The new school year is just around the corner and we’re sure you’re thinking about the important back to school stationery collection, excitedly wondering about new classes and perhaps worrying about your (*cough*… appalling) handwriting.
Handwriting is so important, yet many people struggle. Problems ranging from poor finger placement and incorrect writing angle to serious medical issues can hinder writing ability.
Whether you’re picking up your first pen in a while or buying a pen for Little Timmy’s first day at school, it can be difficult to know where to start. Choosing the right pen can make a huge difference and this goes for beginners, those who struggle with their writing and returning writers alike.
To make it a little clearer we’ve outlined what to look for in a pen for ‘new’ writers and the best products which match these very practical criteria.
WHAT TO CONSIDER
Generally, a pen with a broader profile will be better as it gives a larger area to hold on to. Slim pens can be difficult for people to hold properly. This will hinder your ability to write; causing pain and cramped, untidy handwriting. We would recommend a pen of no less than 1cm in diameter.
Lighter pens are great for new writers. A heavy pen can mean your hands tire faster and it can feel unbalanced especially in smaller hands. You’ll want to be on the lookout for lightweight materials like plastic, resin and aluminium to ensure an agile writing experience.
Many pens have specially designed grip sections to ease the writing experience. There’s a few different ways manufacturers enhance the grips:
This soft, yet resilient material is perfect for grip sections as it helps with control and stability. There will be no slipping, sliding or readjusting with a rubber grip in place.
RIBBED / PATTERNED
These use a raised design to help assist with holding the pen and avoid slippage. More widely used on pens than rubber grips but not quite as good at preventing slippage.
These are specially designed to encourage proper finger placement and assist with improving handwriting. Generally these alone will help avoid slippage in the hand, but some pens have a rubberised ergonomic grip for extra stability.
EASE OF USE
This is an obvious category. Of course you’ll want a pen that’s easy to write with, but there’s a bit more to it than meets the eye. Look at each writing type in turn and there’s some important points to think about.
Most schools recommend using a fountain pen once you have a good grasp of holding a pen. This is because they have the smoothest and best ink flow. Using a fountain pen often encourages you to slow down and will inevitably improve your handwriting. You’ll want a good, sturdy nib which has a good flow of ink. If there’s a range of nib options all the better, as then you can pick one that’s suited to your writing style.
Capless is always helpful. Then you don’t need to worry about losing parts. Generally a capless rollerball will also come with a gel ink refill which is smooth, free-flowing and dries quickly.
Look for a push button mechanism – easier to use one handed should the need arise. Quite a few also come with a stylus tip for touch screens which can help you whether you’re being digital or analogue.
These are the best bet for the youngest of writers, when they’ve progressed from crayons and standard wooden pencils. Choose a thicker lead – these are less prone to breaking than the standard 0.5mm and 0.7mm leads. Avoiding the hassle of resetting your lead if it breaks will give you more time to think about and improve your writing.