Smudges, awkward grips, and discomfort—oh my! For lefties, choosing the right pen is a must for avoiding these common left-handed woes.
From rollerballs to fountains, we researched dozens of pens, considering comfortability, use, and nib to narrow down the best pens for lefties. Our top pick, the Maped Visio Left-Handed Pen, is a fast-drying ballpoint with a unique design made with left-handed writers and artists in mind, so they can actually see their work.
Here are the best pens for lefties.
Maped Helix USA Visio Left Handed Pens
More visibility when writing
We would like to see more tip options
Our best overall pick is the Maped Visio Left-Handed Pen. This pen boasts a curved design made specifically for left-handed users. It’s also quick-drying, and because of its warped design, it’s a lot easier to see your work as you go. We love that it doesn’t smudge and feels ultra-comfortable. The only downside to this pen is it doesn’t come in other tips, such as a fountain pen, so you’re limited to the ballpoint.
Tip: Ballpoint | Housing: Capped | Grip: Ribbed
Best Gel Pen
Uni-ball Signo 207 Retractable Gel Pen
Good color options
This gel pen is a great pen overall, and it’s easy for lefties. The pen is quick-drying, which helps prevent those pesky smudge marks, plus it's comfortable to hold. We chose this gel pen for lefties specifically for the gel category. It also has tons of great color options that are versatile. With these pens, you can take notes, draw, doodle, and design—you name it.
Tip: Rollerball | Housing: Retractable | Grip: Textured
LAMY Safari DB04430 Left-Hander Nib Fountain Pen
Many colors to choose from
You can choose the nib color
Left-handed version of a high-quality pen
The pocket clip is a little large
The LAMY Safari Fountain Pen—available in a left-handed nib—has the best colors ever. This pen comes in 13 different colors, including white and a multi-colored option. This left-handed pen has a similar line to the right-handed medium nib and an ergonomic grip for maximum comfort and clean lines.
Tip: Fountain | Housing: Capped | Grip: Ergonomic
Tactile Turn Lefty Pen
Option to customize the metal type
Option to add an engraving
Doesn't have a grip
The Tactile Turn Left Pen is our top pick for a splurge-worthy option. This luxe ballpoint pen is customizable with a choice of a titanium, copper, bronze, or zirconium finish, and you can add a Titanium Damascus Bolt and engrave it, too. The pen is also refillable, which makes this high-quality pen worth the investment.
Tip: Ballpoint | Housing: Retractable | Grip: None
Etsy Stabilo Easy Start- Original Ergonomic Rollerball Pen
Refills come with a new tip
A little clunky
The best rollerball pen for lefties is the Stabilo Easy Original Left-Handed Rollerball Pen. This pen looks funky, but it’s one of our favorite pens. The grip is comfortable, the ergonomic shape feels great when writing, and the colors are outstanding. It’s also a very versatile pen and can be used for writing and works of art.
Tip: Rollerball | Housing: Capped | Grip: Molded
Schneider Ray Fountain Pen
Specific left-handed nib
On the pricey side
Our favorite fountain pen is the Schneider Ray Fountain Pen with a left-handed nib. While it is a little pricier than some other pens on this list, it’s worth every penny. The ink is consistent, giving it great compatibility with calligraphy and other uses; plus, it has a cushioned rubberized grip for lasting comfort.
Tip: Fountain | Housing: Capped | Grip: Ergonomic
Uni-Ball Jetstream Rollerball Pen
Doesn’t work well under a lot of pressure
Lefties know how important a quick-drying pen is. This one is our top pick because not only does it dry super fast, it also writes smoothly, doesn’t fade, and protects against water damage. When using this pen, the ink is consistent, doesn’t smudge, and the tip glides easily across the page. That being said, it doesn’t respond as well to high pressure, so if you have a heavier grip, it might not be a good choice.
Tip: Rollerball | Housing: Capped | Grip: Embossed
Overall, the best pen for lefties is the Maped Visio Left-Handed Pen. It’s specially designed for lefties with a curved barrel that protects against smears and makes it a lot easier to see your work as you go. For a left-hand-friendly gel pen, we love the Uni-ball Signo 207 Gel Pen. It comes in a variety of colors, is great for everything from note-taking to drawing, and has a comfortable grip.
What to Look for in a Pen for Lefties
While some pens—such as gel pens—are more inclusive to lefties, left-handed pens do actually exist. When shopping for pens for lefties, this factor is beneficial because it ensures a pen is designed specifically and ergonomically for use in the left hand.
Whether you use a regular pen or a pen made for lefties, comfort is important. Lefties often need to hold pens and move their hands in different ways to ensure the ink doesn’t smudge, so pens that have extra comfort like gel cushions are an added bonus.
If you use your pen for calligraphy or drawing, Robert Saslow, a left-handed calligraphy artist, says to consider the pen’s nib type. “I work exclusively with broad-edged pens,” he explains. In addition to broad-edged pens, some left-handed artists and writers reach for pointed pens (which Saslow says are available in left-handed versions).
How do I stop my left hand from smudging?
According to Saslow, there are a few techniques for stopping your hand from smudging ink on paper. The first trick is to approach the paper at an angle. But, a more popular way is to turn your paper by up to 90 degrees so that you write almost vertically to avoid smudging. “Some calligraphers write from below the writing line, but this often requires a very uncomfortable twisting on the hand to make it work,” he says.
Do lefties have a higher IQ?
The IQs of lefties versus righties have intrigued scientists—but the jury is still out on who has a higher IQ. Some research suggests right-handed folks have a higher IQ compared to left-handed folks. But, other research suggests that lefties are more intelligent.
Are gel pens good for lefties?
In short, Saslow says that gel pens are good for lefties and can even provide a better experience (or something closer to what right-handed writers experience). “They dry fast enough [so] smudging is usually not an issue,” he explains.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Contributing writer Jessie Quinn has a bachelor’s degree from the Academy of Art University and, as a writer, has spent a lot of time researching the best pens for her own stash. While Quinn is not left-handed, she admittedly has an awkward grip and writes with high pressure. This makes it hard for her to get comfortable writing, so high-quality and comfortable pens are a must-have.
For this story, Quinn used her experience with comfortable pens combined with her journalistic research skills to find the best pens for lefties. She considered hand position, dry time, and shape of the pen (which makes a huge difference when you want to actually see your work) to narrow down her selections.