Ballpoint Pen Versus Rollerball Pen

Should I Use A Ballpoint Or Rollerball Pen?

This blog will teach you all about Ballpoint Pen Versus Rollerball Pen!

A pen is an everyday tool for everybody regardless of profession: doctors, teachers, journalists, accountants, and lawyers all use pens. Unless you are using a luxury pen sprinkled with gold, a regular pen can seem very simple. If you take a closer look at your pen, chances are you will find it’s either a ballpoint or rollerball type pen. Another popular type is a fountain pen, but it is now considered by some to be old fashioned as it has been available long before ballpoint or rollerball was invented (Fountain pens are still wonderful tools, however).

Writing is becoming more personal and exclusive, and therefore it can actually be difficult to find a pen suitable for everyone. There is no single ideal pen for all people, but there will always be one that suits your handwriting style best. Today we will focus on the difference between ballpoint and rollerball pens including their advantages over each other.


The biggest difference between ballpoint and rollerball is not the shape, but the ink. In a ballpoint, the ink is oil-based and therefore it takes a little bit longer to dry. The good thing is that the ink tends to smear less during the drying process. If you have a habit of running fingers over recently written lines while you’re adding more, ballpoint is probably a good choice for you. Oil-based ink formula, however, causes the ball to be less responsive and some people call it “scratchy”.

On the other hand, rollerball uses water-based ink or gel. A rollerball pen puts more ink onto the paper compared to its ballpoint counterpart; usually three to four times the amount of a ballpoint. This is why writing with rollerball pen leaves a bold vivid line, but there may be smudges. Rollerball pen is not suitable if you are writing on poor quality paper. Gel pens often get lumped together with rollerball, but they actually use a different type of ink.

Choices of Paper

Because ballpoint uses oil-based ink, your writing tends to float on top of the paper, whereas the ink of a rollerball soaks into the paper. A thin paper is best used with ballpoint to prevent smudges. This is why students, teachers, or journalists who often write on both sides of a paper usually prefer ballpoint to rollerball.

If you are writing on coated paper, the ink from a rollerball may not be able to saturate paper well. When using standard paper, rollerball may not create sharp lines either because the ink will spread all around as it tries to sink into the paper. For those with small handwriting, this may cause a problem. But the good thing from a rollerball is that it allows you to write smoothly as the ball that delivers the ink rolls very smoothly because water is less sticky than oil. You can write with less effort because you don’t have to put much pressure to the paper to make sharp-looking lines; it is less stressful on the hand. Water-based ink is also very thin, resulting in more expressive writing.

Act of Writing

Rollerball does not require you to push down hard when you write, so it may help you to get rid of that habit. If you have injuries on the hand which causes your hands get tired quickly such as arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome, a rollerball pen is your best choice. In this situation, rollerball type is helpful indeed, but you also need to use a pen with thicker barrel and hefty weight. Remember that a good pen is properly weighted, meaning you don’t have to push down too hard, regardless of the pen type.

The Caps

An obvious advantage of oil-based ink over its water-based counterpart is readiness. A pen with oil-based ink does not require a cap because the ink does not dry up so easily. Most models use click or twist mechanism, so the pen is always ready to use. Water-based ink can easily dry up and therefore requires a cap to seal moisture. As well as preventing drying, caps can protect your books, paper, and everything else on your desk from potential ink leaks.


Another feature of a perfect pen is good design. The writing experience can greatly change if the pen is good-looking. It could bring pride, joy, style, and luxury to writing. In a lot of cases, a pen is disposable; People rarely pay attention to disposable items, but a pen can be personal if it has everything that it takes to deliver great performance and pride in writing.


If you are not sure about what pen type to use, you can always do a quick test and compare them on a piece of paper. Both of them use the same mechanism; there is a ball that rolls over as you write on paper. The ball is inked by a reservoir connected to it. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, but ink and choices of paper are the major differences. Because they are relatively inexpensive and widely available in any office-supply stores, trying and finding a perfect pen for you need not be difficult.

Check out our bestselling ballpoint pens

Or take a look at our bestselling rollerball pens

We hope this article has cleared up all the differences of Ballpoint Pen Versus Rollerball Pen!

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