Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 30

Thread: Rollerball vs. Ballpoint

  1. #1
    Senior Member stevekolt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    448
    Thanks
    29
    Thanked 84 Times in 56 Posts
    Rep Power
    6

    Default Rollerball vs. Ballpoint

    Why should I buy a ballpoint when a rollerball covers the same bases? Serious question...

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    577
    Thanks
    535
    Thanked 525 Times in 237 Posts
    Rep Power
    5

    Default Re: Rollerball vs. Ballpoint

    Ballpoints work better on shiny paper and newsprint, and don't bleed. Refills last longer. You feel safer lending one.

  3. #3
    Senior Member dfo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Somewhere in the hills of eastern Washington
    Posts
    294
    Thanks
    340
    Thanked 214 Times in 114 Posts
    Rep Power
    4

    Default Re: Rollerball vs. Ballpoint

    I see no need for a ballpoint pen. Rollerballs take a variety of refills that can fill any void of a ballpoint. I purchased a Lamy 2000 (L2K) ballpoint pen a few years ago, quickly sold it, and then picked up a L2K rollerball that still remains part of my EDC with a L2k fountain pen (BB) and a L2k mechanical pencil. I use either Pilot G2 or Pentel EnerGel needlepoint refills. The thin line of the Pentel refills works great on any paper.
    "Love is the final fight."

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to dfo For This Useful Post:

    Ahriman4891 (December 20th, 2018)

  5. #4
    FPG Donor ♕ Chrissy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Berkshire UK
    Posts
    4,525
    Thanks
    2,014
    Thanked 3,823 Times in 1,417 Posts
    Rep Power
    11

    Default Re: Rollerball vs. Ballpoint

    A ballpoint often works better than a rollerball in situations where you don't wish to be encumbered by removing the cap from a pen so that you can quickly write something.

    I'm imagining a really busy immigration scene at an airport when you quickly need to fill in a form of some sort and you're surrounded by people everywhere and have several bags in one hand. A twist action ballpoint seems like the right tool for that job.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens | FPGeeks Ink Review Index

  6. #5
    Senior Member grainweevil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Cornwall, UK
    Posts
    1,046
    Thanks
    167
    Thanked 438 Times in 245 Posts
    Rep Power
    7

    Default Re: Rollerball vs. Ballpoint

    Quote Originally Posted by catbert View Post
    Ballpoints work better on shiny paper and newsprint, and don't bleed.
    That would be my thinking too. To be honest I've always found the rollerball to be the worst of both worlds and dislike them intensely, but clearly lots of people do like them so I've long since concluded it's another of them foibles wot I suffer from.

  7. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    66
    Thanks
    9
    Thanked 23 Times in 17 Posts
    Rep Power
    1

    Default Re: Rollerball vs. Ballpoint

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    A ballpoint often works better than a rollerball in situations where you don't wish to be encumbered by removing the cap from a pen so that you can quickly write something
    There are plenty of "rollerball" retractables now. Pilot V series liquid ink pens, Signo gel pens, the Jetstream RT (that's a hybrid - it splits the difference between a rollerball and ballpoint - it's a low pressure writer but still produces the odd ballpoint smudge.)

  8. #7
    Senior Member migo984's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Bi-hemispherical Global Nomad
    Posts
    2,399
    Thanks
    574
    Thanked 2,893 Times in 1,011 Posts
    Rep Power
    8

    Default Re: Rollerball vs. Ballpoint

    Things a ballpoint pen can do better than a rollerball:
    - sketch on cartridge and Eco drawing paper
    - label freezer bags
    - fill in The Guardian crossword
    - write in shiny greetings cards
    - release the case on my phone
    - fill in forms that still use NCR (yes these are still around)
    - provide a temporary fix for my car parcel shelf

  9. #8
    FPG Donor ♕ Chrissy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Berkshire UK
    Posts
    4,525
    Thanks
    2,014
    Thanked 3,823 Times in 1,417 Posts
    Rep Power
    11

    Default Re: Rollerball vs. Ballpoint

    Quote Originally Posted by ilikenails View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    A ballpoint often works better than a rollerball in situations where you don't wish to be encumbered by removing the cap from a pen so that you can quickly write something
    There are plenty of "rollerball" retractables now. Pilot V series liquid ink pens, Signo gel pens, the Jetstream RT (that's a hybrid - it splits the difference between a rollerball and ballpoint - it's a low pressure writer but still produces the odd ballpoint smudge.)
    I've tried several retractable rollerballs and have found they dry out quicker than non-retractable rollerballs and ballpoints. I keep my Signo in a plastic ziplock bag....
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens | FPGeeks Ink Review Index

  10. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    66
    Thanks
    9
    Thanked 23 Times in 17 Posts
    Rep Power
    1

    Default Re: Rollerball vs. Ballpoint

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ilikenails View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    A ballpoint often works better than a rollerball in situations where you don't wish to be encumbered by removing the cap from a pen so that you can quickly write something
    There are plenty of "rollerball" retractables now. Pilot V series liquid ink pens, Signo gel pens, the Jetstream RT (that's a hybrid - it splits the difference between a rollerball and ballpoint - it's a low pressure writer but still produces the odd ballpoint smudge.)
    I've tried several retractable rollerballs and have found they dry out quicker than non-retractable rollerballs and ballpoints. I keep my Signo in a plastic ziplock bag....
    I never had a problem with my Signos - other than how quickly the refills got used up in writing. You might want to try the Jetstream. I find the bodies irritating, but the refills swap into Signo bodies. They're very still smooth and the ink capacity seems like it's two or three times higher. A 0.5mm Jetstream is about the same as a 0.38 Signo. (Although at the moment my non-fp choice is the Japan-only Ultra Fine version of the Eye/Vision, which is a capped pen.)

  11. #10
    Senior Member Kaputnik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    By the long tidal river.
    Posts
    554
    Thanks
    741
    Thanked 566 Times in 272 Posts
    Rep Power
    8

    Default Re: Rollerball vs. Ballpoint

    Rollerballs were sort of a gateway writing instrument for me, when I began keeping my journal with them, maybe 10 to 12 years ago. They were nicer to write with than ballpoints under "normal" conditions, decent paper, sitting at a table or desk, etc. Then someone said "you should try a fountain pen".

    The thing is that now, under almost any conditions where I might use a rollerball, I would prefer to use a fountain pen, and there's no reason why I can't. The ballpoints are useful for "other" conditions. A little Fisher Space Pen rides around in my pants pocket, while my shirt pocket holds a fountain pen and a mechanical pencil (there will probably be more of those in my laptop case or other bag if I'm carrying one). The Fisher may go unused for a couple of weeks, but then I'll need to write something against a vertical surface, outside in the cold, on rough cardboard, you get the idea. Oh, and there's another Space Pen that sits in my car, along with a pencil. I don't have to worry about extremes of temperature ruining it, and indeed it does start right up when I test it.

    It's a matter of the right tool for the job. On the rare occasions when I might write on plastic, I'd rather use a Sharpie.
    "So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do."
    Benjamin Franklin

  12. #11
    Senior Member Paddler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Northeast Ohio
    Posts
    390
    Thanks
    46
    Thanked 443 Times in 228 Posts
    Rep Power
    4

    Default Re: Rollerball vs. Ballpoint

    You want a ballpoint when you want to take notes in an adversarial situation, like with your boss or a banker. A fountain pen tends to tear up your paper; you can lean on a ballpoint more.
    Written on a real computer and real keyboard with capital letters, punctuation, and everything.

  13. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    577
    Thanks
    535
    Thanked 525 Times in 237 Posts
    Rep Power
    5

    Default Re: Rollerball vs. Ballpoint

    Quote Originally Posted by grainweevil View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by catbert View Post
    Ballpoints work better on shiny paper and newsprint, and don't bleed.
    That would be my thinking too. To be honest I've always found the rollerball to be the worst of both worlds and dislike them intensely, but clearly lots of people do like them so I've long since concluded it's another of them foibles wot I suffer from.
    I can get behind a precise, fine-tipped roller but itís still going to smear on shiny paper and catch on newsprint. Some situations call for a clicky ballpoint. Or a pencil. As Kaputnik said, the right tool for the job.

  14. #13
    Senior Member usk15's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    St Helier, Jersey
    Posts
    212
    Thanks
    212
    Thanked 142 Times in 67 Posts
    Rep Power
    6

    Default Re: Rollerball vs. Ballpoint

    Ballpoint, rollerball and gel refills are on the same grounds: using a rolling ball to get ink on the paper. The difference stay in the ink formula.

    Rollerball use liquid ink like a fountain pen
    Ballpoint use oil based ink.
    Gel use pigments suspended in water based gel.


    Now rollerball refills are usually encapsulated in a single type of cartridge. Gel cartridges are similar in design to RB, but there are some of them made in a similar way to Parker Style refill. Ballpoint refills come into couple of standard and proprietary cartridges. Because of that there is a lot of confusion how to differentiate all of them into individual category.

    Also, as far as I know, rollerball refills are not document proof. But there are some gel (Pentel Energel Permanent) and some ballpoint refills that are standardized for document proof. Not all BP and Gel refills are document proof!

    Another criteria to separate them is that RB are prone to dry if not caped, while Gel and BP refill can take a beat of it, usually if they are not used for a week or so.

    The newest Hybrid BP/RB refills are kind of best of both worlds, can write on many surfaces, not drying if not use for a long time uncapped, document proof, come into different cartridge type/shape. I have test and like Schmidt easyFlow, Uniball Jetstream, Papermate InkJoy and Pilot Acroball. But I still don't know what is their ink formula, how is made.

  15. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    San Marino
    Posts
    44
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 11 Times in 9 Posts
    Rep Power
    0

    Default Re: Rollerball vs. Ballpoint

    I never got along with rollerballs. Smudges, not waterproof, not good for cheap paper, ink pools of you stop on the paper for whatever reason. Also, being left handed I tend to push rather than pull the tip along, and every letter is a mess.
    For me, it's a no.

    Never tried a refillable ink, don't know what is it called, inkball pen maybe? Something like the Herbin roller or PenBBS350. Maybe with a good iron gall ink, it would be different. But I'd rather not have to find out the hard way.

  16. #15
    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Central Pennsylvania USA
    Posts
    2,052
    Thanks
    390
    Thanked 1,977 Times in 861 Posts
    Rep Power
    9

    Default Re: Rollerball vs. Ballpoint

    I prefer the look of writing from rollerball, but I agree with the comments about about a rollerball's cap. Twist-action ballpoints are a PITA in my hand, because the mechanism inevitably rotates back into the barrel as I write, so I opt for clickers (button or clip) which can be had for very little. I use a lovely vintage sterling Parker Cisele button-action pen, which seems to be in less demand by collectors than the girthier (I made that up) twist-action style.

  17. #16
    Senior Member jacksterp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Raleigh
    Posts
    475
    Thanks
    206
    Thanked 156 Times in 108 Posts
    Rep Power
    6

    Default Re: Rollerball vs. Ballpoint

    Quote Originally Posted by FredRydr View Post
    I prefer the look of writing from rollerball, but I agree with the comments about about a rollerball's cap. Twist-action ballpoints are a PITA in my hand, because the mechanism inevitably rotates back into the barrel as I write, so I opt for clickers (button or clip) which can be had for very little. I use a lovely vintage sterling Parker Cisele button-action pen, which seems to be in less demand by collectors than the girthier (I made that up) twist-action style.
    Try a Retro 51 rollerball.

    Never had it rotate back into the barrel - never.

  18. #17
    Senior Member grainweevil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Cornwall, UK
    Posts
    1,046
    Thanks
    167
    Thanked 438 Times in 245 Posts
    Rep Power
    7

    Default Re: Rollerball vs. Ballpoint

    Quote Originally Posted by catbert View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by grainweevil View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by catbert View Post
    Ballpoints work better on shiny paper and newsprint, and don't bleed.
    That would be my thinking too. To be honest I've always found the rollerball to be the worst of both worlds and dislike them intensely, but clearly lots of people do like them so I've long since concluded it's another of them foibles wot I suffer from.
    I can get behind a precise, fine-tipped roller but itís still going to smear on shiny paper and catch on newsprint. Some situations call for a clicky ballpoint. Or a pencil. As Kaputnik said, the right tool for the job.
    Tell you what I can get behind, and risk tar and feathering for saying it, but a needlepoint ballpoint. I nearly cried when my mother managed (within half an hour of lending it) to lose my Parker Jotter with an Ohto needlepoint refill and I couldn't get another. Then nearly cried again when Cult Pens had them available again.

    I know, I know. Over a ballpoint. I'll go and rotate all my ink bottles in penance. Be back in a month...

  19. The Following User Says Thank You to grainweevil For This Useful Post:

    catbert (December 20th, 2018)

  20. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    577
    Thanks
    535
    Thanked 525 Times in 237 Posts
    Rep Power
    5

    Default Re: Rollerball vs. Ballpoint

    Quote Originally Posted by grainweevil View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by catbert View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by grainweevil View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by catbert View Post
    Ballpoints work better on shiny paper and newsprint, and don't bleed.
    That would be my thinking too. To be honest I've always found the rollerball to be the worst of both worlds and dislike them intensely, but clearly lots of people do like them so I've long since concluded it's another of them foibles wot I suffer from.
    I can get behind a precise, fine-tipped roller but itís still going to smear on shiny paper and catch on newsprint. Some situations call for a clicky ballpoint. Or a pencil. As Kaputnik said, the right tool for the job.
    Tell you what I can get behind, and risk tar and feathering for saying it, but a needlepoint ballpoint. I nearly cried when my mother managed (within half an hour of lending it) to lose my Parker Jotter with an Ohto needlepoint refill and I couldn't get another. Then nearly cried again when Cult Pens had them available again.

    I know, I know. Over a ballpoint. I'll go and rotate all my ink bottles in penance. Be back in a month...
    Will have to seek one of those out ...

  21. #19
    Senior Member grainweevil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Cornwall, UK
    Posts
    1,046
    Thanks
    167
    Thanked 438 Times in 245 Posts
    Rep Power
    7

    Default Re: Rollerball vs. Ballpoint

    20% off at Cult Pens at minute.

    No, I'm not being paid by Cult Pens. They're Devonians; it would require a trade deal involving some sort of pasty conversion rate and a cream-on-top backstop. It can never happen.

  22. #20
    Senior Member KBeezie's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Michigan
    Posts
    1,561
    Thanks
    106
    Thanked 1,057 Times in 451 Posts
    Rep Power
    6

    Default Re: Rollerball vs. Ballpoint

    I feel like in regards to "covering all bases" option, the idea being to get something that'll work on paper that a fountain pen one.

    In the case of a rollerball, if it is liquid ink you still have the same limitations as a fountain pen (except needing to write at a specific angle), so don't really see the need to have a RB as covering all your bases.

    So I aim at either a ballpoint (will write on most everything, and doesn't feather/bleed, and has the pressure requirement for carbon copies) to my preference of using a gel pen (like a Pilot G2) as my main backup, since the gel will not likely feather/bleed, but does take longer to dry than a typical ballpoint.

    There's also the Zebra Emulsion ink (sort of a combination of traits).

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •