There are some differences between various pens such as ballpoint, fountain pens and roller ball pens.
These pens may vary in the ink they use and writing mechanisms.
Comparing Roller Ball Pens, Ball Point Pens and Fountain Pens
• Roller ball pens utilize mechanisms for ball point for writing and liquid which is based on water. Gelled ink is also used instead of viscous inks based on oil found in ball point pens.
• These inks which are not very viscous sink deeper into paper and in a wider area than other kinds of ink, giving roller ball pens a unique writing. The point for writing is a tiny ball which normally has a diameter of 0.5 or 0.7 mm. This ball moves the ink from the reservoir to the paper with the pen’s movement.
• Compared to ball point pens, roller ball pens do not require a lot of pressure to enable the pen to write neatly. This enables the pen to be held with minimum stress on the hand which saves energy and enhances comfort. This in turn leads to faster speeds in writing particularly for pens which use liquid ink.
• The inks normally have a wider variety of colors because of the larger choice of appropriate dyes which are soluble in water or the utilization of pigments. They normally write more concisely than ball point pens.
• A fountain pen has a nib which consists of a reservoir inside which has ink which is based on water. By using gravity, the pen takes up ink from the reservoir via a feed going to the nib which is then deposited on paper.
• The reservoir can be filled with ink manually using a syringe or Pasteur pipette or through a mechanism inside which builds suction. An example is via a piston mechanism which takes the ink directly to the reservoir via the nib.
• Some pens have reservoirs which can be removed like ink cartridges which are pre-filled. A lot of pressure is not required to be placed on the nib for writing.
You may refer this page for further understanding of the construction parts of a typical pen.
Writing Mechanisms for Ball point and Roller Ball Pens
• The mechanisms for writing for ball point and roller ball pens are similar although there are some differences.
• A ball point pen utilizes thick ink which is oil based while liquid ink is used on the roller ball pen. This important difference enables the roller ball pen to have a smoother feel and more liquid.
• This adds more fluidity in its action, when compared with a fountain pen. This fluidity gives the roller ball pen a thinner writing line. However, the ballpoint pen has a more restrained action which lasts for long.
• A roller ball pen can cause some bleeding on the paper’s back, which may be little or a lot. This depends on the paper’s quality where the writing is being done.
• The ink in a ball point pen which is oil based, is brought to the tip when the tungsten carbide rolls when being used. This ink dries almost instantly after it encounters paper.
• The ballpoint has become more popular than the fountain pen as it is affordable, reliable and does not require maintenance when being used each day to write.