\n\n \nThe names are similar enough to be confusing, but ballpoint and rollerball pens each have their own strengths. Here's a quick breakdown of the difference between ballpoint and rollerball pens so you can find the right pen for you.\n \nA subtle dist-ink-tion\nBallpoint and rollerball pens both get their name from the ball-bearing tip that spreads the ink on the paper, but it’s that ink that sets the two types of pen apart.\n \n Ballpoint pens use an oil-based ink that writes smoothly and dries quickly, so they’re an ideal option for taking quick notes on the go. That means compact ballpoints like the palm-sized Delfonics Legend are a great pen to keep in your pocket or bag, ready to jot down a quote or a phone number in a heartbeat. \n\nThe Legend Retractable Ballpoint Pen is slim, light, and incredibly compact\n \nFor everyday writing or smudge-resistant lecture notes, workhorses like LAMY’s Logo Plus and Ballograf’s retro-charming Epoca make excellent additions to your pencil case. If you want the convenience of a ballpoint in a premium pen, though, look no further than the iconic LAMY 2000, carrying on the legacy of the 1966 original that cemented LAMY as masters of design.\n\nThe LAMY 2000 is just as striking today as it was more than 50 years ago\n \nSmooth operator\nOne small downside of ballpoint pens is that they tend to take a bit more effort to write with, but that’s where a rollerball absolutely shines. So if you find that your hand is aching after writing for a while, a rollerball might be the perfect pen for you. \n \n\nRather than oil-based ink, rollerballs use water- or gel-based ink, which is what gives them that sweet, smooth feel on the page. Rollerball ink flows much more freely, producing a vivid line that’s thicker and more dynamic than most ballpoints, which makes them a great choice for writing in cards or sending a handwritten note. So for sending that thoughtful thank you card, reach for a Kaweco Classic or the ever-popular LAMY safari to give your message a little extra flair. \nKaweco's Classic Rollerball is a premium, pocket-friendly pen\n \nThe catch is that the rollerball’s generous flow of ink means it takes a little longer to dry, which in turn makes it more prone to smudging. On good quality paper like Rhodia or Midori, that’s less of an issue, but if you’re writing in a rush (or you’re a lefty), a ballpoint might be the best option for you. \n\nAvailable in ballpoint, rollerball and fountain pen,\n\n LAMY safari is the world's most popular pen for good reason\n\n \n\nWhy not both?\nUltimately, ballpoint and rollerball pens aren’t so different. Each brings something special to the page – ballpoints are great for writing quickly; rollerballs, for writing gracefully – so the question is less “which one do I need?” and more “which one do I need to suit this particular task?”. Having a pen for every scenario is the stationery lover’s dream, and really, can you ever have too many pens? We certainly don’t think so! Now that you know what you’re looking for, go check out our range of ballpoint and rollerball pens, and decide which ones are the right pens for you.