Hey there, fountain pen friends, Lydia and Katy here. We are the two resident southpaws here at Goulet Pens. Us lefties are used to being the minority in the writing world and it’s hard to find the right tools for a fun and easy writing experience. We wanted to take a second to highlight some of our favorite pens and inks to help our fellow lefties find their footing in fountain pens. We both have very different writing styles and favor different pens and inks. Hopefully, we are able to give you all some great ideas to try. Check out our recommendations below!
Lydia here, I’m so very excited to share my favorites with you. As a lefty who struggled with hand fatigue and smudging throughout my school career, it was such a euphoric experience to find fountain pens and begin to actually enjoy long writing sessions. My writing style changed when I made the switch to fountain pens and is now probably the easiest adaptive lefty style, an underwriter. When I write, I am holding the pen from below the line I am writing on. I do not have to worry too much about smudging my writing and I do not have to be as careful with wet inks. My personal preferences lean towards smooth, wet, juicy nibs and inks with personality.
Edison Nouveau Premiere & Noodler’s 54th Massachusetts
It’s no secret if you read our Edison Pen Battle that the Edison Nouveau Premiere is the pen love of my life. My Premiere is the first pen I reach for in my pen cup every single time. I could not make this list without including it. The Medium nib is pleasantly wet and I find that I can write with it from just about any angle. When trying to mimic other lefty writing styles, I can still get a decent skip-free line. The line width of the medium is perfection for me.
I have recently discovered Noodler’s 54th Massachusetts. I already had a favorite navy blue (you’ll hear more about that later) so I never really gave it a chance. Boy, was that a mistake! 54th Mass. has the right amount of dryness that I can write without concern of accidental smudging, but it flows so nicely in my Premiere. I also love the permanence it offers. It’s not often, in my experience, us lefties can find a permanent ink that works for us with a reasonable dry time.
TWSBI ECO & Diamine Amaranth
Another wet writer that has my heart is the TWSBI ECO. I have one in both medium and extra fine. Unlike Katy, I am not a fan of extra fine nibs because they write too dry for me. I like a nice, juicy line. I was quite pleased with the TWSBI extra fine as it was surprisingly smooth and flowed well, without putting down too much ink. It is the only extra fine I’ve ever enjoyed. The medium is heaven. I can put a dry ink, like a Pelikan 4001 ink, in it and it still keeps up and flows with the writing experience I expect. But when I use a wet, shading ink, it is my favorite for really highlighting what the ink can do.
One such instance is Diamine Amaranth. I am a sucker for the purpley pink hues, like Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses, so when I stumbled on Amaranth, I was excited to try it. It adds so much depth and dimension to my writing. Each letter starts out lighter and I love watching the ink become more saturated and darker toward the end of my letter. Amaranth adds so much personality to my already colorful writing and flows so well to keep up with my rapid fire scattered brain.
Pilot Metropolitan & De Atramentis Sherlock Holmes
This pair was my first love and still remains a steady part of my pen rotation in some way. The Pilot Metropolitan in Retro Pop Purple was my first fountain pen, given to me when I started here at Goulet. The fine nib provides a restricted but smooth flow and it was great for my newbie self to get used to the flow of fountain pens without smudging anything. I still rely on this pen nightly for my Leuchtturm1917 Some Lines a Day journaling. The Metro is like an old friend that will be with me forever. No matter what pens enter my life, I will always have use for this pen. It’s especially great for less than fountain pen friendly paper.
My love for De Atramentis Sherlock Holmes started shortly after it went out of stock for a few months the summer after I started at Goulet. I got a sample and inked up my Metropolitan and from the first letter, it was love at first sight. Sherlock Holmes is my favorite ink of all time and I’m not afraid to shout it from the rooftops. The navy blue makes it a classic ink, appropriate for any circumstance, but I still find it a fun color. I love how well it flows from every pen I own. It’s wet enough to keep my Metro and EF Eco flowing well, but not so wet that it’s impossible to use in my flex pens. Without hesitation, I’d call it my workhorse ink.
Honorable Mention: LAMY Left-Handed Nibs
We were recently able to start carrying the LAMY left-Handed Nibs and I fell in love with them. Brian brought a sample around the office for us to try and it was a magical moment for me. I have always thought I was fine using regular nibs, but there must be an ever so slight angle to my writing that makes these nibs really work for me. The Left-Handed nibs are not for every lefty, as I’ve heard in discussion with fellow lefties on our social media channels, but for those of us that it does work for, it is a whole new frontier of fountain pen enjoyment.
Hi, I’m Katy. I was the original lefty with The Goulet Pen Company. Now it’s great to have a friend in Lydia so we can figure out this fountain pen thing together. I am an underwriter and I kick my notepad to be parallel to my body and write sideways. I like to call myself a side underwriter. All of this adds up to me loving extra-fine nibs.
Pilot Vanishing Point Decimo & Monteverde Purple Mist
The purple Pilot Vanishing Point Decimo with an extra-fine nib was gifted to me a number of years ago. Once I had it in hand, I had one of those eureka moments. The extra-nib was so fine which helped remedy any smearing that I previously had experienced with other fountain pens. The nib just didn’t lay down as much ink as say a gushy Lamy broad nib. My favorite ink pairing I’ve written with is Monteverde Purple Mist. The lubrication in the ink allows for a smooth flow and the ink color is spot on with the color of the pen. I don’t typically love a pen and ink match up but when it’s right, it’s right.
LAMY CP1 & Robert Oster Deep Sea
Next on my list is the LAMY CP1 which was the first pen I ever picked for myself. This pen is slender, light, and lovely. My CP1 started with a left-handed medium nib but over time and with the ease of nib swapping, it now has an extra-fine nib. The left-handed nib didn’t do much for me. I actually had some skipping issues. But every other nib has been a pleasure to write with. I even tried a 1.9mm stub once which was so broad. Once again this extra-fine line of ink saves me from smearing and making a mess of my notes. If I had to choose an ink to pair, I’d say Robert Oster Deep Sea. My teammate Anna and I think there should be more talks surrounding this ink. Deep Sea is beautiful and I like that the Robert Oster inks are slightly drier but still rich in unique color.
Kaweco Perkeo & Diamine Golden Sands
My final pick is the Kaweco Perkeo, which really caught me off guard when it showed up in the office. I love each of the colors that came out of this pen model. Indian Summer with a medium nib is a stand out for me. Maybe that is because I have a china cabinet in that same warm yellow color but who knows. What I like about this pen is the triangular grip section. It is less pronounced than the Lamy Safari but still nice to have when orienting my nib to the page. In the Perkeo, I like inking up Diamine Golden Sands because well, sparkles. I find that the shimmer inks tend to feather less making it more friendly with different types of paper.
We hope that these picks provide some useful tips for our left handed fountain pen friends out there at all experience levels. Each writer has their preferences and factors they look for in their next writing tool. The key to enjoying fountain pens as a left handed writer is having the patience and persistence to enjoy the journey until you find your perfect pen and ink pairing. Happy hunting!
What are your go-to pen and ink pairings that work best for you?
Lydia & Katy