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Rollerball VS Ballpoint


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#1 menick

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 01:55

Just a quick question.

What's the difference between Ballpoint and Rollerball?

Yeah I know, it's a fountain pen forum, but I need to understand my enemy to better convert people wink.gif

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#2 Sharkle

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 02:06


Generally a rollerball is smoother, more fluid and has better color saturation. Gels are also a good. Capless rollerball and gel refills are very convenient.


#3 fpfanatic5

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 02:22

Generally, rollerballs use water-based ink, while ballpoints use a thicker, non-water based ink. Some rollerballs, like the Pilot G2 or Parker Rollerballs use Gel Refills.

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#4 SallyLyn

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 03:17

Didn't ballpoints come first? Seems like I went from a Fountain pen to a ballpoint in grade school, jr high. Rollerballs came next, the ink is thinner, tried to be more fountain pen ink like but usually blobbed. Then came Gel pens, same idea as a rollerball but the ink is much better. Some blob but many write quite smoothly. If pushed I'd use a gel pen if I couldn't use a FP. It's nice that you can now get gel pen refills for ballpoints. Love my Parker Jotters and now I can use them again.

Question...? I have a bunch of Parker Vector Rollerball pens, is there a gel refill that works?

#5 asexton

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 03:28

Fountains pen came first and remain the king of writing instruments. Then came the ballpoint pen, and I am pretty sure that it uses an oil-based ink. The rollerball was developed in the 1980s and uses a water-based ink. That is why rollerball pens write smoother but can dry out. I am not a fan of gel pens, but I am also pretty sure that the same technological revolution that brought us the rollerball was responsible for the gel pen. Please feel free to correct me on any of the information.

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#6 tulipa

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 03:41

Check these out. They give an overview of different types of pens.

http://en.wikipedia....ki/Fountain_pen
http://en.wikipedia..../Rollerball_pen
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gel_pen
http://en.wikipedia....i/Ballpoint_pen

#7 JSolinger

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 03:47

I stopped using ball points about 4 years ago. My job at that time required a tremendous amount of writing and I was developing problems in my hand and elbow. I switched to rollerballs and the problem went away. I've been using Uniball Vision rollerball pens as throw aways. They are inexpensive and work well. I pulled one apart the other day to see what made it tick and found that these have a feeder/buffer system simular in concept to a fountain pen.

#8 J English Smith

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 03:48

Rollerballs, good ones, capture the fluid writing quality of a fountain pen, and of course are less messy. I used one of mine last night, which I have not used much since May of last year, when FPs bit me again big time. Some of the ones I like are:

Lamy Accent (this is my current favorite)
Lamy Tipo
Rotring Jaz (same refills as Retro 51 big shot)
Waterman's refill - goes in a number of their pens
Pelikan's refill - one of the best Fine refills - but pricey
Staedtler capless - nice bit of tooth in this one

When you need no muss, no fuss and the ability to go through carbons - or hand one over - Rollers have their place.

Gels? I'm not a big fan. They feel thicker, somehow. The Parker one is ok. The G2 refill is ok. But I don't know of any fine or even medium-fine ones.

Ballpoints have their place too, I still use 'em. Waterman, Parker, Montblanc old refills - several good choices. I've never liked the Shaffer ball refills, they seem thicker to me than the Parker.


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#9 dpmahon

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 04:02

QUOTE(SallyLyn @ Mar 18 2008, 10:17 PM) View Post
Didn't ballpoints come first? Seems like I went from a Fountain pen to a ballpoint in grade school, jr high. Rollerballs came next, the ink is thinner, tried to be more fountain pen ink like but usually blobbed. Then came Gel pens, same idea as a rollerball but the ink is much better. Some blob but many write quite smoothly. If pushed I'd use a gel pen if I couldn't use a FP. It's nice that you can now get gel pen refills for ballpoints. Love my Parker Jotters and now I can use them again.

Question...? I have a bunch of Parker Vector Rollerball pens, is there a gel refill that works?

In the 1960's they came out with the felt tip pen but they are long gone.

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#10 Thornton

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 15:53

QUOTE(dpmahon @ Mar 18 2008, 10:02 PM) View Post
QUOTE(SallyLyn @ Mar 18 2008, 10:17 PM) View Post
Didn't ballpoints come first? Seems like I went from a Fountain pen to a ballpoint in grade school, jr high. Rollerballs came next, the ink is thinner, tried to be more fountain pen ink like but usually blobbed. Then came Gel pens, same idea as a rollerball but the ink is much better. Some blob but many write quite smoothly. If pushed I'd use a gel pen if I couldn't use a FP. It's nice that you can now get gel pen refills for ballpoints. Love my Parker Jotters and now I can use them again.

Question...? I have a bunch of Parker Vector Rollerball pens, is there a gel refill that works?

In the 1960's they came out with the felt tip pen but they are long gone.


Actually there are still different types of felt tip/fiber tip pens on the market. My favorite "throw away" pen is the Pilot Razor Point II. They have a micro fine fiber tip and are popular among architects. You can usually find them on drafting supply websites and art stores. I use them all the time. I also know that Papermate still produces felt tip pens.
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#11 dpmahon

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 16:07

QUOTE(Thornton @ Mar 19 2008, 10:53 AM) View Post
QUOTE(dpmahon @ Mar 18 2008, 10:02 PM) View Post
QUOTE(SallyLyn @ Mar 18 2008, 10:17 PM) View Post
Didn't ballpoints come first? Seems like I went from a Fountain pen to a ballpoint in grade school, jr high. Rollerballs came next, the ink is thinner, tried to be more fountain pen ink like but usually blobbed. Then came Gel pens, same idea as a rollerball but the ink is much better. Some blob but many write quite smoothly. If pushed I'd use a gel pen if I couldn't use a FP. It's nice that you can now get gel pen refills for ballpoints. Love my Parker Jotters and now I can use them again.

Question...? I have a bunch of Parker Vector Rollerball pens, is there a gel refill that works?

In the 1960's they came out with the felt tip pen but they are long gone.


Actually there are still different types of felt tip/fiber tip pens on the market. My favorite "throw away" pen is the Pilot Razor Point II. They have a micro fine fiber tip and are popular among architects. You can usually find them on drafting supply websites and art stores. I use them all the time. I also know that Papermate still produces felt tip pens.

I guess the don't make an that are refillable?

"If the pen is mightier than the sword I am indeed well armed!"
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#12 Thornton

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 16:23


[/quote]
I guess the don't make an that are refillable?
[/quote]

I'm not sure. I think some pen makers like Mont Blanc make something like a felt tip refill. I haven't really looked into it that much.
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#13 Tweel

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 17:06

QUOTE(dpmahon @ Mar 19 2008, 11:07 AM) View Post
QUOTE(Thornton @ Mar 19 2008, 10:53 AM) View Post
Actually there are still different types of felt tip/fiber tip pens on the market. My favorite "throw away" pen is the Pilot Razor Point II. They have a micro fine fiber tip and are popular among architects.

I guess the don't make an that are refillable?

Cross pens that use the "SelecTip" refill system can take their felt-tip (or as they call it, "porous-point") refills. I think those come in a couple of tip sizes -- the fine is very fine, I'd say about 0.3mm. The same pens will also accept a fine yellow highlighter, and yes, gel and (jumbo-capacity) ballpoint refills. You can also screw a FP section for that pen into the barrel, although you may need to check to make sure that the spring that holds down the SelecTip refills doesn't interfere with the converter.

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#14 gregoron

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 18:32

Here's a link on how their inks differ: http://uniball-na.com/main.taf?p=9

Yes, I believe dip pens came first, then fountain pens, ballpoints, rollerballs, then gels. I think Sakura invented gel ink and sold the first gel pens. I don't know where graphite, or pencil, came out...please someone inform us. Ballpoints do have one advantage over rollerballs, and gel pens for that matter. You can do half-tones for sketching or drawing since ink tonality depends on the pressure forced on the pen.

Fountain pens lay down ink best without putting any downward force on paper, followed by pencils, rollerballs, ballpoints, and then gels. Gel pens can't lay down ink from just the pen's weight. Anyway, I use all of them for different purposes, but fp's are still my favorite.
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- Edits done for grammatical purposes only.

#15 Tweel

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 04:48

QUOTE(gregoron @ Mar 19 2008, 01:32 PM) View Post
I don't know where graphite, or pencil, came out...please someone inform us.

If I recall correctly:

Graphite (or "plumbago", or "wad", as it was known locally) was discovered in Borrowdale, England (in late Medieval times, I think), supposedly when a tree blew over and chunks were found among the roots. Local shepherds may have started marking their sheep with it, but (by sometime in the 16th c.?) local craftsmen began cutting it into sticks and fitting it into holders. It caught on, inferior plumbago was discovered in Germany and marketed, then someone in France (I think in the 19th c., as Borrowdale was tapping out) invented the method of mixing the good bits of bad, gritty plumbago, powdered, with fine clay and gluing the baked rods into wooden cases.

It's all in The Pencil, by Henry Petroski, but I don't have a copy on hand.

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(edit: a word substitution)

Edited by Tweel, 20 March 2008 - 04:51.

* * * "Don't neglect to write me several times from different places when you may."
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#16 menick

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Posted 21 March 2008 - 01:41

QUOTE(tulipa @ Mar 18 2008, 11:41 PM) View Post


Thanks!

Finally had time to go through them and it was the simplest description I've seen!

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#17 jic

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 00:54

QUOTE(fpfanatic5 @ Mar 19 2008, 03:22 AM) View Post
Parker Rollerballs use Gel Refills.


Parker rollerball refills contain liquid ink. You are thinking of the gel refill option they offer for their ballpoints. Yes, gel pens are a type of rollerball; but I think it would be misleading to call a Jotter with a gel refill in it a "Parker rollerball".

Edited by jic, 09 June 2008 - 00:56.