It’s an age old question: How can we improve our handwriting? While it may seem like a trivial goal, improved handwriting helps in many practical facets of life, like in work, schooling, and overall wellness, in terms of our posture and ergonomics.
A great solution I often find recommending is the use of a fountain pen.
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I also left an interactive infographic further down, check it out if you want to learn more about fountain pens.
How Do Fountain Pens Help Improve Handwriting?
Fountain pens use water-based ink and capillary action in order to write. This means it has a more natural flow of ink and a different build for the body, leading to benefits such as:
- Less Pressure Exerted
- Better Posture
- Better Ergonomics
- Better Grip
- Better Pen Angle
- Less Hand Fatigue
- Wide Variety To Choose From
- Requires Time and Financial Investment
Let’s discuss each of these points below in better detail.
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Less Pressure Exerted
As mentioned above, the fountain pen works differently from other pens.
Ballpoints for example work by exerting pressure on the pen to be able to smear its oil-based ink on the paper. You won’t be able to let the pen glide on the page and see a crisp line of ink make its way onto the page for most ballpoints.
The fountain pen, on the other hand, uses capillary action because it uses water-based ink. This means that it uses gravity and physics to move the ink through the pen, letting you ease up on the pressure.
For more on how fountain pens use capillary action, click here for a detailed explanation. I research for a long time to be able to give you a proper explanation, I hope you can check it out.
Anyway, how does this help you improve your handwriting? Well, the pressure you exert on the ballpoint actually offers you less control on the pen because you are exerting more energy on pressing down. So while you are pressing down on the pen, your muscles are tense and movement could be hampered, giving you less command of your writing instrument.
Building from above, the less pressure exerted gives you access to better posture because your muscles are more relaxed.
Since your wrist and forearms are more relaxed, so is your whole arm, all the way to the shoulders. Instead of tensing up to write with normal pens, you get the luxury of letting the pen glide through the paper without your back hunched over the table or pen.
There is no weight required to write, so you can just hang back and let capillary action do its job.
It doesn’t just write better, it also fits in your hand better too.
Like I said, the build of the body is different from normal pens. Ballpoints, for example, tend to have thinner bodies, making you grip the pen tighter and with a more tensed position. Again, the pressure you need to exert also tends to weigh down on your wrist as well as your knuckles.
For fountain pens, while there is less pressure and weight application involved, the pen itself is thicker and more substantial. You don’t have to apply the weight, because the pen itself is designed to use its own weight to write.
Remember, the fountain pen is a precision instrument, as it should be. You don’t pay a little bit more for the same experience, now, would you?
The thicker body also melds into your hand better, letting you rest the pen on your palm more comfortably.
The thickness and weight of the pen – or the overall, ergonomic advantage of the fountain pen – improves your grip as well, mostly encouraging you to use the “Tripod Grip”.
The Tripod Grip is when you use your thumb, index finger, and middle finger, primarily to grip the pen. You move your whole arm for better control and a better relaxed posture.
Better Pen Angle
The better grip also leads to holding your pen with a better angle.
Typically, fountain pens require you to hold them at a 40 – 55 degree angle. However, this is not always true.
The best angle is always dependent on the pen model and the way you actually hold it. Once you get the proper angle of the pen, you call this the “Sweet Spot”.
When you write in the sweet spot, your fountain pen grip is more comfortable, allowing you to write better. You will also experience less skipping and better lines on the paper. Depending on your pen, you can also control the line variation more optimally.
Less Hand Fatigue
All the benefits above lead to less hand fatigue, meaning that your wrist, knuckles, and hand will be less tired when writing.
When it comes to better handwriting, lessening hand fatigue is crucial as the more tired your hand gets, the less control you will have.
This is best taken advantage of by students, and those who write for long hours. I’m pretty sure we have all experienced hand fatigue as students… well, if you actually took notes that is. If not, well, if you’re working and require a lot of writing, this will help.
Making the switch between fountain pens and ballpoints will almost immediately make you aware of the differences they have with hand fatigue. Quite frankly, fountain pens let you write longer and faster compared to other pens.
This will also help with practicing better handwriting. While it is a fact that fountain pens help improve handwriting through the points raised above, the best way to improve is through practice. And practice is tiring.
If you really want to improve your handwriting, practice is still key. That said, a fountain pen WILL enhance the experience and let you practice for longer WITHOUT most of the adverse effects of if you do it with other pens.
Wide Variety To Choose From
That said, fountain pens are all built differently, and that’s one of the best things about them. Why? Because humans are the same way. We are all built differently, and that means our hands are different too.
It is best to find the right pen that will allow you to make the most of these benefits, by finding the right one that suits you SPECIFICALLY.
Have a larger hand compared to others? Get a larger pen. Do you prefer a lighter pen? Get a pen with the right weight.
This is also apparent when picking nibs, as some fountain pens can have interchangeable nibs. These nibs can also vary with their line variations or thickness, allowing you complete control of the way you write.
For more on which fountain pens have interchangeable nibs, click here where I list most of the more popular brands.
Requires Time and Financial Investment
While I made it seem more significant than it is, buying a fountain pen will actually save you more compared to a ballpoint you have to constantly replace.
Sure, the fountain pen may cost 5 times more than the cheap ballpoint pen, but you actually get to keep it longer. Why? Because it’s built to last for decades… also if you do lose that pen, you’ll have that price tag in your brain for quite a while.
Think about it, what pen will you look after more the cheap $1 pen, or the $30 work of beauty?
Not to mention Fountain Pen can be more Eco friendly, click here to learn how.
You also need to maintain the fountain pen a bit, but mark my words, you will learn to enjoy it. In fact, it’s one of the parts that is most fun for me now. Also, this is what, 10 minutes every month? Not a lot of time, really.
That said, the very process of taking care of the pen builds an attachment. It makes you want to use it and spend less time typing or on social media. By sheer time applied to it, the process of improving your handwriting will just be consolation.
For cheap beginner pens, you might want to check out our recommendations by clicking here.
You might want to try the Pilot Metropolitan if you’re after a pen under the $30 range. It’s one of the best beginner fountain pens out there, and one that is more adaptable to cheaper papers.
If you’re interested in checking out the best source for the Pilot Metropolitan, click here!
You can also click the link below!
Here’s that infographic I promised. Feel free to swipe left or right to navigate through it!