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Left Handed Fountain Pen Recommendation


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20 replies to this topic

#1 vladd83

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 07:18

Hey guys,
I'm lefty that needs a good recommendation for a fountain pen that isn't scratchy. I'd like to get a quality pen without exceeding ~ $120. My main problem is that I need a nib that is towards the extra fine range. I'm in dental school, I do a lot of writing (for notes) and print 6 per page powerpoint slides. Hence, I usually write a lot on a single and in tight spaces.

From what I've heard I should be looking for a pen that has a ballpoint nib.
Finally, I don't know if this helps, but I'm the hooker type of left-handed.

Thanks!

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#2 duende

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 07:50

Hey guys,
I'm lefty that needs a good recommendation for a fountain pen that isn't scratchy. I'd like to get a quality pen without exceeding ~ $120. My main problem is that I need a nib that is towards the extra fine range. I'm in dental school, I do a lot of writing (for notes) and print 6 per page powerpoint slides. Hence, I usually write a lot on a single and in tight spaces.

From what I've heard I should be looking for a pen that has a ballpoint nib.
Finally, I don't know if this helps, but I'm the hooker type of left-handed.

Thanks!


Kaweco Sport XF. $20 from JetPens. It'll help you set the world on fire.

#3 FlatCactus

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 09:17

The truth is there is no such thing as a truly left handed fountain pen. Being a left-hander myself though (underwriter), any nib imperfections seem to be greatly more noticeable.

My recomendations:

<$50 - Lamy Safari. Many will say these EF nibs are fat, but I find then just right as long as they aren't too wet (which they rarely are). They take Lamy's proprietary cartridges or a Lamy converter. Find they hold enough ink for a few days using an EF nib.

<$100 - Pelikan M200. Again, some people say these nibs are fat but I would call then normal sized. If you want the nib to be perfect you can buy one of these from Richard Binder (www.richardspens.com). A stock EF nib can be ordered which will be smoothed and adjusted for a nice solid flow at no extra cost, or for a little extra a custom nib can be ground ranging down to XXXF and below. On his website is a nib width chart which will show the approximate sizes of the different sizes of nibs.
This pen is also a piston filler

If this is your first fountain pen I would probably go with a Lamy safari. You get a lot of pen for a (relatively) small amount of money. Either way both pens are reliable pens suitable for everyday use. I would suggest checking out some pens at a pen shop (if you can find one) so you can find something that suits you the best.

Oh and before I forget. The smaller the point of the nib the scratchier it will feel and the more it will catch on rougher papers, this is made worse by the pushing action used when you write with you left hand. This can be countered by simply using less pressure when you write.


Anyway. Good luck in your search.

-John

#4 hharry

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 10:32

I am a lefty myself and when I really need to speed up or when I'm writing on poor paper I switch to Lamy Blue because it contains Iron Gall soit is very quick drying and has no feathering. I have a Lamy Studio that's very easy on the eye so that's a recommendation. So pick a nice pen and choose your ink wisely.
All the other iron Gall inks or Eel inks I haven't tried so this is just my lowbudget choice;-) ;-)

#5 FlatCactus

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 10:43

Actually Lamy blue is a washable, ordinary dye ink and my current blue of choice since my Visconti blue ran out). The only iron-gall containing Lamy ink is, I believe, Lamy blue-black. Either way both Lamy blue and blue-black are quite quick drying for us lefties.

Edited by FlatCactus, 10 December 2011 - 10:44.


#6 januaryman

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 11:59

I use many different pens, Pelikan, Lamy, Waterman, etc., and there's no difference. The pen holds the nib. That's all. Get a fine or extra fine, and many a private reserve quick drying ink. But you might like ESS Registrar's Ink as a nice iv, blue-black ink that is pretty fast drying.
It is easier to stay out than get out. - Mark Twain

#7 ink mixer

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 12:10

I'm left handed, and I write both under-handed and overhanded with a hook. For either case, my Pilot Custom 74 Fine works well. The only nib you really have to worry about would be some sort of italic nib. I find to get the best use out of italic nibs I have to turn the paper upside down.

Edited by ink mixer, 10 December 2011 - 22:38.


#8 hharry

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 13:02

Actually Lamy blue is a washable, ordinary dye ink and my current blue of choice since my Visconti blue ran out). The only iron-gall containing Lamy ink is, I believe, Lamy blue-black. Either way both Lamy blue and blue-black are quite quick drying for us lefties.


Oops! I forgot the black in blue black. BTW lamy fine is no scratchy but a good alllrounder. The Italic nibs from Lamy also nice but need a more. Precise way of writing/holding.

#9 inkyleftie

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 14:19

I think for some lefthanders the shaped section on Lamy Safari/Vista/Al-Star pens can feel a bit strange, so it might be an idea to try holding/testing one if you can before you buy. I've been coping fine with mine, but I definitely don't grip it 'how you're supposed to'.
Greetings to all fellow lefties!

#10 Sandy1

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 14:43

Hi,

As is typical, there is a range of opinion.

The following link is from nibs.com, site of the well-regarded John Mottishaw:
http://www.nibs.com/...d%20writers.htm

For pens, I suggest two pens: one with a normal width nib, XF or F; and a very narrow 'special use' nib of a pen such as the Pilot Penmanship with its Asian XF nib - very inexpensive and exceptionally narrow. (Sourced from jetpens.com, IIRC are the sole stateside vendor.)

Bye,
S1

EDIT - to add:
Depending on your writing style, you may find the Parker 'VP' or '75' to be of interest as both models allow rotating the nib.


Edited by Sandy1, 10 December 2011 - 15:06.

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#11 mab52

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 23:03

I'm a southpaw. For the most part you should just look for a pen that is comfortable when you write with it. I never had a problem with standard nibs or specialized ones like italic or stub. It's mostly a matter of practice and an ink that dries quickly should your hand rub the wet paper. Fountain pen writing has a triad of essentials: pen, paper, and ink that work best together for the way you write.

#12 vladd83

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 01:43

Thanks for all the quick replies, this will leave me with a lot to think about.

I should have mentioned this earlier, but I actually already have a Lamy safari, however I got the fine nib and found it to be too thick. Also, I was hoping for something with a higher quality build. The plastic is a bit too light for me. Furthermore, with the safari I have to rewrite letters from time to time due to the flow of the ink. Poor ink flow is one my primary concerns (and probably the most annoying thins), since in class I need to copy/write stuff down as quickly as possible. I don't know if this is relevant, but I am using the stock ink cartridge that came with the pen.

Speaking of ink, another thing that is annoying is when I have to use a highlighter. The ink from the highlighter actually overtakes the fountain pen ink after 5 minutes of drying and it gets hard to see what I actually highlighted. Is this normal for all fountain pen inks or just something that happens with the particular Lamy ink?

Thanks again!

#13 pmsalty

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 02:21

I'm also a lefty, and I dislike Lamy Safari's, I use one as a sketch pen, too scratchy to write with for any length of time. A good fine point for a lefty I find is a Parker 51 or 21, solid and smooth.
PMS
When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty -Thomas Jefferson

#14 jonro

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 03:35

My advice to you is to look for pens with round tipping on the nibs. This will allow you to hold the pen at just about any angle with good results. Lots of pens have round nibs.

#15 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 07:45

sheaffer pfm II, III, IV and V fine, medium an stub are perfect for left handed people. I can also advise manifold nibbed vacs and manifold nibbed senior duofolds
Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time

#16 Sandy1

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 12:21

Hi,

I suggest going to a darker ink, and one that is waterproof to be compatible with highlighter.

As mentioned in my prior post, I suggest two pens: one of normal writing, the other for mark-up / editing of the ppt slides. Both should have mono-line nibs.

Paper plays a significant role, and cannot be ignored, so please let us know what paper/s is/are being used for notes and for the slides, and if the slides are in colour or B&W.

Also, what type & colour of highlighter is being used?

You may wish to peruse the Ink Reviews of Noodler's 'bulletproof' and 'etermal' inks to get a sense of what's in the market.

For general notes, perhaps lamy Blue-Black from bottles for general notes, and Noodler's Baystate Blue for use on slides.

Bye,
S1

Edit - to add:

As to the ppt slides:
  • I am concerned that the slides may be too small to mark-up. If you control the output, I suggest printing two per page for the slides to be changed.
  • Otherwise, consider enlarging the 6-up sheet to at least to A3/11x17".
  • When I was in school, I found it advantageous to work with larger sheet size, rather than trying to adapt my needs to the 'tyranny of the sheet'. I am no stranger to A0 sheets and rolls, and large folded sheets glued into in my field notebooks.

Edited by Sandy1, 13 December 2011 - 12:43.

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#17 Astra

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 17:39

Have you tried a Pilot Prera? They run fine but seem pretty smooth (I have a M though, not a F). I am a lefty underwriter and it works well for me taking notes.

The only pens where I've had trouble are those that require a conventional nib position to perform well. I, like most lefties I would guess, hold the nib at an odd angle to the page. In my case, it is 90 degrees CW of standard and I push the nib across the page.

#18 jprochnow

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 05:52

I am also left handed, I would suggest a twsbi 540. I really enjoy mine. It holds a ton of ink as well.

#19 Cognaticrotty

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 00:05

I'll second that kaweco sporty. I am looking forward to getting home and trying my twsbi 540 as well as my noodlers ahab.

I like the namiki falcon, kind of scratchy, and uses a lot of ink, aaaaaaaand bleeds through most papers lol
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#20 JasonF

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 02:51

My main problem is that I need a nib that is towards the extra fine range. I'm in dental school, I do a lot of writing (for notes) and print 6 per page powerpoint slides. Hence, I usually write a lot on a single and in tight spaces.

I would be looking into something like a Pilot Vanishing Point with an EF nib. It can put down extremely thin lines and lets you really cram the information onto the page. What would take two or three pages with my Lamy EF pens takes less than one when using the VP.






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