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The Write Stuff for Left Handers

The Write Stuff for Left Handers

The Write Stuff for Left Handers

Smudging, scratchy letters and covered up writing are some of the problems we hear from left handers about their handwriting. Whilst many lefties have developed techniques to alleviate these issues, it can often cause writing strain. Since about 11% of the UK population are left handers, we felt it was time to offer some tips and advice. Essentially there are two solutions; adopting the correct writing position and choosing the correct pen.

left-hand-pointingAdopt a Good Writing Position

  • As a lefty, you push rather than pull when writing, causing your words to be covered as you write (with the obvious smudging). If you rotate the paper approximately 45 degrees clockwise, your elbow comes in and the hand drops under the writing line. This will be more comfortable and gives you the visual space as you write.
  • Do you sometimes hunch over your pen, with your fingers tightly pressed towards the end of the nib? This exasperates the problem as a leftie, causing even more smudging. We recommend you hold your pen far enough back from the point (1 – 1.5 inches is a good benchmark)

left-hand-pointingChoose the Right Equipment

Some pens are particularly well suited for left handers, and in some cases were specifically designed for this use.

Fountain Pens

Fountain pens present the biggest challenge for lefties, since nibs are generally cut for right handers. Only a few brands produce nibs dedicated for the left hander, which are cut in the opposite direction.

  1. LAMY safari Vista Fountain Pen

Nearly all Lamy ranges are available with left handed nibs. We particularly love the Safari because it has an ergonomic grip, and is an affordable everyday pen that will last. 

  1. Engrave Me!
    Parker Sonnet Black Gold Trim Fountain Pen

A more premium pen to add to our selection, Parker offer a medium REVERSE oblique nib on their Sonnet range. Cut with an angle that allows the nib to glide smoothly across the paper when pushed (instead of pulled) and won't snag causing irritation or messy handwriting.

  1. Faber-Castell Grip Edition Sparkle Rose Fountain Pen

This fountain pen has a nib specifically designed to suit both lefties and righties! With a lightweight construction and soft touch triangular grip section for hours of effortless writing.

Ergonomic Pens

Pens with ergonomic grips encourage proper finger placement, helping to produce better handwriting and decrease painful writing cramps.

  1. Faber-Castell Grip Classic Black Ballpoint Pen

The distinctive triangular shape encourages the pen to be held a good distance from the tip. This allows lefties to see their writing when usually it'd be covered by the hand.

The revolutionary Yoropen has a kink in the pen acting as a finger support, providing the visual space for the lefty. The grip can also be rotated to allow for a more optimal writing position.

“Philip is in a Year 3 class and is left handed and used to hold his pencil awkwardly. It took a while to get used to the (Yoropen) grip but in the end Philip is now holding his pencil correctly…..The quality of his work has greatly improved and it is now much neater. Philip likes the fact that he can read what he is writing” - Laura Barnett

  1. Kaweco Perkeo Jungle Green Rollerball Pen

Constructed from durable injection moulded plastic, this lightweight rollerball pen features an ergonomic grip section making a great pen for young and old alike.

Quick Drying Ink

Essential when trying to prevent excessive smudging, the scourge of the leftie.

  1. Parker Quink Bottled Ink

Parker Quink contains alchohol so that it is faster drying. Available in cartridges and bottles, the bottled ink is ideal for using with other brands of fountain pen too.

A great 'dry' ink that leaves very little smudging soon after use.

These standard international size ink cartridges are ideal for many pen brands; including Caran d'Ache, Coles, Conklin, Diplomat, Faber-Castell, Graf von Faber-Castell, Hugo Boss, Kaweco, Laban, Montegrappa, Ohto, Otto Hutt, Pelikan, Visconti, Waterman, Worther and Yard-o-Led.


  1. LAMY T51 Ink Bottle - 30ml

This ingenious design from Lamy makes it easier access more ink as the bottle empties. The black plastic base conceals a divot in the glass bottom, allowing the nib to sink deeper into the ink during refilling and maintain suction at lower levels. All three colours of this Lamy ink are washable, and they’re suitable for use with any fountain pen.