Not All That Scribbles Has A Nib, Part 3: An Introduction To The Clickier Side of Pelikan – Rollerball Edition

Rollerball Tip

Over the years, we’ve explored vast swaths of Pelikan’s fountain pen landscape and true connoisseurs of the writing experience will accept no substitute. More recently, we ventured off of the beaten path, taking a sojourn into a world of ballpoints and mechanical pencils. I considered leaving it there but, I am a completist at heart and could not rest easy knowing that I neglected an entire category of wiring instrument. They may not go clickity-clack like their cousins, but rollerballs deserve some love too. Rollerballs aren’t too dissimilar from their ballpoint brethren, both employing a ball-in-socket type mechanism but, it is in the execution that they vary. You might best conceive of the rollerball as a hybrid between both a fountain pen and a ballpoint which may just make them the next best choice in your arsenal of writing implements provided you understand their limitations. They are actually the youngest of Pelikan’s fine writing crew, now just a spry 32 years old, which means there aren’t any truly vintage examples from Pelikan to speak of. That makes sense since this technology didn’t exist in the first place until 1963/64 and it wasn’t employed by Pelikan until 1990. This article will be the final act in what has been my sincerest attempt at expanding your writing utensil horizons. The rollerball, by virtue of its youth, has perhaps the least voluminous history to wade through though it is no less interesting. Cap your fountain pens, retract your ballpoints, and sheath your lead. It’s time to roll out and learn all about rollerballs.

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How-To: Fill Pelikan Pens & Pencils

Vintage Pelikan Advertisement for Fountain Pen Ink

If you are familiar with some of my past articles, you know that I have tried to provide helpful guides regarding certain aspects of fountain pen use and maintenance.  One of the fundamentals of pen use is filling and refilling which many of us take for granted.  Understandably, this nuance of regular pen operation can be a bit unclear to those new to the hobby.  Just how does one go about filling a Pelikan pen?  While my personal focus is fountain pens, I’m not without my share of rollerballs, ballpoints, and pencils.  On occasion you might purchase or be gifted a certain model as a set.  If you don’t use that twist ballpoint very often, you might find yourself stumped when the included cartridge runs dry.  To keep you writing worry free, not only will I discuss how to fill a fountain pen, I will also given instructions for rollerballs, ballpoints, and pencils.  My focus in this post will be mostly on modern production pens made over the last 35 years but much of this holds true for older models, particularly the piston filling fountain pens as they have retained the same mechanism for generations.  The pictorials included in Pelikan’s literature can feel a little like interpreting hieroglyphics and, besides, who reads the instructions anyway (besides me)?  If you have any uncertainty as to how to fill your new pen or pencil, read on to learn how to put that writing instrument of yours into action.

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