One of the things I look forward to most about the month of October is Inktober, the drawing-a-day challenge that showcases the creative and diverse ways that artists can use ink and related materials. I didn’t make it to thirty-one drawings this year, but in honor of everyone who has given the challenge a try, I revisited the ergonomic pens, pencils, and grips I have tested over the years. Here they are, ranked from best to worst.
1. Pencil Grip Pinch Grip. (Pictured on a BIC Round Stic ballpoint pen.) This is my go-to because it is so versatile. I use it all the time at work on standard ballpoint pens, and it fits over any standard pencil. I also use it on my slimmer paintbrushes (though sometimes it takes a little work to get it off again). This grip lets you hold a pen or pencil with your thumb and forefinger pinched together and your middle finger resting gently on the grip. The added thickness means you don’t have to pinch as tightly, and the comfortable, soft plastic prevents your fingers from sliding.
2. Get A Grip Mechanical Pencil. This is the perfect mechanical pencil. The wide barrel and comfortable grip makes it easy to hold. I find I don’t press nearly as hard as I do with a regular pen or pencil, even paired with a grip. I use this mechanical pencil when I am writing long hand or sketching for long periods of time. It takes standard .7 mm pencil lead (my preferred width).
The Writing Pen Store: Buy here
3. Evo.Pen. This was the first ergonomic pen I tried. I own several of these. Since it is so small, I have them tucked away in various drawers and always carry one in my purse. I find the Evo.Pen more comfortable for writing for long periods than the Pinch Grip, but less comfortable than the Get A Grip Mechanical Pencil. The ink does not flow easily (think the cheap Bic pen you avoid using), so sometimes the comfort of holding the pen is cancelled out by hard I have to press to get the ink to flow. This pen also requires special refills, which don’t last very long since they are so small. I have only been able to find this pen available in blue ink.
4. The Pencil Grip. This pencil grip isn’t for me. I find it requires me to hold the pencil in a way that feels unnatural. Like the Pinch Grip, it is made of a soft rubber-like plastic that is comfortable and easy to hold. It might be more comfortable for someone who isn’t so set on holding their pencil in a particular way!
5. PenAgain ErgoSof Pen. I actually find this pen painful to hold. It is hard plastic, and while I don’t have to grip it in the same way I do a normal pen, I have to press down hard enough that I bend my wrist at a painful angle. For almost $5, not worth it. Only available in black.