Fountain Pen, Rollerball Pen, and Ballpoint Pen

Features and Differences


“The pen is mightier than the sword, and definitely more convenient for writing.”
Marty Feldman





Words of Marty Feldman

Icon of cinema, famous actor for his role in Young Frankenstein.

A quote that emphasizes the importance of an everyday tool that has never declined in significance.

There are moments when any type of pen will do, and occasions when we need a special pen, tailor-made for our needs.

Navigating the diverse world of different types of pens is not easy, so let's try to discover the technical and functional characteristics that distinguish each type of pen from another for a more targeted and informed choice.


Ballpoint Pen

A Daily Companion

The ballpoint pen, also known as a biro, is named after its inventor and is undoubtedly the most common on the market. These pens use a dense, oil-based ink that lasts a long time: try picking up a ballpoint pen years after the last use, and you'll notice that after some initial difficulty, the writing will be as smooth as ever.

How does a ballpoint pen work? The ink, in the form of thick paste, melts due to the heat produced by the rotation of the ball. The same ball, when it rotates, moves the ink onto the paper and dries immediately upon contact. Ballpoint pens are the most economical and are chosen mainly for everyday use, such as when there is a need to write a lot and on any type of paper. They do not require special maintenance.


The Rollerball Pen

Smooth and Bold Lines

The rollerball pen is a variation of the ballpoint pen: in this case, too, the pen operates using a rolling ball mechanism to move the ink onto paper, but the ink is water or gel-based. This type of ink is absorbed more easily by the paper, allowing for a continuous, smooth line without the need for excessive pressure on the paper.

Always remember to cap it carefully when not in use because rollerball pen ink tends to evaporate quickly. Rollerball pens with a cone tip better protect the ball, while those with a needle tip enclose the ball inside a cylinder secured by needles that reduce friction. Rollerball pens are easy to refill but are more expensive than ballpoint pens.


The Fountain Pen

Writing with Style

And now we come to the queen of pens, the fountain pen, which stands out from all the others for its writing fluidity and line sharpness. Liquid ink wets the nib thanks to a precise distribution system based on capillarity and gravity. When writing with a fountain pen, the ink dries more slowly on the paper: it is therefore preferable to use this pen on more absorbent and thicker surfaces.

Fountain pens require a lot of maintenance, especially when they are not used for a long time. The ink left inside can dry up, potentially ruining the precious writing instrument.

One tip to always get the best performance from your fountain pen is not to use it with the nib in a vertical position. Instead, it should be placed on the paper so that the lower part of the nib touches the surface. The weight of the pen alone is sufficient to ensure the necessary ink flow.


Fountain Pen, Rollerball, and Ballpoint

A Guide to Choosing

The choice between these three types of pens depends on many factors. First of all, you should ask yourself whether you are buying the pen for personal use or as a gift.

In the latter case, you should consider the occasion for the gift: for a special event, it is always advisable to opt for a fountain pen, a prestigious gift that never goes out of style.

Not to mention those who love to collect pens: some fountain pens are true jewels and are worth thousands of euros. To take care of them properly, you need to appreciate and periodically maintain them.





If we are buying a pen for ourselves, we need to consider our willingness to take care of it and the intended use.

For daily and prolonged writing, it's better to opt for a ballpoint pen that ensures comfort and reliability.

For occasional use or decorative writing on cards, it's good to choose a rollerball pen, which gives calligraphy a more distinctive look.

With Montegrappa, you have the opportunity to choose the same pen model in the type that best suits your needs.

Within the collections signed by the historic company from Bassano del Grappa, each pen is available in three versions: fountain pen, rollerball, or ballpoint.

Thanks to the configurator, you can further customize the pen. In addition to the type, you can select all the desired details with just a few clicks, effectively creating the pen of your dreams.





Your favorite colors, materials, engravings, and decorations can transform a common object into a unique, exclusive piece, tailor-made for you.

Elegant and refined fountain pens, swift and decisive rollerballs, durable and practical ballpoint pens. What type of pen are you?