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Writing left in a right-handed world can be a real challenge. Text flows from left to right. If you’re following along with your hand behind the text you’re committing to paper, you can end up creating a real mess.
Schools teach kids a few ways to avoid this, but it can help a lot if you have a pen that’s made specifically with your hand in mind. This means one with quick-drying ink to avoid smears and a smooth flow because many people press down a little harder when they’re writing from the left. Some pens even offer special left-handed grips to reduce hand strain. You’ll find some or all of these features in these best pens for lefties.
Best Overall: Uni-Ball Jetstream Ballpoint Pen
Ballpoints tend to have fast-drying ink and the Uni-Ball Jetstream is no exception. But this ink is faster than fast. The Jetstream’s patented “Super” ink dries in less than one second. As an added bonus, the pen delivers the ink in a gentle glide that requires little pressure, which can be more comfortable for left-handed writers. Better yet, the ink actually embeds in the paper—no muss and no fuss if your hand should touch it literally a moment later.
That’s all great, but what makes this pen more special than all the rest? It offers a lot of other nice features, too, no matter what hand you write with. The embedding ink is a fraud-buster. Just try erasing it—it can’t be done. That makes it ideal for important documents and bank checks. And it’s attractive and professional-looking with its stainless steel accents and an embossed grip. The ink is available in blue, red or black.
Best Ink: Fisher Bullet Space Pen
OK, this one wasn’t technically designed for lefthanders, but its features make it a great left-handed pen and it does a lot of other really neat things as well. It was originally created for astronauts to use when they’re up, up and away and features a cartridge that’s pressurized with a little nitrogen gas, ensuring a constant downward flow of ink. The flow remains constant no matter how you move the pen across paper, even pushing it from left to right.
The ink is special, too, thick and almost gel-like when the pen isn’t being used. It morphs into something smooth as silk when you apply a little pressure to write with it. As the name suggests, the Bullet model is a little on the small side, but this doesn’t affect handleability. Oh, and since it was originally made for astronauts, it obviously works upside down and in zero gravity.
Best Gel: Zebra Sarasa Gel Pens
Gel pens can take forever to dry, making them almost impossible or at least unpleasant for lefties to use, but not this one. The Zebra Sarasa’s Rapid Ink Technology literally dries in less than a second on all common writing surfaces, producing lines and penmanship that are smear-free and making it perfect for left-handed artists and writers alike.
The grip is made of soft rubber to provide a nice comfort level. The Dry Gel version comes with a binder clip and the retractable pens feature pocket clips. And the Zarasa is easy on the wallet.
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Best for Wet Paper: Uni-Ball Power Tank Ballpoint Pens
We don’t all work at desks. Emergency room personnel, first responders, and those who typically work outdoors sometimes have to deal with paper issues, too. Uni-Ball makes sure that the lefties among them aren’t left out in the cold.
The Power-Tank writes well sideways and upside down, and it’s impervious to temperature. But it has one additional thing going for it — the way it handles on wet or greasy paper. Internal air pressure pushes the ink out. This is not only great in adverse conditions, but it’s pretty terrific for left-handed writers as well. Uni-Ball offers a few versions of the Power Tank, but the Standard model has a rubber grip that’s ideal for lefties and eases hand strain.
Best Highlighter: Uni Propus Double-Sided Highlighter
Uni comes to the rescue again with the perfect highlighter for left-handers. It, too, uses a specially formulated ink to dry quickly. The highlighter is actually double-sided, so you can use it to either mark copy or write your own. One side offers a wide highlighting tip and the other side is a fine tip. But the best part is the little window that allows you to see what you’re highlighting — even if you’re using your left hand. The five-pack includes five different colors.
Best Fountain Pen: Pelikan Pelikano Fountain Pen
Who says lefties can’t write with fountain pens? True, the typical upward, left-to-right handling of a leftie can distort a fountain pen’s fine lines, but Pelikan has solved that problem by creating one with this in mind. The ergonomic rubber grip promotes right finger placement and the stainless steel nib has a little ball at its tip to even out the ink flow and keeps the pen moving easily along. There’s even a Junior model to fit young writers’ left hands.
Read Next: The Best Fountain Ink Pens
Best Rollerball Pen: Pilot Multi Ball Pen
Rollerball pens run much smoother on paper than most other pens, and the Pilot Multi Ball Pen is an excellent example. In addition to paper, it can write on plastic, metal, glass, cloth, and other various surfaces. Like most other rollerball pens, this Pilot pen is ideal for mixed media artists, thanks to the thick, rich lines they deliver. Although these types of pens smudge easily, you can fix stains by wiping the ink off with a wet cloth within six hours. The fine pen is also made of 77 percent recycled plastic.
Best Calligraphy Pen: Speedball Left-Handed Set
There isn't a shortage of calligraphy pen options for lefties, either, like the Speedball Left-Handed Set. The pen set, which comes with six nibs and a pen holder, helps to create roman and italic script. Even more, you get a booklet with helpful tips on lettering and drawing. You can trust the brand, as Speedball has been hand-crafting pens in the U.S. since 1899. Reviewers found this the perfect calligraphy set for beginners.
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