April 02, 2019

Writing is an everyday routine for most of us. List of groceries, tasks at work, notes in school, computations by engineers, or autographs by celebrities – not a single day will pass by that we won’t have anything to write.

And so investing in a good pen is a must.

But how do you know if a pen is better than the other?

Ball Point Pens Vs Fountain Pens

A fountain pen can be much better than a ball-point pen. But there are a few cases where it is better to use a ball pen. These cases include when you are writing on carbon copies and times when you might be more abusive in your use and care of the pen, like at the workplace. Also, ball pen ink does not easily wash away if it gets wet like fountain pen ink readily does.
A ballpoint pen is practical, “no fuss,” and you virtually never get ink on your hands. You can just throw it away when done, or buy a refill if it is an “expensive” one.

Ballpoint pens are all about Practicality.

For writing in a journal or stories or homework or anything more lengthy than quick note taking, a good fountain pen is much better, pleasant and artistic. For cursive writing especially, a fountain pen is the one to choose since you’ll find that it is difficult to write in style with a ball pen, but natural with a fountain pen.

When it comes to being classy, fountain pen always wins.

You really can’t tell. There are pros and cons for each type. But taking a deeper look at their differences can help you decide which everyday pen you should use.

Origins and Purpose

The ballpoint pen can actually trace its origins all the way back to 1888 by John Loud. At that time, Mr. Loud was attempting to make an instrument that would be able to write on different surfaces such as wood, course wrapping paper, and other articles.

But what about using a standard fountain pen instead?

While fountain pens existed at the time, their nib was just too fragile to accomplish the above. Ballpoint pens were then created to resolve this issue. However, as much as it has been a clever solution, it just simply didn't work, causing it to be shelved for several years before it was revived and made with better designs.

Writing Experience

When it comes to holding a ballpoint pen, in order to make the ink flow through the ballpoint, you need to apply some pressure.

The pressure needed, depending on the make of the pen itself, can vary greatly from one manufacturer to another.

Unlike a fountain pen, the ink of a ballpoint pen just simply wouldn't flow without pressure.

The added necessity of pressure coupled with the inherent action of a tighter grip on the barrel of the pen itself will inevitably wear out your muscles, especially when writing for a prolonged period.

Therefore, if you are a student, writer, or anyone else who has long writing sessions, then a fountain pen like the Dryden Designs Limited Edition Modern Classic Fountain Pens is just simply a better and more comfortable instrument.

Now, as much as the ballpoint pen might get flak from the penmanship community, they still have their place. Here's why:

Ballpoints Might Be The Most Affordable and A Greatly Reliable Writing Tool In The Market

Whether you are jotting down a few notes during a business meeting or simply marking off your shopping list on a Sunday morning, the mobility of a ballpoint pen can't be overlooked.

Not only are ballpoint pens incredibly portable, but their susceptibility to leaking is also virtually none.

Sure, there might be of the one-off story of a ballpoint pen exploding in a pocket and destroying a shirt, but on the large, they are a pretty clean writing instrument.

You can refer to them too as somewhat more “permanent” than fountain pens as they don’t need regular ink refills to write.

The Nib Is Practically What Makes the Fountain Pen

The most distinct feature of any fountain pen will undoubtedly be the nib. If you have been using fountain pens for some time already, you will know for sure that nibs of each pen vary. Hence, they give the fountain pens their unique characteristics.

Allowing the ink to flow effortlessly from the reservoir to the point not only makes it incredibly easy to write, but also gives this writing tool its distinct line style.

Depending on the speed and pressure of your hand while writing will largely determine the stroke width that it makes on the paper.

Like other writing instruments, the fountain pen nib does come in a variety of sizes including the following:

  • Extra Fine
  • Fine
  • Medium
  • Broad

Making Artwork With A Fountain Pen and Ballpoint Pen

Now, when it comes to the versatility of these two pens, the fountain pen will win hands down.

With the ability to change the stroke width based on pressure and speed, a fountain pen will give an artist a lot more design flexibility.

But we don't want to say beautiful artwork can't be made with a ballpoint pen.

And again, regarding the pressure required to make a ballpoint pen flow, should you be working on a drawing for several hours, you may experience some hand fatigue with this instrument.

Your Fountain Pen Will Be Shaped to Become Your Personal Representation

Remember, we mentioned last time in our article “42ND NATIONAL HANDWRITING DAY: 6 CREATIVE WAYS PEOPLE CELEBRATED IT” that handwriting is almost as unique as your fingerprint? Well, your fountain pen is being shaped to be as unique as it too.

Given that nib is relatively delicate, it does bend and form to your own writing characteristics. Therefore, how you write is likely not at all similar to that of your spouse or even identical twin.

So, what does this mean?

Your fountain pen becomes unique for every person or for every penmanship.

So don’t share your fountain pen. Sharing your pen with anyone else may cause breakage and a misshaped point on the nib of your pen.

If you are looking for a portable pen you can share with anyone - a ballpoint pen will be your tool of choice.

So What’s The Verdict?

When taking all of the above into account, when deciding between a ballpoint pen or fountain pen, it's really much a personal choice and how much you should write every day.

If you are looking for a pen that sends a message, then you will want to go with a fountain pen. The varying stroke widths that the nib provides will result in a beautifully presented letter.

The most important aspect of a fountain pen though will definitely be the overall comfort. Without the incessant cramping, you may experience with a ballpoint pen, fountain pens will effortlessly glide when you are putting words on the page.

But like any new tool, expect the learning curve to take some time before you attain a higher writing velocity.

So, if you are in the middle of preparing for finals or have an exam where you need to write an essay within a restricted period of time, it may be best to leave the fountain pen and use your ballpoint pen.


Shopping from the UK?

Visit our UK store.