Since print typically goes from left to right across the page and lefties have a tendency to push down harder on their pens, they’re more likely to smear their writing and experience hand cramps. As a result, the best pens for lefties are both quick-drying and smooth-flowing, not to mention comfortable. And a lot of that will depend on the ink.
Different types of inks have their own pros and cons. Ballpoint ink is usually quick-drying and smudge-resistant, but it requires more pressure. Gel ink, on the other hand, flows smoothly to reduce cramping, but it often takes a longer time to dry. As a result, most best-selling options use some kind of hybrid ink, or they’re specifically designed to dry rapidly despite their free-flowing qualities.
Most top options also have a contoured or padded grip, which minimizes discomfort, especially if you tend to have a tight grip. Finally, some pens designed especially for lefties have a crooked shape, which can better align the wrist and even improve visibility while writing.
According to forums and real reviewer feedback, these are the four best pens for left-handed people — plus a bonus notebook with the wire binding on the right side.
1. The Overall Best Left-Handed Pens
When it comes to these Maped Visio pens, everything from the shape to the ink is specifically designed to make writing easier for left-handed people. The base is curved and triangular for comfort, while the top veers off to the side to offer more visibility. Then there’s the conical steel tip, which flows smoothly and releases smear-resistant, quick-drying ballpoint ink. This pack of three comes with one black pen, one red pen, and one blue pen, but you can also opt for all black. According to reviewers, the design is best-suited for lefties who curve their wrists while they’re writing.
- Available colors: black, variety
One reviewer wrote: “These pens are a life changer for me as a college student. I can see where I’m writing like I couldn’t before. My handwriting is better when using this compared to a standard pen. Only wish the ink lasted a bit longer cause I feel the ink runs out quicker than other pens. Other than that they’re a life-saver.”
2. The Fan-Favorite Pens For Lefties
While they work just as well for right-handed people (which explains the 15,000-plus reviews and near-perfect 4.8-star rating overall), these Pentel EnerGel pens have several features that make them a favorite of lefties, too. For one, the high-performance ink flows like gel, but dries quickly like liquid, so you get the best of both worlds. For another, the sleek barrel design uses a stainless steel base with a latex-free grip, so they’re both durable and comfortable. Finally, the 0.7-millimeter tip is retractable for on-the-go use. It’s also available in multiple colors.
- Available colors: black, blue, red, green, violet, variety
One reviewer wrote: “Fabulous pen that does not smear! I’m ambidextrous and write with both hands and this pen works extremely well in both situations. I gave one to a left-handed colleague, and he liked it so much that we ordered more. [...] Smooth consistent ink, with a consistent flow.”
3. A Budget-Friendly Gel Ink Set
Since you get 12 pens for less than $10, these Zebra Sarasa pens break down to less than $1 apiece. Still, the rapid-dry ink resists smudging, the water-based gel consistency is smooth-flowing, and the soft rubber grip is comfortable for both left- and right-handed writers. Buyers also love the retractable design and the clear barrel, so they can travel without messes and see how much ink is left. Thanks to the value, they’re some of the most recommended pens for lefties on Reddit posts. (While they do come in other colors, black is the most economical.)
One reviewer wrote: “I've tried out a lot of different brand pens, BIC Velocity, Write Dudes, Pilot V5, etc. — all total garbage. These write the smoothest and boldest, without smearing. I'm left-handed and these are perfect for writing research notes, in the lab, classroom or study. Zebra Sarasa 0.7mm are my new favorite pens. Hope they keep up with this quality.”
4. The Best Lefty-Friendly Colored Pen Set
Finally, these ParKoo gel pens are ideal for bullet journaling, doodling, crafts, color-coded notes, and more. The pack of 14 comes in a huge range of colors, and all of them have smooth-flowing gel ink that dries quickly, which prevents smudging and bleed-through. They have retractable 0.7-millimeter tips, and currently, they have over 1,800 reviews and a 4.4-star rating overall.
- Available colors: variety, black, assorted (black, blue, red)
One reviewer wrote: “Smooth, beautiful, dries super quick! [Perfect] for left-handed people!”
Also Great: This Left-Handed Notebook
Since the wire coil-locked binding is on the right side, this lefty notebook has been called “amazing,” a “must-have,” and the “best notebook” for left-handed people. It has 120 sheets of college-ruled, margin-perforated paper with holes, all protected by a durable, rip-resistant cover. (The color will vary with each order.) It also has a pocket divider and is suitable for up to three subjects at once. It’s also earned an impressive 4.8-star overall rating.
- Available colors: random (charcoal, dark green, maroon, navy)
One reviewer wrote: “Best for lefties! I love these notebooks. I've been using them for years, never had a problem. Even with the perforated edges, I find it all works well.”