the coating of the leather product.Contains a blend of mild detergents to remove the toughest stains. If your leather product has stains such as clothing stains, we recommend using Leather Stain Remover .
– Ink Remover Kit will handle
– Traces from permanent markers
– Ballpoint pen marks
– Marker marks
– Pen marks
Important! Most leather goods are factory-coated and easy to clean.However, some types of leather (aniline and laika) do not have a protective coating and are therefore more susceptible to contamination. If you want to remove ink marks on a leather product, you should use Leather Degreaser .
Leather Ink Remover can be used on a variety of leather goods, from furniture and car interiors to clothing, shoes and bags.
It works on all skin colors and textures, always removing blemishes safely and effectively.
– Aniline and semi-aniline
– Dyed leather
– Leather Baikast
– Antique Two Tone Leather
Consumption and Shelf Life
The Ink Remover Kit contains enough products to remove many stains from leather. If the ink stain is fresh or on a relatively new product, then the ink stain remover is sufficient to remove the stains with a total length of about 60 cm.If the stain is old, or on an old product, then most likely there is enough remedy to remove stains from a ballpoint pen with a total length of approximately 30 cm.
The product has no shelf life, but it evaporates very quickly. Therefore, store it in a cool place with a tightly closed lid.
– Means for removing ink from the skin (Leather Ink Remover) – 10 ml
– Leather Protection Cream – 10 ml
– Cotton swabs and sponges for effective use of the product
– Special wipe for applying protective cream
– Detailed instructions
1.Never apply the product directly to the skin.
2. Apply the product in drops to the cotton swabs provided in the kit.
3. Leather Ink Remover can soften the protective coating of the leather, so do not use too much force when removing stains, otherwise the protective layer may be removed.
4. Immediately, as soon as you see that the stain began to transfer to the cotton swab, turn it over so as not to smear the ink back onto the skin.Never reuse the Q-tip.
5. If you see that the cotton wool on a stick has begun to stain the color of your skin, stop and let the skin dry, and then go back and evaluate the result. If there are still ink marks on the skin, reapply Leather Ink Remover, wait and re-evaluate the result.
6. Apply Leather Protection Cream to the treated area and sand after 10 minutes with a napkin.
Gel Pen – HiSoUR Cultural History
Gel Pen uses an ink in which the pigment is suspended in a water-based gel. Because the ink is thick and opaque, it appears more clearly on dark or smooth surfaces than the typical ink used in ballpoint or felt nibs. Gel pens can be used for many types of writing and illustration.
The gel pen consists of a polypropylene ink tube that opens into a metal tip and is usually taken on a shaft.To prevent the ink from drying out, the ink column is sealed at the back with a silicone plug. The sealed handles feature a tip seal, while pusher-type nipples include a coil spring in its tip that, when not in use, seals the bullet against the trunnion tip.
The general design of the gel pen is similar to the general rule of [ink pen] with a barrel containing a writing mechanism and cap and a reservoir filled with ink. Barrels can be crafted in many different sizes and designs; some have rubber or plastic finger grips.The nib or pen size ranges from 0.18 mm (0.0071 in.) To 1.5 mm (0.059 in.).
Compared to other inks, gel ink has a higher viscosity, which maintains a higher proportion of pigments in the medium. The pigments are usually copper phthalocyanine and iron oxides, and the gel is composed of water and biopolymers such as xanthan gum and gum tragacanth, as well as some types of polyacrylate thickeners. The pigments are opaque, and the gel pens are available in a range of vibrant and pastel colors, as well as opalescent, metallic and glittery colors that are clearly visible on dark paper.Many gel paints are waterproof and won’t wash off with water once the ink dries. Fraud resistant gel ink is not affected by solvents such as acetone and resists wash check.
Gel pens are suitable for different writing styles, and can also be used in graphics and illustrations. Due to the density and opacity of this type of ink, it is more visible on dark or smooth surfaces than the ink commonly used in a ballpoint pen or marker.
The most obvious advantage of gel inks is its high viscosity, which allows most of the pigment to be used in the medium. The most commonly used pigments are based on copper phthalocyanine and iron oxide, while gels are usually based on water and biopolymers such as xanthan gum and thickeners such as polyacrylates.
The most common gel pen tip on the market ranges from 0.18 to 1.5 mm. Gel pen ink is consumed faster than a ballpoint pen, either because it is used more, with the same nib size and because of its viscosity characteristics.
Function and use:
The peculiarity of the gel is its viscosity of about 200 Pa · s, which decreases sharply when shear stress is applied. The rotational motion of the ink ball generates such high shear stresses at the boundary of the ink column that the ink liquefies locally and can be positioned like a roller pen. The resulting ink flow is five to ten times that of a ballpoint pen, which makes the writing ball very well lubricated. This effect gives a very light, smooth typing feel, but it is also responsible for the short writing length of the gel roller.Side effects are the accumulation of ink residues in the gap between the ball and the socket, which can suddenly change in the writing direction and cause a smudge, as well as the appearance of double lines when the ball accumulates the written out ink to the left and right of their path.The gels have the advantage of getting smears even on light and dark paper substrates. Because the ink thickens (usually with a polysaccharide such as xanthan), even large pigments can be held in the ink without settling, allowing ink or pigment ink to be used to write on dark paper.
Gel Nibs are built similar to the ball nibs in a ballpoint pen. The frame is usually made of stainless steel and a hard metal or ceramic writing ball. The ball diameter is usually 0.3 to 1.2mm, and East Asia products are available up to 0.2mm.
Ballpoint pens use dye-based paste ink in an alcohol solvent. Compared to ballpoint pens, gel pens:
Create a bolder, more opaque line
Lubricate more as the ink is wetter
There are occasional skips because the ink is less evenly coated
Use more ink, resulting in more frequent refills or replacements
More likely ink will flow when stopper is drained
Can write on smooth, non-absorbent materials
Fountain pens and liquid ink rolls use a dye-based solvent in a water-based solvent.Compared to these pens, gel pens:
Less prone to bleeding to the other side of a piece of paper
Create thinner, more controlled lines
Can create white or brightly colored opaque lines on dark surfaces
Can write on smooth materials
Color markers use oil paint / ink that is very opaque and overlays on all other colors. Compared to paint markers, gel pens:
Smaller, with finer tips
Odorless and does not require shaking to mix the pigment with solvent
Indian ink (based on carbon pigment) is perhaps the closest ink to opaque gel paints, although this is usually done using a binder with alcohol and shellac:
Another feature of gel ink is that it resists the analytical method commonly used to estimate the potential age of ink for forensic purposes.For decades, the United States Secret Service has maintained the International Ink Library. As manufacturers change their ink formulas from year to year, thin layer chromatography (TLC) can be used on ink from traditional pens to track the manufacturer and date of manufacture of most inks. Pigments in gel ink do not dissolve and therefore cannot be analyzed by TLC.
Countries of origin:
The country with the largest production is Japan, where this type of pen was developed in the 1980s (Pilot, Uniball and Pentel are the main manufacturers).In recent years, China has established itself as a major manufacturer of cheap gel rollers.
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How to remove the handle from the skin
However, even the most careful and careful people are not immune from paste stains.At high temperatures, especially during the hot summer period, ink tends to leak out, staining the skin of the hands, clothes, bags and furniture.
How to remove a ballpoint pen from leather
If regular soap doesn’t work with the ink from a ballpoint pen, you can try rubbing it lightly with a toothbrush. This will help erase the stains on your body pretty quickly. If a child gets dirty with ink, then this method cannot be used – hard bristles can injure the baby’s delicate skin.In this situation, a regular baby cream will help. The product must be applied to the mark from the pen and left for a few minutes. After that, the paste can be easily wiped off with a paper towel or cotton pad.
Perfectly removes ink stains and glycerin. It is also applied to the stained area and left for a while, then washed off and wiped off the skin with a napkin. Glycerin will help get rid of not only marks on your own skin, but also stains on leather furniture, bags or clothes.However, you need to be careful with dark products – glycerin can leave white spots, so this method is suitable mainly for light materials.
If the paste turns out to be very corrosive, a mixture of baking soda and lemon juice will help. Citric acid itself has strong whitening properties. First, a little soda is applied to the stain, then a few drops of lemon juice are dripped. After such a “mask” you need to apply a nourishing cream to the skin, since soda in combination with lemon juice dries it out.
How else can you remove the mark from the handle on the leather
You can try any alcohol-based product (facial cleansing lotion or cologne) to wipe the pen off your skin. Ordinary nail polish remover will also help – apply the composition to a cotton pad and wipe the stained area with it. After cleaning, you need to wash this area of skin with soap and apply a moisturizer to it.
Under the power to cope with any ink and ordinary hairspray.Spray it on the ink stain and shake off the remaining paste and varnish after a minute with a paper towel.
how and how to remove traces of a pen from white and colored fabric
Author Ekaterina Frolova To read 9 min. Hits 685 Published by Updated by
Ink stains are considered difficult to remove. Regular powder will not help, especially if the contamination is stale. But how do you get the ballpoint or gel pen ink off your clothes at home? We have to use potent compounds that negatively affect the fabric.If the thing is made of a dense material that is not prone to discoloration, then pollution can be dealt with. If the fabric is delicate, then it is better not to risk it, but immediately go to the dry-cleaner.
How and how to remove ink stains
If you get ink from a pen from your clothes, you can stop the stain from spreading, but how can you remove the ink stain? This is not an easy task, even for household cleaning products and heavy-duty stain removers. You can remove a stain from a gel pen in the same way as from a ballpoint, but it is important not to waste time.The longer the dirt stays on the fabric, the more difficult it will be to remove it.
Various clarifiers and bleaches help well, but they cannot be used on colored things. Delicate laundry detergents will not remove ink stains the first time. We have to strengthen them with homemade products. Natural milk is considered an unexpected product in the fight against ink marks. But before we know how to use it, let’s talk about the ready-made stain removers available at hardware stores.
How to remove ink using affordable means? If a lot of ink has leaked out, then it is recommended to circle the stain along the contour with paraffin, then the trace will not creep. Do not rub a fresh stain with a rag or sponge. Better to blot it with a paper towel and apply spot remover. Gel formulations are preferred. They do not blur the print, but penetrate deep into the dirt.
It will be possible to wipe off the stain from the pen using the following products:
- Sodasan concentrate gel is a natural-based product that gently and delicately removes various dirt from any type of fabric.Among the disadvantages of the product are the high price and specific smell that remains for some time after washing;
- Vanish Oxi Action – housewives know how to wash ballpoint pen paste, traces of fruit and blood, and a versatile oxygen-based product helps them in this. Even if the stain remover fails the first time, after the second soaking the problem will be solved;
- BFB-liquid – copes well with ink marks, but not suitable for colored clothes.Has a whitening effect.
Among household chemicals in powder form, the leader is “ Sarma Active 5in1 ”. It removes ink from both jeans and shirt. It is not used except for wool and silk. A popular stain remover for baby clothes is Eared Nanny . It is distinguished by a gentle effect, does not cause allergic reactions, and is consumed sparingly.
How to wipe a pen without using household chemicals? If you have milk at hand, then you can moisten a section of clothing with it, and after half an hour wash the product in the usual way.Curdled milk works in a similar way – it is applied to a cotton pad and passed over the stain. The composition is allowed to “work” and then washed off with running water.
What else to wash the ballpoint pen:
- lemon juice – discolors the ink, but can wash off the ink from the fabric if the latter is prone to shedding. Before use, the juice is applied to an inconspicuous area to see the reaction;
- Hairspray – The list of useful recommendations for women includes the treatment of soiling with varnish.Representatives of the fair sex have such funds always at hand. Moreover, they can be applied both to fabric clothing, having previously placed a clean cloth under it, or to leather;
- Toothpaste – This is also used to combat ink prints. But only white paste will do. It should be thickly applied to the stain, set aside for 30 minutes. and wash off;
- ammonia and hydrogen peroxide – these components in tandem perfectly remove dirt, including ink.Take a teaspoon of both components in a glass of warm water, soak the stain with the solution, wait until clarification. If the dirt is persistent, and the fabric is dense and not prone to fading, you can use ammonia with peroxide without water;
- alcohol and laundry soap – first, wash the stain with medical alcohol, then lather thickly with laundry soap and leave overnight. In the morning, rinse and wash with powder. This method is good for denim and heavy fabrics.
Use baking soda to wash fresh ink off your clothing. It is diluted with water to a thick slurry and smeared on the print. Wash off after a couple of hours.
You can remove ink from a ballpoint pen from clothes with both dishwashing liquid and hand cream. In the first case, the imprint is lathered, lightly traversed with a sponge and washed off after a few minutes. In the second, cream is applied to the ink trail with a cotton pad, after 10 – 15 minutes they are blotted with dry napkins, then washed in the usual way.
You can mix lemon juice and hydrogen peroxide, apply the solution to the stain, previously lathered with laundry soap, and leave for 10 – 30 minutes, depending on the type of fabric. On thick cotton fabrics, you can leave the mixture for an hour.
Dealing with old ink is more difficult. It is not always possible to achieve a positive result. You can soak ink from a jacket or jeans using baking soda and ammonia, taken in equal proportions.They are diluted with water. Usually they take 2 tbsp for a glass. l. mixtures. It is good not just to wet the stain, but to pour it over so that the liquid covers the fabric. You can do this in a glass or small bowl. After three hours, the item is washed.
Another way to remove old ballpoint pen stains is to soak in gasoline with alcohol and soap. The soap is mixed with alcohol, heated, the same amount of gasoline is added, a little detergent in the form of a gel. The mixture is impregnated with the prints and left to dissolve.Then rinse and wash.
How else to remove ink? An interesting recipe with acetone and alcohol. The composition turns out to be aggressive, and therefore is not suitable for all clothes. Testing before use is mandatory. Both components are mixed and heated. The solution is applied with a cotton pad to the dirt. Remove with a dry cloth or clean cotton pad. Wash as usual.
How to remove ink from white items? Cotton products are more often white – bed linen, home textiles, clothing.A solution with ammonia is suitable for them. It is taken in a glass of only 4 ml. The stain is precisely treated, and after its clarification, it is washed off. From a shirt or white blouse made of delicate fabrics, contamination is removed with oxygen bleaches. If they are not on hand, you can use a dishwashing detergent diluted with baking soda. For stubborn dirt, a gel for cleaning plumbing will help out. However, it can ruin delicate fabrics.
Toothpaste or toothpaste will be able to wipe off ink from white clothes, but only with fresh stains.If you cannot remove ink prints from snow-white products, you can try the following method:
- dilute a few drops of potassium permanganate in table vinegar;
- Apply to ink mark;
- to blot with a napkin after discoloration of the stain;
- diluted in 2 st. l. water a tablet of hydroperite and moisten the trace of potassium permanganate. After clarification, the item is washed in the usual way.
This method allows you to remove the marks of the handle from white clothing, preferably without synthetics.But how to remove stains from white synthetic things from a ballpoint pen? In this case, sparing agents are used: yogurt, milk, mustard powder. If it is not possible to remove the traces of the handle from the white things from the first time, the processing is repeated. You can use lemon juice or citric acid dissolved in water.
Salt and soap will also work to remove the pen from a white shirt. The primary stain is treated with salt, and the remaining trace is washed off with soap. For recent soiling and sensitive tissues, the method is ideal.
If bleaching agents are recommended for white fabrics, then how to wash the ink from colored items, because for them such compositions are prohibited? When the dirt is fresh, regular talcum powder will help. They are sprinkled with a stain, and the powder absorbs most of the dirt. Then the thing is washed and washed with a detergent. Starch can replace talc. It is used in a similar way.
It is possible to wash off ink from colored fabrics both with the help of dishwashing gel and with the use of white toothpaste.But these methods are good for fresh dirt. More powerful means will be required to launder stubborn traces. In order not to be mistaken with their choice and not to spoil the clothes, it is better to give the thing for professional cleaning.
Cotton and linen
To wash the paste from the ballpoint pen from items made of natural fabrics, you can use household stain removers. Almost all products can be used on cotton. If they are not at hand, it is allowed to wash the stain with alcohol or sprinkle with hairspray. Vinegar diluted in half with water helps a lot.This solution removes ballpoint ink stains from both cotton and linen items.
Hand cream can be used on cotton fabric to dissolve the stain. Then the trace is washed off with dishwashing gel. Finally, wash with powder.
Use salt and lemon juice to remove ink from woolen clothing. First, sprinkle the stain with salt and then soak in the juice. After 15 – 30 minutes, rinse and wash by hand.
Handle marks on silk and woolen items can be successfully removed with mustard. The powder is diluted with water to the state of sour cream, applied to the stain. Then they are washed off and washed with powder in cool water.
Carpets and rugs
If ink gets on the carpet, how and with what to wash it? You can rub the stain with rubbing alcohol. With a napkin dipped in alcohol, pass from the edges to the center. Repeat several times. Alcohol does not start to “work” immediately, so the procedure is carried out within half an hour.
How to wipe ink off the lint? You can cover the print with shaving foam. It is left for 15 minutes, then removed with a napkin and washed off with a weak solution of vinegar.
In some cases, ink stains settle on upholstered furniture. Do not wash and rub the upholstery strongly. But how do you remove the ink so as not to permanently ruin the furniture? They take vinegar and alcohol equally, apply to the stain, blot with a dry napkin after a few minutes. If necessary, the upholstery is washed with soap suds and vacuumed.
How to scrub fresh ink off leather upholstery? Ammonia and glycerin will come to the rescue. They are mixed equally and applied to the stain. The product is also suitable for leather clothes, including light-colored ones. Gloves must be worn when working with ammonia.
Usually professional products are used to clean furniture. Dry pencils-stain removers and Amway spray have proven themselves well.
Dear readers of the Tkan.Club site, if you have any questions on this topic, we will be happy to answer them.Leave your feedback, comments, share stories if you dealt with pen stains! Your life experience may be useful to other readers.
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