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Ballpoint vs. Gel Ink – What's The Difference?

The type of ink is the most important factor to consider so that you are aware of what to expect from the pen. Ballpoint and gel ink are two prevalent and frequently misunderstood varieties. You will come across several of the same terminologies when purchasing different pens. So what makes a ballpoint pen different from a gel pen? Continue reading to learn more.


Ballpoint Ink Compared to Gel Ink

The most crucial distinction between these two types of ink is that ballpoint ink is oil-based, and gel ink is water-based. Ballpoint ink has the appearance that it can write on practically any surface because, if it can grab the surface, the ball will roll, and ink will be applied. Ballpoint ink is extremely thick, and only the smallest amount is necessary to write on paper with it. The ink appears to sit on the paper rather than sink into it. Because of this, ballpoint pens can write on a variety of surfaces, including wood, plastic bags, leather, and everything in between. Some ballpoint pens with pressurized ink can write underwater, upside down, and in other challenging environments. Water that has been thickened with a combination of ingredients that is unique to gel ink is its base. On the other hand, a gel pen is a sort of rollerball that uses gel ink rather than liquid ink. Watery ink writes smoothly, but gel ink won't write on as many surfaces as ball pens.


Ballpoint vs. Gel Sizes

Gel ink spreads somewhat after soaking into the paper (depending on the paper). This means that a 1.0 mm gel pen may produce a 1.4 mm wide line when used instead of a 1.6 mm ballpoint pen because ballpoint ink doesn't spread on paper, no matter the size.


Ballpoint vs. Gel Pen Bodies

Both pen types come in a wide range of sizes, but generally speaking, gel pens are constrained by the fact that a far larger amount of gel ink than ballpoint ink is required for a given amount of writing. It implies that ballpoint pen refills may be purchased in a wide variety. But gel pens require big, frequently wide refills. This explains why gel pens aren't seen in tiny D1 refills because they would simply run out of ink too quickly. Ballpoint pen bodies come in a broad range due to the small amount of ink used and the consequently small size of the refills. 


Ballpoint vs. Gel Refills

There are many different sizes of ballpoint and gel refills. However, they are typically not compatible. Gel refills are often long and wide pieces of plastic. Gel ink is fluid and is eaten by the pen much more quickly than ballpoint ink, which is thick and used sparingly. As a result, gel pens often have much bigger ink refills than ballpoint pens, which have thin ink refills.


Ballpoint vs. Gel Writing

It will only be a generalization, but it should still be helpful because each of these ink kinds can differ significantly from one pen to another and from one brand to another. Ballpoint pens often write on nearly any surface and in nearly any circumstance. Short of a permanent marker, the oil-based ink appears to adhere to surfaces better than any other ink. When writing with thick ink, it feels as though you are pushing through something or moving slowly. Many people anticipate this "drag" from a pen, but as ballpoint ink technology has improved, it has lessened recently. Smoothness is a hallmark of gel pens and their liquid ink. They move easily across the paper, but if it can't hold the ink, they can't write. As a result, gel pens cannot write effectively on glossy paper or unusual surfaces like wood.


Scooboo- your ultimate stationery partner!

Are you looking for a good collection of gel and ball pens? No need to worry. Now that you have a basic knowledge of the differences between gel ink and ball ink, you can decide which one will be suitable for you. Scooboo is there to help you out. It offers users a wide range of high-quality pens and other stationery supplies which are durable and have a decent outlook. The fantastic collection of several kinds of writing instrument, super fast delivery process, and excellent customer service has made Scooboo one of the highest-rated stationery brand online!

1 comment

Love this! One of my favorite journaling sites recently posted a gel vs ballpoint breakdown ( if you’re interested!) and it set me on a quest to find the perfect pen, God help me. 😂😂 I love that your site offers the product comparison and an opportunity to purchase them all in one place. ❤️


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