Ballpoint Pen Vs Rollerball Pen: A Complete Comparison

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Both ballpoint pens and rollerball pens are writing implements that can be used to write in different mediums. But they have a few nuances that make them unique from each other. It is not just in a functional sense but also stylistically as well. Ballpoint pen Vs rollerball pen, they seem like two different species but we cannot ignore the similarities as well.

Sure, they look the same, and their performance is quite similar. But there’s more than that we normally see. In this post, we’ll be presenting a comparison analysis between ballpoint pen and rollerball pen, so that you can decide for yourself if either is better or vice versa.

Also Read: What Are the Ideal Pens for Drawing

Differences between Rollerball and Ballpoint Pen

It’s quite difficult to differentiate between these two by seeing them only. They looks similar and but there are also some differences. Let’s take a look at them.

1. Refill System and Ink Cartridge

Rollerball pens are made with a rollerball refill and an ink cartridge. This means that they have a larger ink reservoir than ballpoint pens and allow for longer-lasting writing sessions. It also means that they are easier to fill because the ink cartridge has a large opening, which allows you to refill it without taking out the whole pen itself.

Ballpoint pens, on the other hand, are made with a ballpoint refill and an ink cartridge. Ballpoint pens refills typically have smaller openings than rollerball refills because they need less space inside their casing to fit into place.

2. Affordability

Ballpoint pens are also more affordable than roller balls because there aren’t as many parts involved in manufacturing them. However, it does not mean that these pens are less durable or reliable than rollerballs.

3. Barrel

These pens vary not only in terms of how they function on the inside, but also in terms of how they appear from the outside. Rollerball pens have a smooth barrel while ballpoint pens have textured barrels with ridges across them.

4. Elegancy and Writing Quality

Rollerballs are often perceived as being more elegant and high-end than ballpoints because they’re sleeker and more attractive. However, this is not always the case. Ballpoints are great for writing because they can be used for longer amounts of time before needing to be replaced.

5. Other Features

While rollerball pens are great for writing, they’re not always the best choice for doodling or drawing. This is because they produce thicker lines than the ballpoint pens. Rollerball pens are also more expensive than ballpoints. This is because they contain more materials and are a little harder to manufacture than their counterparts.

Next Read: Fixing Ballpoint Pens that Skip

Ballpoint Pen Vs Rollerball Pen

When it comes to writing instruments, ballpoint pens vs rollerball pens are a classic battle. Ballpoint pens are renowned for their comfort and easy writing. On the other side, rollerball pens are slightly more expensive, but they last longer.

Here we will discuss some major and key points of both ballpoint and rollerball pens and how they are different from each other.


Rollerball pens are the classic writing instruments and use a ball filled with ink to create a smooth line when writing. Ballpoint pen is the most popular type of pen because it is easier to hold and write with than rollerball pens – both in terms of comfort and accuracy.

In contrast, ballpoint pens use rubber balls that are rolled across the paper to create pointy lines – making them suitable for drawing or taking notes. Rollerball pens struggle less with ink leakage or smudging. It makes them preferable for people who work in dusty environments or frequently switch between different types of papers.


The preferred pen for those who need to write a lot is a ballpoint pen.

They feature quite a bigger ink reservoir, so you don’t have to replace it as frequently. Rollerball pens use a ball that rolls around the ink reservoir, allowing you to control how much ink is put down on paper. This makes them perfect for writing detailed or delicate texts with accuracy.

Price Difference

Rollerball pens typically have a longer ink cartridge and use gel-based or water-based ink which results in a higher price. Ballpoint pens, on the other hand, are less expensive than rollerball pens and offer a nice balance of affordability. Also ballpoint pens use a metal ball instead of a roller, which makes them cheaper to produce. Due to the manufacturing process, rollerball pens cost more than ballpoint pens.

Writing Experience

Writing with a rollerball pen is smooth, and it has the potential to be very precise. The ink is also more visible on a white paper, which makes it easier to read in low light.

If you aren’t careful, you can easily overshoot your mark and waste ink or make a mess with rollerball pen.

A ballpoint pen is slower and more consistent than a rollerball pen, but it allows you to write in finer detail than you could ever achieve with a rollerball pen. That makes it much easier to write neatly on paper. But it also means that if you want more precision in your writing, it won’t work.


Rollerball pens do not leak but can be more difficult to write with due to the ball’s inertia. Ballpoint pens are less reliable as they often leak. This is likely due to the design of a rollerball pen, which allows liquid ink to flow back into the barrel.

Bleeding through Paper

Both rollerball and ballpoint pens can bleed through paper. This is because they use a lot of ink and the pressure that is used to write with them can cause the ink to seep through the paper. However, rollerball pens do so more than ballpoint pens because they have a thinner tip and they are more likely to break the fibers of cheap paper.

This means that when you write with a rollerball, the pen’s ink reservoir will absorb some of the pressure from your writing. It will cause it to spread more than if you were using a ballpoint pen because the pressure isn’t as high as rollerball pen. The result is that rollerballs can bleed through cheap paper more easily than ballpoints do because there’s less friction between the pen tip and the surface of the paper.

Important Read: Fountain Pen Ink and How It Much Lasts

Is Rollerball or Ballpoint Better?

This question has been around for a long time, but no one is certain of the answer to this topic. To be clear, we’re not saying there is no difference between the two. We just don’t know if one is better than the other. So how can you possibly choose?

You should first think about the function of your writing equipment. If you’re going to use it to write memos or letters, then a rollerball pen might be more appropriate than a ballpoint pen.

But if you plan on writing long-form prose or documents with lots of text, like reports, then a ballpoint pen might be more suited for you than a rollerball pen would be.

But then again—who knows? And who wants to risk throwing away money on something that could potentially be ineffective at its intended purpose? So let’s just say that if you want a pen with which to write long-form documents or reports, go with ballpoint; if not, then go with rollerball pen.

The next question is: which brand of rollerball or ballpoint pen should you choose? It’s tough to respond to this question. If you want something that will write smoothly and evenly, then you might want to go with Pilot pens or Sharpie pens; if you want something that writes well but also looks good, then perhaps the Paper Mate inkjoy line would be more in line with your needs.

Pilot pens are the best option if you want something that will write nicely. They have a reputation as being one of the best brands in the world when it comes to writing instruments—and this is due in large part to their unique ink technology.

A video can make you clear:

What Type of Pen Writes the Smoothest?

There is no single and perfect answer to this question, as the type of pen that produces the smoothest ink depends on your individual preferences. However, a common scenario is that rollerball pens produce the finest and clear lines while ballpoint pens produce the lighter lines.

However, keep in mind that every person’s handwriting is unique. What may be perfect for one person might not be ideal for another. It’s not clear why one type of pen is smoother than another; it might be because of how you hold the pen or how you press down on the paper with each stroke of your writing.

Ballpoints are generally considered more useful for long-form writing than rollerballs. This is because the ball sits inside a trough that makes it easier for the pen’s ink to flow.

Final Thoughts

In a nutshell, you can’t really go wrong with either choice. Both are excellent writing instruments that are worthy of recognition and use. As we’ve seen, both ballpoint pens and rollerball pens come with a whole host of benefits, and choosing one of them is totally personal preference.

If you want to write with a rollerball pen, go for it. If you want perfection from your ballpoints, buy that instead. Whatever you do, don’t fret over technicalities. Simply choose the pen that feels most natural and comfortable to you and start writing!

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