Why Don't Ballpoint Pens Work Underwater?

Why Don't Ballpoint Pens Work Underwater?

Let me guess. You've heard this one from a friend and now are trying to fact-check it. Am I right?

Ballpoint pens work just fine underwater. The fact that they don't is a big myth. It's fountain pens that will have trouble being wet.

However, there are some things that we should take into consideration when answering the question. It's quite possible that some ballpoints may have some thinner type of ink that doesn't float well with wet and underwater writing. It is also possible that there could be a certain type of paper or slippery surface that doesn't properly hold on to the ink if placed underwater.

The point is that while the usual occurrence is that ballpoint pens can write underwater, there are some cases in which it could be difficult or even impossible. But then again, exceptions aren't supposed to be taken as the rule. It's like saying that a front pocket wallet won't hold bank cards. They usually do, but there could be the odd case where it's not possible.

It should also be mentioned that gel pens will blot a bit when writing underwater because their ink is different than that of normal ballpoints. But still, they will write, although a little messily.

Introducing the Trayvax Bullet Space Pen

Here's the thing, though. Although we have explained above that ballpoints work okay when placed inside water, it should be borne in mind that this is not something absolute and guaranteed. That means that while you can expect and hope for your normal ballpoint to write in water, it isn't something you can really count on, which is a bit of a bummer.

bullet space pen

So, what do you do if you want to have the assurance that your pen will work in different types of situations, even if it is drenched in water? You go for a Trayvax Bullet Space Pen. (Is that a little surprising to hear? Trayvax offers products other than slim wallets for men, you know.)

The Trayvax Bullet Space Pen is one hardy and durable product. It can work in extreme temperatures, at high altitudes, and all sorts of angles (yep, even in zero-g). Let's take a look at it in some detail.

Looks and Design

Blue and white generic plastic pens work fine, but they won't go well with the other items that you have in your pocket (especially if you're rocking a leather tactical wallet, like our Trayvax Contour).

On the other hand, Bullet Space Pens have an aesthetic black-coated brass body that can match and clash stylishly with your other pocket paraphernalia. Thanks to the metallic construction, they won't break or crack as easily, too.

Near the top, you get the Trayvax logo inscribed in golden and the "Earn your story" tagline on the other side. There is also a slip-on clip that you use to secure the pen to your pocket or tactical webbing belt.

Functionality and Workability

Fisher pens in general are known for their versatile functionality. They can work in different situations and places like high altitudes, cold or hot temperatures, and even at unusual angles.

All these features are also present in the product offered by Trayvax.

The temperature range in which you can easily use it for writing is -35º to 120º. The maximum altitude is 3,800m (Everest is 8,849m, so that should give you some idea), and it can work even in zero gravity.


The physical durability of this product is self-evident from the brass construction. The metal is tarnish and rust-resistant, something which is enhanced by the coat on top. Furthermore, the lifetime of the ink itself is three times more than usual.

Summit Notebook

If you are looking to get some more value for your money, consider getting the Summit Notebook wallet instead. With the Summit Wallet, you will get the Bullet Space Pen, a pocket-sized notebook as well as a nifty and handy card/cash holder. And all of this will cost you only $81.99, which is a good deal compared to the $36.99 that you would have to cough up for just the writing tool. Plus, the wallet has increased RFID resistance, which is yet another benefit that you can enjoy.

summit notebook and bullet space pen


So why don't normal ballpoints write underwater? They do, actually. Their versatility is one of the reasons why people choose them in the first place.

However, there isn't an official guarantee that your ballpoint will definitely function properly when submerged in water. If you want something that you can rely on, go for the Trayvax Bullet Space pen instead.

Reading next

The Trayvax Bullet Space Pen: Writing on Wet Surfaces Made Easy!
Why Can't We Write with a Normal Pen on the Moon?

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