Choosing the right pen kit

Choosing the right pen kit

In this blog, we will briefly look at the different types of pen kits on the market, and examine some of the advantages and disadvantages.

Writing Tip

Probably one of the biggest differences between the various types is the actual writing medium.  Here, we generally have three different options: ballpoint, rollerball and fountain.  All three write a little differently and customers generally have a preference for one.


Most common is the ballpoint which is easy to use, requires little or no maintenance and quickest drying ink.  It is easy to refill, and the most versatile of all the ink mediums as it can write on the widest range of materials.  Refills are typically easier to find, and kits with twist or click actions mean the pens can be easy to use.

Ballpoints also have the advantage of having the largest choice of pen kits available, due to their popularity and design.  Very unique kits such as the gear-shift and bolt-action really have taken pen design and desirability to another level, opening up a much larger range of customers.  We would suggest that ballpoints should be the "back-bone" of any pen manufacturer.

One of the disadvantages of the ballpoint is the way the refill writes.  The ink is much thicker than other mediums, and also the system is more prone to blotchy writing unless a very high quality refill is used.  The requirement for springs and twist or click mechanisms can also introduce potential issues both with pen assembly and also pen operation.


Rollerballs exist in between ballpoints and fountain pens.  What this means is that they write more like a fountain pen but with the convenience of a ballpoint.  Ink and tip are supplied, like a ballpoint, as a disposable refill.  The ink is much thinner and free flowing than a ballpoint, so writing with a rollerball pen can be more flowing.

One of the disadvantages of rollerballs used to be that the pen had to be capped to help prevent the ink drying out on the tip.  With the modern range of rollerballs such as Scmidts,  the refills are now considered non-drying so caps are no longer a requirement, however, all rollerball pen kits still feature caps.


Fountain pens generally have a love/hate relationship with most people.  Most of us had to use a fountain pen at some point in our school days, and so for many this can conjure up bad memories of practising hand-writing!  Fountain pens are unique and if you start writing with one these days, you should see and feel the attraction.  The ink (should) flow very freely, and with different stroke and materials of nibs, the possibilities for customising are much greater than any other pen format.  The nibs can be flexible which really allows for a wonderful writing experience, and something that is pretty essential for writing styles such as calligraphy.  There are also a very wide range of ink colours available.

The main disadvantage focuses on being "messy" and also requiring some maintenance to stop the ink drying in the feed system.  The nibs are probably also more susceptible to damage.