I’m right handed, but I feel for people who are left handed and living in a world where so many common items are designed for “North paws”. Sometimes there isn’t much you can do about it, but when it comes to the standard wooden pencil, left handed writers no longer need to suffer. Here are the steps to convert a normal right handed pencil into one designed for left handers.
- Start with an unsharpened number 2 standard lead pencil.
- Wiggle the metal that holds the eraser until it comes off in your hand.
- Push the metal over the opposite end. (The end the right handers usually sharpen.)
- If necessary, use a pair of pliers to help crimp the metal back to the pencil.
- Sharpen the end that the right handed people normally erase with.
Viola! You now have a pencil to use in your left hand that is just as ergonomic as a normal pencil is for a right handed user.
In New York there is a non-profit company that is going to try to convert 500 pencils each day to give out to left handed school children. The director of the company is left handed and feels he suffered greatly using right handed pencils in grade school. This is his way of giving back to the community. They are actively seeking volunteers and will mail you a set of pencils if you would like to help contribute your time.
Bob O. Lee says
I may be left-handed ignorant, but what is the difference between using a standard pencil in the left hand as opposed to the left? Isn’t it symmetrical, therefore using it in either hand would be the same?
The non-for-profit group really seems to be spending the grant money they just received from the state rather ineffectively, or maybe that’s the point (no pun intended).
There actually is a real difference between right handed and left handed pens and pencils. Take your pen and hold it in your right hand like you’re going to write. Now read the inscription on the pen or pencil. Switch to your left hand and try and and read it. Thanks for again seeking to segregate a portion of society thought mockery and ridicule. Hope you have fun in the park making fun of the retarded blind kids who don’t know their canes aren’t white either.
I tihnk what’s really great for us lefties are those pencils that don’t smudge or smear.. those are GREAT! I think the community should find where those are made and buy THOSE for the children… otherwise, I don’t really see the difference in using the same pencil..
They also made those quick drying pens as well for lefties. I loe those too but I can only find them online.. and very few sites have them. They should be made more available to everyone.
Monique ** Florida Girl** says
I have kids…3 righties…1 lefty. I never knew how bad lefties had it until I gave birth to one. DUH! The one thing that really makes me mad is that WE have to pay sooooooooooo much more for lefty stuff! That has to be some sort of discrimination. Regular binder of 100 sheets of paper .10 on sale right now…Lefty binder with 100 sheets of paper $4.95?????? WHAT?!?!?!? The list goes on and on. That is just one example of the stuff that we are subjected to.
You can do basically the same thing by simply starting with what would be the back of the paper facing toward you (so that the binder holes are on the right instead of the left). That’s quite literally all they’ve done for lefty notebooks, notebook paper, etc. in my experience.
As for this whole pencil thing, I think it’s rubbish. I’m a lefty myself and it does not make a difference one way or the other about pens and pencils. None of them are “ergonomic” as no pencil or pen that I have seen is designed to “maximize comfort and avoid stress or injury” of our hands. (Think about it: the most common pens and pencils are straight up and down — how is that supposed to be comfortable on our hands and fingers?) Furthermore, I’ve tried to teach myself to write with my right hand as opposed to my left (why, you ask? Because being able to write with both can be quite useful) and the ONLY reason that it did not feel comfortable is because IT’S NOT MY DOMINANT HAND.
The only thing that I do find irritating is how pencils smudge, and that is one of the reasons why I prefer to write with pens.
Mark Shead says
You might check the date on the post. It is from April 1st.
Greg Cameron says
Umm…what difference does it make that I can’t read the writing on the pencil? What really matters is how it’s impossible to write in a right-handed binder unless you take the paper out, which is such a pain.
Heather C says
i agree with Bob O….what difference does it make if the eraser is flipped around? it’s symmetrical. sounds like dave needs to seek counciling for his issues! don’t worry, be happy!
Mark Shead says
Keep in mind the date on this post is April 1st. :)
Meggan White says
My child is left handed and saw this artical on lefties….he has a problem with smearing his pencil across his paper as he writes. Can I try your pencils? My adress is……Meggan White, [removed]. Thank you for you help!!!!
Mark Shead says
Meggan – This was a post from April 1st. Switching the pencil around would only change the direction the text reads and even that wouldn’t have been very useful because it would soon be ground off in the pencil sharpener. Of course as others have pointed out the direction of the text on the pencil is on of the last worries.
The best solution is of course to do what DaVinci did and write from right to left in a mirror image of what right handed people do. Of course this isn’t going to work if you want other people to be able to read what you wrote.
It is possible to reposition your hand to avoid much of the smearing. Try some of the tips here. You might try going to an art & stationary store and finding out if they have pencils of different hardness that might be less prone to smudging. There are also some gel ink pens that are made to dry instantly so they do not smudge.
Hope that helps!
Haha, very funny! I do take issue with erasable pens. My hand erases as I write. Ugh!