The Best Ink Pen: Rollerball Pen vs. Ballpoint Pen

Have you ever stopped and wondered whether there was a difference between a rollerball pen vs. ballpoint pen? On the odd chance that you have, you may be surprised to know that there are many differences between the two types of ink pens that many people may not be aware of.

Whether you are someone who enjoys handwriting in their spare time or is required to write for work, the best ink pen can make a world of difference. But how do you choose which one is the best for you when there are so many brands, styles, and colors available on the market? Just thinking about it is giving me a headache! Luckily for you, we will be going over the ins and outs of the best rollerball pen and the best ballpoint pen so you can decide for yourself which is the best ink pen for you! If that sounds like something you would be interested in, then make sure to keep on reading! Let’s get right into it!

The Similarities Between Both Pens

While there are notable differences between rollerball pens and ballpoint pens that we will cover, it’s important that we fill you in on what both pens have in common! The similarity between the two is small yet power and lies in the tip of the pen itself that uses a revolving ball to dispense the ink.

So, What’s the Difference Between a Rollerball Pen vs. Ballpoint Pen?

Now that we’ve gone through the small similarity that these pens have in common, let’s take a look into some of the differences!

The Ink Used

This may come as a surprise to some and be common knowledge to others, but roll with me if you will. What’s pen ink made of, you may ask. Well, the best rollerball pens come equipped with water-based ink, while the best ballpoint pens use a thicker oil-based ink. Therefore, each pen eludes a different style of final result on the paper when writing.

In fact, some other noticeable differences are directly affected by the ink that each pen uses –who would have thought! For example, because the two pens use ink with differences in their consistency, while a rollerball pen can smear (especially with left-hand writers) and bleed through paper, a ballpoint pen is more consistent and less prone to smudge when in use. On the other hand, as the ink in a ballpoint pen is thicker, the user will need to apply more pressure while writing to make the pen work. In contrast, rollerball pens require less effort, making the ink strokes appear seamlessly when on paper. Thus, because rollerball pens take less effort naturally, this is going to be easier on your hand, which will allow you to write for longer without feeling any discomfort!

The Barrel Style

Another noticeable difference between a rollerball pen vs. ballpoint pen is the variation in barrel styles that hold the ink. Like we said because each pen uses a different consistency of ink, it only makes sense that the barrel style would vary between the two pen styles! For example, as a ballpoint pen uses oil-based ink, it is less likely to dry out over time than water-based ink. Therefore, you will notice that ballpoint pens are typically manufactured to be click or twist pens, whereas a rollerball pen will have a cap –the more you know! 

The Writing Quality

Next on our list of differences, and evidently one of the most important aspects between the two pens is the overall writing quality that they provide the user. For example, as a rollerball pen is more fluid in its use, it is naturally accompanied by a thinner ink line. It is suited for those who are looking to create small strokes and write for longer without their hand tiring out without sacrificing the elegance of the final result. On the other hand, as a ballpoint pen is more controlled in nature, these types of pens are more suitable for writing in journals, signing documents, or writing letters (including postcards with a slick wax coating) as they are less likely to smudge and are pretty structured on the page.

The Pros and Cons of the Best Ink Pens

Now that we’ve covered the key differences between the best ink pens, let’s take this a step further and look at the pros and cons of each pen, so you can make your decision as to which one you should look into purchasing the next time you need some new stationery!

Ballpoint PensRollerball Pens
Ballpoint pens are less prone to smudging Due to the thickness of the ink, ballpoint pens are less likely to bleed through paper. Convenient for signing important documents and lettersEffortless strokes when writing Perfect for finer details and drawings as it requires less pressure and is easier on the hand when writing  
You are more likely to experience ink blobs The ink can become extremely sticky over time if not handled with careRequires more effort when writingInk can smudge very easily and seep through paper Rollerball pens are more likely to dry out faster than ballpoint pens

Where to Use Your Pen

Now, you’re probably thinking all these facts about pens are great, but where exactly am I supposed to use them. Am I right? Well, don’t worry because I’m going to fill you in on just that!

When it comes to ballpoint pens, you’re better off using them on a slicker paper such as a cashier receipt as it will not smudge. These pens are also not going to dry out if kept properly. Therefore, you are better off carrying these around for your everyday use.

On the other hand, rollerball pens are innovative with their ergonomic design and are perfect for those who are writing frequently as they have a smooth ink and require less effort as we mentioned. Therefore, use these pens with quality papers and stationery as opposed to carrying them around with you on a day to day basis.

Common Questions

Now that we’ve gone over the differences of each of the best ink pens, where to use them, and their pros and cons let’s take a look at some common questions that we typically get from our customers!

Will ballpoint pen washout?

Generally speaking, because ballpoint pens use an oil-based ink that is water proof, it may be more challenging to get out of your clothing than the ink in a rollerball pen.

Our rollerball pens better than ballpoint?

As you can see from what we’ve gone over above, while each pen has its pros and cons, it really depends on the user and what they are looking for!

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