Rollerball pens are known for smooth-flowing liquid ink that applies vividly to paper. The lines are often more attractive than those of oil-based ballpoint pens. Poor quality rollerball pens can have problems with leaking and bleeding through paper, so it’s important to choose from the best.

We reviewed the best rollerball pens below based on ink quality, ergonomics and how fast the ink dries. We have tried numerous pens ourselves in our journey to find our favorites. Now it’s time to show you what we would say are the top rollerball pens and whom they’re recommended for.

10 Best Rollerball Pens for the Money:

1. Pilot G2 Premium Gel Roller

PILOT G2 Premium Refillable & Retractable Rolling Ball Gel Pens, Fine Point, Black Ink, 4-Pack (31057)

 

Features
  • Comfort grip lets you write longer without discomfort
  • Refillable to avoid throwing out the pens
  • Retractable for your convenience
  • 0.7 mm fine point writes crisp lines
  • Super-smooth writing
  • Comfortable rubber grip

 

Many customers would agree the Pilot G2 Premium Gel Roller is the best fine rollerball pen for long-lasting ink. It also delivers a smooth, enjoyable writing experience.

The Pilot G2 Premium Gel Roller is refillable. Some unique ink colors like burgundy, caramel and periwinkle blue are available. The colors show up bold and vibrant on paper.

If you write on thin notebook paper, there will be slight showthrough, but this is common with liquid and gel rollerball pens. Left-handed writers say these pens dry fast for a gel pen, so they’re able to use them.

Things to Love
  • Smooth writing experience
  • Ink dries fast
  • Refillable
  • Comfortable to hold
  • Ink lasts long
  • 27 beautiful ink colors available
  • Available in ultra fine, extra fine, fine and bold
Things to Consider
  • Not waterproof

2. Pentel EnerGel RTX Liquid Gel Pen

Pentel Gel Ink Pen, EnerGel RTX Retractable, 0.7mm, Medium Point, Assorted Gel Ink Colors, 6 Pack (BL77BP6M)

 

Features
  • Latex-free grip to avoid irritating your skin if you’re allergic to latex
  • Refillable to reduce your carbon footprint
  • Stainless steel tip is resistant to breaking
  • High performance ink technology delivers an incredibly smooth writing experience
  • Writing comfort and control 0.7mm
  • High performance ink technology

 

We found this the best ballpoint pen for writing with liquid gel ink. They feel luxurious in your hand and write smoothly. The ink dries fast, making them usable for left-handed writers.

This pen is available in 0.7 mm and 1.0 mm tips, so you can choose between medium and bold lines. It’s also manufactured in various ink colors like violet, pink, sky blue, navy blue, orange, green, red and black.

Things to Love
  • Ink dries fast
  • Refillable
  • Smooth writing experience
  • Comfortable to use
  • Vibrant inks
Things to Consider
  • No ultra fine or fine point pens

3. Cross Edge Selectip Rollerball Pen

Cross Edge Jet Black Selectip Rollerball Pen

 

Features
  • Versatile tip lets you choose between three types of refills
  • Slide-to-open and click-to-close mechanism makes it easy to open and close the pen
  • 0.7 mm medium point for crisp lines
  • Encased in stylish metallic fusion resin
  • Available in purple, red, blue or black ink

 

Cross is a luxury brand that’s been around over 170 years. We consider the Cross Edge Selectip Rollerball Pen the best Cross Rollerball Pen for its beautiful writing experience and comfortable grip. The pen is larger than standard size, so you’ll find it comfortable if you have large hands.

It has a well-balanced design to help prevent hand cramps. Unlike most pens, the Cross Edge Selectip Rollerball Pen features versatile tip technology. You can use three different types of tips in this pen: gel rolling ball, porous point and jumbo ballpoint.

Things to Love
  • You can open and close the pen with one hand
  • Comfortable to hold in large hands
  • Smooth, reliable ink flow
  • Solid feel
  • Refillable
  • Three tip styles compatible with the pen
Things to Consider
  • Expensive
  • Not many color options

4. Pilot Precise V5 Premium Rolling Ball Pen

PILOT Precise V5 Stick Liquid Ink Rolling Ball Stick Pens, Extra Fine Point, Black Ink, 12 Count (35334)

 

Features
  • Visible ink supply helps you keep track of how much ink is left
  • Patented extra fine 0.5 mm tip delivers thin, precise strokes
  • Unique ink formula maintains even ink flow
  • Retractable pens have a rubber grip with traction pockets and airplane safe system to prevent leaks
  • Precise V5 is an extra-fine tip available in capped or retractable

 

If you like thin, precise lines when you write, we recommend the Pilot Precise V5 Premium Rolling Ball Pen. It has a patented extra fine tip and consistent writing. You can write small and in cursive with these good quality rollerball pens.

They are available in several colors, including black, purple, red, blue, pink, turquoise and green. Unlike the previous pens on this list, the Pilot Precise V5 Premium Rolling Ball Pen isn’t refillable.

The colors may not be as vibrant as you expect either. One customer said the purple is subtle rather than an obvious purple, which she personally liked.

Things to Love
  • Perfect for tiny hand writing
  • Thin, even strokes
  • Smooth writing experience
  • Comfortable to hold
Things to Consider
  • Not refillable

5. uni-ball Vision Elite Rollerball Pens

uni-ball Vision Elite Rollerball Pens, Micro Point (0.5mm), Blue, 12 Count

 

Features
  • uni Super Ink protects against document fraud and water
  • Airplane safe to prevent leaking or exploding on flights
  • Refillable to minimize your carbon footprint
  • Vivid steady ink flow and a stylish, business-focused design
  • Exclusive uni-flow ink system provides consistent smoothness and color intensity

 

The uni-ball Vision Elite Rollerball Pens are some of the best smooth ballpoint pens with high-quality ink that protects against document fraud. They are safe to take on airplanes because they don’t leak or explode from cabin pressure changes.

Ink flow is reliable and intense, so you can clearly read what you’ve written. Some customers use these pens in sketching because of their quality and resistance to water. You can apply watercolor to your drawings without the ink smearing.

The un-ball Vision Elite Rollerball Pen is available in bold point and micro point. Whether you have large or small handwriting, you can use this pen.

Things to Love
  • Safe for signing documents and filling out important forms
  • Intense ink
  • Works well in artwork
  • Suitable for use at work
  • Safe to bring on flights
  • Refillable
Things to Consider
  • Some customers received dried out pens

6. Pilot Dr. Grip Gel Pen

PILOT Dr. Grip Limited Refillable & Retractable Gel Ink Rolling Ball Pen, Fine Point, Metallic Platinum Barrel, Black Ink, Single Pen (36272)

 

Features
  • Barrel available in numerous colors to match your personality
  • Advanced Ink doesn’t smear
  • Latex-free cushioned grip prevents hand pain
  • Retractable & refillable
  • Designed with perfect weight distribution for comfortable, balanced writing

 

Are you looking for the most ergonomic rollerball pen? The Pilot Dr. Grip Gel Pen was recognized by the Arthritis Foundation. It’s designed to reduce writing stress. Many customers agree it’s ergonomic.

The ink is of great quality too. It’s smear resistant and applies effortlessly. You can buy refills to make the pen itself last a long time and reduce impact on the environment.

Things to Love
  • Ergonomic
  • Eases writing stress for those who have arthritis
  • Doesn’t smear
  • Refillable
  • Available in fine point and medium point
Things to Consider
  • No bold point

7. uni-ball Roller Pens

uni-ball 60151 Roller Pens, Micro Point (0.5mm), Black, 12 Count

 

Features
  • uni Super Ink protects against check washing fraud and water
  • 80% post consumer recycled electronics to reduce negative impact on the environment
  • Durable clip isn’t likely to break if you store the pen in your shirt pocket
  • Stainless steel tip stays strong for a long time
  • Durable clip isn’t likely to break if you store the pen in your shirt pocket
  • Stainless steel tip stays strong for a long time

 

If you’re looking for the best cheap rollerball pens, we recommend the uni-ball Roller Pens. You can get a pack of 12 around $15. Like the uni-ball Vision Elite Rollerball Pens, they use uni Super ink to prevent check washing fraud. You can securely fill out important documents without concerns of fading fraud.

We love how free-flowing and reliable the ink flow is. The pens are made of 80% post consumer recycled electronics. You’ll feel good about buying them. Available in micro point and fine point, these rollerball pens are good for small to medium handwriting.

Things to Love
  • Fluid, quality writing experience
  • Low price
  • Durable, professional construction
  • Made of recycled materials to help the environment
  • Protects against document fraud
Things to Consider
  • Not as many options in ink colors as some other rollerballs

8. Waterman Expert Rollerball Pen

Waterman Expert Matte Black Rollerball Pen CT, Fine Point, Black Ink

 

Features
  • Fine point for small to medium handwriting
  • Comes in a beautiful Waterman gift box that protects your pen from damage
  • Refillable to make the pen last years
  • Comes with a three-year warranty to protect your expense
  • Roller ball pens unite the tradition of liquid ink with ultimate comfort and convenience
  • Clip with palladium finish
  • Black ink

 

Are you splurging on a rollerball pen? The Waterman Expert Matte Black Rollerball Pen is one of the best premium rollerball pens. It has an elegant cigar shape and comes in a durable blue box for safe storage.

Different barrel color schemes to choose from include matte black, stainless steel, deluxe blue, and black and gold. The pen cap can be engraved if you want your name or an important phrase on it.

Things to Love
  • Solid feel in your hand
  • Smooth, fluid writing experience
  • Three-year warranty
  • Refillable
Things to Consider
  • Expensive

9. Paper Mate InkJoy Gel Pen

Paper Mate InkJoy Gel Pens, Medium Point, Assorted Colors, 12 Count

 

Features
  • 0.7 mm medium point suitable for many different handwriting sizes
  • Also available in 0.5 mm writing for smaller handwriting
  • Vibrant colors are perfect for color coding your notes or planning
  • Comfort grip reduces writing stress
  • Quick-drying ink for reduced smearing
  • Ergonomic comfort grip

 

Some people consider the Paper Mate InkJoy the best ballpoint pen under $20. You can get a 12-pack of assorted colors for under $20. They dry fast and deliver bright, vibrant ink. We love using them to add color to our planners.

Things to Love
  • Ink dries fast
  • Vibrant colors
  • Smooth writing experience
  • Comfortable to hold
Things to Consider
  • Some customers had problems with skipping

10. Tombow Zoom 505 Rollerball Pen

Tombow Zoom 505 Mechanical Pencil, 0.5mm Azure Blue Body (SH-2000CZA44)

 

Features
  • Non-skid grip for greater control while writing
  • Refillable to save money on buying new pens
  • 0.5 mm point for thin strokes
  • Design Style Executive
  • Clip Material Metal
  • Sleeve Type Fixed

 

This rollerball pen writes smoothly and works well for cursive as well as print handwriting. People who prefer writing with fountain pens have praised this pen for its well-balanced weight and enjoyable writing experience.

Things to Love
  • Controlled writing experience
  • Comfortable to write with
  • Refillable
  • Smooth ink application
  • Reliable for both cursive and print
Things to Consider
  • One pen costs around $15

Tips on Choosing the Best Ballpoint Pens

Many people favor rollerball pens for their fluid ink flow and intense ink. The difference between a standard ballpoint pen and a rollerball pen is in the ink’s base. Standard ballpoint pens use oil-based ink whereas rollerballs use liquid-based or gel-based ink.

There is often confusion between the two terms.

PILOT G2 Premium Refillable & Retractable Rolling Ball Gel Pens, Fine Point, Black Ink, 4-Pack (31057) Both pens use a rolling ball to disperse ink, so the terms are sometimes used interchangeably.

If you don’t like the high viscosity of oil-based ink, you’ll love the rollerball pens we reviewed above. None of them use oil-based ink.

Some ballpoint pens have low viscosity ink to improve the smoothness and ease of ink application. They may be referred to as hybrid or emulsion.

These types of pens usually have a mixture of oil and gel ink. Some have a lubricant mixed with the oil to decrease its viscosity.

You should choose rollerball pens if you don’t like thick inks that are difficult to write with.

Some of the best ballpoint pen brands to shop from are Cross, Pilot, uni-ball and Waterman. You’ll find all of these brands above.

Waterman and Cross are luxury brands, so expect to pay a higher cost for a single pen. Pilot and uni-ball have affordable packs of quality rollerball pens.

Factors to Consider When Buying Best Ballpoint Pens

Are you heavy handed?

Pentel Gel Ink Pen, EnerGel RTX Retractable, 0.7mm, Medium Point, Assorted Gel Ink Colors, 6 Pack (BL77BP6M) Rollerball pens probably aren’t the best type of ballpoint pen for you.

Oil-based ballpoint pens that are usually just marketed as ballpoint pens are suitable for heavy-handed writers because they require more pressure.

If you experience hand strain often when writing, then stick to rollerball or gel pens.

Find a pen that has a high ink flow and ergonomic features to prevent pain while writing.

Take customer reviews into consideration when choosing a pen.

All of the pens on this list are among the top rated ballpoint pens. User reviews lend you insight into problems the pen may have and what type of writer it’s best for. If you have a light hand, you’ll likely favor rollerball pens because they’re more comfortable to write with than standard ballpoint pens.

Size tip

Cross Edge Jet Black Selectip Rollerball PenIf you don’t know yet what size tip you prefer in pens, you may want to try numerous affordable versions before considering something expensive like the Waterman Expert Rollerball Pen.

Other factors do influence how you’ll like a pen, such as ergonomics and quality of the ink.

So, keep that into consideration and only try pens that have high customer ratings to learn what your tip preferences are.

Ballpoint Pens FAQ

What can make a ballpoint pen write smoothly?

Rollerball pens are typically the smoothest ballpoint pens because the ink is more liquid. The faster ink flow of liquid ink compared to oil ink creates a smoother writing experience.

Pressing down hard when you write can cause pain after long periods of writing. This is why rollerball pens are so popular. They don’t require a lot of pressure to write beautiful visible lines.

What are the best pens for school?

We recommend the Pilot G2 Premium Gel Roller for school because they are inexpensive, write smoothly and last a long time. Ink running out fast is one of the downsides of rollerball pens compared to oil-based ballpoint pens.

However, you can still find great rollerball pens with ink that lasts a good amount of time like the Pilot G2 Premium Gel Rollers.

Do ballpoint pens leak on planes?

Rollerball pens that aren’t airplane safe are at risk of leaking on planes. Oil-based ballpoint pens usually don’t have problems with leaking or exploding from air pressure changes.

Gel pens aren’t susceptible to leaking or exploding on flights either. Pen companies that have options in airplane-safe rollerball pens include uni-ball, Pilot and Fisher.

best rollerball pens

Making the Decision

The Pilot G2 Premium Gel Roller is our top pick in best rollerball pens because its ink goes a long way. It’s also suitable for school, work and personal use. If you want a pen with a more solid feel in your hand, we recommend the Cross Edge Selectip Rollerball Pen or the Waterman Expert Rollerball Pen.

When you need to write checks or fill out other important documents, the uni-ball Vision Elite Rollerball or uni-ball Roller Pen is helpful to have on hand for protection against document fraud.