Rollerball pens use a similar writing mechanism as a ballpoint, (a tiny ball at the end of a tube of ink) but use water-based ink rather than the viscous, oil-based ink of a traditional ballpoint. This gives the roller ball pen the smooth wet ink effect of a fountain pen. These liquid-ink type rollerball pens were introduced in 1963 by the Japanese company Ohto. Gel pens were later created in 1982 and use a thicker pigmented ink, incorporating a wider range of colors and metallics.

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