Paper World

Uni-ball Jetstream Rollerball Pens

Best pen for left handers

I love the smooth writing possible with a fine fountain pen. Unfortunately, the massive amounts of liquid ink that make nib pens so luxurious are impossible for me, a left-hander. The key to writing for a lefty is quick-drying ink. I spent years trying to find a way to use a fountain pen that doesn’t leave me with an ink-stained hand and an illegible page. Eventually I gave up and began searching for an alternative. Pencils are a nightmare for a lefty, and the goopy ink in most ballpoints just tars the page when my hand sweeps through it. Gel pens produce a fluid line reminiscent of a fountain nib, but stay damp (and therefore messy) for an amazingly long time. In the past I’ve found the only ink that could dry before my hand could smear it came from fine-pointed rollerballs that scratched out thin lines of ink.

Sanford’s Jetstream pens use a unique formulation of gel ink that dries incredibly fast. Write a sentence, then immediately put your pen down and run a finger over your words — no smear! For the first time in my life I have a pen that lets me concentrate on the words I’m writing and not a blotter or some other device to keep the words legible.

The pens are available in both 1.0 mm and 0.7 mm points. Though I like the result of the 0.7 mm a bit better, after decades of being a bit afraid to use anything but the finest-tipped pens the 1.0 mm feels like a guilty pleasure.

-- Dan Strunk 12/6/05

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