Pen Inks Explained

The choices for pens is huge and so choosing the right one for your or your friend’s situation is important. Consideration is given to colour, type of ink, point size and feel. Here we talk about the type of inks that are used in.


Ballpoint Pens (Click Here for all Pens)

Ballpoints are one of the most common and well-known types of pens. They were first patented in 1888 but were not commercially viable until the 1940s when the Biro brothers started manufacturing them. The ink used in ballpoints is usually oil based and dries faster than other types of ink. This means less smudging when you’re writing. Since the ink is thick, ballpoints use less ink as you write, lasting longer than other pen types. However, thicker ink is more likely to “clump”, so you have to apply more writing pressure to make them work. As a result, these aren’t the best choice for long writing or writing on “soft” paper. But, if you’re just looking for a simple pen for everyday use, ballpoints are an easy and reliable option and usually the lightest in weight. Our ballpoint pens have either twist or click mechanisms.


Rollerball Pens (Click Here for Rollerballs)

Rollerballs were first invented in the 1960s and use a similar design as ballpoints but with usually water-based ink. Water-based ink flows faster and soaks into the paper more than ballpoint ink. The ease of flow requires less pressure and creates a smooth, comfortable writing experience. And, because the ink flows so smoothly, rollerballs are ideal for writing text with dark and fine lines. They also come in a wider range of colours because they use water-soluble dyes. If you need to write for a long period of time, use a rollerball. We offer several rollerball options.


Gel Pens

Gel pens combine characteristics from ballpoint and rollerball pens and were also invented in the 1960s but only became commercially available in the 1980s. They use water-based gel ink that has a consistency between both types of ink. This makes the ink less likely to smudge but still flows freely enough for smooth writing. As a result, gel pens offer the comfort of rollerball pens, with the performance of ballpoint pens. And, since they use pigments instead of regular dyes, gel pens are also available in a variety of colours. If you want to make a bold statement but still expect reliability, gel pens are a great choice. Many of our pens will take gel refills, however they are more expensive.


Marker Pens(Markers)

Markers were first invented in the 1940s, but the “Magic Marker” was commercially available almost 20 years later. The markers come in four types of ink: pigment, water, oil and alcohol based. Pigment and water-based inks are for traditional paper. On the other hand, oil and alcohol-based inks are for non-paper media (e.g. plastic, metal, or glass). These pens include permanent markers, non-permanent markers (e.g. dry erase markers), highlighters, and porous point (or felt tip) pens. With such a wide variety of point sizes, colours, and types, markers work great for both writers and artists alike. If you’re looking to add a splash of colour to any of your projects, marker pens are the right choice for you.


Fountain Pens (Click Here for Fountain Pens)

Fountain Pens are the most traditional type of pen and they are a refillable with any compatible ink. Records show that refillable writing instruments were used over 1,000 years ago. They were the most common type of pen through to the 1950s (other than the Quills). The writing experience of a fountain pen relates mostly to the ink delivery system and the nib. Of course, the balance needs to be right in the hand. We offer several Fountain Pen options.


Stylus Pens (Click Here for Stylus Pens)

Stylus pens are a two-in-one tool. One part is a traditional pen that writes on paper and the other part includes a stylus. A stylus has a round rubber tip that helps navigate touchscreen devices.

Some stylus pens come with a stylus at the top of the pen and others come with a stylus at the pen tip end. Scrolling, selecting, and highlighting are all made easier with stylus pens. Stylus pens also keep your screen free of fingerprints and scratches.

We offer several stylus pens, the most popular being the Sierra Stylus pen.

So, when choosing a pen, consider the use and select the pen that best enhances your writing experience. Unless you are a collector, when many other factors come into consideration.

The passion for wood turning can manifest itself in many ways. Making wooden pens is a great way to be creative. For more information on handcrafted wooden pens and other items, see Aussiepens “n” Things

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