The best ballpoint pens in the UK 2023

The ballpoint pen remains the writing tool par excellence, far ahead of the fountain pen. The Bic Cristal alone sells 100 million units per year in the UK alone! Pleasant writing, easy to hold, erasable ink, you have everything to be seduced. This comparison guide of the best ballpoint pen will help you find the model that suits your needs.

Waterman Hemisphere 1

Best value for money

Waterman Hemisphere

Best ballpoint pen

The Waterman Hemisphere is above all a model of beautiful and functional minimalism. It is an incredibly elegant writing instrument in ballpoint version. Currently, its excellent price/quality ratio is unmatched.


The Waterman Hemisphere ballpoint pen displays subtle sophistication with a sleek contemporary design and exceptional craftsmanship. Refined details frame a slim, creative and practical shape. The Hemisphere line brings a new polished and elegant style to Waterman's ballpoint pen line that fits any writing situation.

The Waterman Hemisphere includes a thick center band with the Waterman logo finely etched on a polished metal trim. The fountain pen features a stainless steel tip available in a medium point. It is refilled via an ink cartridge or Waterman converter. Special features of this model include the 2-prong clip and the oblique push button.

Scriveiner SVRB00002 2

Best value for money

Scriveiner SVRB00002

Best entry-level ballpoint pen

Despite its affordable price, this Scriveiner has all the qualities of a premium ballpoint pen. With its timeless design and 24 karat gold-plated finish, you'll enjoy giving or using this elegant pen every day.

27,19 £ on Amazon

Quality doesn't have to be expensive, as proven by this Scriveiner SVRB00002. Manufactured in England, this beautiful ballpoint pen will serve you well at the office and at home. Because it's beautifully designed and ergonomic, expect to always want to take it out, if only to admire it. Rest assured, the chances of you running out of ink are rare, as this model comes with Schmidt cartridges that are sourced in Germany.

Packaged in a box, this ballpoint pen is the perfect gift to give to a loved one. Either way, you can simply give it to yourself, just for the pleasure of owning a beautiful item that combines heavy metal and brass. Note that this item comes with its warranty card.

Montblanc ballpoint pen with twist mechanism 3

Best value for money

Montblanc ballpoint pen with twist mechanism

Best premium ballpoint pen

A ballpoint pen will never make you so proud. This elegant object could be mistaken for the famous Meisterstück by Montblanc. Of a more recent manufacture, this ballpoint pen with rotation mechanism is perfect as a gift or for you!

260 £ on Amazon

Montblanc is an icon in the high-end ballpoint pen industry. Crafted with black precious resin, this pen with twist mechanism is of rare elegance. Collectors and lovers of fine objects will recognize among a thousand its sober and pure lines which have been the signature of Montblanc for a hundred years.

Most owners of a Montblanc only use it on very special occasions. But to each his own. If you run out of ink, this model is compatible with blue, red, black and purple ink refills. You'll be spoiled for choice.

Parker Sonnet 4

A great choice

Parker Sonnet

Excellent ballpoint pen

The Sonnet is part of Parker's line of premium ballpoint pens. This beautiful writing instrument comes in a slim design, ideal for a woman's hand. Men can also use it perfectly.

58,57 £ on Amazon

The Parker Sonnet features a refined design with a strong, modern and minimalist image, making it versatile. The matte black stainless steel and chrome finish is in keeping with the latest trends, helping to evoke a certain professional style. It features Parker's signature arrow-shaped clip, patented twist mechanism and 2-year manufacturer's warranty.

This ballpoint pen is easy to use and offers a smooth writing experience with instant ink drying. The weight of this model has been studied by Parker to offer a perfect balance to the writing. In addition, this balance optimizes the dual-channel feed and collection system to deliver ink to the nib smoothly.

Buying guide • November 2023

Best ballpoint pen

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Comparison table of the best ballpoint pens

Waterman Hemisphere 5
Scriveiner SVRB00002 6
Montblanc ballpoint pen with twist mechanism 7
Parker Sonnet 8
Waterman Hemisphere
Scriveiner SVRB00002
Montblanc ballpoint pen with twist mechanism
Parker Sonnet
The Waterman Hemisphere is above all a model of beautiful and functional minimalism. It is an incredibly elegant writing instrument in ballpoint version. Currently, its excellent price/quality ratio is unmatched.
Despite its affordable price, this Scriveiner has all the qualities of a premium ballpoint pen. With its timeless design and 24 karat gold-plated finish, you'll enjoy giving or using this elegant pen every day.
A ballpoint pen will never make you so proud. This elegant object could be mistaken for the famous Meisterstück by Montblanc. Of a more recent manufacture, this ballpoint pen with rotation mechanism is perfect as a gift or for you!
The Sonnet is part of Parker's line of premium ballpoint pens. This beautiful writing instrument comes in a slim design, ideal for a woman's hand. Men can also use it perfectly.
17.58 x 6.88 x 3.78 cm
17.5 x 6.8 x 4.8 cm
5.08 x 7.87x 2.03 cm
17.7 x 8.2 x 4.7 cm
45.4 g
160 g
363 g
240 g
Ink color
Lacquered steel
Heavy metal and brass
Precious resin
Stainless steel
Delivered with a case

Help us improve this table:
Report an error, request the addition of a feature to the table, or suggest another product. Thank you for your kindness!

Buying guide - ballpoint pen

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How to choose your ballpoint pen

You think that buying a ballpoint pen is very simple? Not at all! In addition to the variety of prices, you will find a wide range of models on the market today. The competition is fierce and you will need some advice to make the right choice. Here are the parameters to take into account to choose your ballpoint pen.

#1 - The tip

The type of writing varies according to the diameter of the ballpoint pen tip. For small writing, we recommend fine points with a diameter of 0.3 mm

. On the other hand, with tips of 0.5 to 0.7 mm, the writing is medium. Large writings as well as wide strokes are done with nibs with a diameter of 0.8 to 1 mm.

#2 - Colour and ink

Do you want

a ballpoint pen in a classic color such as blue or black, a more striking color such as red and green, or a fancy color like orange, pink...? Some ballpoint pens have an oil-based ink

. It is, of course, viscous, but it avoids the risk of spills. In addition, the writing can last longer. In addition, you should know that the gel ink ballpoint pen allows you to draw a fairly regular line while being most resistant to both water and light.

#3 - The number

Ballpoint pens sold in packs offer better value for money. They are particularly suitable for those who need several pens or who do not want to run out of pens at any given time. Note that some models offered in a pack are not refillable. It is also important to know that ballpoint pens in a pack can be in one color or in different colors.

On the other hand, if you are looking for an original and customizable gift idea, opt for the models sold in one piece. This type of ballpoint pen often comes with a storage case and its coating can accommodate any type of personalized engravings.

#4 - The materials


material used to design the ballpoint pen varies depending on the model and brand. While some are made with metal

(brushed stainless steel, polished stainless steel...) and/or brass, others are designed with strong plastic.

#5 - Refills

Refills are an interesting option for quality ballpoint pen models. Indeed, you won't want to throw away your beautiful pen with an elegant and original design because the ink is exhausted. Check that the ballpoint pen of your choice offers a refill option before making the final purchase.

How does a ballpoint pen work?

Practical and easy to use, the ballpoint pen has quickly become so popular that it has taken over every office, school and even home. In order to have a better writing experience, you need to know how it works.

The ballpoint pen has a reservoir in the form of a long plastic or metal tube in which the printing ink is located. At the end, you will see the tip which ends in a small cone (usually made of metal or plastic) and equipped with a steel ball. The diameter of the latter varies according to the desired writing thickness.

In order to allow the user to write correctly,the ball turns as the pen moves to release the right amount of ink. This is also how it is refilled. It should be noted that there is no risk of the ink leaking since it is of a thick, sticky consistency.

The different types of ballpoint pens

Want to improve your overall writing experience? Find out how you'll be able to distinguish between the different ballpoint pen models.

Ballpoint pen with traditional ink

The most common type of ballpoint pen, the traditional one is very economical. The ink paste dries easily and quickly. In addition, it offers a good writing length. The ballpoint pen with classic ink seems functional and relatively resistant. With a hardened ball point, there is no risk of smudging. The price is suitable for all budgets.


  • Fast drying
  • Long writing length
  • Very good quality/price ratio


  • Requires more pressure
  • Low color intensity

Who is it for?

Very practical in the professional field, the traditional ink ballpoint pen is highly recommended for everyday use. You will be able to sign and fill your documents and contracts without any worry. Moreover, the ink is durable.

Ballpoint pen with gel ink

Like the Pilot G2, this type of ballpoint pen has an ink between paste and liquid ink. It allows you to write smoother and glides easily over paper. Its use does not require any great pressure, but you will easily obtain a regular and rather flexible line. Quick-drying, the result will only satisfy you. Note that some models are available with a rubber body for an optimal hold.


  • Longer life span
  • Different sizes of tips
  • Erasable or permanent ink
  • Available in various colors
  • Does not damage the paper


  • Shorter writing length
  • Longer drying time compared to traditional ink

Who is it for?

The gel ink ballpoint pen is suitable for use on carbon paper. In addition, the ink contained in the reservoir is of a very good quality. The pen will restart instantly even if you have stored it in a corner for a long time.

Liquid ink ballpoint pen

The liquid ink contained in this type of ballpoint pen is pigment and water based. The liquid ink in this type of ballpoint pen is based on pigments and water, so you will be able to write quite fluidly with a very consistent line. The writing is fine, fast and relatively flexible unlike the models seen previously.

On paper, it allows a denser print. The calligraphic rendering is similar to that of a fountain pen. Its point can be conical or fine. The water-based ink offers a wider choice of colors.


  • Large choice of colors
  • Reservoir often visible
  • Smooth glide
  • Different types of tips


  • Not waterproof
  • Rather short life span
  • Obvious risk of smudging

Who is it for?

Those who particularly like fancy styles will prefer the liquid ink ballpoint pen such as the BIC Ecriture Cristal Multicolour. Although it is less durable, the rendering will meet all expectations. It is also suitable for those who are not accustomed to pressing their pen too hard for a consistent line.

Ballpoint or rollerball pen?

Ballpoint pen

The ballpoint pen is the most popular writing tool. It is made of dense, thick ink, making it quicker to dry. The intensity of the colours can vary according to the pressure the user exerts on the pen. As a closing system, it is usually retractable.


A type of pen with thinner lines, the rollerball allows for relatively smooth writing. It glides more smoothly over the paper. It is distinguished by the high intensity of its ink compared to the classic ballpoint pen. To better protect the ink, the writing tool is equipped with a cap.


If you want darker, finer lines when writing without having to exert a lot of pressure, you should use a roller pen. On the other hand, we recommend using a ballpoint pen if you have an inclination for lighter, less saturated lines.

Why buy a ballpoint pen?

For its comfort of use

A ballpoint pen has the advantage of being ergonomic. Indeed, it gives you an excellent grip. By using it, you also benefit from a great writing comfort. When you write, the thickness of your writing is also clearly visible.

For its efficiency

The ink of a ballpoint pen dries very quickly when used and does not cause staining. Moreover, it does not erase easily. Being viscous, the ink used on this type of pen also offers a good resistance to water. Most ballpoint pens are retractable or have a cap. This way, they won't dirty your pocket!

For its practicality

A ballpoint pen is very light. Therefore, you can take it everywhere you go, because it is easy to store. It has a colored cap to help you recognize the color of the ink. You can know at any time the remaining ink level thanks to its transparent body. Moreover, you will have all the basic colors possible by opting for this type of pen: blue, black, red, green.

For its great versatility

A ballpoint pen works wonderfully on all media! If you use carbon paper, it is the ideal pen as its ball prevents tearing. A ballpoint pen is also perfect if you are about to sign official documents.

For its long life

Although most ballpoint pens are disposable once their ink runs out, you can use them for a long time. And since they're so affordable, you've got a lot to gain from this type of pen! If you're one of those people who value the sentimental value of the things they use, there are refillable models to give you a longer use.

The best brands of ballpoint pens

In our opinion, the best brands of ballpoint pens in 2022 are :

Parker Sonnet

The Waterman Pen Company is a leading luxury fountain pen manufacturer based in Paris, France. The company was founded in 1884 in New York by Lewis Waterman, and with a 130-year history, the brand is backed by many successful innovations. The brand is one of the luxury brands and offers product lines that are as elegant as they are durable.

Bic is a French brand created in 1945. It has always been a quality brand that has never disappointed. Founded by Marcel Bich, this manufacturing company based in Clichy is also known for its razors, lighters and even boats. It is a very reliable brand.

Montblanc International is a German luxury goods manufacturing company based in Hamburg. In addition to its high-end pens, Montblanc manufactures a wide range of luxury products, including travel goods, writing instruments, watches and jewelry, among other products. The brand has an unblemished track record and reputation.

The Parker Pen Company is a leading brand of luxury pens created in the USA in 1888. This brand is at the origin of the pioneer anti-leak system, the Lucky Curve, one of the greatest innovations in the field. The brand enjoys a very high reputation in the world of luxury pens.

Pilot Corporation is a company based in Tokyo. It produces writing instruments, stationery and jewelry, but is best known for its pens. Founded in 1918, the company has an unblemished reputation. Today, it is committed to transforming its pens to make them ever more environmentally friendly: a real technological and human feat.

What is the price for a ballpoint pen

The diagram below will help you to get an idea of the typical prices for each price range (entry-level, mid-range and high-end).

However, more expensive does not necessarily mean better.

We therefore advise you to always consult our ranking before deciding, rather than blindly relying on price ranges.

1.1 £ to 10 £
10 £ to 50 £
more than 50 £
Price range diagram


Hold your ballpoint pen properly.

Of course, you learned this at an early age. For a better grip, the ballpoint pen should be held vertically, optimizing the flow of ink. If you don't hold it correctly, the ballpoint pen may write nothing or write poorly.

Store your ballpoint pen in the best way.

The risk of leakage cannot be ruled out. Retract it or put the cap back on when you're not using it. To avoid scratches, place it in its case or in a case.

Refill your ballpoint pen.

You can refill the reservoir with the same type of ink when it runs out. Start by protecting your table with newspaper. Then remove the tip of the pen and refill the reservoir with a syringe. Finally, replace the tip.

Personalize your ballpoint pen.

If your ballpoint pen isn't prone to engravings of any kind, using patterned paper or glitter tape can be a great option. Cut paper to fit the length of the tube and place it around the ink reservoir. Then put it back in the tube.

Bring your ballpoint pen back to life.

Has your ballpoint pen stopped working while there's still ink in the reservoir? Don't panic! Take one of your shoes and rub the tip of the pen on it. Test it from time to time on paper. If this method doesn't work, write on an eraser. This will unlock the ball. If the ink is frozen, simply heat the tip with a small flame.


What is the best ballpoint pen?

The best ballpoint pen depends on your needs and your budget. Read our buying guide to find out which products are the best at the moment.

How to get rid of a ballpoint pen ink stain on leather?

Use a cotton swab or simple cotton. Moisten it with stain remover and gently dab the stained area. Then, lightly moisten another cotton ball with cleansing milk and apply to the stain.

How do you get ballpoint pen ink off a sheet of paper?

Start by preparing a mixture of water (50 ml) and 3 hydroperitoneum tablets (available in pharmacies). Moisten a towel with the mixture and apply lightly to the paper. The ink will disappear instantly.

How do you make a dry ballpoint pen work again?

You can scribble on paper to heat up the ball of the pen and make the ink flow. Another way that we recommend is to blow into the ink reservoir and then test it on a sheet of paper. Like a thermometer, you can shake the pen to make the ink rise.

How to get rid of a ballpoint pen stain on fabric?

First, determine the type of fabric the garment is made of. In fact, the method varies according to the material the garment is made of. If you have a synthetic garment, moisten the stain with a cloth dampened with hot milk. On the other hand, if the garment is made of linen, you must rub it.


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March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

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Our selection
Waterman Hemisphere 9
Waterman Hemisphere
Scriveiner SVRB00002 10
Scriveiner SVRB00002
Montblanc ballpoint pen with twist mechanism 11
Montblanc ballpoint pen with twist mechanism
Parker Sonnet 12
Parker Sonnet


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