Fountain pen, rollerball pen or ballpoint pen – which to choose?

Handwriting is making a comeback. When writing, we can concentrate, organise our thoughts and makes planning easier. With your favourite pen in hand, writing becomes an amazing experience. If you are looking for the ideal writing instrument and don't know what might be best for you, we are here to help.

Types of Writing Instruments

Before you choose your favourite writing instrument, you should get to know the features of fountain pens, rollerball pens and ballpoint pens.

A fountain pen is a timeless symbol of handwriting! It offers a lot of pleasure and makes you calm and focused. Writing with the fountain pen is smooth and the nib looks beautiful... However, it requires holding it at the proper angle, extra day-to-day care, and the right paper. You must also remember about closing it and refilling regularly to prevent the ink from drying out. Each fountain pen is unique! Properly cared for, it will be your companion for years to come.

A ballpoint pen is the most versatile writing instrument – it is easy to use, and you can write on various types of paper. It applies significantly less ink than a fountain pen or rollerball pen. As a result, ballpoint pen refills are more efficient, and easy to use. However, unlike the fountain pen, the ballpoint pen requires a slight pressure on the paper, which makes writing with it not as smooth and comfortable as with the fountain pen.

A rollerball pen is the golden mean between a fountain pen and a ballpoint pen. Their ink refills are similar to those used in ballpoint pens. The refills are slightly larger and have a tiny ball to dispenses the ink. Writing with the rollerball pen in exceptionally smooth and the ink is less likely to smudge as with the fountain pen. This makes it ideal for left-handed users.

Brass Ballpoint Pen or Copper Fountain Pen? A Few Words on the Materials.

Writing instruments can be made from various materials including stainless steel, aluminium, copper, brass, and plastic.

Stainless steel is hard, and the addition of chromium makes it also resistant to corrosion. Stainless steel fountain pens are usually grey and silver in colour, are quite heavy and very durable.

Aluminium is a good alternative for those who prefer lighter writing instruments. It does not oxidise and is resistant to tarnishing. Writing instruments made of untreated aluminium are light grey, but often come in coloured options such as black, red, or rose gold.

Copper is a metal with a beautiful salmon pink colour. In contact with skin and air, it develops a patina over time, so the copper pen is constantly changing its style and colour.

Brass (an alloy of copper and zinc) is a strong and heavy material with a golden colour, the shade of which depends on the amount of zinc. Every pen, ballpoint pen or pencil made from copper or brass will gain its individual style through unique patina that develops over time. These instruments have also a distinctive metallic smell that will remain on your hands for a bit after using them.

Plastic is a material commonly used for manufacturing writing instruments. Plastic pens can be designed in a variety of colours, are lightweight and less expensive than those made of metal.

See our collection of metal or plastic writing instruments.

Nib Sizes

If a fountain pen is your choice, you need to select the right nib. The most popular sizes are EF (extra-fine), F (fine), M (medium), B (broad), BB (extra-broad). You can choose the right size based on your handwriting style. Finer nibs will be more suitable for those who write very tiny letters. M, B and BB sizes will be suitable for larger and rounder letters. Your writing is also affected by the paper – some are very absorbent and make the line thicker. If you want to buy a fountain pen as a gift, choose an F or M size nib.

Pen That Suits Your Style

It is also important that a writing instrument you choose suits your likes, dreams and lifestyle. If you prefer classic designs, a fountain pen will be the best match. And if you value functional solutions and ease of use, consider a rollerball or ballpoint pen. The type of work and your daily activities are also important. A fountain pen will perfectly pair with a comfortable desk. On the other hand, if you work outdoors and often write on the go, a ballpoint or rollerball pen will be much more comfortable. Apart from their practical features, original and well-designed writing instruments are pleasing to the eye and will help you express your style and enjoy handwriting.

Choose something for yourself from our collection.

Author: Ilona Machulska, Images: Magdalena Konik-Machulska
Translation: Rafał Stachura