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Calling All Lefties! Not Just Fountain Pens

lefty overwriter waverly ergonomics rollerball gel fountain pen

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33 replies to this topic

#1 SenZen

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Posted 01 October 2018 - 16:19

I am not a lefty but have a friend who is, and is intrigued, I'm not sure if by fountain pens or just worried about my sanity with (only) 25 inks and pens. I have read and watched videos about lefties and writing, pushing vs pulling, my sincere commiserations, I didn't know it could be such an ordeal.

 

I have some specific questions, in particular for lefty overwriters:

  1. What is your favorite pen (fountain or other)? Why?
  2. I've read about the advantages of quicker drying inks; do you prefer rollerballs? Gel pens?
  3. Are there more comfortable pens for lefty overwriters? What aspects to look for? Cushioned sections?
  4. More expensive pens seem to be fountain pen variants: do these make sense ergonomically for lefties? For instance a Pelikan Souverain or Parker Sonnet rollerball.
  5. Any lefties using Sheaffer Triumhps or Pilots with WA nibs ("upturned"or "Waverly type" nibs)? Do these work for you?
  6. Strictly stick to quickly drying paper? No Clairefontaine for you?
  7. Is it worth the hassle? Just get a cheap gel pen and forget about it?
  8. Any other aspects I should look into?

 

I am doing this as if it were an analysis of consumer experiences, following specific goals (design, comfort, practicality, statement pen). Budget is $100 USD.

 

Thanks!


"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

B. Russell

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#2 pajaro

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Posted 01 October 2018 - 19:39

I am not a lefty but have a friend who is, and is intrigued, I'm not sure if by fountain pens or just worried about my sanity with (only) 25 inks and pens. I have read and watched videos about lefties and writing, pushing vs pulling, my sincere commiserations, I didn't know it could be such an ordeal.

 

I think you have overthought this.  It's not an ordeal, it's something you do as part of your life.  Pushing as opposed to pulling.  Part of your stroke is a push.

 

-----------------------------------------------

 

 

I have some specific questions, in particular for lefty overwriters:

  1. What is your favorite pen (fountain or other)? Why?  Parker 51, because it never fails, always writes and has the right girth for comfortable writing.  A more modern similar pen is Pelikan M200, also good. 
  2. I've read about the advantages of quicker drying inks; do you prefer rollerballs?  No. Gel pens?  No.  Slippery, less resistance.
  3. Are there more comfortable pens for lefty overwriters? Girth is deciding factor.  P51, Carene, Pel M2xx4xx, similar.     What aspects to look for? Cushioned sections?  No.
  4. More expensive pens seem to be fountain pen variants: do these make sense ergonomically for lefties? Yes, except for wet ink.  For instance a Pelikan Souverain or Parker Sonnet rollerball.  The girth of these is about right.
  5. Any lefties using Sheaffer Triumhps or Pilots with WA nibs ("upturned"or "Waverly type" nibs)? Do these work for you?  Neutral, they are OK.
  6. Strictly stick to quickly drying paper? No Clairefontaine for you?  I use any ordinary paper available.
  7. Is it worth the hassle? Just get a cheap gel pen and forget about it?  Fountain pens are OK for me, I have used them for a long time.  If you are not used to them, a nicer ballpoint with enough girth, like a Pelikan K200/400, Meisterstuck, or pen of that girth helps,  Cross Century can cause me finger pain.
  8. Any other aspects I should look into?  I would not advise dip pens for lefties.  Tedious.

 

I am doing this as if it were an analysis of consumer experiences, following specific goals (design, comfort, practicality, statement pen). Budget is $100 USD.

 

Thanks!

I am a left handed overwriter.  If I hadn't already been used to fountain pens since childhood, I would just get a ballpoint, nice quality, size of the Pelikan K2xx/4xx.  I use these in the grocery store on the shopping list.  Comfortable. click top that's easier to engage than a twist action.  If I didn't actually like my Parker 51s, I would get rid of the fountain pens and use ballpoints.  Most of the other fountain pens are not even worth using from my experience.  Fountain pens are good for people to strike a pose and make a statement like "I'm not ordinary, like you." 


Edited by pajaro, 01 October 2018 - 19:49.

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#3 eharriett

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 00:09

I am not a lefty but have a friend who is, and is intrigued, I'm not sure if by fountain pens or just worried about my sanity with (only) 25 inks and pens. I have read and watched videos about lefties and writing, pushing vs pulling, my sincere commiserations, I didn't know it could be such an ordeal.

 

I have some specific questions, in particular for lefty overwriters:

  1. What is your favorite pen (fountain or other)? Why?

I have no favorite.  I like a lot of rotation.

  1. I've read about the advantages of quicker drying inks; do you prefer rollerballs? Gel pens?

Fountain pens.  Lefties are used to ink smudges on their hands.  From pencils to markers, it isn't new to us.  Righties make more of a big deal of it than we do.  Is a fact of life.

  1. Are there more comfortable pens for lefty overwriters? What aspects to look for? Cushioned sections?

The Triumph nibs seems to work better for me as a mostly overwriter, sometimes side writer.  Flex doesn't work as effectively as it does for a righty, but I can still get a decent line variation.

  1. More expensive pens seem to be fountain pen variants: do these make sense ergonomically for lefties? For instance a Pelikan Souverain or Parker Sonnet rollerball.

Marketing.  Lefities have the same suseptibilities to it as anyone else.

  1. Any lefties using Sheaffer Triumhps or Pilots with WA nibs ("upturned"or "Waverly type" nibs)? Do these work for you?

See above.  The sheaffer conical nibs are genuinely a better writing experience for me.

  1. Strictly stick to quickly drying paper? No Clairefontaine for you?

Paper is paper.  I have same preferences as righties.  Copy paper is junk but necessary.  When I want a nice experience, I pull out the Rhodia like everyone else.

  1. Is it worth the hassle? Just get a cheap gel pen and forget about it?

You are overthinking this.

  1. Any other aspects I should look into?

Yeah.  Consider I'm 42 and have been writing since I was 3.  That's 39 years.  Aside from scissors when I was a kid, I've had to adapt to right handed instruments like everyone else.  It would be harder to unlearn this adaptation than it would be to use the skills I've worked on for nearly 40 years.  My grandfather had his left arm tied to a chair when he was a kid until he learned to write right handed.  He was a VERY skilled surgeon.  So he could not rite with his left hand.  However everything else he did, and did quite well, he adapted to use with his left hand.  They never tied my arm down,so writing was just one more thing I learned to adapt to live normally like everyone else.

 

I am doing this as if it were an analysis of consumer experiences, following specific goals (design, comfort, practicality, statement pen). Budget is $100 USD.

 

Thanks!



#4 SenZen

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 01:42

I am a left handed overwriter.  If I hadn't already been used to fountain pens since childhood, I would just get a ballpoint, nice quality, size of the Pelikan K2xx/4xx.  I use these in the grocery store on the shopping list.  Comfortable. click top that's easier to engage than a twist action.  If I didn't actually like my Parker 51s, I would get rid of the fountain pens and use ballpoints.  Most of the other fountain pens are not even worth using from my experience.  Fountain pens are good for people to strike a pose and make a statement like "I'm not ordinary, like you." 

 

Thanks! I've only been checking out rollerballs, as I assumed they would be smoother and more comfortable (haven't used either in a long time); even they seem to go from very cheap to very expensive, based on fountain pens bodies.


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#5 SenZen

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 01:44

 

I am not a lefty but have a friend who is, and is intrigued, I'm not sure if by fountain pens or just worried about my sanity with (only) 25 inks and pens. I have read and watched videos about lefties and writing, pushing vs pulling, my sincere commiserations, I didn't know it could be such an ordeal.

 

I have some specific questions, in particular for lefty overwriters:

  1. What is your favorite pen (fountain or other)? Why?

I have no favorite.  I like a lot of rotation.

  1. I've read about the advantages of quicker drying inks; do you prefer rollerballs? Gel pens?

Fountain pens.  Lefties are used to ink smudges on their hands.  From pencils to markers, it isn't new to us.  Righties make more of a big deal of it than we do.  Is a fact of life.

  1. Are there more comfortable pens for lefty overwriters? What aspects to look for? Cushioned sections?

The Triumph nibs seems to work better for me as a mostly overwriter, sometimes side writer.  Flex doesn't work as effectively as it does for a righty, but I can still get a decent line variation.

  1. More expensive pens seem to be fountain pen variants: do these make sense ergonomically for lefties? For instance a Pelikan Souverain or Parker Sonnet rollerball.

Marketing.  Lefities have the same suseptibilities to it as anyone else.

  1. Any lefties using Sheaffer Triumhps or Pilots with WA nibs ("upturned"or "Waverly type" nibs)? Do these work for you?

See above.  The sheaffer conical nibs are genuinely a better writing experience for me.

  1. Strictly stick to quickly drying paper? No Clairefontaine for you?

Paper is paper.  I have same preferences as righties.  Copy paper is junk but necessary.  When I want a nice experience, I pull out the Rhodia like everyone else.

  1. Is it worth the hassle? Just get a cheap gel pen and forget about it?

You are overthinking this.

  1. Any other aspects I should look into?

Yeah.  Consider I'm 42 and have been writing since I was 3.  That's 39 years.  Aside from scissors when I was a kid, I've had to adapt to right handed instruments like everyone else.  It would be harder to unlearn this adaptation than it would be to use the skills I've worked on for nearly 40 years.  My grandfather had his left arm tied to a chair when he was a kid until he learned to write right handed.  He was a VERY skilled surgeon.  So he could not rite with his left hand.  However everything else he did, and did quite well, he adapted to use with his left hand.  They never tied my arm down,so writing was just one more thing I learned to adapt to live normally like everyone else.

 

I am doing this as if it were an analysis of consumer experiences, following specific goals (design, comfort, practicality, statement pen). Budget is $100 USD.

 

Thanks!

 

 

Thanks!


"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

B. Russell

#6 MichaelF

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 02:04

  1. What is your favorite pen (fountain or other)? Why?
    1. Right now I am really enjoying my Lamy 2000 with fine nib. It has the smoothest and overall most consistent nib out of all my pens. I was previously a fan of the Platinum 3776 due to their stiff nibs, but I have found the nibs to be rather finicky and inconsistent from the factory. 3 our of 4 that I've bought have needed significant work. Stiff nibs are generally good for lefties.
  2. I've read about the advantages of quicker drying inks; do you prefer rollerballs? Gel pens?
    1. I prefer fountain pens, but I do keep some gel pens on hand--usually a Uniball Signo. Honestly these are fantastic and work really well for me. Avoiding smudging ink is just part of being a lefty so I haven't tried too hard to find quick drying inks. However I will avoid certain inks that never seem to dry (Diamine Majestic Blue).
  3. Are there more comfortable pens for lefty overwriters? What aspects to look for? Cushioned sections?
    1. I'm an overwriter and I've never though that the position mattered much with respect to pen design. It's all in the nib. Avoid flex nibs. 
  4. More expensive pens seem to be fountain pen variants: do these make sense ergonomically for lefties? For instance a Pelikan Souverain or Parker Sonnet rollerball.
    1. The Uniball Signo is so good that I wouldn't ever bother spending that much money on a non-fountain pen. 
  5. Any lefties using Sheaffer Triumhps or Pilots with WA nibs ("upturned"or "Waverly type" nibs)? Do these work for you?
    1. I would love to try a Waverly style nib. I can see them working well. Those Shaeffers are calling my name...
  6. Strictly stick to quickly drying paper? No Clairefontaine for you?
    1. My journal is Tomoe River, which I find to be the best performing paper for fountain pens period. Clairefontaine and Rhodia paper seem to require very wet pens to perform well, which is sub-optimal when you write on the right page of a journal (left hand will cover the left page). For day to day use I prefer more absorbent paper to free my mind of smudging worry.
  7. Is it worth the hassle? Just get a cheap gel pen and forget about it?
    1. Sometimes I feel this way, but not necessarily because I'm a lefty. Fountain pens can be a hassle and they end up taking up a lot of our mental energy (what ink can I try next, what about this paper, this nib isn't performing so well, etc.). Good gel pens are buy it and forget it. But when fountain pens are going well and you find that perfect combination of pen, ink, and paper, there really is no comparison. 
  8. Any other aspects I should look into?
    1. I've always wondered about how nib and feed design affects the performance of pens for lefties, especially overwriters. The majority of my pen strokes are side-to-side (relative to the nib), and so the tines of the pen aren't being spread in the same way as a down stoke. What's the effect on ink flow and performance? Does it require special nib tuning (ala Sailor's Lefty nib)?


#7 ex-bugonaut

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 02:36

What is your favorite pen (fountain or other)? Why?

 

Pelikan 200. I had a 120 in high school, and the 200 is quite close to it.


I've read about the advantages of quicker drying inks; do you prefer rollerballs? Gel pens?

 

I find I don't have a smearing problem.


Are there more comfortable pens for lefty overwriters? What aspects to look for? Cushioned sections?

 

I'm satisfied with the 200. Always ready to write, good nib...


More expensive pens seem to be fountain pen variants: do these make sense ergonomically for lefties? For instance a Pelikan Souverain or Parker Sonnet rollerball.  Any lefties using Sheaffer Triumhps or Pilots with WA nibs ("upturned"or "Waverly type" nibs)? Do these work for you?

 

Can't answer- haven't used these.

Strictly stick to quickly drying paper? No Clairefontaine for you?

 

I like clairfontaine triomphe & Tomoe River.


Is it worth the hassle? Just get a cheap gel pen and forget about it?

 

No hassle.

Having had the nib Binderized and mentioning I'm left-handed may have helped.


Edited by ex-bugonaut, 02 October 2018 - 06:14.


#8 Houston

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 07:33

Hi, there, Psuedo88:

 

I'm a left-handed over-writer and have been using fountain pens for 40 years.  

  1. What is your favorite pen (fountain or other)? Why?
    Not possible to answer. I have more than 100 fountain pens. I like having the majority of them in rotation over time. Different writing characteristics are like different colours/textures. They suit different moods, or just quench a thirst for novelty after I've been writing with a reliable workhorse for a while.
     
  2. I've read about the advantages of quicker drying inks; do you prefer rollerballs? Gel pens?
    I don't prefer rollerballs or gel pens over a well-flowing fountain pen. I also don't prefer quick-drying ink. Rather, there are inks that are problematic for me because they're particularly slow-drying, but I optimise my ink choices for how I like the pen to flow, and (as I'm sure you know) different pens perform differently with different inks. As another respondent said, we lefties are used to having a bit of ink smudged on our left hands, but it's rarely enough to be annoying. If I've got a really wet pen, a really flowy ink, and a relatively slick paper, then, yeah, there's a problem, but I just don't have that combination come up after so many years of trying different combinations and now knowing what to work with. I go for the combination of pen and ink that creates a delightful contact of nib to paper, putting down an uninterrupted, wet line. Then I worry about other things, but not often. It's really not a big deal. 

     
  3. Are there more comfortable pens for lefty overwriters? What aspects to look for? Cushioned sections?
    Not really. Out of necessity, we've been using pencils and bad ballpoints, all our lives, just like everyone else. As another respondent mentioned, we adapt without thinking. If a pen is comfortable in the right hand, it's going to be comfortable in the left. The only exception -- and only sometimes -- is pens with grip sections that have specific finger placement molded or cast into the grip. The most common example is the Lamy Safari/Al-star. But I find it un-troublesome, and I'd venture that as many righties as liefties find it unappealing.
     
  4. More expensive pens seem to be fountain pen variants: do these make sense ergonomically for lefties? For instance a Pelikan Souverain or Parker Sonnet rollerball.
    I don't buy expensive rollerballs/ballpoints.
     
  5. Any lefties using Sheaffer Triumhps or Pilots with WA nibs ("upturned"or "Waverly type" nibs)? Do these work for you?
    Waverly style nibs are a good writing experience for righties and lefties. But there are very few nibs that present a problem for lefties. Because most of us push the pen across the page, rather than pull it, many find that a wetter flow is helpful. Also, a needlepoint nib is hard to push across any paper stock that has even the slightest nap. Other than that, special nibs are rarely needed for lefties. 
     
  6. Strictly stick to quickly drying paper? No Clairefontaine for you?
    I use anything that's friendly to fountain pen ink. Happy with the fancy stuff. Often happy with cheap stuff. It depends more on how the nib flows on the surface. Drying is rarely an issue, as mentioned above. 
     
  7. Is it worth the hassle? Just get a cheap gel pen and forget about it?
    Are fountain pens worth the hassle? The general marketplace of righties and lefties clearly thinks not. We fountain pen fetishists are a tine percentage of the pen-buying public, and most folks don't care what ink-stick is in their hand when they need to jot. So, any expense, maintenance requirement, or other hassle is clearly not worth it to the mass market. But if you mean are fountain pens worth the hassle for lefties, the honest answer is that fountain pens are no more a hassle for lefties than for righties. The only exception I can think of is flex writing (whether fountain pens or dip pens). It's possible to do as a lefty, but it's harder for us than it is for righties. Flex lettering is a skill to be learned, for anyone, but lefties start at a disadvantage -- especially over-writers, I reckon.
     
  8. Any other aspects I should look into?
    It's really not an ordeal, as you suggest. It's as much and as little an ordeal -- more an adventure of trial and error -- for lefties to find a favourite pen/ink/paper combination as it is for anyone else.  

     


#9 SenZen

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 13:43

 

  1. What is your favorite pen (fountain or other)? Why?
    1. Right now I am really enjoying my Lamy 2000 with fine nib. It has the smoothest and overall most consistent nib out of all my pens. I was previously a fan of the Platinum 3776 due to their stiff nibs, but I have found the nibs to be rather finicky and inconsistent from the factory. 3 our of 4 that I've bought have needed significant work. Stiff nibs are generally good for lefties.
  2. I've read about the advantages of quicker drying inks; do you prefer rollerballs? Gel pens?
    1. I prefer fountain pens, but I do keep some gel pens on hand--usually a Uniball Signo. Honestly these are fantastic and work really well for me. Avoiding smudging ink is just part of being a lefty so I haven't tried too hard to find quick drying inks. However I will avoid certain inks that never seem to dry (Diamine Majestic Blue).
  3. Are there more comfortable pens for lefty overwriters? What aspects to look for? Cushioned sections?
    1. I'm an overwriter and I've never though that the position mattered much with respect to pen design. It's all in the nib. Avoid flex nibs. 
  4. More expensive pens seem to be fountain pen variants: do these make sense ergonomically for lefties? For instance a Pelikan Souverain or Parker Sonnet rollerball.
    1. The Uniball Signo is so good that I wouldn't ever bother spending that much money on a non-fountain pen. 
  5. Any lefties using Sheaffer Triumhps or Pilots with WA nibs ("upturned"or "Waverly type" nibs)? Do these work for you?
    1. I would love to try a Waverly style nib. I can see them working well. Those Shaeffers are calling my name...
  6. Strictly stick to quickly drying paper? No Clairefontaine for you?
    1. My journal is Tomoe River, which I find to be the best performing paper for fountain pens period. Clairefontaine and Rhodia paper seem to require very wet pens to perform well, which is sub-optimal when you write on the right page of a journal (left hand will cover the left page). For day to day use I prefer more absorbent paper to free my mind of smudging worry.
  7. Is it worth the hassle? Just get a cheap gel pen and forget about it?
    1. Sometimes I feel this way, but not necessarily because I'm a lefty. Fountain pens can be a hassle and they end up taking up a lot of our mental energy (what ink can I try next, what about this paper, this nib isn't performing so well, etc.). Good gel pens are buy it and forget it. But when fountain pens are going well and you find that perfect combination of pen, ink, and paper, there really is no comparison. 
  8. Any other aspects I should look into?
    1. I've always wondered about how nib and feed design affects the performance of pens for lefties, especially overwriters. The majority of my pen strokes are side-to-side (relative to the nib), and so the tines of the pen aren't being spread in the same way as a down stoke. What's the effect on ink flow and performance? Does it require special nib tuning (ala Sailor's Lefty nib)?

 

 

Thank you for a detailed answer; I'll look into the Uniball Signo.


"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

B. Russell

#10 SenZen

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 13:45

What is your favorite pen (fountain or other)? Why?

 

Pelikan 200. I had a 120 in high school, and the 200 is quite close to it.


I've read about the advantages of quicker drying inks; do you prefer rollerballs? Gel pens?

 

I find I don't have a smearing problem.


Are there more comfortable pens for lefty overwriters? What aspects to look for? Cushioned sections?

 

I'm satisfied with the 200. Always ready to write, good nib...


More expensive pens seem to be fountain pen variants: do these make sense ergonomically for lefties? For instance a Pelikan Souverain or Parker Sonnet rollerball.  Any lefties using Sheaffer Triumhps or Pilots with WA nibs ("upturned"or "Waverly type" nibs)? Do these work for you?

 

Can't answer- haven't used these.

Strictly stick to quickly drying paper? No Clairefontaine for you?

 

I like clairfontaine triomphe & Tomoe River.


Is it worth the hassle? Just get a cheap gel pen and forget about it?

 

No hassle.

Having had the nib Binderized and mentioning I'm left-handed may have helped.

 

Thank you! I am going to ask my friend to try my current pens, which include m205s and an m600.


"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

B. Russell

#11 SenZen

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 13:49

 

Hi, there, Psuedo88:

 

I'm a left-handed over-writer and have been using fountain pens for 40 years.  

  1. What is your favorite pen (fountain or other)? Why?
    Not possible to answer. I have more than 100 fountain pens. I like having the majority of them in rotation over time. Different writing characteristics are like different colours/textures. They suit different moods, or just quench a thirst for novelty after I've been writing with a reliable workhorse for a while.
     
  2. I've read about the advantages of quicker drying inks; do you prefer rollerballs? Gel pens?
    I don't prefer rollerballs or gel pens over a well-flowing fountain pen. I also don't prefer quick-drying ink. Rather, there are inks that are problematic for me because they're particularly slow-drying, but I optimise my ink choices for how I like the pen to flow, and (as I'm sure you know) different pens perform differently with different inks. As another respondent said, we lefties are used to having a bit of ink smudged on our left hands, but it's rarely enough to be annoying. If I've got a really wet pen, a really flowy ink, and a relatively slick paper, then, yeah, there's a problem, but I just don't have that combination come up after so many years of trying different combinations and now knowing what to work with. I go for the combination of pen and ink that creates a delightful contact of nib to paper, putting down an uninterrupted, wet line. Then I worry about other things, but not often. It's really not a big deal. 

     
  3. Are there more comfortable pens for lefty overwriters? What aspects to look for? Cushioned sections?
    Not really. Out of necessity, we've been using pencils and bad ballpoints, all our lives, just like everyone else. As another respondent mentioned, we adapt without thinking. If a pen is comfortable in the right hand, it's going to be comfortable in the left. The only exception -- and only sometimes -- is pens with grip sections that have specific finger placement molded or cast into the grip. The most common example is the Lamy Safari/Al-star. But I find it un-troublesome, and I'd venture that as many righties as liefties find it unappealing.
     
  4. More expensive pens seem to be fountain pen variants: do these make sense ergonomically for lefties? For instance a Pelikan Souverain or Parker Sonnet rollerball.
    I don't buy expensive rollerballs/ballpoints.
     
  5. Any lefties using Sheaffer Triumhps or Pilots with WA nibs ("upturned"or "Waverly type" nibs)? Do these work for you?
    Waverly style nibs are a good writing experience for righties and lefties. But there are very few nibs that present a problem for lefties. Because most of us push the pen across the page, rather than pull it, many find that a wetter flow is helpful. Also, a needlepoint nib is hard to push across any paper stock that has even the slightest nap. Other than that, special nibs are rarely needed for lefties. 
     
  6. Strictly stick to quickly drying paper? No Clairefontaine for you?
    I use anything that's friendly to fountain pen ink. Happy with the fancy stuff. Often happy with cheap stuff. It depends more on how the nib flows on the surface. Drying is rarely an issue, as mentioned above. 
     
  7. Is it worth the hassle? Just get a cheap gel pen and forget about it?
    Are fountain pens worth the hassle? The general marketplace of righties and lefties clearly thinks not. We fountain pen fetishists are a tine percentage of the pen-buying public, and most folks don't care what ink-stick is in their hand when they need to jot. So, any expense, maintenance requirement, or other hassle is clearly not worth it to the mass market. But if you mean are fountain pens worth the hassle for lefties, the honest answer is that fountain pens are no more a hassle for lefties than for righties. The only exception I can think of is flex writing (whether fountain pens or dip pens). It's possible to do as a lefty, but it's harder for us than it is for righties. Flex lettering is a skill to be learned, for anyone, but lefties start at a disadvantage -- especially over-writers, I reckon.
     
  8. Any other aspects I should look into?
    It's really not an ordeal, as you suggest. It's as much and as little an ordeal -- more an adventure of trial and error -- for lefties to find a favourite pen/ink/paper combination as it is for anyone else.  

     

 

 

Thank you, very interesting answers; since writing was an ordeal for me for some time before I retrained myself (even as a rightie), I guess it hit a nerve when I watched my lefty friend overwriting: looked more of an ordeal than it probably is.


"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

B. Russell

#12 XYZZY

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 19:41

I am not a lefty but have a friend who is, and is intrigued, I'm not sure if by fountain pens or just worried about my sanity with (only) 25 inks and pens. I have read and watched videos about lefties and writing, pushing vs pulling, my sincere commiserations, I didn't know it could be such an ordeal.

 

I have some specific questions, in particular for lefty overwriters:

  1. What is your favorite pen (fountain or other)? Why?
  2. I've read about the advantages of quicker drying inks; do you prefer rollerballs? Gel pens?
  3. Are there more comfortable pens for lefty overwriters? What aspects to look for? Cushioned sections?
  4. More expensive pens seem to be fountain pen variants: do these make sense ergonomically for lefties? For instance a Pelikan Souverain or Parker Sonnet rollerball.
  5. Any lefties using Sheaffer Triumhps or Pilots with WA nibs ("upturned"or "Waverly type" nibs)? Do these work for you?
  6. Strictly stick to quickly drying paper? No Clairefontaine for you?
  7. Is it worth the hassle? Just get a cheap gel pen and forget about it?
  8. Any other aspects I should look into?

 

I am doing this as if it were an analysis of consumer experiences, following specific goals (design, comfort, practicality, statement pen). Budget is $100 USD.

 

Thanks!

 

 

I think you're overthinking this.  I understand that if you were organizing a mountain climbing expedition with a quadraplegic that you might need to make some special considerations.  But this isn't the same thing.

 

Watch your friend write.  Have you noticed that the ballpoints are pencils aren't different or special?

 

I'm a leftie.  I've been using fountain pens for just a few months, so I'm not an expert.  But here's what I've learned so far:

 

There are two things to think about:  Mechanics and Smudging

 

Mechanically, lefties push the pen across the paper more than pull it.  And I think I read somewhere that, on average, the pens tend to be held at a slightly higher angle (I.e. a bit closer to vertical).  But the "average lefty angle" isn't going to be significantly different from that of right-handed people.  For example, if 75% of right handed people held their pen between 38 and 52 degrees off the paper you could say the average is 45-degrees, but pretty much ALL of those people will be different from the ideal that the factory nib grinder had in mind.  If the left handed writers instead are in the range 40-54 degrees, then they're still all pretty close to the factory grind, and still almost none are exactly matching the factory grind.

 

Note that I completely made up those numbers.  But the point is that person-to-person variation is greater than the difference between average left handed and average right handed.

 

In other words:  being a lefty doesn't significantly change the odds that somebody will want or need to adjust the grind of the nib.  Certainly there will be some lefties who are "way out there" and really need a special grind, but not much different than their being the occasional right-handed that is way out there.

 

But, since we push the pen more than pull, a super-flex nib isn't really going to work.  I know this because Honeybadgers was kind enough to let me try one of his wet noodles, and most of what I did was watch the tines splay out of control as I pushed the pen forward.  Maybe one day I'll try working my way into flex, but I'm not climbing that mountain now.

 

Note that this pushing/pulling isn't just because of being a lefty:  it's being a lefty and writing left-to-write.  A right hander in a right-to-left script (Hebrew or Arabic) would also be pushing.

 

A completely unrelated thing is smudging.  Many lefties are over-writers or side-writers.  I'm an over-writer.  With either of these scenarios our wrist moves over freshly written ink.  This means it's more important that the ink dry quickly: if it's wet when the wrist rubs over it then you get smudges on the paper.

 

When I bought my first pen & ink I chose a super fast drying ink (Noodler's Q-Ternity).  I didn't like it because it feathered too much, but the experience got me to thinking about and watching how I write.  

 

With the way that I hold the pen, my wrist is usually about 3cm above the tip of the pen.  I write small, words easily fit in one line of the 5mm grid in the journal.  So 3cm is about 6 lines.  So here's the thing:  I want the ink to be dry in the time it takes me to write 5 lines (6 - 1, the minus 1 is the line I'm working on).  If it takes me 30 seconds to write 5 lines then the ink needs to be dry in 30 seconds.  How long that time takes will vary a lot with the person: how they hold the pen, and how fast they write, how many lines are between the nib and their wrist, and even the width of the page (wider pages means more time to write a line).  Note that a side-writer will have it worst: the wrist will rub over the line you're currently writing on.

 

There's also the "normal" things that affect ink dry time that I guess everybody knows about: the ink, the paper, and the nib (width/wetness).

 

I'm currently using IRO Yama Budo and Asa Gao, Sailor Souboku and Epinard, Diamine Midnight and Oxblood.  I don't think any reviews refer to those inks as freakishly fast drying.  But they're not freakishly slow, either.

 

I use Leuchtturm paper as it's pretty good stuff and ink tends to dry faster on it.  It's not the best paper, but the best paper often takes longer to dry (I've got a paper sample pack and I measure my nibs/inks on the different papers).  For now I'm sticking with Leuchtturm because it allows me a greater variety of inks, which is important to me (and there are other aspects of their journals that I like, too).

 

Also, the side-writing / over-writing "thing" isn't purely lefties.  I read or heard just in the past few days of an over-writing right handed person.  Same problem.  I really wish I could remember where I came across that, but as far as I know it's quite rare for over-writers to be right-handed.

 

Final summary:  I don't need a special pen or nib, but may never use a wet noodle.  I pay a small amount of attention to what ink I'm using, but I still pay more attention to the color/shading/sheen parts when reading a review, as most inks are fast enough.  Your mileage may vary.

 

Have your friend ask some questions, we'll be happy to help.  Or have them buy a cheap pen and some ink, and just learn.


Edited by XYZZY, 02 October 2018 - 19:46.


#13 BaronWulfraed

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 21:04

 


Note that this pushing/pulling isn't just because of being a lefty:  it's being a lefty and writing left-to-write.  A right hander in a right-to-left script (Hebrew or Arabic) would also be pushing.

 

That might depend more upon the azimuthal angle of the pen (not the zenithal angle). If one considers the top of a sheet of paper to be 0deg, the bottom 180deg, left/right at 270/90deg, then if one holds pen where the nib is pointing at 0deg, the majority of strokes will tend to be sideways and down, only upstrokes will be "pushing".

 

My hold appears to be be around 330deg (or -30 from top of paper), so yes, there would be some increase in "push" if I attempted Arabic. Hebrew is not a connected cursive, each character appears optimized for left-to-right & pull strokes, the hand/pen then moves left to the next character position.



#14 XYZZY

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Posted 03 October 2018 - 02:35

That might depend more upon the azimuthal angle of the pen (not the zenithal angle). If one considers the top of a sheet of paper to be 0deg, the bottom 180deg, left/right at 270/90deg, then if one holds pen where the nib is pointing at 0deg, the majority of strokes will tend to be sideways and down, only upstrokes will be "pushing".


Indeed, that is a good point. I should have thought to separate out the two angles...I talked about the angle off the paper, and pushing, and yet those are two different things.

Something I didn't realize I was assuming: left and right handed are 180 degrees off. Which I think is incorrect wrong. Watching people write right-handed (small sample, though), pens seem to be closer to vertical than they would be for left-handed. Your 30 degrees west of north doesn't seem strange, yet a left holding a pen 30 degrees east of south is probably much less common.
 

My hold appears to be be around 330deg (or -30 from top of paper), so yes, there would be some increase in "push" if I attempted Arabic. Hebrew is not a connected cursive, each character appears optimized for left-to-right & pull strokes, the hand/pen then moves left to the next character position.


You're right. Hebrew is a poor example.

Thank you for those comments.



#15 Water Ouzel

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Posted 03 October 2018 - 03:41

I'm a lefty underwriter; I rotate the paper ~30º clockwise, give or take. I don't have problems with

my hand smearing ink/pencil; I do tend to finger write altogether too much, rather than use my

forearm.

  1. What is your favorite pen (fountain or other)? Why?

Welllll... several: Pilot 823 and 843, Edison Collier, Platinum Kanazawa, Pelikan M200 tend to bob up a lot, mostly

with F nibs, although several have cursive italics ranging from about .6-.8mm. I like italics, such as the Binder

ItaliFine. I've got an old Sheaffer Feather Touch nib that is just glorious, but the pen's almost too small for my

hand.

  1. I've read about the advantages of quicker drying inks; do you prefer rollerballs? Gel pens?

Fountain pens, if possible, else gel pens.

  1. Are there more comfortable pens for lefty overwriters? What aspects to look for? Cushioned sections?

Doesn't seem to matter; I prefer to avoid metal sections, or very slippery or very slender pens.

  1. More expensive pens seem to be fountain pen variants: do these make sense ergonomically for lefties? For instance a Pelikan Souverain or Parker Sonnet rollerball.

Depends on the type of lefty.

  1. Any lefties using Sheaffer Triumhps or Pilots with WA nibs ("upturned"or "Waverly type" nibs)? Do these work for you?

I have both. Like them very much.

  1. Strictly stick to quickly drying paper? No Clairefontaine for you?

Maruman Mnemosyne, Tomoe River, Leuchterm 1917, Clairefontaine, etc all work well; you just have to

treat them a bit differently, depending on ink and nib.

  1. Is it worth the hassle? Just get a cheap gel pen and forget about it?

Especially for those with arthritis or other hand/joint issues, I'd strongly urge at least trying fountain

pens; the reduced stress for me and my wife have been more than worth it. And that's just the

start of the fun.



#16 SenZen

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Posted 03 October 2018 - 12:58

 

I'm a lefty underwriter; I rotate the paper ~30º clockwise, give or take. I don't have problems with

my hand smearing ink/pencil; I do tend to finger write altogether too much, rather than use my

forearm.

  1. What is your favorite pen (fountain or other)? Why?

Welllll... several: Pilot 823 and 843, Edison Collier, Platinum Kanazawa, Pelikan M200 tend to bob up a lot, mostly

with F nibs, although several have cursive italics ranging from about .6-.8mm. I like italics, such as the Binder

ItaliFine. I've got an old Sheaffer Feather Touch nib that is just glorious, but the pen's almost too small for my

hand.

  1. I've read about the advantages of quicker drying inks; do you prefer rollerballs? Gel pens?

Fountain pens, if possible, else gel pens.

  1. Are there more comfortable pens for lefty overwriters? What aspects to look for? Cushioned sections?

Doesn't seem to matter; I prefer to avoid metal sections, or very slippery or very slender pens.

  1. More expensive pens seem to be fountain pen variants: do these make sense ergonomically for lefties? For instance a Pelikan Souverain or Parker Sonnet rollerball.

Depends on the type of lefty.

  1. Any lefties using Sheaffer Triumhps or Pilots with WA nibs ("upturned"or "Waverly type" nibs)? Do these work for you?

I have both. Like them very much.

  1. Strictly stick to quickly drying paper? No Clairefontaine for you?

Maruman Mnemosyne, Tomoe River, Leuchterm 1917, Clairefontaine, etc all work well; you just have to

treat them a bit differently, depending on ink and nib.

  1. Is it worth the hassle? Just get a cheap gel pen and forget about it?

Especially for those with arthritis or other hand/joint issues, I'd strongly urge at least trying fountain

pens; the reduced stress for me and my wife have been more than worth it. And that's just the

start of the fun.

 

 

Great info, thanks! That is quite a collection.


"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

B. Russell

#17 Teach13

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Posted 03 October 2018 - 15:00

I'm an underwriter, but still a lefty. I'm also new and have yet to acquire my first fountain pen. However, I will agree with those above who say that we adjust. If I'm writing with a pencil, there will ALWAYS be lead on the outside of my pinky. Same goes with a pen--even a ballpoint. However, if I'm only jotting down a quick note--I don't care. If I'm doing some extended writing, then I hold the pen/pencil a little higher, and it works.

I've always preferred ballpoints because they marked up my hand less than anything else. But a year ago, I was doing some school work. My lap was covered in papers, and I realized that I left my pen in a different room. I asked my wife to borrow hers. It was a gel pen. The first thing I wrote--awful smearing. As I worked my way through the pile, however, I adjusted. I also REALLY liked writing with it because one of the adjustments I made was not gripping it so freaking hard (like I do with ballpoints and pencils). I like how the pen glided over the paper.

 

That's ultimately what started me down this path. I looked into gel pens and rollerball pens. However, during my reading, I came across an article that said this (paraphrased): In the end, ballpoints, rollerballs, gel pens...it's all about the ink. Basically, you're just using an expensive ink-holder. With a fountain pen, it's about the nib. Different nibs can do different things--which means it's more about the pen than the ink (though the ink is obviously important as well).

So...I'm not sure if that completely answered your questions or if it helped at all, but I wanted to add my two cents. From everything I've read, I would suggest a fountain pen over a rollerball or gel pen for your lefty friend--and just know that they'll adjust to it, as they have to everything else in their life!!



#18 torstar

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Posted 03 October 2018 - 15:22

I am not a lefty but have a friend who is, and is intrigued, I'm not sure if by fountain pens or just worried about my sanity with (only) 25 inks and pens. I have read and watched videos about lefties and writing, pushing vs pulling, my sincere commiserations, I didn't know it could be such an ordeal.

 

I have some specific questions, in particular for lefty overwriters:

  1. What is your favorite pen (fountain or other)? Why?
  2. I've read about the advantages of quicker drying inks; do you prefer rollerballs? Gel pens?
  3. Are there more comfortable pens for lefty overwriters? What aspects to look for? Cushioned sections?
  4. More expensive pens seem to be fountain pen variants: do these make sense ergonomically for lefties? For instance a Pelikan Souverain or Parker Sonnet rollerball.
  5. Any lefties using Sheaffer Triumhps or Pilots with WA nibs ("upturned"or "Waverly type" nibs)? Do these work for you?
  6. Strictly stick to quickly drying paper? No Clairefontaine for you?
  7. Is it worth the hassle? Just get a cheap gel pen and forget about it?
  8. Any other aspects I should look into?

 

I am doing this as if it were an analysis of consumer experiences, following specific goals (design, comfort, practicality, statement pen). Budget is $100 USD.

 

Thanks!

 

 

slow day at the ratrace.....

 

1)   Fountain, the MB LE Proust, perfect balance while posted and an awesome pen that I can sell for $1,000s some day....  for ballpoint, the MB huge one, the broad MB refills have never let me down , even while writing propped up in bed most of the time. 

 

2)  I'm an underwriter, from 1 to 5 inches below the ink on the page, so drying isn't that big a deal to me, some paper brands do not dry quickly and smear weeks later, i enjoy good roller/gels on occasion.

 

3) I cannot tell the diff between "left and right" for FP.  Sometimes an oblique nib takes a few hours to work with to hit the sweet spot without thinking about it, that's the only problem and it's not that tragic.

 

4)  The more you pay the better the pen is (mostly); my Waterman Edson and Pelikan 800 write like I'm holding a nail and are not ergonomic at all, the MB 149 is perfectly tapered and huge and appreciated.

 

5) Nope

 

6) I agree with Claire smearing well after I thought it would have dried.  A lefty problem is maybe I'm resting my hand on the bottom half of the page more and sweat and other stuff is getting on the page and causing problems when I get to the bottom half of the page???    Claire is worshiped on FPN and Moleskin is panned, I'm the opposite (lefties have to be contrarian)

 

7)  The FP hobby is very rewarding for people who like to geek out on this stuff, other pursuits seem to be luxury watches and double edge or straight razor shaving, luxury motorcars and other stuff of "quality"

 

8) not really, i hope this helps, any other questions, let me know.

 

 

 

 

3) 


Edited by torstar, 03 October 2018 - 15:29.


#19 SenZen

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Posted 03 October 2018 - 22:10



So...I'm not sure if that completely answered your questions or if it helped at all, but I wanted to add my two cents. From everything I've read, I would suggest a fountain pen over a rollerball or gel pen for your lefty friend--and just know that they'll adjust to it, as they have to everything else in their life!!

 

Thanks, it does help, I have a similar path as a rightie, I had a grip of death on pens and fountain pens have helped me by relaxing that grip.


"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

B. Russell

#20 SenZen

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Posted 03 October 2018 - 22:19

 

 

slow day at the ratrace.....

 

1)   Fountain, the MB LE Proust, perfect balance while posted and an awesome pen that I can sell for $1,000s some day....  for ballpoint, the MB huge one, the broad MB refills have never let me down , even while writing propped up in bed most of the time. 

 

2)  I'm an underwriter, from 1 to 5 inches below the ink on the page, so drying isn't that big a deal to me, some paper brands do not dry quickly and smear weeks later, i enjoy good roller/gels on occasion.

 

3) I cannot tell the diff between "left and right" for FP.  Sometimes an oblique nib takes a few hours to work with to hit the sweet spot without thinking about it, that's the only problem and it's not that tragic.

 

4)  The more you pay the better the pen is (mostly); my Waterman Edson and Pelikan 800 write like I'm holding a nail and are not ergonomic at all, the MB 149 is perfectly tapered and huge and appreciated.

 

5) Nope

 

6) I agree with Claire smearing well after I thought it would have dried.  A lefty problem is maybe I'm resting my hand on the bottom half of the page more and sweat and other stuff is getting on the page and causing problems when I get to the bottom half of the page???    Claire is worshiped on FPN and Moleskin is panned, I'm the opposite (lefties have to be contrarian)

 

7)  The FP hobby is very rewarding for people who like to geek out on this stuff, other pursuits seem to be luxury watches and double edge or straight razor shaving, luxury motorcars and other stuff of "quality"

 

8) not really, i hope this helps, any other questions, let me know.

 

 

 

 

3) 

 

Thanks! By Claire I guess you refer to Her Highness Clairefontaine? As opposed to that toilet paper Moleskine? I'm just kidding to each his or her own, but I do like Clairefontaine. I keep a piece of paper folded in two under my hand as I write, as any oils make it impossible for any pen to write on it. If you haven't tried it Tomoe River is awesome and dries more quickly, as does Fabriano. I'm going to see if my friend tries several of my pens and decides which one is more comfortable, no Edsons, alas, and my friend's budget is $100 USD.


"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

B. Russell





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