Ballpoint pens are extremely popular for many reasons. They are convenient, easy to use, and widely accessible.
However, any writer who uses ballpoint pens frequently knows that they can also run into issues. The most common problem that people encounter when using ballpoint pens is skipping. Skipping is when a writing instrument such as a fountain pen or a ballpoint pen writes with partial or missing strokes.
Using a pen that skips can be extremely frustrating, but more often than not, it can be remedied. So why is your ballpoint pen skipping? Let’s find out.
Reasons your ballpoint pen is skipping
The first possible reason your ballpoint pen is skipping is lack of use. When ballpoint pens aren’t used for long periods, the ink on the tip can dry and block the flow of the ink passage. As a result, the ink doesn’t flow out properly.
Another common reason ballpoint pens skip is that temperature can affect ink flow. Water-based inks may end up skipping in very cold environments because low temperature constricts the flow of liquids. Oil-based inks may dry even faster in cold environments because they can turn solid and stop flowing.
A third reason that ballpoint pens might skip is when air gets trapped inside the ink cartridge. This may hamper the normal flow of ink and lead to skipping in your ballpoint pen.
How to fix a skipping ballpoint pen
There are many ways to fix a skipping ballpoint pen. Before replacing your cartridge or your pen entirely, try any of these methods to see if you can get your pen to function normally again.
Use heat. Since we know that temperature can affect ink flow, applying heat may improve your pen’s performance. Take your pen apart and hold the ink cartridge between your hands. Gently roll it in your hands or between your fingertips to add some warmth to the ink. You may also use a hairdryer to heat the ink, but be careful as it may affect your pen’s plastic components.
Use a rubber surface. You can use a rubbery surface such as an eraser or a clean shoe sole to get the ball in the nib rolling again. Scribble a few times onto the rubbery surface until your pen starts to write again.
Use alcohol and flame. Ballpoint pens that are clogged with dried ink can be fixed by applying rubbing alcohol onto the nib. This will help dislodge any ink residue and can help your pen write normally again. If this doesn’t work, then try submerging your pen’s nib into some rubbing alcohol and passing it through a lighter’s flame for a few seconds. This will burn off the clogged ink and loosen the ball in the nib so it can roll.
If none of these options work, then it may be time to replace your ballpoint pen. We highly recommend brands such as LAMY and Parker when choosing a high-quality ballpoint pen.
The Bottom Line
Ballpoint pens are some of the most widely used and affordable pens on the market, and there are many advantages of writing with ballpoint pens. Getting your ballpoint pen to work again is not all that difficult. All you need is a bit of know-how from these tips and some patience if your pen starts skipping.
Written by EndlessPens Blogger Ramona Kabigting