The Ultimate Ballpoint Pen Guide

Unquestionably, the ballpoint pen is the world’s most loved writing instrument - the utensil has become a staple in daily life because of its practicality and convenience. Concepted in 1888, a classic ballpoint pen has been designed for concise, comfortable handwriting with its retractable mechanism and fast-drying ink. Hence its namesake, a ballpoint dispenses ink from a small rotating ball at its tip, producing a smooth, consistent ink flow that’s perfect for writing with ease.

While many pen enthusiasts often opt for a fountain or rollerball pen because of their sleek style and fluid ink flow, ballpoint pens are more convenient for everyday occasions due to their effortless writing style and utility.

What Makes the Ballpoint Pen Unique?

There are many reasons why ballpoints are so endeared across the world. One of the fundamental differences between ballpoint and other utensils are the types of ink. Ballpoint pens were specifically created to suit an oil-based ink that drys much faster than any other pen ink. In addition, because of their durable structure, ballpoints rarely leak or smear.

With other pens, you may need to carry spare nibs or additional ink pots to ensure that you have enough for your writing at all times, however, when it comes to the ballpoint, the pens are designed with a longer life span and an easy refill feature.

Unlike other ink pens, when applying too much pressure while writing, because of its durable nature - a ballpoint pen will not easily break.

Ultimately, ballpoint pens provide a great, consistent writing experience with a sturdy, sophisticated and user-friendly design.

Biro & Ballpoint Differences:

Biros are generally the same as ballpoint pens but with a few caveats. In the UK, biros are often made from cheaper, disposable components, whereas the ballpoint pen is a term associated more with a luxury, refillable pen.

Limitations of Ballpoints:

While ballpoint pens are reliable and durable - perfect for everyday use, they are arguably not as sleek and smooth to use as a fountain or rollerball pen. Even further, ballpoint pens don’t offer the same elegant handwritten aesthetic as the fountain and rollerball pens.

​Choosing the Right Ballpoint Pen:

Some of the finest ballpoint pens are available on our website, including the impressive Fisher Space collection which can be utilised in a multitude of environments like zero gravity and underwater. Parker Ballpoints are also available. Plus, there are plenty of other gift sets that make ideal Christmas or birthday presents.

Below is a selection of our most cost effective, robust & popular ballpoint models:

Parker Jotter:

First introduced in 1954, typically, when you think of a Parker pen you’ll most likely think of the iconic Parker Jotter. A practical yet affordable, stylish and fun ballpoint pen with a sleek, stainless steel design. In the 1963 edition of Life magazine, Parker advertised that the Jotter could write up to 80,000 words. Across the barrel, the Jotter has a gold trim and Parker arrow pocket, presented in an exquisite Parker gift box. The Parker Jotter is suitable for all occasions, the ballpoint takes standard Parker refills and writes in blue Parker Quink.Parker Jotter Ballpoint


Parker IM

Redesigned and restyled in 2017, the Parker Instant Message is a smart, polished, and classic Parker ballpoint with a modern twist. Finished with an attractive lacquer and lustrous gold trims, the Parker IM’s tip ensures smooth, neat writing while the ink is dependably quick-drying and consistent. The ballpoint takes standard Parker refills and writes in writes in blue Parker Ballpoint Quink ink.

Parker Jotters Originals

Iconic and brightly coloured since 1954, the Parker Jotter Original is a staple range that has built up a profound reputation among both writers and doodlers alike. The Parker Jotter Originals ballpoint has a stainless steel cap that is paired with a glossy, colourful barrel. The revamped Parker Jotter is perfect for using every day or for giving as a gift on those special moments and occasions. Perfectly pocket-sized, this Parker Jotter can also be engraved for a truly personalised gift. The ballpoint takes standard Parker refills and writes in writes in blue Parker Ballpoint Quink ink.

Parker IM Premium

Redesigned in 2017, the Parker IM Premium features brand-new colours, patterns and finishes. The ballpoint has a gunmetal finish, engraved with a modern grid-style pattern. In addition, the pen is finished with lustrous chrome trims that perfectly complement its colour and style. Parker has tapered the silhouette of the pen, stabilising it for those longer writing sessions. The ballpoint is complete with a luxury Parker gift box.

Waterman Hemisphere

A deep and sumptuous design with a graceful appeal, the Waterman Hemisphere is a must-have for any pen devotee. The ballpoint is a modern accessory that perfectly matches any time or place. Finished with a rich black lacquer, its slim aesthetic showcases a sophisticated statement of personality and style. Across its body are twenty-three-carat gold plated trims with a gold bevelled end cap. Complete with a luxury gift box and three years Waterman manufacturers warranty.

How to Refill a Ballpoint Pen:

One of the fundamental reasons why ballpoint pens are so popular and dependable regards their re-usability - every ballpoint has the ability to refill its ink cartridge. Each ballpoint will have its own specific refill suiting its brand, ranging in size and colour. Many refills will have their own make and model numbers printed on the barrel, for example, every Parker pen uses the same Parker-style refill cartridge, regardless of which ballpoint pen you have, the Parker refills are all the same.

Once you’ve purchased a suitable cartridge for your ballpoint, you’ll need to swap it with the old cartridge. Hold the pen up horizontally and twist its lower body until unscrewed, the old refill should reveal itself.

Some pens will have adapters that hold the refill in place, gently replace the old refill from the adapter with the new one. Other pens will have a spring in the tip that will bounce out when the pen has been unscrewed. When swapping refills, place the spring back into its original position with the new refill affixed.


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