Best Pens For Left Handed People

by TonyB on September 2, 2009

Lefties, we know you have it rough when it comes to finding good pens, since most of them are designed to be used by right-handers.

A typical right-handed person using a pen pulls it toward the right in a smooth motion, leaving a line of fresh ink untouched behind the writing hand.

A left-handed person has to push the pen from left to right. That requires the writer to press harder on the pen, which can be uncomfortable and can force the paper to foul the writing tip. Meanwhile, the writing hand drags over the ink and smudges it.

Obviously, then, the two most important qualities in a pen for left-handed people is that the ink dries quickly and that it flows as smoothly as possible. With that in mind, these are some of the pens left-handers might consider:

Sharpie Pen – Several left-handed readers over at the excellent Pen Addict blog reported that they’ve had good experiences with the Sharpie. It has a plastic tip that lays down a smooth, even line of quick-drying ink that, according to the maker, won’t bleed through most papers. Although the pen isn’t specifically designed for lefties, the smudge-resistant ink at least will help you avoid those annoying smears.

Uni-ball Jetstream – A rollerball pen might not be the first choice for a lefty because the ink can smudge if your hand passes over it as you write. However, that’s the main selling point of the Jetstream: It’s a hybrid that combines the fast drying ink more common to a ballpoint with the gentle glide of a gel. You get fewer smudges and a more comfortable experience.

Fisher Space Pen – Actually, any quality pen with a pressurized cartridge can be a good choice for left-handed people, including the Uni-ball Power Tank or the Inka Pen. The advantage is that since there’s always downward pressure on the ink, you’ll get a constant smooth flow, whether you’re pushing the pen across the paper or pulling it. You won’t be rubbing the ink off the ball, “drying up” the pen, as sometimes happens when lefties use ballpoints. And the pen will even write upside down. How cool is that?

STABILO ’s move easy – This rollerball pen is designed for kids, but there’s no reason adults can’t use it also. What’s important is that STABILO makes a left-handed version of the pen that is molded with grip recesses so that your thumb and finger fit comfortably without any odd contortions. The idea is that you can hold it with a light grip, and it still will move easily across the paper. Available in .5mm and .3 mm. The smaller size is recommended for faster drying. Usually ships with blue ink, although you can order black ink refills.

Yoropen – The advantage of this ballpoint pen is that it’s adjustable to fit whatever position is comfortable for you. Just rotate the tripod grip to the left, and the angled design is supposed to allow you to relax your fingers and give you a better view of what you’re writing so you don’t smudge the fresh ink. You can get the refillable Executive (a bit pricey at more than £30) or inexpensive disposables.

Pelikan Pelikano Junior – There’s much discussion online about whether left-handed people can use fountain pens. Some lefties say they’ve tried and found it impossible, while others swear they’ve been comfortably using fountain pens for years. The general consensus seems to be that it’s difficult because the left-to-right upward motion distorts the tines of most pens. However, the Pelikano Junior, another pen for children that also works for adults, comes in a version specifically for left-handers. The two key features are a slightly rotated grip (nice but not all that useful) and a ball at the tip of the nib that keeps the pen moving smoothly over the paper, even when pushed left to right. This pen tends to write wet so you might want to try one of the optional fine nibs.

Of course, these are only a few of the pens available to left-handed people. We’d like to hear about your experiences with pens for lefties. Have any favourites that have worked for you, or any that you’ve tried and know just don’t do the job? Let us know.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Typegeek October 20, 2010 at 8:17 PM

This is a really great post. I’m interested in pens but I didn’t know there were so many people who were WILD about pens! I just bought a Lefty produced by a company called “Online” I think and just trying it out, but I think I also want to look into “calligraphic” nibs.

I’ll check out more of your site and see if you’ve got the goods cause this was pretty interesting.

2 heather hemmings February 14, 2011 at 6:14 PM

why not visit my amazon store we sell our left hand logic range, we have more colours available in june so watch this space. swan neck left-hand logic is launching a updated pen to the market for distribution and wholesale so will be available in most retail store shortly

3 The Pen Warrior February 17, 2011 at 9:57 AM

Hi Heather

I would have prefered to see a comment with more detail about the benefits of the pen that would have been useful to our readers rather than “you can buy them at Amazon.”

Why not submit a full blog article about the Logic range of Swan Neck pens and we would happily allow you to link back to your website.

4 Left Hander May 11, 2011 at 12:30 AM

Here’s my picks for affordable left handed pens;

(A+) Pilot Easy Touch Stick Pen with Grip – Medium Point

(A) Paper Mate Write Bros. Stick Pen with Grip – Medium or Fine Point

(A-)Bic Ultra Round Stic Pen with Grip – Medium or Fine Point

(B) Pentel R.S.V.P Pen with Grip – Medium Point

(B) Paper Mate Write Bros. Stick Pen – Medium or Fine Point

5 Promotional Pens September 24, 2012 at 5:28 PM

I always thought a pen was a pen, no idea that pens were designed specifically for right handed people. Although i am right handed so maybe i just never noticed :p.

I myself like Typegeek am surprised up until recently that there was such a large market for pen fanatics. But Like i just said, i always thought a pen was a pen.

6 Trevor November 15, 2012 at 4:31 AM

I’ve only recently discovered that pens were made for right handers as well. So being left handed I’m starting to look for a good option to use because I am a student and need to write a lot on a daily basis. My biggest problem is that using regular pens I find that my wrist tends to cramp up because the barrel of regular pens is too small and I guess I write unconventionally. I can’t wait to try some of these pens, especially the ergonomic grip one, hopefully that will end my problems.

7 Namz February 9, 2014 at 11:37 PM

Hi there Trevor..i’m in the same boat, my wrist is always in pain and my hand gets really tired! Especially in the vital revision time. Did you happen to find anything that worked for you. Would you mind sharing what you tried and how those products measured up?

p.s. i do realise your post was a couple of years ago.

Many thanks

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