Causes and Fixes for Ink Blobs on Ballpoint Type Pen Tips?

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penicillin

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Feb 27, 2019
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Sometimes ballpoint pens get "blobs" of ink on the ballpoint tips. If you don't notice a blob on your ballpoint pen tip, it can leave a blotch or a smear on your writing, which is annoying. I can wipe them off with a tissue or rub them off on scratch paper.

Some pens get them, some do not. You cannot look at a new refill and predict what will happen in the future. The refills may be cheap or they may be expensive, high quality refills. The ink may be standard or gel or whatever. All I know is that it is unpredictable. Once a blob appears on the pen tip, they tend to reappear on that same tip even if you clean it off.

They seem to happen "by magic." I store the most frequently used pens in the retracted position (click or twist). They are kept vertically in a "cup" type holder on my desk and in the shop. Some less frequently used pens are stored horizontally in the desk drawer.

-> What causes those ink blobs? What can be done to fix it? If it happens on a pen, is there a way to prevent it from reappearing, other than replacing the refill and hoping that it does not happen again?
 
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SteveG

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Quality of refill is important. I have not experienced this issue with Schmidt Easyflow 9000 M (Rollerball). I seemed to regularly be a problem with the style of refills used for slimline pens. My solution:I stopped making/selling pens with that style of refill.
 

penicillin

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Just spitballing here, but could it be that it only happens with specific types of paper?
Hi Bill - Thanks for the reply.

No, the blobs are on the tip of the pen refill before they touch the paper. I pull the pen out of the cup, click or twist the mechanism to extend the tip, and there it is, waiting to smear on the paper.

This is common problem. People have encountered it in normal life as long as I can remember ballpoint type pens.

The reason I started the thread is that I don't know why they happen, what causes them, and what can be done about it - if anything. I thought that perhaps some of the pen experts here might know something more.
 
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