How to choose between Ballpoint and Rollerball
Though ballpoints and rollerballs share similarities, there are several important contrasts between the two. Both writing instruments take their name from a ball-bearing writing tip, but their respective inks produce different results. Here we explain the key features of ballpoints and rollerballs, so that you can choose the right Montblanc pen to suit you.
Convenient and versatile, rollerballs are a good option for those not wanting to spend a premium on a fountain pen. They use a liquid ink that produces a strong line on the page. Designed as an on-the-go alternative to a fountain pen, rollerballs are easy to use. Like a fountain pen, they use a liquid ink that creates a similar fluid writing experience. This type of ink also comes in a wide range of colours.
Rollerball pens use water-based ink, which can dry out when exposed to air. As a result, their tip needs to be enclosed with a cap. When not in use, remember re-attach the cap to your rollerball to extend the life of the refill.
The fluid ink used in rollerballs creates a smooth, flowing writing experience. This pen works well for writing signatures, letters, and hand-written notes. Less pressure needs to be applied when writing, making the pen more comfortable to use over long periods. However, the ink may take a little longer to dry, making it more prone to smudging. Depending on the pressure applied and the quality of paper used, this pen may also produce a slight bleed through the page.
Rollerball refills are available in three different tip sizes – fine, medium, and broad – each creating a different line width. Choose the size that suits your preferred writing style. Montblanc rollerball refills are also interchangeable with fineliner refills.
Made for busy lifestyles, ballpoints are easy to write with. Their innovative design allows the pen to be used one handed. They use quick-drying ink, which allows notes to be taken quickly without smudging. Located at the entry price point of collections, ballpoints are a versatile ‘starter’ pen for writers new to Montblanc.
Because of their thick ink, which is less prone to drying out, ballpoints do not require a cap. Instead, the refill tip is concealed inside the barrel. A simple twist or click mechanism is used to expose the tip, ready for writing.
Offering smooth action and precise control, ballpoints are a useful tool for notetaking and filling out important documents. Their ink dries almost instantly, making these pens a good choice for left-handed writers. Smudging and bleeds are also less likely to happen. This thick ink lasts for a long time, making these pens less prone to drying out. However, the ink can sometimes be slightly sticky, which can cause blotches on the paper after periods of non-usage.
Every Montblanc ballpoint comes with a refill when purchased. Refills are available for fine, medium, and broad-tip ballpoint models. Each tip size can be recognised by the letter at the top of the refill (‘F’, ‘M’ or ‘B’).
A Quick Guide
Ballpoint pens are versatile, easy to use and less likely to dry out. Rollerballs form a smooth, fluid line and can be used comfortably for long periods. Each writing instrument work wells with different writing styles and tasks.
Rollerballs use a fluid water-based ink similar to the kind used in fountain pens. Though more prone to drying out, this ink creates a smooth, flowing writing experience, making rollerballs a natural choice for personal hand-written letters. On the other hand, the thick ink used in ballpoints lasts for a long time. As it also dries quickly, these pens are useful for fast, smudge-free notetaking.
Though they each bring something special to the page, ballpoints and rollerballs aren’t so different. As both are suited to different tasks, rather than having to choose between the two, why not invest in both? By owning both a ballpoint and a rollerball, you’ll be better equipped for owning the right pen for every writing scenario.