Rollerball vs. Ballpoint

While perusing my new Levenger catalog last night, I was drooling over their selection of exquisite pens. While I am primarily interested in fountain pens, I noticed they also offer ballpoint and rollerball pens as well. I have used ballpoint pens my whole life, but have never used (to my knowledge) a "rollerball".

I am looking for feedback that will help me to understand the mysterious rollerball.


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rollerball fun

Rollerball pens employ liquid ink to my knowledge.

Like the infamous Pilot G2's are rollerballs. The Pilot Precise and oodles more...

Here is a link that might be an interesting read : Link
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Rollerball = Potentially Unreliable?

Thank you Ms. Link Liaison! The link you provided was highly informative. After reading it, and a recent post on the premature demise of some Pilot G2's, am I correct in assuming that rollerballs can be somewhat unreliable?


not like you think :)

Companies struggled with the gel inks... I have several rollerballs and have no problems with them. The more recent gel pens are increasingly reliable in my opinion. The classic type inks are great. I use several for artistic endeavors... key is to remember to replace the cap after use.
I love the Uniball Vision Micro I'm currently using up... I don't have to press to get it to write nice and vivid. Also, I don't get that nasty 'echo' on the next page like I do with ballpoints when I have to press to get dark markings.
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I also have a Uniball Vision Micro pen, and never realized it is a "rollerball" pen. Its plain to see that I have much to learn. Have you tried the Uniball Signo pen? Very smooth. I wonder if it is also a rollerball.



I picked up a 3 pack at O'Depot just the other day... Haven't used 'em yet but they look great~! (It is a Rollerball) :D
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I have personally used one, and loved it. In fact, I think a lunchtime trip to Office Max may be in order today to scope them out. Do the uniball pens use gel ink? geekiness is really starting to show.


hmmm dont think so

I think it is just liquid ink... You could probably find out for sure by scoping out THIS SITE I know Uniball prides itself on using inks that prevent check fraud :D (My geekiness shows daily... I'm so hawt~! lol )
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Thank you Sara! That link was exactly the education I needed. You are truly the finest Link Liaison in the land. I bow before your linkiness....



I thought you typed "kinkiness" roflmao ... i just snorted while stifling a laugh at work >.<

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G2 reliability

We use G2s with blue ink almost exclusively at work -- and it's the medical field, so we spend a lot of time writing paperwork (charts, progress notes, etc). We probably empty one G2 a month each, and there's fourteen of us. Never once had we had a G2 problem. Never.

Everyone else uses the 07's. I prefer the 05. Either way, we use them until they run out of ink.

I love the G2s. And, unlike other rollerballs I've tried, I can write nearly upside-down with one for pages and pages in my journal without problem.

Don't discount the G2 just yet. They really are lovely pens.

Note to self...

...swipe a G2 the next time I'm at the doctor's office. LOL



I don't know if other places are as addicted to them as we are... :)

To give you an idea as to the abuse our G2's get: In one month, ten of us generate 4800 progress reports on clients. In a MONTH. Plus we have daily logs, and treatment plans... Oh, and we're understaffed by two, so when we fill those positions that will make another 960 reports a month.

I just found that statistic out today. Totally blew me away. I hadn't quite realized what tree-killers we are...

i really like the G2,

i really like the G2, especially the clicker for one hand operation.

a while back i decided to try to find the rollerball that was most like a fountain pen in the way it writes. while i like the G2, i don't find that it has that "float" over the paper that i like so much about a FP.

i tried a number of all in one RBs like the G2, and also tried a number of different RB refills. to me, the winner was the lamy safari RB. second place, with a finer line, was another lamy (i think it is called the swift). sometimes i get tired of filling and fooling with FPs and use a RB.

but, the only pen i have ever had leak on me (and ruin a new pinpoint cotton shirt) was a levenger RB.

Fountain pens vs. rollerballs

I'll take a fountain pen any day, but they're expensive and I'd be afraid of getting ink everywhere if I used one at work. (I used to use fountain pens a lot, but I currently don't have one. Thinking about one of those Tasche pens though...)

Fountain pen converters


I love fountain pens. I just bought a cross Townsend with a fountain pen converter. I'm keeping it at home (mostly because I like it too much) but the foutain pen converter is better than an ink cartridge in keeping the ink in the pen and off your fingers.

Also - have you tried gel ball-points? I find they flow like a fountain pen and make a nice cheap alternative for when you're somewhere you don't want to risk your nibs.

Fountain pens usable

I use fountain pens at work and in fact keep ink there, with just about a day's practice, and paper towel handy, you can get skilled enough to have no ink spillage or stainage in my experience (but there's always the risk). In addition, I usually only carry my cheaper pens back & forth - and in the cold weather like we're having now on the East coast, I simply keep one at work all the time. (Not sure at what temperature ink freezes.)

The biggest problem I have with fountain pens is that they're very choosy about paper, some papers act like sponges. Some papers (like Ampad junior pads) are clearly only designed for ball points (even thicker roller balls bleed through them).

I love Pilot G2s and their gel pen relatives, and they are the state of the art in technology (fountain pens have aesthetic appeal mainly, they're not practical -- now fountain pen purists will hunt me down and make me pay for that statement, no doubt). To simplify your life, and keep green in your wallet, use gel pens.

My Fountain Pen

I only use my fountain pen when journaling, which means it hasn't gotten used in over a week. It took a little getting used to, but I believe it has actually improved the quality of my cursive. For now I'm happy to use the cartridges, but eventually I will attempt to fill the converter myself.

My latest fascination is with rollerball and gel pens. Yesterday while searching for the G2 Mini at Office Max I found a three pen pack that had a rollerball, ballpoint, and a mini pen. I can't remember the manufacturer, but the price was $12.95. They were kinda fancy-looking without a fancy price. I also discovered that the Waterman Fountain Pen kit that I purchased for $30 after Christmas is now up to $45. I got a deal! Woo hoo!!


i go hot and cold with FPs.

i go hot and cold with FPs. the ability to use custom ink colors is really fun, and at their best there is no comparison to the feel of a FP floating over the page.

however, they are very paper dependent and with bad paper can be unpleasant. also i always get ink all over my fingers when filling them -- i either seem to get the nib into the bottle too shallow, with no ink uptake, or too deep and then onto me.

too bad the G2 doesn't come in a more "classy" shell, and with a bit broader point.

Classy G2s

Well, they aren't Mont Blanc-status, but the G2 refills fit the Pilot Dr. Grip LTD and the ExecuGel. Check out Pilot's Gel "Gallery."


Some people hear voices in their heads.
Writers take dictation.


Different people have different definitions of classy... or so I presume...
how about the g2 pro? ClickMe
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G2 pro

the G2 pro looks interesting. i'll try to find one. the stores here seem to sell gel pens only in groups of 4-12 but maybe i can find a single.

bic used to make a gel pen that resembled the lamy safari. plain, but nice size -- to me looked pretty classy for a disposable.