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Which pen is for me? The lowdown on fountain, rollerball and ballpoint pens

When it comes to choosing that upmarket and high end pen, the right tip does require a bit of thought.

Over the years, pen manufacturers have introduced a variety of pens into the market, hoping to capture the imagination of the buying public with the next big trend in style, shape and colour. Pen designers appeal to the emotional aesthetics of the user, offering options that range from gold and platinum, to sterling silver, animal horn and exotic woods.

Aesthetics such as these are great for style, look and feel, but what does matter most is the business end of the pen, the part of the pen that transfers the ideas in your mind onto the paper before you.

Essentially there are three pen types, the fountain, the ballpoint and the rollerball but, which is best for you and how does one go about choosing?

The fountain pen is the elder statesman and is the very epitome of elegance and refinement. Those who choose to write with one find their writing to be clean and measured. Almost no pressure is required to get the ink onto paper so it is ideal for those suffering from carpel tunnel or arthritis. A variety of ink colors can be used and they are perfect for any circumstance where penmanship counts! The fountain pen does however, require a bit more consideration in its use. Filling the pen with fresh ink and keeping the nib clean and serviceable takes time, effort and practice. It can however, be a totally pleasurable and alluring experience and part of the overall ambiance of these fabulous writing instruments.

View our range of Parker fountain pens and other top brands such as Montegrappa, Diplomat and Watermen in our shop.

Waterman fountain penThe first successful ballpoint pen was patented in 1938 by Lazlo Biro and today many still refer to any ballpoint pen as a ‘biro’. There are many advantages to ballpoint pens. The ink lasts for an incredibly long time (even years), dries quickly on the paper and does not bleed through the paper. They are practical and in most cases, disposable. Ballpoints are however limited in their application, they cannot write on wet or greasy surfaces, cannot be used upside down, sometimes take a while to get started, are limited in colour range and require greater applied pressure.

We have a great range of ballpoints to choose from at Executive Pens Direct including popular Parker and Waterman ballpoint pen products.

Parker Ballpoint Finally we come to the rollerball pen, the compromise. Rollerball pens were first introduced in the 1960’s and were quite revolutionary in that they offered the convenience of a ballpoint with the delivery in smoothness and clarity of a fountain pen. Ink is available in liquid or gel form allowing for a greater variety of colors. The downside is that they do not last as long as ballpoints and can leak if left uncapped, which won't do that designer shirt any good! Rollerball ink soaks quickly into the paper so there is a chance that it may bleed and soak through to the underlying page.

Rollerballs are great gifts for if you want to give a special gift but don't want the hassle of a fountain pen. Browse our rollerball pens in our pen store today.

 Lamy Rollerball There you have it, the essential differences, pros and cons between the three. Choose wisely! Producing magic on paper requires your personal touch and style and the right writing instrument becomes a partner for life.

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