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Rollerball vs gel ink


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#1 millerb7

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 15:27

About to buy a pen as a gift for someone, who's not sold 100% on fountain pens so I was thinking gel or rollerball.

Any preference of the two for anybody?

Maybe I should just do a fountain pen anyways and break them in haha.

#2 RyanWakefield

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 15:34

I like the third choice. Buy a fountain pen. A hooded nib might be more appropriate for someone who is new to fountain pens because they feel a little more like ball pens. That's just my opinion.

#3 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 17:24

See if you can get a Reform P-120 it has a semi hooded nib, and is a piston filler and perhaps can be had for @ $5.00 fixed up ready to go...there is a guy in the States doing Reform Pens....NOS....
I've been pushing Reform pens since I got one, skinny pens, but the best cheap piston pen in the world. I have now an EF from one....I'd not expected that. Luck of the draw, the others are F. I have one of each now.
They are ball point thin.

Reform 1745 is traditional nib. Let him/her have at it with a real nib...just show them the two methods of holding a fountain pen, the pinch, pen body back of first knuckle and forefinger on top, pen body in the web of thumb.

If they might not be impressed with a lots of different color of a bottle of ink.

Second would be a nice Chinese pen with cartridges, and converter, good ones can be had for from what I understand for @$20-25.

That is pen, a good color assortment of good cartridge ink...not Chinese ink, and a block of good paper, so the ink may dance.

Which ever way you are going to go, load it with some lively ink.

Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 19 May 2010 - 17:27.

Due to Mauricio's improved definition of Super-flex, I no longer use the term Easy Full Flex.

 

Semi-flex is an “almost” flex; not a ‘flex’ nib. It is great for regular writing with a touch of flair. It can give you some fancy; but it is not made for real fancy writing. For bit more of that get a 'flexi'/maxi-semi-flex. Both spread tines 3X.  Those are not "Flex" nibs. 

 

Odd, how many who should know better, compares Japanese F (which equals EF), with Western F, with out a second thought, but do not compare Japanese B with Western B.

 

Wider than Normal does not exist. Wider than Japanese does. Every company has it's very own standard + slop/tolerance. Developed from the users of it's pens only; not the users of other companies pens. The size you grind a nib to, is your standard only. Paper and ink matter to nib width. Thank god for 1/2 sizes or it would be boring.


#4 Zeroblade

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 17:53

I suppose asking this sort of question on an FP forum would end up with these sorts of answers lol. But get a fountain pen anyway! Lots of Chinese pens have hooded nibs and aren't too expensive. If the person is really insistent on non-FP's though, I'd go for rollerballs; I don't quite like gel pens since I've had a couple smudge on me.

#5 faustulus

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 19:27

I like rollerballs better myself, but gels are just as nice. If I might make a suggestion, why not get both? You could get a nicer rollerball and maybe a starter fountain pen and package it as sort of a set.
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#6 alouisf02

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 19:57

I like rollerballs better myself, but gels are just as nice. If I might make a suggestion, why not get both? You could get a nicer rollerball and maybe a starter fountain pen and package it as sort of a set.


Dido that. Good thinking.

I really wasn't THAT interested in a fountain pen, until somebody (wife) bought me one. I found out my friend had one as well, gave me some pointers, and now I can't put the dang thing down. So maybe a rollerball to use while they get used to the idea of a fountaint pen. $0.02

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#7 GouletPens

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 20:23

You could always get a really nice ballpen like Caran D'ache...they have the smoothest writing ballpoints I've ever used. The only problem with gels is that they run out of ink pretty fast and they're expensive to replace, they're by far the most expensive ongoing cost per line of writing (though, many say fountain pens are because they're so addictive!!).
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#8 bluemagister

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 20:29

Grab a Waterford twist or click pen from Colorado Pen Company and get a Schmidt Easyflow 9000 refill to go with it. The Easyflow is basically Schmidt's version of the Jetstream and it's very smooth. You can get engraving, too. I have ordered several pens (including one engraved with my name and title) from them and have always been pleased with how the engraving looks.

#9 dizzypen

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 20:47

Uniball makes a ball pen called the Jetstream. These are a good compromise between a gel pen and a ball pen. You get the smooth consistent flow with the longevity of a ball pen.

I've used a Jetstream in the past, but have just put an order for a Uni-ball Jetstream F-series. It's a slim Jetstream multi pen (2 colors + pencil).

I'm really a 100% FP user, but it's easier for me to carry something else in my purse. I've had one too many leaks with FPs. In addition, sometimes a BP, RB or Gel pen is needed.
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#10 RayMan

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 02:13

I prefer gel pens. Rollerballs will actually bleed through certain papers. I have yet to experience any bleeding with a gel.
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#11 tonybelding

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 02:19

Good quality gel rollerballs are distinctly better than the older non-gel types. A good gel is a worthy competitor to fountain pens. A lot of fountain pens are also made in rollerball versions with nearly identical body and styling. The trick is figuring out which gel refill will fit which pen. (Luckily, my Aurora Talentum accepts Zebra JF refills!)

As far as getting them a fountain pen. . . I've given away a few, but it's strangely difficult to get people who've never used a fountain pen to even try one. I bugged one friend about whether he'd tried out the pen I gave him, and he was always: "No, I've been too busy!" And I was like, "Man, it's been months. How busy can you be?" :glare: If I get a new pen, I have to try it out within minutes, not months.

#12 wallylynn

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 02:54

FYI, Friday May 21, Staples has for their Deal-a-Day, a pack of Uniball Signo 207 gel pens for $5!!

http://www.staples.c...00516dailydeals

The e-mail says 2 dozen/pack. I'm guessing it's a typo since I've never seen any 24 pack pens anywhere. But 12 is still a bargain. It's also got "Super Ink!"

#13 elysee

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 04:56

About to buy a pen as a gift for someone, who's not sold 100% on fountain pens so I was thinking gel or rollerball.


Is the person a heavy-handed writer? If (s)he is, (s)he might prefer the rollerball, and, if you get the right rollerball, you can equip the pen with a Pilot G2 refill. However, if you buy a pen that takes a Parker-style refill then you can equip the pen with a Monteverde gel ink refill.

Of all the gel ink refills, I have found the Pilot G2 bold blue and the Parker-style Monteverde blue broad refills to be the best. Each produces a great line of ink and the colors of each are deep Cornwall blue's or midnight blue's (Crayola crayon names) similar to the Private Reserve American Blue ink rather than brassy navy blues. In addition, each refill is extremely smooth rather than scratchy like the Parker gel ink refill and regular rollerball refills.

#14 nstlgia70

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 11:02

Why not try a felt tip pen. The Artline 200 is very good. I think the feeling you get from felt tip pens is closer to what you get from fountain pens. If you must stick to either roller ball or gel pens, then I would say go for a gel pen. Gel refills can be used in retractable point type of pens, which are more convenient that capped pens. Gel refills can be left uncapped without drying out, and they do last (write) longer than roller balls.

#15 millerb7

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 14:51

See if you can get a Reform P-120 it has a semi hooded nib, and is a piston filler and perhaps can be had for @ $5.00 fixed up ready to go...there is a guy in the States doing Reform Pens....NOS....
I've been pushing Reform pens since I got one, skinny pens, but the best cheap piston pen in the world. I have now an EF from one....I'd not expected that. Luck of the draw, the others are F. I have one of each now.
They are ball point thin.

Reform 1745 is traditional nib. Let him/her have at it with a real nib...just show them the two methods of holding a fountain pen, the pinch, pen body back of first knuckle and forefinger on top, pen body in the web of thumb.

If they might not be impressed with a lots of different color of a bottle of ink.

Second would be a nice Chinese pen with cartridges, and converter, good ones can be had for from what I understand for @$20-25.

That is pen, a good color assortment of good cartridge ink...not Chinese ink, and a block of good paper, so the ink may dance.

Which ever way you are going to go, load it with some lively ink.


do you have a link or contact info by chance for the p-120?

I received a free FP with an order I did, I might giver her that to test the waters and a gel pen. The FP is uninked.

#16 kwinana

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Posted 23 May 2010 - 12:10

About to buy a pen as a gift for someone, who's not sold 100% on fountain pens so I was thinking gel or rollerball.

Any preference of the two for anybody?

Maybe I should just do a fountain pen anyways and break them in haha.


One of the best roller/gel pens is Parker's gel refill. Very quick drying ink, you would not know it's gel it's ink is so well behaved! Smooth with dark dense lines.

#17 AtomicLeo

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Posted 23 May 2010 - 15:23

About to buy a pen as a gift for someone, who's not sold 100% on fountain pens so I was thinking gel or rollerball.

Any preference of the two for anybody?

Maybe I should just do a fountain pen anyways and break them in haha.


Check out the Retro 51 pen line. I love the Toranado series. They can take a Parker gel refill or the capless Schmidt rollerball. A great size and weight. A TON of finishes and colors and you can get a classic model for under $20! Best rollerball/ballpoint on the market today IMO. Pen City (not affiliated just a happy customer) has a wide selection and reasonable prices. I've given several of these pens and haven't had a complaint that the pen is too 'nice' to use.

http://pencity.com/c...g.htm?E scstore


They have a very nice fountain pen line. The fountain pens take international cartridges and use Schmidt steel nibs. Great writers. The Lava Flow pattern is stunning, BTW.
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