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, lawyers, all people use pens. Unless you are using a luxury pen sprinkled with gold or other jewelries, a regular pen seems to be very simple. If you take a closer look at your pen, chances are you will find either it’s a ballpoint type or rollerball type pen. Another popular type is a fountain pen, but it is now considered an old-fashioned one as it has been available long before ballpoint or rollerball was invented ( Fountain pens are still wonderful tools ).

Writing is becoming more personal and exclusive, and therefore it can be actually difficult to find one-fits-all pen for everyone. There is no single ideal pen for all people, but there is always 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; the instructive standard is three to four times the amount of ballpoint. This is why writing with rollerball pen leaves bold vivid line, but there are probably smudges. Rollerball pen is not suitable if you are writing on poor quality paper. Gel pens often lump 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 who write tiny letters, this may cause a problem. But the good thing from a rollerball is that it allows you to write smoothly as the pointy ball that delivers the ink rolls very smoothly too because water is less sticky or less concentrated 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. In case you have injuries on the hand with which 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 usually 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. Besides for preventing the ink from drying up, a cap is useful to protect your books, paper, and everything else on your desk from potential ink leaks.


Another feature of a perfect pen is good design, not only in terms of weight or balance, but also appearance. A person can easily develop a feeling towards a pen if it is good-looking. It brings pride, joy, style, and probably the luxury of writing. In most cases, a pen is disposable thing unless you are using fountain type; the price for ink refill is less expensive than purchasing brand new. People find it hard to pay great deal of attention to disposable things, 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 the regular piece of paper you have. 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 your need is not going to be difficult process.

Check out our best selling ballpoint pens

Or take a look at our best selling rollerball pens

We hope that clear up all the differences of Ballpoint Pen Versus Rollerball Pen! Got any questions? Feel free to leave us a comment!

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