Difference Between Ballpoint And Rollerball

Comparisons, Knowledgebase

Last Updated on November 25, 2022 by mdmtool

Ballpoint and rollerball are both widely used for writing. There are many similarities between them as well as differences.

What Is Ballpoint?

what is ballpoint

A ballpoint pen is a pen that uses a small rotating ball to transfer ink from its internal reservoir to the paper. The ballpoint pen was invented in 1888 by Hungarian journalist László Bíró, who was looking for a pen that would write more smoothly than the existing pens on the market.

What Is Rollerball?


A rollerball pen is a type of pen that uses a ballpoint to rotate and produce ink on paper. The Ballpoint is usually made of steel, brass, or tungsten carbide. Rollerball pens were first invented in 1963 by the Japanese company Ohio.

Ballpoint Vs. Rollerball

differ of rollerball

  • Ink: Ballpoint ink is inside a small ball that fits into a socket at the end of the pen. The ball is free to rotate in the socket, and as it does so, it picks up ink from the cartridge and transfers it to the paper. Rollerball ink is thinner than ballpoint ink and contains less pigment.
  • Bodies and mechanism: Ballpoint bodies are made of steel, brass, or plastic and have a small ball at the end. The balls are usually made of steel or ceramic. Rollerball bodies are also made of steel, brass, or plastic but have a small wheel at the end.
  • Writing Styles: Ballpoint pens produce a finer, more consistent line than rollerball pens. Rollerball pens have bolder, more expressive lines.
  • Uses: Ballpoint pens are better for writing on glossy paper and for use in extreme cold or heat. Rollerball pens are better for use on porous paper and in normal conditions.
  • Color and depth: Ballpoint pens usually have black ink, but they can also have blue, red, or green ink. Rollerball pens can have any color of ink.
  • Smoothness: Ballpoint pen ink is less likely to smudge than rollerball pen ink. Rollerball pen ink is more likely to smudge than ballpoint pen ink.
  • Comfort: Ballpoint pens are more comfortable to use for extended periods than rollerball pens. Rollerball pens are more comfortable to use for short periods than ballpoint pens.
  • Price: Ballpoint pens are usually less expensive than rollerball pens. Rollerball pens are generally more costly than ballpoint pens.
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How Does A Rollerball Pen Work?

A rollerball pen uses a ballpoint to rotate and produce a smooth, fluid line of ink. The ink is supplied to the ball via a tiny hole in the tip of the pen, and as the ball rotates, it picks up ink from this hole and transfers it to the paper.

The main advantage of a rollerball pen over a ballpoint pen is its much smoother writing experience. The ink flows more freely from the pen, resulting in a line that is less likely to skip or smudge. Rollerball pens are generally easier to write with for extended periods, as the ink requires less pressure to flow from the pen.

How Does A Ballpoint Pen Work?

use of ballpoint

A ballpoint pen is a pen that uses a small metal ball to transfer ink from the pen’s reservoir to the paper. The ball is held in place by a socket, and as the pen is moved across the paper, the ball rolls and spins, picking up ink from the reservoir and depositing it on the form.

The ink in ballpoint pens is thick and oily, which allows the ink to flow smoothly from the reservoir to the paper. Ballpoint pens are designed to write for long periods without drying out or skipping, and they can be used on various papers, including glossy and coated papers.

Types Of Ballpoint

There are two main types of ballpoint pens:

  • Disposable ballpoint: Disposable ballpoints are, as their name suggests, designed to be used once and then thrown away. On the other hand, refillable ballpoints can be refilled with ink once they run out.
  • Refillable: Refillable ballpoints use a thinner ink designed to flow more smoothly from the pen’s reservoir. This makes them ideal for smooth surfaces such as glass or plastic. However, because the ink is thinner, it is more likely to leak from the pen and clog its mechanism.
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Types Of Rollerball

Rollerball pens come in two main types:

  • Liquid ink: Liquid ink pens have a water-based solution that contains pigments or dyes. Liquid ink pens tend to have a smoother, more consistent writing experience.
  • Gel ink: Gel ink pens have thicker ink made from pigment suspended in a polymer gel. Gel ink pens often have brighter, more vibrant colors.

How To Refill A Ballpoint Pen

  • Step 1: Find the right size ballpoint pen refill. You can measure the old ballpoint pen refill or take it to the store to find a replacement.
  • Step2: Unscrew the barrel of the ballpoint pen. Be careful not to lose the small spring that may pop out when you unscrew the barrel.
  • Step3: Pull out the old ballpoint pen refill.
  • Step4: Insert the new ballpoint pen refill into the barrel, careful not to lose the small spring.
  • Step5: Screw the barrel of the pen back on.


How I can store my pens to prevent drying out?

You can store your pen from dying out by storing their tip down. Always put a cap on your rollerball pen and also store them in an airtight container.


A rollerball pen may be better if you need a pen that writes quickly and with a dark line. A ballpoint pen may be the way to go if you prefer a more affordable pen that is less likely to leak or skip. Ultimately, the best way to choose is to try out both types of pens and see which one you prefer.

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