Fountain Pens vs Ballpoints: A Classic Battle

We’re all still fond of conventional methods, right? And why not. With a multitude of pen types available to us in fountain pens and ballpoints, the only real question is - what is your preference?

 

A Very Quick History (or Quicky)
The ballpoint pen was first patented in 1888 by John J. Loud, while the first fountain pen was patented by an insurance salesman by the name of Lewis Waterman in 1884. You may have heard of him. For a complete history, check out Ballpoint Pen and Fountain Pen links on wiki, because we all love wiki.

 

The Ballpoint

The purpose of a ballpoint is to dispense ink that can quickly dry on paper but stays wet inside the pen. That's why dense oil-based ink is used, which is carried by an alcohol solvent. The ink is distributed with the help of a small ball that's located in a socket at the pen's head. When you start to write, gravity helps ink flow downwards through its cartridge onto the ball.

 

The Fountain Pen

The fountain pen meanwhile contains a nib instead of a ball. Two tines separate the nib which is located on the top of a collector which is linked to a feed. The feed itself is connected to the pen's cartridge from where it gets the ink. Gravity is at work again as when you are writing, the collector, funnily enough, collects the ink from the feed and lets it flow through to the nib. When you put pressure on the nib, the two tines separate and let the ink through to the paper.

 

Writing Depth, Color and Smoothness

Fountain pens disperse more ink onto the paper, when compared to the ballpoint. It means that they have the ability to create vivid lines with deeper color. While a ballpoint pen may produce attractive lines due to the nature of its thick oil-based ink and engineering style, it is hard to match the dominant personality of the writing made possible by a fountain pen and the freedom liquid ink provides.

 

Convenience and Friendliness
The ink cartridges of ballpoints are quite efficient - they can last longer. You also don't need to worry about refills – just purchase another ballpoint or two that are readily available at affordable prices. Fountain pens require maintenance and regular refilling depending on your usage habits, but it’s a small price to pay for such beautiful and astounding results. A fountain pen’s beauty, for us Earth-lovers, is that they are also environmental-friendly as they can be used for years. Although you can replace the cartridge, most users simply refill it with water-based ink and keep going…and going… (Energizer bunny pun intended). Ballpoints are mostly a plastic body and cartridge which need to be disposed of once the ink runs or dries out.

 

Conclusion
It’s YOUR decision! Are you a casual writer looking for an efficient and convenient tool? Ballpoint it is – it’s affordable with low maintenance. If you’re looking for colors, depth and ease of writing, then a fountain pen could be your next soulmate. Or…just buy one of each!

 

Happy writing!

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