Pencil grips: Deep dive explainer and product reviews

In spite of the introduction of productivity-centered technologies, the pencil has consistently retained its place as an invaluable tool for individuals of all ages. During our journey through the educational system, in the workplace, as adults people use pencils and probably always will.  The feel of wood, the very, very long history, and the uniqueness of the written word all make Pencils timeless. So where exactly do pencil grips and their ability help writers grasp pencils come in?

Ergonomic pencil grips are a practical aid for children learning how to write. Children naturally progress at different writing rates due to a variety of factors. Pencil grips ensure that these differences have as few negative effects as possible on learning and participation rates in the classroom.

Our Three Favourite Pencil Grips
✔ 4 Colors
✔ Left & Right Hand Use
✔ Comfortable & Breathable
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✔ 5 Colors
✔ Left & Right Hand Use
✔ Soft & Comfortable
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✔ 6 Colors
✔ Left & Right Hand Use
✔ Comfortable, 3 Finger Grip
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Pencil grips aren’t just for kids learning to write; special needs individuals, such as those with impaired fine motor skills or neurological symptoms related to a variety of disorders,  have their productivity improved with the use of pencil grips. In this post, we’ll go over everything you need to know about this popular writing and drawing aid, as well as the top brands currently on the market today.

An Introduction to Pencil Grips

Educational therapist Doctor Lois Provda invented pencil grips in 1992, after she observed a significant rise in cases of children struggling to write and draw lines without the use of stencils or other assistive instruments. Today’s pencil grips come in all shapes and sizes, and are made of a range of different materials including foam, rubber, gel and silicone.

Let’s take a quick look at the most prevalent types of pencil grips currently circulating the market today, and the logic behind their designs.

  • Single finger grips provide a single sleeve for better control over a single finger. These provide some added versatility, as users can choose to use the sleeve for either their index or middle finger, depending on their personal difficulties.
  • Double finger grips provide two sleeves on either side of the grip band for control over the thumb and index finger. This is the most commonly used type of pencil grip, as it corrects the most prevalent errors when holding a pencil.
  • Triple finger grips are also known as “claw pencil grips” because they are easily the bulkiest of the available varieties. On the plus side, they provide sleeves (i.e. increased control) for all three fingers and can compensate for practically all grip issues.
  • Rubber band pencil grips uses two elastic bands joined together; one for looping around the wrist and the other looped around the pencil. This corrects and maintains the angle of the pencil throughout the writing or drawing process for individuals with unsteady hands.
  • No holes/no handles are simply for the purpose of making the pencil itself easier to use for prolonged periods — particularly for individuals who have no issues holding a pencil correctly but are prone to developing bruises, calluses or keloids from friction burns.

It’s worth noting that the standard and most widely recommended way to hold a pencil in hand is known as the “tripod pencil grip,” aptly named for the way the thumb, forefinger and middle finger are oriented to support the pencil-like the legs on a tripod.

The basic purpose of a pencil grip is as a practical substitute for occupational therapy, constantly and effectively compensating for incorrect grasping. This is the main reason for the notable diversity of pencil grip types: correcting various suboptimal grips and allowing them to conform as closely as possible to the recommended standard.

Who Are Ergonomic Pencil Hand Grips for & How Can They Help Them?

Pencil grips were initially conceptualized and designed for children, and contemporary iterations are no exception. Over the years, pencil grips have become a household name due to their effectiveness at improving writing technique and hand posture for new writers.

Consumer trends show that not only are pencil grips a common reliance among today’s school children, but homeschooling parents as well. According to the American Journal of Occupational Therapy, proper pencil grip is difficult to re-learn if a child has already become accustomed to holding their pencil incorrectly. And while incorrect grips have no real negative effects on writing speed or legibility, they could lead to chronic pain disorders such as arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome later on in life.

There are also several scenarios wherein pencil grips prove immensely valuable for individuals with special needs. Let’s examine two of the most common disorders whose symptoms make the grips a viable aid for both children and adults with special needs related to grasping pencils.

Epilepsy and autism the link between autism and epilepsy is well-known. Outside the onsets of physical manifestations of epilepsy — such as epileptic seizures — the disorder has persistent symptoms as well, most commonly reduced focus and fine motor skills. This is where pencil grips come in; while high functioning autistic individuals know very well how to hold a pencil, pencil grips can mitigate any difficulty they might have with consistently applying the recommended tripod grip.

Stroke it’s well established in scientific literature that strokes are connected to and can mark the onset or worsening of common neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and various forms of dementia. The most common persistent condition after a stroke is greatly diminished dexterity and coordination particularly in the hands. Pencil grips keep the negative implications of these conditions to a minimum, and can be crucial for adults working in engineering, the literary field or in branches of architecture.

Our Three Favourite Pencil Grips on the Market Today

When investing in practical aids for children and loved ones, it’s especially important to vet for quality, reliability and product safety. Let’s take a quick look at three of the best pencil grips currently available, in no particular order.

A hand holding a pencil with Bushibu gripBUSHIBU’s Ambidextrous Pen & Pencil Grips are made of high quality silicone gel, and feature a “hollow ventilation” design for maximum comfort and breathability. Suitable for both righties and lefties, it’s made the Amazon’s Choice list of special needs products within a month of its product listing.

A hand holding a pencil with Firesara gripFiresara’s Posture Correction Finger Grips use a highly innovative modified three-finger design comprised of sleeves for the thumb and index finger, as well as a tight elastic loop for the middle finger. Touted as a breakthrough by one of America’s leading special needs brands, it’s made the top three listings in Amazon’s pencil grips category of products.

Pencil with grip from The Pencil Grip The Pencil Grip’s Classic Soft Foam Pencil Grips are the industry’s most ergonomic no-frills pencil grips. Designed as a simple 1.5-inch sleeve for both pens and pencils, these are guaranteed to keep fingers comfortable and free from irritation, rightly earning it an Amazon Best Sellers designation.