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 cut the right way - 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.

lamy fountain pens

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.


platinum music nib


Platinum Music Nib
We think this produces sublimely smooth writing. Originally developed for musicians to write sheet music, the nib can cope with being both pushed and pulled.



Ergonomically designed pens - encourages a good writing position


Lamy Dialog 1
The distinctive triangular shape encourages the pen to be held a good distance from the nib.



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 (mum)


Fast drying ink – is essential when trying to prevent excessive smudging, the scourge of the leftie.

Parker Quink cartridges and ink bottles – contains alchohol so that it is faster drying. Parker cartridges are the same as international standard so can also be used in many other pens too (e.g. Faber Castell, Otto Hut, Diplomat etc)


Some famous lefties

  • Leonardo Da Vinci – renowned for keeping a notebook with all his inventions
  • Lewis Carroll
  • Bill Bryson
  • Matt Groening
  • Sir Paul McCartney
  • Albert Einstein
  • Winston Churchill

5 thoughts on “The Write Stuff for Left Handers”

  • David Rivera Gaekel
    Written by David Rivera Gaekel on May 28, 2017

    Hello, I'm left handed and I'm looking for a nice fountain pen. I was thinking on going with Cross or Parker, for what I've read the Medium Nib is the right one for lefties. What do you recommend?

    • Gemma Plumbridge
      Written by Gemma Plumbridge on May 30, 2017

      Hi David,

      If a standard medium nib will be appropriate for you, really depends on how you hold your pen. Some find it works for them, whilst others may struggle. The medium reverse oblique available on the Parker Sonnet is supposed to be the best Parker nib for a left hander, or if you purchase a Lamy fountain pen, you can select a specific left handed nib.

      I hope this helps.

  • Jonathan Headland
    Written by Jonathan Headland on February 2, 2017

    Mr Barack Obama is also left-handed.

  • Richard Evans
    Written by Richard Evans on June 10, 2016

    Good afternoon,
    I rather fancy buying a Waterman Hemisphere fountain pen for my Granddaughter, who is a left handed writer. Would this pen be suitable?

    • Przemek
      Written by Przemek on June 10, 2016

      It's hard to say if it would be appropriate because there are no left handed nibs for the Hemisphere. However, we do have left handed customers who have sent us good feedback on the standard medium nib.

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