11-21-2013, 05:55 AM
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I am a left handed writer.
With my first fountain pen I was immediately aware there would be a problem. I dubbed it the Smear Factor or SF for short.

SF is not just determined by the ink. Other variables include the pen and nib and the paper.
I mostly wrote on parchment. A fine nib is a must - the less ink the faster it typically dries. I keep a mental SF rating of pen and ink combos.

Due to this site I started trying different papers. Another variable in the smearing equation.

Thanks to Freddy I was able to sample Basildon bond and Clairefontaine Triomphe papers. Both were excellent at reducing the SF.

But I just found out empirically that this is not a fountain pen only issue. I have a micro perfed Rhodia #18 lined paper. I like the paper. It has a low SF. But I purchased it with lines which impact my already poor penmanship. I still use it for letters but I also have it available for general household use.

Yesterday I received an important phone call that required I take notes. I grabbed the Rhodia #18 and a pen out of the magnetic pen cup stuck on the refrigerator.

The pen smeared terribly. It was a Uniball Vision. Grabbed another - a Uniball Eco - it was worse. Next was a Pilot gelpen - still smearing. Finally pulled out a Papermate profile ballpoint and could take legible notes.

I was quite amazed as these pens don't smear on lesser paper. But I was also quite pleased that SF is not the fountain pen only problem I had come to believe it was.

Learn something new each day.


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 11-21-2013, 06:09 AM
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The SF is precisely why I haven't been intrigued enough to take the leap into FPs. Interesting observation there and I feel your pain. I still think I have a lead stain on my left hypothenar from all my school notes. Winky

31 8,059
 11-21-2013, 08:41 AM
  • Howler
  • A calamophile and vintage razor lover
  • Fort Smith AR
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I'm left handed I have not had the smear factor when writing. The reason is I do not have the upper hook that many left handers use.

I'm an underwriter which for me works ideally when writing with a fountain pen.

I have been using a fountain pen exclusively to write with for years now. I prefer a fountain pen to using a ball point or gel pen.

I have found through the years several things that work best for me. I normally choose a fine point nib. The advantage is that lays down a thinner line drier line. I chose ink that has a quicker dry time.

There is no reason that a left hander should not choose a fountain pen. Personally it is far more comfortable to write with.

1 3,507
 11-21-2013, 10:07 AM
  • freddy
  • Banned
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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While I am a right hander, I do sympathize with left handers. Just a couple of things to add to what has already been stated here.

1) I believe Krissy, also a lefty, put up a short video showing how she writes with a fountain pen to avoid smearing. If I can find it then I shall post the link.

2) I have recently introduced myself to Platinum's Carbon Black ink in their extra fine nibbed desk pen. While not the smoothest writer, due to the extra fine nib, it is not a bad writer at all. I find the ink very fast drying and it has the wonderful advantage of being waterproof. To test this out, I wrote "The quick brown fox, etc." on a piece of very fountain pen unfriendly paper, threw the paper in a sink full of water and left it there for about fifteen minutes. When I came back, the ink had not run at all! I crumpled the wet paper and carefully reopened it and the sentence was still there as clear as day. I then carefully tore the paper and the writing stayed absolutely pristine until the paper itself became useless from the tearing into smaller and smaller pieces. So, for you lefties out there, there are some options. Smile

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