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
    Lamy Safari Vista Fountain Pen
    As low as £17.02

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. Platinum #3776 Century Fountain Pen with 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.    

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.

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

  1. Kaweco Perkeo Bad Taste Fountain Pen

Constructed from durable injection moulded plastic, this lightweight fountain pen features an ergonomic grip section and sturdy stainless steel nib, 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 Bottled Ink
    As low as £6.50

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.

  1. Pelikan 4001 Short Ink Cartridges (Pack of 6)

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
    Lamy T51 Ink Bottle - 30ml
    As low as £6.90

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.