It’s a fact: hands sweat. And this can happen at some pretty inconvenient times, like during a test or an extended writing exams. Actually, these are times when hands can sweat a lot, causing problems with legibility, pen control, and comfort.
So what are the best pens for people with sweaty hands? Here goes…
What You Want, And What you Don’t
Whether you’d heard the term “hyperhidrosis” or not, hand sweat can make writing uncomfortable. Let’s figure out some pens that can improve the situation a bit.
There are some tips that tend to help some people but won’t, as a rule, work for everyone. Typically you should avoid any pens that are too thin, too glossy, or all metal. Look for textured pens, wide grips, and matte finishes to promote a comfortable, loose grip.
Typically you’ll want a pen that promotes light writing, not pushing down hard. So think gel, rollerball, or even a fountain pen. Newer ballpoints with hybrid inks will be fine, but avoid anything like the Bic Cristal, where you have an old school ballpoint and requires a lot of pressure. If you are left-handed you’ll want to avoid fountain pens in order to prevent smearing.
There is no “silver bullet” so you might have to shop around a bit and find the products that are best for you. For this reason we’ll avoid anything that is too rare or expensive.
Pens for Sweaty Hands
Rotring Rapid Pro
The Rapid Pro is a great looking pen that is great to write with. It’s often compared unfavorably to the Rotring 600 ballpoint, but the Rapid Pro has some advantage in this case. The Rapid Pro has a relatively wide (8.8 mm) knurled metal grip that offers a nice combination of grip and comfort.
Pilot Dr. Grip
The Pilot Dr. Grip is a rubber gripped pen that is available either with hybrid (Acro) ink or a ballpoint ink. We prefer the Acro. Either way the grip is large, comfortable, and long-lasting. This is a light, wide pen that fits the bill for many people.
Sakura Grosso Ball
This is a ballpoint that is a relatively unknown pen. Why have it on the list? It has a huge, rubbery grip that is super comfortable. The ink isn’t the best, but it’s good enough and easy enough to swap out for another refill. This is a large pen with a maximum grip diameter of a bit over 13 mm and a very light weight.
Lamy Safari Rollerball in Charcoal
The Safari has a few things going for it. First of all, it’s a rollerball so only the lightest touch is needed. Second, it has a triangle grip that is comfort over even the longest writing sessions. Lastly, the Charcoal color has a matte finish that gives you a good grip under all conditions, including when a glossy pen (like most Safaris and Lamy’s Vista) would get slippery.
What About Fountain Pens?
No list would be complete without a higher end fountain pen, as very few of these pens use rubber grips, knurled grips, or sweat-friendly surfaces. Here are some ideas…
Stealth Pilot Vanishing Point
This is a handsome gold nib pen that is famous for its retractable nib. The reason this pen is worth mentioning is because one of the variations is a full matte black edition. Known as the “Stealth” version, its surface is much more moisture-friendly then the standard glossy finishes this pen uses. Now this won’t be nearly as effective with wet hands as something like the Sakura above, but in less severe cases it should be just what people need.
Plus it’s a fine, fine fountain pen with a long history.
Visconti Homo Sapiens
The Homo Sapiens is actually (no joke) made of volcanic rock from Sicily’s Mount Etna. These rocks are naturally porous and — we’re told — moisture-wicking. This is the one big, expensive, beautiful fountain pen that people with sweaty hands might enjoy.
The lava rock material that the pens body is made out of is naturally hygroscopic, so it pulls in moisture from its surroundings. The texture is matte (almost like a velvet) which gives it good grip. The pen is also relatively wide (11.1 mm grip), making gripping it easy and comfortable. Of course the 18K Perfecttouch Bock nib only needs the lightest touch to write.