Will A Fountain Pen Improve Your Handwriting? [It Depends]

Handwriting as an everyday practice is a dying art for many in these days of smartphones, tablets, and computers. It is a pity because writing can develop your fine motor skills in a way that typing can’t and is a unique and beautiful way to express yourself. The right fountain pen can significantly enhance the satisfaction of jotting down your thoughts in journals, letters, diaries, or study notes.

A fountain pen can definitely improve your handwriting. It slows the pace, so you’ve time to shape characters consciously and make more deliberate pen strokes. It gives you greater control than a slippery ballpoint, leading to improved consistency. You also use less pressure, so your hand is not so fatigued.

The way you write says a lot about your personality, as any good graphologist will tell you. It distinguishes you as an individual and is a satisfying means of self-expression. A pen that allows you to form words and numbers clearly and legibly and even add a few artistic flourishes brings out the best in your handwriting. 

Writing With A Fountain Pen Takes Practice

If you’ve only ever written with ballpoint pens, you may find it challenging to write with a fountain pen at first because it generally requires some subtle alterations in the way you hold the pen. You don’t need to clamp your fingers tightly around a fountain pen, as it works better with a slightly relaxed grip between the forefinger and thumb.

 You also have to be more aware of the angle of the pen to the paper. Most fountain pens write best at a forty-five-degree angle or thereabouts. When you first use one, you may find that it highlights the flaws in your handwriting if you are a sloppy writer. Many people become aware of the need for improvement when they use a fountain pen.

With a bit of practice, you should get the hang of it and may notice that it adds some style and flourish to your handwriting. Fountain pens come with nibs in different sizes, so you need to choose one that suits you. If your script tends to be cramped, small, or crabby, a fine or extra-fine nib is the way to go. If it is bold and big and a bit more spaced out, you should use a medium or broad nib.

Writing with a ballpen often feels like a chore, but if you use a fountain pen, you may find yourself writing more just as an excuse to use it! If you’ve never journaled before, this is one way to practice and develop your writing technique and improve your mental wellbeing.

If you’ve always loved writing, a fountain pen offers a far greater choice of ink, pen nibs, and writing styles. Fountain pens are for people who want a writing experience rather than just a rough and ready disposable tool for scribbling.

Although there are many eye-wateringly expensive fountain pens out there, you can pick one up for just a few dollars. Besides, a fountain pen looks way cooler than a cheap ballpoint. Just look at what pen the U.S. President uses when he signs an executive order.

Writing With A Fountain Pen Requires A Consistent Hand Orientation

When you write with a fountain pen, you have to hold it at a particular angle to apply the ink to the paper. This requires your hand to be in a fixed orientation. This, in turn, means that you adopt a better sitting posture for writing. All this contributes to improving your style.  

With a ballpoint, you don’t have to orient your hand so precisely, which means there is less uniformity in your writing than with a fountain pen. Since consistency is a feature of attractive handwriting, using a fountain pen gives you an advantage.

Your hand does not need to exert the same amount of pressure with a fountain pen as with other pens. With a good fountain pen, the nib should glide across the paper with the lightest touch. This means it is a more relaxed way of writing because your hand is less tense.

With a fountain pen, it takes much longer for your hand to become fatigued than with a ballpoint, so you are less likely to write sloppily with poorly formed characters. If you write for any length of time with a ballpoint, you will often notice that your handwriting starts off well but deteriorates the longer you write because your hand gets tired.

You may find that just using a fountain pen instead of a ballpoint dramatically improves your writing quality, even if you don’t change your basic style. Once you get hooked on the whole writing experience, you might be tempted to learn new fonts, try cursive, and develop better writing habits. That’s because writing with a fountain pen can elevate the act of writing to an art form all of its own.

Some Of The Characteristics Of Good Handwriting

Creating a legible script on paper takes attention to details like your posture, hand pressure, pen angle, and grip. Many people have not learned the art of holding a pen because it doesn’t matter which way you grip a ballpoint when you write with it.

Good handwriting has several features that you can practice until it becomes a habit. These include:

  • how you shape your letters, e.g., oval, round, pointed, or sharp
  • the evenness and extent of the spacing between letters and words
  • the consistency of your pen strokes
  • the size of different letters relative to each other
  • line quality – is it wobbly, irregular, or straight
  • completeness of letter shapes – are there gaps?
  • Continuity
  • Slant – are the letters leaning backward or forward
  • Rhythm – repetition of individual elements and flourishes

Scientific studies have shown that writing manually improves memory, learning comprehension, boosts creativity, and relieves stress, depression, and anxiety. Many best-selling authors wrote their books longhand. It forces you to consider your words more carefully and can even slow down mental aging.

Fountain Pens Give You More Control

Fountain pens slow down your writing, giving you more control of the process. Using a fountain pen makes you more conscious of good handwriting practice and allows you to manipulate the nib better.

Many fountain pens are ergonomically designed with non-slip material on the part where you hold them. They are also usually wider than ballpoint pens which makes for a more comfortable grip. Some people immediately find it easier to write with a fountain pen than with a ball pen, even if they have never used one before.

If you use a gold nib, it will wear down to accommodate your handwriting’s unique shape, unlike the nib of a ball pen. Such a nib effectively becomes customized just for you. Fountain pens come in different sizes and weights to fit every hand type. If you have small hands, get a shorter, lighter pen. If you have large hands, you can use a longer, heavier pen.

When you hold it, the pen must not be uncomfortably wide in your hand. The only way to find the best size for you is to try a few different ones. The more comfortable it is for you, the more easily you will be able to control it when writing.

When assessing a pen’s fit in your hand, try it with the cap off, and the cap posted. When the cap is posted, i.e., on the back of the barrel, the pen will be heavier and longer than with the cap off. You don’t have to post the pen, but it can make a difference to how you write if you do. If you’re the kind of person who often mislays things, it may be better for you to use the pen posted so you always know where the cap is.


A fountain pen can improve your handwriting if you give yourself a chance to get used to it. It makes the act of writing and more intentional and deliberate affair. At the same time, you get the opportunity to make a statement in your unique script that has a satisfaction all of its own.

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