Talk:Rollerball pen

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The last disadvantage of rollerball pens in fact seems like an advantage. Perhaps I'm misreading?

A disadvantage I have found is that the water-based ink barely absorbs into certain 'oily' or 'waxy' paper (I don't know what type of paper it is, it just feels 'glossy'). The ink just sits on top. Eventually in sinks in, but leaves a poor effect - the lines aren't consistent, and the color shallow. This is obviously an effect of water-based ink in general, but it is barely noticeably on 'regular' paper. Does anyone know why this happens, or what type of paper it is (oil based paper?) - (talk) 03:09, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

The third bullet point under disadvantages reads: "Rollerball pens generally run out of ink more quickly than ballpoints because rollerballs use a greater amount of ink while writing. This is especially true of liquid-ink rollerballs, due to gel ink having a low absorption rate as a result of its thickness. Neither lasts as long as a ballpoint."

This doesn't make sense to me. It sounds like liquid ink rollerball pens run out of ink quickly because gel ink from rollerball pens isn't absorbed into paper quickly. Those are two different types of ink right? Spartan32 (talk) 00:03, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

The last advantage only compares liquid rollerball inks and gel rollerball inks. It doesn't mention ballpoint pens, but probably should. Shroomy115 (talk) 20:34, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

when was it invented? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:14, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

The first disadvantage seems contrary to my experience, and I have used dozens of different pen models. 95% of water-based inks dry faster than 95% of oil-based inks (except on waxed papers, as mentioned by a previous editor). This is because the moisture in water- (or solvent-) based inks evaporates much faster, leaving behind absorbed dyes and/or dry pigments. On the contrary, oil-based inks dry much slower.

If I write a line of text with a rollerball pen (water-based ink) and then brush my hand across it, it will usually not smear. However, if I write a line of text with a ballpoint (oil-based ink) it will almost certainly smear.

This effect can also be seen clearly in paints: acrylic (water-based) paints can dry in minutes: oil paints can often take weeks, if not months.

The reason that rollerball pens cannot write on wax paper is because many of them use dyes, and not pigments. Pigments are solid substances that rest on top of a surface, while dyes penetrate deep into it. Dyes can easily penetrate into the fibers of regular paper, as well as animal products like calfskin vellum. However, they cannot penetrate paper that is coated with a waxy, metallic, etc substance, since it blocks the dye molecules from reaching the fibers. Thus, the dye just rests on top and can be wiped away with just a light touch. You can test this by trying to write on a piece of glossy tape with different pens. [Source: personal knowledge/experience] (talk) 03:53, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

"... were introduced in 1963 by Ohto Japan who were at the time known as Auto Japan." There are no indications that this company ever was called "Auto Japan". But "ohto" is meant to have the same pronounciation as the English pronounciation of "auto". Vicki Reitta (talk) 10:34, 5 July 2015 (UTC)

How exactly were they used for invisible writing? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:06, 5 July 2017 (UTC)

The article starts with "Roller ball pens or roll pens[1] are pens which use ball point writing mechanisms with water-based liquid or gelled ink, as opposed to the oil-based viscous inks found in ballpoint pens."
As if they're different pen types which differ by style of ink. However, the dictionary link [1] which is used to source the naming, tells about roller pen: a type of ballpoint pen. So according to that, roller pen IS a ballpoint pen. (talk) 09:10, 1 February 2022 (UTC)


I once used a rollerball pen to write my signature on the back of a credit card. The ink didn't set, and it just smeared. Doesn't seemed like a widespread issue and hard to search for sources. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rollerballpenuser (talkcontribs) 05:26, 19 December 2022 (UTC)