Deb Geller

I'm a beginner with rollerball pens. What issues might I encounter along the way?

Are You Using the Right Type of Pen? Reading I'm a beginner with rollerball pens. What issues might I encounter along the way? 3 minutes Next Which Waterman Pen Suits You Best?

If you have been a ballpoint pen user and you’re just switching over to a rollerball pen, you’ll probably be amazed at how much easier it is to write and how smoothly you can glide across the paper with your new pen. But before you go too far, there are some things you should know that will make your rollerball pen writing experience even better. Read on to learn from rollerball pen aficionados about the “finer points” (see what we did there?) of rollerball pen protocol.

Ethan Taub

Ethan Taub

Ethan Taub, CEO of Goalry and Loanry.

There are big issues when it comes to using a rollerball pen.

Firstly, if your pen dries out at all. You may need to consider getting a pen refill. If you have a pen that can be changed, that can be a lot cheaper in the long run if you are looking for one good pen that can last you a long time. Another issue for rollerball pens is when they bleed through paper. As these types of pens are water-based, they are more likely to smudge and bleed on the paper. If you are always smudging, you may need to consider how you are holding the pen to let it happen. As for the bleeding, invest in some thicker paper.

Holden Harris

Holden Harris

Holden Harris, Founder and editor at

Ink leak!

Be careful not to damage the tips of rollerball pens! They're sometimes sensitive, and if you aren't careful, you can end up with an ink leak on your hands.

Deb Geller

Dr. Deb Geller

Dr. Deb Geller, Associate Dean of Students at UCLA. Find her at Just Ask Dr. Deb.


In my work, I do a lot of writing and have tried lots of different pens. I love working with rollerball pens because they glide so smoothly across the paper, creating a very clean line. My husband cannot use them, however. Why you may ask? Because I am right-handed, but my husband is a lefty.

If you are a left-handed beginner with rollerball pens, there is something very important to keep in mind: if you aren’t careful, they will leave a mark on the bottom of your hand as you write, and you, in turn, will smudge your writing.

Mark Perlman

Mark Perlman, Founder of TheDealExperts.

Let it dry

When using a rollerball pen, you must keep in mind that the ink is water-based. They are great pens that write very smoothly because of this, but it can cause issues. One of the main issues experienced with rollerball pens is smudging, especially if you are left-handed.

When writing with a rollerball pen, be sure to keep your hand off the paper and let it dry before touching the ink. Even if you are not left-handed and are experiencing smudging, try changing how you are holding the pen.

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