Best Fountain Pen for Lefties (Beginners to Experts)
Did you know that about 10% of the population are left-handed? Unfortunately, lefties are often neglected in the fountain pen world due to the challenges of ink smearing. But even in the digital era, hand-writing is still an important part of office work. In this post, let’s explore the best fountain pen for lefties options.
Best Fountain Pen for Lefties Reviews
Pilot Custom Heritage 912 Fountain Pen
Hong Dian Forest Series Fountain Pen
LAMY Safari Fountain Pen
Contrary to popular belief, left handers can use fountain pens. If you are a left hander, however, you need to consider the nib size and ink. So whether you are an underwriter, sidewriter, or overwriter, there is a fountain pen for you. Here are the in-depth reviews of the top 4 fountain pens for left-handed writers.
1. Pilot Custom Heritage 912 Fountain Pen
The Pilot Custom Heritage 912 is simply exceptional. It is by far, one of the best fountain pens for left handers, especially if you are an overwriter, like I am.
The highlight of the Custom Heritage 912 is, without a doubt, the Waverly nib. For those who don’t know, the Waverly nib is a special nib grind designed to make the tip of the nib smoother and more comfortable to write with. There is a slight upturn at the end of the nib, which is one of the specialty nibs Pilot offers.
Not only is the nib supremely smooth, but the feed keeps up with it. In fact, the Pilot Custom Heritage 912 works fine with many inks, including Iroshizuku and Noodler’s Bernanke Ink.
Top to bottom, the Pilot Custom Heritage 912 is one of, if not the best fountain pen for lefties because of its good ink capacity, great feel in the hand, and solid construction.
So if you are a left handed fountain pen user, and you can only afford one extremely high-quality fountain pen that gives you the ultimate writing pleasure, the Pilot Custom Heritage 912 Fountain Pen is at the top of the list. It’s great for everyone, including right-handed users, but it is superior for lefties.
2. Hong Dian Forest Series Fountain Pen
Looking at the sleek, matte black appearance of the Hong Dian Forest Series Fountain Pen, I was immediately hooked and tempted to try it. It comes with three nib options which include: bent point, extra fine point, and fine point. The bent nib option looks interesting and I’ve decided to give it a try.
Unlike most Chinese pens that come in bubble-wraps, the Hong Dian pen came in a surprisingly nice, yet simple metal tin. The box is definitely a huge plus. After taking the pen out of the box, I noticed how the all-metal construction provides a “heavy and expensive feel”, despite its slim profile.
Along the body of the pen is a textured finish, which resembles the skin of a snake. Not only does it provide excellent grip, but it adds elegance to the matte black color of the pen. The branding of the pen is also quite nice, with "HONG DIAN FOREST SERIES" etched in black around the barrel.
The most surprising part of this pen is the nib. I chose the bent nib assuming that it would resemble a Waverly nib which is becoming more popular. However, the bent nib looks just like a fine nib, but with an aggressive bend at the end. To say that I’ve never seen anything like it would be an understatement.
Moreover, the line variation on this thing is phenomenal. When you write at an extremely high angle, it becomes a fine line, but when you write at a low angle, the tip becomes a full 2mm width. It creates a very wet, brush-like stroke and expresses a substantial amount of shading with the Iroshizuku Tsuyu-Kusa.
However, the Hong Dian Fountain Pen does not have the easiest nib to control, especially when used right-side up. I recommend getting the extra fine nib if you are a typical left-handed fountain pen user, but if you are an audacious lefty writer, the bent nib has amazing potential as a sketching and/or calligraphy pen.
Inside the simple and unassuming appearance of this pen lies an exceptional nib that provides a fun writing experience for lefties. Sure, this Hong Dian Forest Series Fountain Pen is not as popular as other fountain pens, but it is definitely a great pen. And considering it’s affordable price, this fountain pen is a steal.
3. LAMY Safari Fountain Pen
The LAMY Safari Fountain Pen is not only one of the most famous LAMY pens, it’s arguably one of the most famous fountain pens worldwide. It has won over the hearts of many lefties because of its simplicity and reliability. Because of its cheap price, it is a popular entry-level fountain pen in the world.
The reason I feel that the LAMY Safari is the best starter fountain pen, especially for lefties, is the nib. It has a sturdy, long-lasting stainless steel nib for a pleasant and even ink flow. In fact, the LAMY Safari with a medium nib is an easy transition from typical ball-point and rollerball pens.
The LAMY Safari provides excellent value because it comes with a blue ink cartridge inside and 5 additional black ink cartridges. It also comes with a Z28 converter which can be used to refill it with a bottle of ink. The Lamy Safari Pen has an ink window that shows you how much ink is left in the cartridge.
My favorite part of this pen is definitely the grip section. As a left-hander, I know the problem with pens being pushed UP and INTO the hand. However, with the flared bottom of the grip, I can relax my hand knowing that I won’t have to constantly readjust the grip because the pen won’t slide up into my fingers.
Overall, I love the LAMY Safari Fountain Pen. There’s a reason why the LAMY Safari pen has won the world over, especially the lefties, since its creation in 1980. The balance, weight, and grip of the LAMY Safari are just right. It’s also very easy to hold, regardless of your experience level.
4. Pelikan Pelikano Jr. Fountain Pen
As its name suggests, the Pelikano Junior Fountain Pen is made for children who are learning to write, but it’s also a beginner-friendly option for left-handed writers of any age. In fact, many left-handed writers would comment that while this pen is advertised for kids, even adults can use it.
My first impression of the pen is that the Pelikano Junior writes like a dream. The chunky body, especially the left-handed version, is very easy to grasp and encourages a gentle grip. It’s perfect for those who get cramps often. So as long as you hold the pen properly with fingers in the right place, it writes near-flawlessly.
Despite its childish appearance, the nib lays the ink down quite smoothly, while the line thickness varies depending on how you hold and angle the pen. However, the left-handed nib has a large, round tip so you’ll have a smooth writing experience no matter how you hold your pen.
Overall, the Pelikan Pelikano Jr. Fountain Pen is not only an excellent fountain pen for kids who are learning to write, but it is also an amazing starter option for beginners. I recommend getting refill cartridges along with the pen, so you don’t experience that sad moment when you suddenly run out of ink. 🙂
5. Dryden Designs Fountain Pen
Looking at the acrylic layering on the cover of the pen’s shaft, I was impressed by how shiny and attractive it is. In fact, not only do the Dryden Designs fountain pen's metallic pieces look good, the weight balance of the pen is excellent as well. It oozes quality without you having to break the bank.
Using the Dryden Designs fountain pen on Black n’ Red paper, the ink flows smoothly and naturally under its own weight. The pen is also very versatile, because it is compatible with both a standard cartridge and bottled ink. The included piston converter allows you to refill the pen with most ink bottles.
Overall, the Dryden Designs fountain pen is another great option for lefties. Sure, it’s nothing compared to a $500 fountain pen, but for its affordable price of about $20, it looks and works like a $200 pen. Among the nib options, I personally recommend the extra fine nib, which comes with a gift box or pouch.
FAQ on Fountain Pens and Left Handers
Left-handed writers have many questions about fountain pens. To help you on your journey to write with precision and enjoyment, Office Solution Pro will try to answer them all right here and will add new ones periodically. It’s a good idea to bookmark this page and come back regularly for more insights.
1. Can lefties use fountain pens?
Contrary to popular belief, lefties can use fountain pens!
Fountain pens work for lefties as long as the left-handed writers avoid, or at least minimize, dragging their hand through the drying ink. In fact, there are fountain pens designed exclusively for left-handed writers, which minimize smudging because of the extra fine nibs that work effectively with quick-drying ink.
2. How to hold and use a fountain pen left-handed?
If you are a left-handed writer, and you want to try to write using fountain pens, here are some quick and effective tips on how to hold and use a fountain pen left-handed:
- Choose a fountain pen with a finer point. Ideally, you would want to go for a fine or extra fine point. Less ink on the paper means that the ink will dry faster.
- Use a quick-drying ink. There are a number of fountain pen inks that dry faster than others. One of the quickest drying inks is the Noodler’s Bernanke Ink, which is specially formulated to soak into the paper’s fibers. When used with fine nibs, Bernanke Ink takes less than 10 seconds to dry completely on almost any paper, including fountain pen-friendly ones, which brings us to…
- Avoid papers with long drying times. Some fountain pen-friendly papers, while popular, like Clairefontaine or Rhodia, have a tendency to smear since their smoothness reduces the effectiveness of fast-drying inks. Personally, I'm a big fan of Black n Red paper, which seems to dry quickly while allowing for some of the ink's sheen to show.
In addition to the tips above, it’s also important to watch your writing technique.
If you are a sidewriter or overwriter, consider practicing underwriting to minimize smearing, otherwise, using a combination of extra fine nib with a quick-drying ink should help.
Additionally, if you find it difficult to underwrite, you can try keeping a sheet of blotter paper underneath your palm to absorb the extra ink. If you are already a natural underwriter, then you have less to worry about. Some veteran underwriters actually prefer medium to broad nibs with inks “on the wet side”.
By applying the tips I have shared above, you should have better success and a more enjoyable time writing with a fountain pen as a left-handed writer.
3. What is the best fast-drying fountain pen ink?
The best fast-drying fountain pen ink is the Noodler’s Bernanke Blue, which dries in under 10 seconds on virtually any paper when used in a fine nib fountain pen.
Unlike most fountain pen inks which sit on top of the paper as they dry, Bernanke inks are uniquely created to soak quickly into the paper’s fibers. Along with fine (or extra fine) nibs, Bernanke inks create the perfect combination for lefties to write with fountain pens without smudging or smearing.
And there you have it, the best fountain pens for lefties. By using one of the top 4 fountain pens for left-handers, along with the tips on how to use a fountain pen for lefties, you should be able to create wonderful sketches and beautiful calligraphy in no time. If you are a beginner, remember, practice makes perfect. 🙂
As a freelance writer working from home, I enjoy writing anything related to office productivity and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Have a nice day! 🙂