Difference Between Ballpoint and Rollerball

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: September 07, 2022


Difference Between Ballpoint and Rollerball Difference Between Ballpoint and Rollerball

Why read @ Diffzy

Our articles are well-researched

We make unbiased comparisons

Our content is free to access

We are a one-stop platform for finding differences and comparisons

We compare similar terms in both tabular forms as well as in points


On paper, drawing and writing are both done with pens, and both may be done at the same time. The term "pen" refers to a certain sort of implement that may be used for the act of writing. The nib at the end of the writing instrument is where the ink in the pen is dispensed when it is used to write on a surface such as paper. There were many other kinds of pens available in the past, such as quill pens, reed pens, and dip pens, to name just a few of the available options. On the other hand, in these modern times, we do not use the kind of pen that was dipped into the ink as we did in the days gone by. These pens are used for very specialized tasks, such as when one is engaging in the arts of sketching or calligraphy. Pens have been replaced by newer variations like Ball pens, Ballpoint pens, gel pens, etc.

The fact that ballpoint and rollerball pens come equipped with "balls" is primarily responsible for the widespread acceptance of these writing instruments in nations all over the world. Case To put it another way, in both a figurative and literal meaning at the same time. These pens are powered by a novel technology that consists of an anterior chamber that is filled with ink and can be removed for refilling. The rolling movement of a small metal sphere composed of brass, steel, or tungsten carbide distributes the ink through the tip of the pen while it is being used. The sphere may be constructed of any of the three materials. Writing with the device is made exceedingly easy by the fact that it has been in use for more than a century and a half. The ink is the only component that is significantly different between the two pens; the rest of the components are almost similar.

Ballpoint Pen vs Rollerball Pen

The main difference between a rollerball pen and a ballpoint pen is that rollerball pens employ water-based inks, resulting in writing that is crisper and more vivid than that produced by ballpoint pens. Writing using a ballpoint pen, which uses a spot of ink that is oil-based, requires less pressure and more deliberation. There are advantages to using either a rollerball or a ballpoint pen, as well as circumstances in which one may be more suitable than the other.

The more readily affordable and accessible ink used by ballpoint pens is oil-based, while the ink utilized by rollerball pens may either be water-based liquid or gel. And this seemingly little difference ends up having a significant impact on the author's handwriting as well as the overall aesthetic of the finished output. It is necessary to give a ballpoint pen a "push" for the ink to be distributed properly and for it to write legibly. This is the case while using the pen. Due to the increased viscosity of its ink, it does not have an ink supply that flows freely, which means that the writer has to apply continual pressure to guarantee consistent visibility. This may be fairly taxing on the supporting wrist and fingers because of the pressure that is required. On the other hand, this feature makes it less likely that the ballpoint pen will leak.

On the other hand, a rollerball pen requires far less pressure to produce the desired effect. The result is increased comfort for the person using it while also reducing their overall energy use. In terms of quality, a rollerball tends to have an impact that is more beautiful than that of a ballpoint since the former produces strokes that are finer and crisper than the latter. In addition to this, it has exceptional writing capabilities, such as being able to saturate the paper more deeply and extensively, as if it had been written with a more distinguished fountain pen.

Rollerball pens that use liquid ink have a flow that is remarkably constant and almost eliminates the possibility of skipping or interrupted inking. And even though the gel kind has somewhat larger possibilities of missing because it is less viscous than liquid ink, these risks are still minimal in comparison to the frequency of skipping that is caused by the oil-based ink that is present in ballpoint pens. However, since rollerball ink has a relatively low viscosity, it has a greater propensity to leak or bleed onto a writing surface. This is one of the ink's few drawbacks. As long as the rollerball tip is kept in contact with the paper, bleed-through will continue to occur, which will result in an unsightly blotch. The fabric has a natural ability to absorb messes of the same kind.

Difference Between Ballpoint Pen and Rollerball Pen in Tabular Form

Table: Ballpoint Pen vs Rollerball Pen
Parameters of Comparison
Rollerball Pen
Ballpoint Pen
 To prevent leakage of the moisture, a cover is necessary.
Because the ink in it does not dry, the pen does not need a cap.
Ink flow
Doesn't smudge
 The pressure should be reduced, the lettering should be legible, bold lines should be used, and so on.
Does not bleed, dries in a short amount of time, the ink cartridge lasts for a longer period of time, has a decent design, etc.
 The ink dries quickly, the cartridge has a limited life, and it smudges easily.
Sticky and viscous in texture

What are Rollerball Pens?

In the 1960s, rollerball pens first came into the market. There are two different kinds of ballpoint pens. The first kind is called liquid pens, while the second kind is called gel pens. Oh, a Japanese business, was the first to design and market rollerball pens that were powered by the liquid in 1963. Gel-based ball pens, on the other hand, were patented by Sakura Colour Products in the year 1982. Rollerball pens have qualities that are similar to those of fountain pens and ballpoint pens at the same time. They are similar to fountain pens in that they have a supply system for inks, and they are similar to ballpoint pens in that their design and convenience allow for writing that is more fluid. Dyestuffs are used in liquid-based ink specifically so that they may be dissolved. In gel-based applications, a wide variety of colors are employed.

Ballpoint pens, as opposed to rollerball pens, often produce thicker and more vibrant ink due to the inclusion of gels in their ink cartridges. Because of the use of Gel pigments, ballpoint pens may come in a wide variety of colors, including metallic, glitter, pastel, and opaque tones. Even on the darkest of surfaces, each of these colors can be distinguished. In addition, the writing quality produced by liquid ballpoint pens is quite constant. When compared to gel ball pens, liquid ball pens are less likely to skip.

The ink method used in rollerball pens is rather distinctive, which is one of the reasons why they are preferred over ballpoint pens. It has excellent performance when it comes to writing. Unlike ballpoint pens, it takes relatively little pressure. When gripping the ballpoint pen, less pressure is required on the hand. It provides a highly pleasant writing experience for the writer. It results in writing that is more noticeable, more distinct, and cleaner. Agents of the Special Intelligence Service (SIS) write covert communications using ballpoint pens during operations and conflicts.

What are Ballpoint Pens?

During the 19th century, ballpoint pens were first made available. Inventors came up with the idea of using a little ball to prevent a thin tube from sliding down and dropping. John J. Loud was the first person to file a patent for a ballpoint pen in the year 1888. The purpose of Loud's creation of the ballpoint pen was to make it capable of writing on surfaces that a fountain pen is unable to, such as wood, other coarse materials, and wrapping sheets.

It wasn't until the 20th century that ballpoint pens gained widespread use. Because it did not enjoy the same level of success as it does now. There is a significant amount of experimentation, as well as accuracy, industrial capability, and contemporary chemistry.

Ballpoint pens consist of a paste. This paste contains about 20 to 40 percent color, which is suspended in dry solvents and fatty acids. The viscosity of the ink is the most important aspect of the ballpoint pen. If the ink has a higher viscosity, then it will dry at a quicker rate. When writing with a ballpoint pen, you need to apply greater pressure than with other types of pens so that the ink may be expelled. The inks used in ballpoint pens are resistant to water. On the paper, it does not bleed or leave any smudges.

Types of ballpoint pens include refillable pens and disposable pens. The majority of available ballpoint pens are of the disposable kind. Depending on who made it, there could be a limit on it or there might not be. The vast majority of ballpoint pens use mechanics based on screws or springs.

Main Difference Between Rollerball Pens and Ballpoint Pens in Points

  • The ink used in rollerball pens is made of a water-based medium. Ink for a ballpoint pen often has an oil-based basis.
  • Caps are essential for rollerball pens since they serve to hermetically seal the writing instrument and keep moisture out. Because the ink in ballpoint pens doesn't dry out, the caps on these pens aren't necessary.
  • Writing with a rollerball pen is easy to read and very consistent. Ballpoint pens don't smear or bleed.
  • Rollerball pens are pricey in comparison to Ballpoint pens.
  • The following are some of the benefits of rollerball pens: The pressure should be reduced, the lettering should be legible, bold lines should be used, and so on. The following are some benefits of using ballpoint pens: Does not bleed, dries fast, ink cartridges have a longer lifespan, has a decent design, and so forth.
  • The ink of a rollerball pen dries quickly, the pen has a limited refill life, and it generates smudges. These are its drawbacks. The stickiness and thickness of a ballpoint pen are two of the disadvantages of using one.
  • Writing with a ball is possible with both ballpoint and rollerball pens since they use the same mechanism. The sort of ink that is utilized is what makes the difference. Ink-based in oil for ballpoint pens, ink-based in water, or gel for rollerballs.
  • The ink from a ballpoint pen has a greater viscosity, which means that it needs a "push" to write noticeably. The ink from a rollerball pen, on the other hand, has a lower viscosity, which means that it can write with less pressure.


There are positives and negatives associated with using either a rollerball or a ballpoint pen. The fountain pen and the ballpoint pen come together to form the rollerball pen. Even though ballpoint pens were first intended as a substitute for fountain pens. because fountain pens need constant maintenance, including refilling and dipping in ink.

The distinct writing quality of rollerball pens is a direct result of the combination of gel and liquid-based technologies. When holding ballpoint pens, just a very little amount of pressure is necessary. Rollerball pens produce distinct, spotless, and more substantial lines than other types of pens.

When it comes to the economy, a ballpoint will serve you better than a rollerball since it will last longer. Although the latter has to be changed more often, refills for ink that is water- or gel-based are now made available to save money. When everything is taken into consideration, however, a ballpoint pen will almost always be the most cost-effective option.

while oil-based materials were used to construct ballpoint pens. Because it does not leave a smear, the user can write on both sides of the paper. As a result of the fact that it does not dry up soon, ballpoint pens do not need a cap. The overall quality of a pen may be determined by its design, balance, and look. It is completely up to the user to choose which pen will work best for them.



Cite this article

Use the citation below to add this article to your bibliography:



MLA Style Citation

"Difference Between Ballpoint and Rollerball." Diffzy.com, 2023. Thu. 23 Mar. 2023. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-ballpoint-and-rollerball-685>.

Edited by

Share this article