Fountain Pen vs Ballpoint Pen

No matter why you use a particular pen, a good pen is always a useful tool in personal and professional life. Today, there are many pens available in the market, and it is challenging to choose the best among them. It is a well-known fact that ballpoint pens are very convenient to write and available in the market quickly. On the other hand, fountain pens are environmentally friendly and comfortable than ballpoint pens. This article highlights both the advantages and disadvantages of the fountain and ballpoint pens. Get yourself familiarized with the differences, understand your writing style, and select the best writing tool that works for you.

Fountain Pen Vs Ballpoint Pen

1. Price Range

The price of a fountain pen is much higher when compared to ballpoint pens. Based on the sophisticated models available in fountain pens, a single pen price can be equal to a set of ballpoint pens.

2. Cost Overtime

The fountain pens need to be filled with ink from the bottle when the ink runs out, but in the case of ballpoint pens, there is an option of just changing the refill. The cost of the refill is enough to use the pen again. Even though refills are available, customers throw away the pen once the ink is completed. Over time a well-maintained fountain pen is less expensive than replacing the whole ballpoint pen.

3. Impact on the Environment

Fountain pens are environmental friendly when compared to ballpoint pens. The cartridges of fountain pens are disposable, and you can fill with ink if necessary and use them again.

4. Pressure on Your Fingers

A small amount of pressure is enough to write with a fountain pen as it sits comfortably between your fingers and gives less stress on your fingers. Writing with ballpoint pens requires more pressure, and prolonged usage creates cramps on the fingers.

5. Maintenance of the Pens

Fountain pens need to be cleaned from time to time. Ballpoint pens need no maintenance and no cleaning.

6. Ink Usage and Leakage

Ballpoint pens use less ink and write for a long time, but fountain pens require more ink for writing. Leakage of ink is very rare in ballpoint pens when compared to calligraphy fountain pens, which are prone to leakage if not stored properly. Compared to the old fountain pens, the modern ones are not having leakage problems.

7. Writing on Surfaces

Ballpoint pen ink does not dry up, and you can use to write on a variety of surfaces like wood, plastic, etc. Fountain pens cannot write on the surfaces where ballpoint can write.

8. Nature and Quality of Ink

The ink of ballpoint is oil-based and can be washed away easily with water-based solvents. Fountain pens have water-based inks and difficult to wash away. The quality of ink used for fountain pens is smoother when compared to the ballpoint pen.

9. Bleeding Through Paper

Some inks bleed through paper, and if the paper quality is not right, then this bleeding could be more. Ballpoint pens use oil-based ink and are less likely to bleed through any paper. Fountain pens use water-based ink and can bleed through the paper easily. The oil-based natured ink of ballpoint pens makes them write any surfaces like glossy paper found in textbooks.

10. Personal Preference

At present, the fountain pens are gaining popularity due to the status symbol, class, and, elegance. These pens are also experiencing fame as they represent a simpler time before the advent of technology. Ballpoints are most advanced in technology, and massive production has increased distribution and usage.


So which type of pen is better? Choose a fountain pen if you are looking for extended maintenance, better ink control, and write with varying widths to impress your friends. If you are are looking for low maintenance, disposable, and easy to use, then go for a ballpoint pen. At Buchan Kerrisdale Stationery in Vancouver and Richmond, we have a wide range of Fountain, Ballpoint Pens to match your style and requirements. Stop by our store if you are in Canada or shop us online. We ship our products internationally.