About Rollerball Pens

Rollerball Pens

Rollerball pens are a combination of fountain and ballpoint pens. Collectors will find that they are more costly than ballpoint pens but less expensive than fountain pens. Rollerball pens are similar to ballpoint models in that both writing devices feature ball tips. However, rollerball pen tips are narrower and will permit users to sketch or complete delicate writings such as calligraphy or drawings.

When rollerball pen owners purchase ink for their writing device, they will buy water-based or gel ink. The pen's writing point is a small ball that measures 0.5 to 0.7mm in diameter. When the pen is in use, the ball will shift ink from its storage tube onto the paper during movement.

Rollerball Pen History

In 1963, Ohto Japan introduced rollerball pens. The company also went by the name Auto Japan. Pen collectors can select two main versions of the writing device, which include liquid ink and gel ink. With liquid ink rollerball pens, consumers will have a writing implement that provides a consistent ink flow while ensuring that the user experiences less skipping. If pen collectors have a rollerball pen with gel ink, then it will dry more quickly, and as a result, will not cause ink spots.

Advantages of Rollerball Pens

When pen collectors compare rollerball pens to ballpoint models, they'll find that the style offers them distinctive features. For example, they will need less writing pressure to produce ink. With less pressure, writers will have reduced hand stress, which will provide a more comfortable writing experience. In addition, users may find that they can produce completed work more quickly.

Another advantage to selecting a rollerball pen is the wide range of ink colors as manufacturers have access to more pigments and dyes. Also, a rollerball pen's water-based ink will soak into paper with greater width and depth, which will give pen owners a unique writing style. Pen collectors may also appreciate the model's ability to emit fine lines, which will produce clearer writing than ballpoint pens.

Rollerball Pen Disadvantages

Since rollerball pens often include water-based ink, they are more likely to smudge when a collector is writing with them. Also, the ink dries slower than the ink contained in ballpoint pens, and if writers are using a notebook and close it before the ink dries, then an ink splotch may appear on the opposite page.

Rollerball pens also run out of ink faster than ballpoint pens because the pen tip uses more ink when users are writing. If rollerball pen owners forget to place a cap on their writing device, then they may suffer from leaks. Owners should use caution when they are traveling with their rollerball pen as the device is prone to leaking when it is in an airplane's pressurized cabin.

Types of Rollerball Pens

With the long history of rollerball pens, collectors can locate items manufactured by a number of companies including Delta, Jinhao, Parker and Omas.


Pen collectors will find classic rollerball pens on today's market. For instance, the Jinhao antique silver pen featuring a Chinese dragon is a quality implement that will stand out in any pen assortment. The company began during 1988 in Jiangxi Province and moved their operation to Shanghai in 2003. With its combination of Chinese culture and western elements, pen collectors will have a special piece when they purchase the Jinhao silver dragon roller pen.


Collectors may also select vintage pens produced by Delta. The company is famous for its quality construction since artisans focus on details while ensuring that consumers receive a traditional design. With a Delta rollerball pen, collectors will receive a writing device that crafters at the company hand turn from solid bars featuring mother-of-pearl resin. The classic pens are available in ruby red, ocean blue and slate grey while the trim includes a platinum mask. In addition, collectors may notice the brand's gold accent band and clip construction that features platinum-coated elastic alloy. The writing device also includes a rolling wheel for convenient pocket use.


Vintage pen collectors will find Parker brand pens such as the Duofold Marbled Rollerball writing unit, which the company released during the first few months of 1996. The pen features a black top along with a clip that includes raised feathers. Another classic Parker pen is the Duofold Gold Plated rollerball pen. The company introduced the writing device in the third quarter of 1992, and collectors can locate the pen in excellent condition. The clip includes raised feathers along with a cap band, and Parker added a black stained American maple storage box.


Montblanc began making fountain pens in 1924. The company branched out to rollerball pens, and collectors will find products such as the Meisterstuck Black Rollerball pen, which features a black tube exterior and blue ink. Collectors may locate the brand with a protective case along with ink refills.

Montblanc produced their rollerball pens in the 1970s, and collectors will find them on today's market in excellent condition. For instance, the Noblesse pen features a silver exterior with a black grip along with the Montblanc label discreetly embossed on the side.

Silver Eagle

Collectors may prefer an ornate Silver Eagle pen with its black body and sterling silver overlay. They will notice the brand engraved on the pen cap, which also confirms that the pen's construction occurred in the United States. The silver overlay has an oriental floral print and will stand out in any pen collection. Often, vintage Silver Eagle pens arrive in their original wood box.


Another rollerball manufacturer is Sheaffer, and collectors will discover products on the rollerball pen market like the Slim Line Ladies Targa. It features a silver exterior along with a rollerball cartridge for its ink. With vintage pens, collectors may even receive an item engraved with the original owner's name, which will add authenticity and tradition to their pen collection. Classic Sheaffer pens may come in an original box while the company engraves its name on the middle section of the writing implement.


With a vintage Omas rollerball pen, collectors will have a beautiful piece. The brand is Italian, and the company has been designing writing devices since the 1920s with the intention of providing quality pens. In fact, the founder of Omas, Armando Simoni, believed "A pen must make writing pleasurable." When collectors purchase a vintage Omas rollerball pen, they'll have a fine writing instrument as they feature a classic titanium exterior along with a subtle pattern around the middle of the pen in silver. If a collector locates an Omas pen with its box, then he or she will have a beautiful display piece since the box presents the pen perfectly.


With Tornado vintage rollerball pens, collectors may select a device with a stainless steel container along with a copper finish. In addition, the classic pen features copper enhancements and black ink. When collectors begin shopping for a Tornado rollerball pen, they'll find the writing device in a number of colors.

When collectors invest in vintage rollerball pens, they'll have a valuable and useable classic writing device that they can pass down to future generations of pen collectors.