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Fountain pen for a left-hander

(22 Posts)
ChocolateWombat Sun 14-Dec-14 11:38:19

Son is thrilled to have gained his 'pen licence' and needs to have a fountain pen for January return to school.
He is a leftie and whenever writing with other wet ink type pens, drags his hand through the ink and smears terribly. Any advice please about the best brand for him? Other types of handwriting pens are not accepted in his school.
Many thanks.

badgerhead Sun 14-Dec-14 13:24:49

Have a look on Anything Left Handed they have a good selection of left handed pends, knives, scissors etc.

NumptyNu Sun 14-Dec-14 22:38:39

Also interested. Do they use those wipe-clean boards for practicing writing at your school too? DD got so behind in writing in YR because if these.

ConcreteElephant Mon 15-Dec-14 13:05:40

I had a left-handed fountain pen at school, which helped with the ink flow (lefties push the pen across the paper and I find the ink spits without the special nib). I can't remember the brand I'm afraid and it was a while ago <ahem>.

I also have my paper at an angle, which helps with the smudging, so he might find that helps too. Oh, and always sitting on the left of a desk so you don't bump elbows!

manchestermummy Tue 16-Dec-14 09:15:54

I have no practical advice other than shock that he won't be allowed any other type of pen. As a leftie - who gave up on fountain pens a long time ago - I think that's just appalling. I was told off throughout my entire primary school career for being messy with inky pens. I

DD2 is a leftie so watching with interest.

One thing I would say, however, is if you do find a pen that suits, make sure he doesn't loan it to anyone: the pressure of a right-hander might adversely affect the nib of his pen. There are certain types of pen (Berol Finewriters are particularly bad) that I simply cannot use if a non-leftie has been using it before me.

AntiDistinctlyMinty Tue 16-Dec-14 09:20:11

We had to use fountain pens at secondary school. It took ages to find a good one but I think in the end it was a parker with a LH nib; it did me all the way through from Y8 to my GCSE's so it was worth the investment. But this was a while ago so there's probably much more choice now!

Of course when I moved on to college and could use a ball point my handwriting improved considerably!

Footle Tue 16-Dec-14 09:22:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Iggly Tue 16-Dec-14 09:25:58

What are they hoping to achieve in the day and age of digital technology ffs?

mabelbabel Tue 16-Dec-14 09:37:15

As previous people have said, a left-handed fountain pen can sometimes help with preventing the paper snagging, and with ink flow (meaning they can be much more pleasant to use). BUT it does also depend on how he holds his pen, AND it won't necessarily prevent smudging.

I had some left handed fountain pens as a kid, but actually the fountain pen I liked best was a Rotring which was just a "normal" fountain pen, but the nib was particularly small and rounded (not flat), so you could get a good ink flow and no snagging either left- or right- handed.

For this reason, I would recommend that you visit a pen shop or somewhere where you can try out a few options, before committing.

donkir Tue 16-Dec-14 09:37:22

I'm a leftie and hated school because they'd make me write with my paper straight which inevitably smudged my work.
Once starting middle school I learnt to turn my paper on an angle so I write towards my tummy rather than across my body.
As a previous post said I also found Parker fountain pens to be the best.
The 4yr old I look after is also a leftie and his reception teacher is encouraging him to turn his paper.

catgames Tue 16-Dec-14 09:52:18

I'm another leftie that ditched the fountain pen as soon as possible. I remember the despondency of not being able to write without making a smudgy mess! I can't actually believe they still make kids do this. I would consider approaching the school about this again as it does seem quite discriminatory. If they insist then like others suggest you have to work on a technique, angling paper etc, that prevents smudging. I would be doing it through gritted teeth though! Also encourage/ reassure your child as much as possible as it can feel quite isolating if there aren't any other lefties in the class going through the same issues.

manchestermummy Tue 16-Dec-14 10:09:28

Yes, I'd say speak to the school too - are they going to support him in terms of turning his paper, possibly adapting how he holds a pen (I don't, but then I'm 35 and can chose not to use a fountain pen...).

I just cannot believe that this type of thing still happens. I remember not being allowed access to left-handed scissors because "I was being silly". Even my DH didn't see the need for anything left-handed until he broke my scissors. I nearly stabbed him with the RH ones we still had after he laughed at how I was cutting something up.

Obviously being left handed is not a disability, but there are things you just have to learn to do differently. Or not at all, in the case of fountain pens, frankly!

TalkinPeace Tue 16-Dec-14 10:36:04

I've always used Parker fountain pens.

I never had a "left handed" one : I just rotate the paper so that I am writing towards my body - never had any problem with smudging.

I hate my left handed scissors - as I grew up to be adaptable and they just feel "wrong"

ConcreteElephant Tue 16-Dec-14 12:24:56

I can't use leftie scissors either Talkin, I'm not sure they were widely available when I was little so I just learnt with right handed ones. I tried some leftie ones when I was older and found them impossible!

I do make sure any household scissors I get have handles which suit both handednesses (new word alert!) as those moulded for a right hander really dig in otherwise.

I agree that making children write with fountain pens is bizarre but I know it does happen. I'd second posters who say that once your DS has a pen then it should be his alone and not used by others.

ConcreteElephant Tue 16-Dec-14 12:28:12

Oh, and AntiDistinctly, I see you're a Prince George fan. As you can see, I'm more of a Queenie wink

SunnyBaudelaire Tue 16-Dec-14 12:29:05

the schools policy is discriminatory to lefties IMO

Ishouldbeweaving Tue 16-Dec-14 15:16:39

DS (14) is a leftie and started with a fountain pen last year, not because he had to but because he wanted to. He doesn't have any problems with it and doesn't smudge much but he writes with his hand below the script rather than dragging his hand through it. He doesn't have a LH nib, I bought one with a fine nib as it puts less ink on the page to smudge. Many nibs have that rounded blip on the end that stops them digging into the paper in the way that a straight cut italic nib can. For Christmas he's getting a pot of ink that is supposedly fast drying and black because exams are on the horizon.

The thing that surprised me was just how much ink he gets through, he started with a Lamy but that was sidelined because it didn't hold enough ink. He now prefers a fountain pen to ballpoint or gel pens because he says that it's easier to write, the pen moves across the paper more easily.

LittleBearPad Tue 16-Dec-14 15:30:36

I always used standard pens but turned the page so it was pointing down towards me on an angle. It might be worth trying?

ChocolateWombat Tue 16-Dec-14 16:45:35

Thanks everyone. We will order a pen and give it a try. If we have difficulties over Christmas whilst practising, I will approach the school for them to help him learn to use it without smudging and if they don't manage that, will suggest he tries a different type of pen. Whilst it is school policy to use fountain pen, I'm pretty sure that if a leftie has difficulty, they will be flexible.

Ohmygrood Tue 16-Dec-14 19:48:22

My ds had a pelikano.

Rockdoctor Tue 16-Dec-14 21:04:12

I'm left handed and to be honest have never had any problems using a fountain pen - and I started at school when I was 8/9. My preferred pen at the moment is a Lamy (I have a selection).

To be honest I grew up before there was any left handed stuff on the market. My mum's generation was simply forced to use their right hand. My only recent concession has been a potato peeler that works both right and left handed, and I'd love some left handed nail scissors.

Bilberry Wed 17-Dec-14 23:33:33

Aren't nail scissors both left and right handed? After all everyone needs to use their left and their right hand to cut their nails.

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