With all the writing instruments available these days, why choose a ballpoint? Ballpoint pens guarantee a steady and reliable flow of ink that dries faster than other ink formulas, like gel ink. Ballpoint pens use oil-based ink that is dispensed over a metal ball at the point as the pen is moved across a surface. This allows the amount of ink distributed to be dependent on the amount of pressure put on the tip. Ballpoint pens provide more control and last longer than other types of pens.