Rollerball / Fineliner



  1. What is rollerball ink? What is different from ballpoint ink?
  2. Do I need a rollerball or ballpoint refill?
  3. How do I choose the correct rollerball refill for my pen?
  4. Why does the Schmidt and or Monteverde look exactly like my expensive branded refill?
  5. What is a fineliner refill?
  6. Which fineliner refill will fit my pen?
  7. Why does my rollerball skip?

Q1. What is rollerball ink? What is different from ballpoint ink?

Monteverde standard rollerball refill
Monteverde standard rollerball refill
A: A rollerball refill is a liquid ink filled tube which has a golf ball like dimpled ball which delivers this liquid ink to the paper. Rollerball liquid ink is similar to liquid used in fountain pen ink.

It is very different than ballpoint ink which is waxy and requires thrust to push the ink from the tip. A rollerball liquid ink refill flows as if a wick is touched to the paper. Paper (or a shirt pocket) will literally wick the ink from a rollerball refill in minutes. There is a wick inside the tube.

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Q2. Do I need a rollerball or ballpoint refill?

Aurora Ipsilon Deluxe Rollerball

Aurora Ipsilon Deluxe Rollerball
  1. Does the pen require that you remove the cap to write?
  2. A: Rollerball refill.
  3. Does the pen require that you twist or click the pen to begin to write?
  4. A: Ballpoint refill.
If you have a rollerball pen you generally must remove the cap of the pen to expose the writing tip. Just like a fountain pen it has a separate cap. So, if you must remove your pen's cap to write, then you more than likely have a rollerball refill in your pen.

An exception to the rule is popular capless Tornado Rollerball

Retro 1951 Tornado Rollerball
made by Retro 1951. It will take both the

Schmidt P8126 capless rollerball refill Schmidt p8126 rollerball refill or any "Parker-style" ballpoint refill
Monteverde gel ballpoint refill for Parker

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Q3. How do I choose the correct rollerball refill for my pen?

A: Measure the total length of your refill from tip to end using a ruler and write it down. Then compare your old refill with the refill shown on the website.

To determine your exact fitment you should ignore your refill's tube color and any numbers on the refill tube itself. They are production dates and are meaningless to us. It is best to determine the refill you need by searching by brand or refill image (if unknown).

The most commonly used rollerball shape refill looks like this.

Monteverde standard rollerball refill
Monteverde standard rollerball refill
or Schmidt rollerball refill 5888
Schmidt rollerball refill 5888
The top of the refill will either be flat (as shown above) OR have a little hat (as shown below).

Schmidt P8126 capless rollerball refill
Schmidt p8126 rollerball refill

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Q4. Why does the Schmidt and or Monteverde look exactly like my expensive branded refill?

A: Notice how this Cartier branded refill appears exactly the same as the Schmidt refill? It is exactly the same. Your Cartier pen (or many other popular brands) can use any of our replacement refills or the Cartier branded refill. Your choice. Odds are that your branded refill was made by Schmidt of Germany.

Schmidt P8126 capless rollerball refill
Schmidt p8126 rollerball refill
or Cartier rollerball refill
Cartier rollerball refill

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Q5. What is a fineliner refill?
Monteverde fineliner refill
Monteverde fineliner refill
A: A fineliner is like the old felt tip pen but technologically evolved. The writing tip is extremely firm and will withstand the test of time and remain strong and sharp. Consequently, writing points are usually offered in extremely fine choices.

If you have developed a habit of crushing the tip of your pen against paper, this is not your refill. If you have a standard 'hand’ a fineliner using today’s tip technology may open up an entirely new world of writing pleasure. The inks are quick to dry and there is virtually no friction required to lay ink to paper.

We recommend you try all your writing options to determine which one you prefer.

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Q6. What fineliner refill will fit my pen?

A: Many rollerball pens will accept a fineliner refill. Any rollerball pen which uses a Standard International rollerball refill will also accept the Monteverde fineliner or spring-loaded finliner refills as shown below.

Monteverde fineliner refill
Monteverde fineliner refill
Monteverde spring-loaded fineliner
Monteverde spring-loaded fineliner
Please check under your pen’s brand for fineliners which may be available.

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Q7. Why does my rollerball skip?

A: It is likely because the paper surface is unsuitable or it has dried out. Rollerball ink is liquid and needs be absorbed. Papers with a glaze or coating prevent the ink from being absorbed and can cause skipping.

Also, be sure to keep your pen capped when not in use. Rollerball ink can evaporate and dry out the tip. With normal use, rollerball refills should last between 1-3 months after the wax seal is removed. Refills with a wax seal on the tip can be stored up to 1 year before they will dry out.

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