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Guide to ink pens and pen inks.

There's much more to choosing a writing instrument these days than just color. Factors like grip type, special inks, pocket clip types and refill ability all come into play when selecting a writing instrument. 
For this buying guide, we will be focusing mainly on the concept of the ink involved in each pen. Once you have decided on an ink type that suits your needs, you will be able to select color, grip type, clip type, and every other element that goes into choosing the perfect pen. Whether you're bulk-buying pens for an entire office or seeking out that perfect, personal daily-use writing utensil, this guide should remove some of the mystery from a very important purchase.
Ballpoint Pens use thick, permanent, non-water based ink that does not thin while you write. Ballpoint pens use a small rotating ball made of brass, steel, or tungsten carbide to dispense the ink as you write.
Roller Ball Pens use water-based ink that takes very little effort to get flowing, allowing for a smooth write. They utilize the same type of ball as a ballpoint pen, but because the ink is much thinner, it floods the ball and "drags" a pool of ink across the paper as you write. The smaller the point size of your pen, the less ink there is to drag, thus producing a finer line. Roller ball pen ink is usually not permanent.
Gel Pens use water-based ink with a viscosity or "thickness" that can fluctuate (not the thickness of the line, necessarily, but the thickness of the liquid ink itself). When a gel pen is not being used, the ink tends to have a higher viscosity, or thicker ink. When the ball starts to rotate, the ink thins down and is "dragged" in a similar manner as roller ball ink. Gel pens provide the best of both worlds—the smoother write of a roller ball, with the performance of a ballpoint.
Permanent Markers mark on virtually any surface, from packages to labels, glass and so much more. Fade- and water-resistant ink options further extend multiple project uses. A variety of colors and tip sizes are available to make your mark unique.

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