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Rollerball vs Ballpoint: What's the Difference

Rollerball vs Ballpoint: What's the Difference

09 Mar, 2021

What’s the difference between Rollerball and Ballpoint Pens?

At first glance, the rollerball and ballpoint pens can seem similar, however there are differences between the two types that can greatly impact your writing experience. And we all want to find the right pen. 

This article will help you to make the right choice for you and your writing style.

The main difference between the Rollerball and the Ballpoint pen is the ink that is used.

The Rollerball Pen

 The Rollerball pen is known for writing smoother and allows you to use less pressure when you’re writing. The reason for this is that the rollerball pen uses a liquid-based ink (similar to Fountain Pen Ink). As such, the ink can take longer to dry on the page. Be warned.

However, because you don’t need to use a lot of pressure for the ink to flow freely, it’s great for long writing sessions (students, authors, journaling).

It’s important when you’re using rollerball pens to keep the cap of the pen on when not in use as this keeps the pen from drying out. Also, if you’re using a thin paper (like the Traveler’s Notebook Lightweight Paper), you’ll be able to see your writing on the reverse side of the page more than you would with a ballpoint.

  • Vivid ink colours 
  • Smooth writing feel 
  • Longer to dry (prone to smudge) 

Favourite Rollerball Pens include:

The Ballpoint Pen 

The ballpoint pen differs from the rollerball in that it uses an oil-based ink. The benefit of this type of refill is that it won't easily dry out and will last longer. This often results in a lighter line and a drier feel when writing. Because of this, the ballpoint pen is not prone to smudging so we find that the Ballpoint Pen a reliable friend for our left-handed compatriots.

Ballpoint pens usually have a twist or push button mechanism to extend and retract the writing point. Apart from being able to keep your pen case or bag free from ink marks, this makes it much quicker to get writing and more convenient when note taking.

  • The pen lasts longer 
  • Less "show through" on light papers 
  • No cap required 
  • Minimal smudge 

Favourite Ballpoint Pens include:

All the pens mentioned above are refillable pens. We recommend that you purchase a refill/replacement cartridge with your pen to keep you writing.

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