Are you a leftie in search the ideal fountain pen? Here's our guide to help you choose.
The world generally seems to revolve around right-handed people, and it can be very frustrating when simple everyday items don’t work in your hands. Even in our digital era, writing by hand is an important element of home office work.
While fountain pens may be trickier to use, they’re great for fine lines and letters. So, how do they work for lefties?
Can Lefties Use Fountain Pens?
There’s a persistent misconception that fountain pens and southpaws don’t get along. However, it’s just that: a misconception. With roughly 10 percent of literate humans writing with their left hand, of course, there are leftie-friendly options for every type of pen.
In fact, the pens themselves aren’t specifically designed for one orientation or the other. The difference is in the nib. Firstly, the direction of the nib matters. Also, some nib types and materials may be easier to use with your left hand, although it’s mostly a matter of taste.
For example, gold nibs are soft and flexible, while stainless ones are rigid but move smoother. It’s worth experimenting to find what suits you best.
Moreover, the weight and grip of the pen are always essential factors for left-handed writing. Otherwise, you may not be able to write with proper form for long times without pain and fatigue.
Left-Handed Writing Tips
You may not realize this, but there are different approaches to left-handed writing. Overwriting, underwriting and side writing are all positions that can be used by left-handers.
Overwriting, also known as hooking, is when you use a high position and curl your hand. The paper has roughly the same orientation that a right-hander would use but with a slight counter-clockwise rotation.
Underwriting uses a reasonably neutral position where your hand is between you and the baseline of the text in writing. You place the paper in the opposite direction and turn it clockwise.
Side writing is when your hand is centered somewhere between the baseline and ascender line. You push the pen along an almost-vertical paper with a slight turn toward either direction.
Underwriting is often the best approach, so if you’ve learned one of the other ways, it may be worth retraining your grip. Regardless of your writing style, there are a few main pointers to help you with better left-handed fountain pen use.
First, pay attention to the grip. A comfortable grip lets you keep a stable flow of writing with ease. If you need to write long pages of smudge-free text, this is essential.
Next, focus on pressure. Pressing too hard on your fountain pen may damage the nib or paper. It’ll also cause excess ink to pool on the paper. Plus, too much pressure is a recipe for hand and wrist strain. Therefore, it’s best to take some time to practice before you use your fountain pen for office work.
How to Avoid Smudging
Smudging is the main problem southpaws face when writing with ink, and even righties encounter it sometimes, but it’s a pretty straightforward fix. There are four main things to consider.
As we mentioned earlier, the overwriting grip is a recipe for smudges. Since fountain pens smudge easily with improper form, it’s wise to consider switching to an underwriting technique.
Also, the paper angling fix may be contributing to the problem. While a slight angle can be helpful, anything beyond that is detrimental.
Next, the ink itself is a significant factor for smudging. When using a fountain pen with your left hand, a high-quality quick-drying ink such as this (available from Amazon) is indispensable.
Where you place the paper also plays a role. Soft and unstable surfaces inevitably cause smudges, especially for left-handed writers.
The Best Fountain Pens for Lefties
While there aren’t distinct pen designs for left-handed or right-handed users, some are more suitable for a southpaw due to the general design. A proper ergonomic design will help a lot because the improved angle caused by the comfort grip will help you avoid smudging and wrist pain.
However, a variety of ergonomic improvements for lefties exist, and they all have their pros and cons. Which type you prefer is individual, so it may be best to get it as a separate add-on.
Triangular grips that force a smudge-reducing posture and finger supports that help you see the text come in a variety of universal formats that can attach to most pens. Therefore, our focus is mostly on other aspects of what makes the best fountain pen for left-handed people.
Pilot Custom 912 Fountain Pen with Waverly Nib
Pilot Custom 912 is a luxurious high-end pen with a classic style made from very fine materials. A 14k Waverly gold nib gives you a very smooth writing experience, while the resin body provides a comfortable modern fit.
What makes one of the best pens for left-handed people is the Waverly nib, which has a somewhat upturned tip. This design helps you avoid skipping and snagging even if you push the pen or write at high angles.
Also, the Pilot CON-70 converter is worth a mention. Instead of typical push-button or vacuum-filling converters, it combines the best of both worlds into a unique design. Plus, it can take both bottled ink and proprietary ink cartridges. You get one cartridge included. Also, the pen comes in a luxurious package with its own portable, elegant protective case.Check price Pilot Custom 912 at Amazon.
DRYDEN Modern Classic
The Modern Classic Collection by DRYDEN gives you the versatility and convenience of modern fountain pens in a timeless elegant design. The DRYDEN Luxury Fountain Pen is assembled by humans and consists of quality components.
What makes this one of the best fountain pens for left-handed people is that the designers had lefties in mind when they made it. The comfortable design and the medium nib let you write without strain for hours.
Another high-quality feature is the converter. It can use DRYDEN ink cartridges or regular bottled ink. The design of the nib and fountain ensures that the ink doesn’t spill or dry out. Also, it comes in a luxurious pouch. Overall, it’s an affordable option to luxury pens like the Pilot 912.Check price of the DRYDEN at Amazon.
The LAMY Safari
If you’re looking for the best pens for left-handed people under $20, a LAMY Safari is a good choice. Its unique design and low price make it a very popular option, and you can get it in different colors.
The barrel consists of sturdy ABS plastic, and the nib is stainless steel. It feeds ink from a Lamy T-10 ink cartridge. You can replace it with a Z-24 converter or buy new cartridges when the first one runs out. A convenient ink-viewing window lets you know when the ink starts running low.
The Ergocomfort design makes it one of the best fountain pens for left-handers because it’s designed to accommodate left-handed writing.Check price of the LAMY Safari at Amazon.
Pilot MR Retro Pop
Another affordable option is Pilot’s MR Retro Pop series. There are six stylish finishes to choose from, each one inspired by the ‘60s and ‘70s.
The Pilot MR Retro Pop features a luxurious brass barrel with polished stainless details, plus a fine stainless nib. For the ink, there’s a squeeze converter that comes pre-loaded with a black cartridge.Check price of the Pilot MR Retro Pop at Amazon.
If you like a luxurious look and feel, this is probably the most affordable pen for lefties. Also, it comes in a stylish black gift box that doubles as a case for it.