Ballpoint Pen vs Fountain Pen: Let’s Find the Winner
ballpoint pen vs fountain pen

It’s time to solve this argument once and for all: which pen is better, fountain or ballpoint pen? To seal the deal, we carry out a detailed comparison between the ballpoint pen vs fountain pen.

Ballpoint pen manufacturers claim to provide a better writing experience, but our research says something else. Are you getting curious? Read on to learn more.

Ballpoint Pen vs Fountain Pen: A Detailed Comparison

fountain pen

Even though both of these writing instruments are pretty different from each other, they have some things in common, which we will illustrate below:

1. Type of Ink

The first thing that matters in writing is the ink, so what’s the difference between a ballpoint and a fountain pen’s ink? Well, here it is:

Ballpoint Pen

A traditional ballpoint pen uses oil-based inks combined with alcohol for quick drying. The inks are in a gel-like consistency, and when they are dry, they offer a scratchy writing experience.

Fountain Pen

Fountain pens use more water-based inks that flow beautifully through the nib gaps. Contrary to ballpoint pens, they have a better ink flow, resulting in smoother writing that doesn’t dry out as quickly.

Winner: In this comparison, the fountain pen wins because the flow of ink is faster yet more beautiful than ballpoint ink, which is quick-drying and often shows resistance.

2. Surface Variation

The number of writing surfaces that a pen can be used on is important. Let’s see our results.

Ballpoint Pen

Surprisingly, they are more versatile and variable. Ballpoint pens adapt easily to the surface because of their ball style and stainless steel tip. They can write on smooth, rough, and irregular surfaces.

Fountain Pen

Contrary to ballpoint pens, this liquid-based ink pen is not suitable for all surfaces. Because of their thin nib, which is thin and flexible from the tip, they can get easily damaged on the rough surface. It’s better to use it only on a smooth surface.

Winner: In this case, the ballpoint pen/ regular pen works better because its tip adapts quickly to every surface, something that a fountain pen can’t do.

3. Personalized Writing

Everyone has a personal writing style and preserving it is of vital importance. So do ballpoint and fountain pens serve their purpose? Let’s see!

Ballpoint Pen 

Due to its ball tip writing mechanism, a writer does not control the tip. Even though ballpoint pens are great, they offer minimal style in personalized writing due to a lack of flexible tips.

Fountain Pen

Fountain pens give a better flow to the writing and a smooth flow of ink. Plus, the flexible tip allows uniform strikes with variations in its barrel diameter, improving personalized writing.

Winner: If you believe in the craft of handwriting, and above all, personalized writing, then getting a fountain pen is the best choice, as it provides a better writing experience than a ballpoint pen.

4. The Color Intensity of Inks

The color and vibrancy of inks improve the depth and contrast of writing with paper. While both pens have the same color, their depth may vary.

Ballpoint Pen

Even though ballpoint ink is oil-based and quick-drying, these pens offer a good color vibrancy and depth. This is variable and can be different in every ballpoint pen production process.

Fountain Pen

Because of good flow on smooth surfaces, fountain pen inks have a better depth of color and vibrancy than ballpoint pens. Whether it’s due to their liquid flow or nib sizes, the results are quite remarkable.

Winner: Even though it was a tough competition, we think fountain pens won this race given their vibrant colors and amazing depth.

5. Lines and Width

A good pen is enough to create an artistic statement for others. To do so, there should be adequate variations in width and writing lines. Let’s see if these pens can pull this off.

Ballpoint Pen

Even if you have a big collection of ballpoint pens, most of them offer the same barrel diameter, which is not enough to produce a variety of lines with variable widths.

Fountain Pen

Fountain pens have various flexible nib sizes that greatly improve the chances of more variable strokes – the more downward pressure you put in it to a limit, the better the line gets.

Winner: A fountain pen produces better strokes of variable length and width.

6. Cartridge Longevity

Nobody wants to run out of ink by only writing a single page. So it’s time to keep our fingers crossed and see if these pen types don’t disappoint us.

Ballpoint Pen

These have bigger cartridges and, due to thick ink, can last up to eighteen papers.

Fountain Pen

Even though modern fountain pens have better space, they can only last for five to ten pages and thus require a quick ink refill.

Winner: Ballpoints don’t require many refills and can last for extended periods.

7. Environment-Friendly

We should also consider what’s good for the environment as well.

Ballpoint Pen

Even though there are many disposable ballpoint pens, their cartridges are made from plastic and contribute to waste.

Fountain Pen

Fountain pens can last for decades when properly maintained, so they are a great environment-friendly product.

Winner: The fountain pen is a clear winner because of its environment-safe nature that creates minimal waste.

Ballpoint vs Fountain Pen: The Final Winner

Even though there are many fountain and ballpoint pen enthusiasts out there, comparing every aspect in detail, we believe that fountain pens give a smoother writing experience and a better writing experience than ballpoint pens.


To settle the dispute of ballpoint vs fountain pens, we compared some common features available in almost all types of pens. These comparisons show in the end that fountain pens are a better choice because of their glorious strokes, smooth flow, and their more environmentally-friendly nature.


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