Are Fountain Pens Suitable for Left-Handed Writers

Are Fountain Pens Suitable for Left-Handed Writers

Fountain pens have been around for over a century now and have gained popularity among writers of all ages due to their elegance and classic vintage style. However, their suitability for left-handed writers has often been debated. In this article, we will explore some of the key factors left-handed writers should consider when deciding whether a fountain pen is suitable for them or not.

Fountain Pen Features and Left-Handed Writing

When left-handed people use fountain pens, they worry about the ink flow and smudging since they write from right to left. But don't fret! Some pen features are perfect for lefties:

Nib Width - Wider nibs tend to be less suitable as they apply more ink to paper in one stroke. Narrower nib widths like extra-fine and fine apply less ink which minimizes smudging.

Ink Flow - Pens with gushing, high ink flow may not be ideal. Opt for fountain ink pens with regulated, moderate ink flow to control bleed-through and smudging.

Drying Time of Ink - Inks that dry faster on paper cause less smudging issues. Water-resistant inks with quick drying times work better.

Grip Section - Pens with wider, contoured grip sections provide stability and prevent hand from dragging across freshly laid down ink lines.

Paper Quality - Using fountain smooth nib pens on high quality papers like heavy weight notebook, dot grid or ruling helps reduce bleed-through and smudging more than cheap, absorbent papers.

New fountain classy pens are better for lefties than before! If you pick the right pen tip, ink, and paper, you won't have smudging or bleeding issues. Let's talk more about it.

Suitable Nib Widths for Lefties

Extra-fine and fine nibs are great for left-handed writers because they don't smudge as much. They put less ink on the paper with each stroke. Some popular fine nib fountain majestic pens suitable for lefties include:

Lamy Safari/Al-Star Fountain Pens (fine or extra-fine nib): They're made of tough plastic, light to hold, and won't break the bank. Known for consistent ink flow.

Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen (fine or extra-fine nib): Affordable metal bodied pen. Smooth nib provides controlled ink flow.

TWSBI Eco Fountain Pen (extra-fine or fine nib): Transparent barrel shows ink levels. Sturdy construction stands up to heavy use.

Faber-Castell Loom Fountain Pen (fine or extra-fine nib): Sleek pen with comfortable grip. Nib provides feedback without being scratchy.

While medium and broad nibs can certainly still be used, fine or extra-fine allow left-handed writers to experience the joy of fountain gel pens without dealing with excess ink build up on their hands. Of course, individual writing style also plays a role.

Suitable Inks that Dry Quickly

Inks that dry reasonably fast on paper are less prone to smudging under a left hand. Water-resistant inks tend to be faster drying. Here are some ink options suitable for left-handed fountain pen use:

Pilot Iroshizuku inks: Branded as "brush and water resistant", these inks dry very quickly without sacrificing shading and sheen. Great performer for lefties.

Pelikan 4001 series inks: Classic professional grade inks. Known for quick drying times and light feathering on low-quality papers too.

Lamy crystal inks: Clean, bright hues. Dries very quickly without railroading in pens.

Waterman Serenity Blue: Iconic blue-black. Balances hydration with quick dry time.

Diamine Registrar's ink: Affordable iron gall ink. Fast drying and water resistant. Works on all papers.

While richly shading and sheening inks may be visually pleasing, simpler formulated inks with quick drying times are more left-handed friendly without compromising on results. Proper maintenance also helps prevent nib creep issues.

Suitable Paper Choices

The texture and absorbency of paper makes a huge difference in minimizing smudging and bleeding when using fountain classic pens left-handed. some good paper options include:

Rhodia pads: High quality Clairefontaine paper with smooth but lightly textured surface for controlled ink spread. Best for note taking and drafting.

Oxford Optik paper: Thick hot pressed paper resists feathering. Great for journaling and letter writing.

Black n' Red notebooks: Affordable soft cover notebooks with thick paper standing. Smooth texture without showing teeth.

Lifenobot graph ruling: Thick 100GSM paper suitable for diagramming, plotting etc. does not buckle under layers of ink.

Clairfontaine Triomphe notebooks: Luxurious ruled sheets ideal for creative writing needs. Rich cream color takes inks beautifully.

Avoid papers with strong texture, thin newsprint-like papers or cheap notebooks when using fountain smooth nib pens left-handed for best results. Good paper truly makes a difference.

Grip Sections and Pen Balance

The other aspect many lefties appreciate about fountain  gel pens over ballpoints is the ample real estate and ergonomic grips on modern pens. Wider mid sections allow for a secure anti-slip grip without sleeves getting soaked in ink.

Some pens with comfortable grips include:

Kaweco Student pen: Triangular barrel supports fingers securely. Smooth lines.

Pelikan Twist pen: Circular rubberized grip prevents rolling away. Excellent unposted balance.

Leonardo Momento Zero: Streamlined contour grip feels very natural unposted.

Opus 88 Koloro: Funky comfort grip sits well in all hand sizes unposted.

Pilot Custom 74: Generous octagonal grip meets fingers perfectly for hours. posted/unposted balance.

Ergonomic and rubberized grips become blessings for lefties as they avoid slipping and provide stability for relaxed writing. Proper training in positioning minimizes mess further.

Maintenance and Clean-Up

No writing tool is completely mess proof but regular cleaning and maintenance practices minimize inconveniences for left-handed writers in the long run. Thoroughly flushing pens with water after use and wiping down nib/feed with tissue or cloth prevents build up that leads to issues later. Some habit include:

  1. Use blunted disposable sleeves or plastic bags over hand for 'no mess' writing when needed.
  2. Carry portable blotting paper/tissues in addition to notebooks.
  3. Keep paper towels/wipes to clean fingers right away if needed.
  4. Store pens vertically nib up when not in use to avoid leakage.
  5. Flush pens weekly even if not used heavily to displace residual inks.
  6. Check nib/feed regularly for staining or residue build up, clean properly.

Proper pen hygiene practices go a long way in preventing long term troubles even for left-handed users. With little investment in maintenance, fountain pens can become a joy to use.

Final Thoughts:

With the various options now available, left-handed writers should feel more confident giving fountain pens a try. Many modern pens are specially designed with lefties in mind, featuring finer nibs, quick-drying inks, and ergonomic grips. When paired with the right paper, fountain  writing pens can provide a seamless writing experience for both left and right hands alike. Locally, Stationers offers a wide selection of left-handed friendly fountain classic pens, inks and notebooks. Their knowledgeable staff can help you find the perfect starter setup. I'd encourage any lefties who have been hesitant about fountain pens to stop into Stationers to test some options and see how smoothly they can write. You may be surprised at how capable today's pens are and decide they're worth making part of your writing routine.