When selecting a pen, you may wonder, what is the difference between each type of pen and which type is right for me. There are so many types of pens and the inks, it becomes difficult for the user to choose the right pen. In this article, we will cover various types of pens as well as the ink they use.
Here is a list of all the pros and cons of each type of pen:
One of the most common types of pens is the ballpoint pen. The ink used in ballpoint pens is oil-based, which was designed as an alternative to fountain pens. Ballpoint pens are perfect for everyday use because this pen allows a wide range of shading.
A ballpoint pen is available in different sizes. The most common tips are medium tips, which are about 1.0mm.
Pros to Ballpoint Pens
1. Smooth and even writing experience.
2. Dries quickly compared to a fountain pen.
3. Refills last for a long period.
Cons to Ballpoint Pens
1. The ink can create an occasional blob of ink when writing.
2. Not the best option for long writing.
Rollerball ink is a liquid in and it is usually water-based. The ink flows smoothly and creates a fine and dark line.
Rollerball pens use a writing mechanism that is similar to ballpoint but with water-based ink. The tip size is between 0.5mm to 0.7mm. Since the ink flows faster, the rollerball pen uses finer tips with a smaller ball to reduce the size of the line created by the pen.
Pros to Rollerball Pens
1. Rollerball ink soaks into the paper.
2. Quick-drying because paper soaks the ink faster.
3. Greater range of color selection.
4. Less pressure is required to write, which prevents ghosting and creates less stress on hands.
Cons to Rollerball Pens
1. Bleed and feathering because the ink is quickly soaked by the paper.
2. The ink of rollerball ink does not last for a period when compared with ballpoint refills.
3. If the pen is left uncapped, the ink will leak.
4. This pen is not travel friendly because the pen may lean when exposed to change in pressure.
Gel Ink Pens
Gel ink is a pigment type of ink where the pigment is suspended in the water. The ink is opaque and thinks and tends to bubble on the surface before it is soaked by the paper. This pen creates a sharper line but has slow drying time compared to a rollerball and ballpoint pen.
Gel pens also use the same delivery style as ballpoint and rollerball pen. The tip size on the pen typically ranges between 0.5mm to 0.7mm
Pros to Gel Ink Pens
1. Gel pens are available in a wide range of colors.
2. The pen creates a sharp line and little to no bleeding or feathering.
Cons to Gel Ink Pens
1. Drying time is longer compared to other pens
2. The pen uses more ink, so the ink life is short and you need to replace the refill more often than standard ballpoint pens.
Fountain pens use a nib to write that is either built using stainless steel or gold. The pen uses either a built-in reservoir or use cartridge to hold the ink. The pen uses a feed system to pull the ink along with gravity and capillary action. The reservoir can be filled with a pipette or with a piston style filling mechanism. Pens that use a cartridge filling system use a pre-filled ink cartridge into a converter just like an internal reservoir system.
The fountain pen is available in a wide range of nib sizes.
Pros to Fountain Pens
1. The pen gives freedom to the user to select the size of the nib according to their own writing style.
2. You can change the nib of the pen whenever you want.
3. A wide range of color selection is available for fountain pens.
4. The pen allows the user to create a varied line thickness due to the nib on the pen.
5. Most fountain pens are refillable and most can be refilled using bottled ink, which eliminates wastage from disposable refills.
Cons to Fountain Pens
1. Expensive compared to other pens.
2. Fountain pens are difficult to maintain.
3. They are not easy to use.
4. The refill system is not easy when compared with ballpoint or gel pens.
Each type of pen has its own strengths and weaknesses. So, which pen is right for you? The answer depends on your writing style and for which purpose you are using the pen. You can use whatever type of pen, but if you want to use the best quality pen, then you should begin your search by looking for Lamy 2000.