Now, since you know ballpoint pens are the most commonly purchased pens world-wide, you might be wondering, why would I want to use a rollerball? Moreover, what exactly is a rollerball pen?

Rollerball Pens
Rollerball ink is usually one of two types. Water-based ink, which uses dye for colour, or gelled ink, which is pigment suspended in water-based gel. Water-based ink rollerballs were introduced first, in 1963 by the Japanese company Ohto. The gel-type rollerball pen was patented in 1982 by Sakura Color Products, also Japanese.


Gel-based inks allow for a greater variety of bright colours because pigments are better suspended throughout the liquid medium than in water-based inks. (Pigments sink in water-based ink, like sediment). However, even water-based ink rollerballs offer more colour choices than ballpoint pens because of more water-soluble dye options.


Why else might you choose to use a rollerball? It's more ergonomic than a ballpoint pen. Writing with a rollerball pen uses less pressure and the less viscous ink provides for a smoother experience (no blotches). This is especially beneficial for those who write for long periods or develop hand or wrist cramps from ballpoint pens.


Also, the diameter of the ball at the tip of a rollerball can be smaller than ballpoint pens, making for finer lines when writing or drawing. Refills are commonly offered, which make them a more environmentally friendly option than disposable pens.
Featured products


Here are just two of the fantastic rollerball pens available at Figg Street Co.

  • Lamy Al-Star Rollerball Azure - The casing of this rollerball pen has a distinctive transparent and ergonomic plastic grip for comfortable writing sessions. It also comes with a spring-action chrome plated metal clip. Available in an assortment of colours.
  • Lamy Swift White Rollerball Pen -The LAMY swift rollerball pen needs no cap at all (rare among quality rollerball pens). The metal casing has a perforated grip area, which helps you to hold on, and simultaneously gives the pen a stylish look. It has a push-button retractable clip in a classic style that demonstrates the basis of Bauhaus design: form follows function.

Do you enjoy the smooth feel of flowing ink? If you do, you'll want to join us next week when we look at a classic pen with many loyal users and a resurgence in popularity: the fountain pen!

June 15, 2021 — Antoinette D'Angelo

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.