Jon wrote me recently about left-handed pens:
I’m a lefty. Never quite got over someone confiscating my ancient Parker VP, loved that pen. For the past couple of years I’ve been using inexpensive Schneider pens that have facets on the grip that make positioning it automatic.
Thought I’d upgrade a bit and have found the Conklin Durograph in cracked ice rather attractive. But it doesn’t seem to be offered in a dedicated left handed model.
I do understand lefties can use just about any fountain pen, but I find the grip designed for lefties appealing. I am an underwriter.
Please tell me what I need to make myself happy.
I’m really considering in the $40 or so range. Don’t need to impress anyone but me and how it writes is pretty much all that’s important. Medium points work well and I’m stuck in the blue/black mentality.
I actually have the Conklin Duragraph in the cracked ice finish and it has a smooth grip area so it can pretty much be held at any angle.
If you’re looking for a molded grip, the Lamy Safari might be a good option. The grip is molded symmetrically so you wouldn’t need a special left-handed model. I know a lot of lefties who underwrite like the molded grip section on the Lamy Safari and Lamy AL-Star. The Safari sell for less than $30 and the AL-Stars (the aluminum model of the Safari) sell for about $40. Its available in a full array of European nib sizes and the nibs are easy to swap out should you decide you want a different nib size. Nibs are sold for about $12.
Jim asked about finding a pen refill:
Hi, I asked a question a good bit ago and your answer rocked. I was wondering if you could help me with something else. I’m a bit of a pen junkie. Years ago I purchased a Cross pen. It’s was little and fat. I’ve been trying to get a refill for years. I have no idea what pen it is or if they even still make a cartridge.
I totally understand being a pen junkie. I am also a refill junkie. I’m always worried my favorite refills will become obsolete. But I also am a firm believer that a little refill hacking can get you back to writing as well.
Do you have the old refill still? Was it a ballpoint or rollerball?
If you have the refill and you know it was a Cross, you can use the Refillfinder app site to see if the refill is still available. Refillfinder is a division of one of our fine sponsors, Goldspot Pens. FYI.
If they don’t have the exact size you need, is it possible to cut down a different refill? You might scan those junk drawers for old rollerballs, ballpoints or gel pens and try to disassemble them. If you have the old refill, just hold it up next to the refills you find and then cut the length or use a bit of hardware store tubing to make a spacer if the refill is too short. People often plug the end with air dry clay or other materials if the refill originally had a cap. I trim refills, wrap tape around the ends to make it wider if necessary and other minor modification to get non-standard refills to fit into a pen.