Artltdmag is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

How to Properly Hold a Pen? – A Beginner’s Guide

Written by Robert S. Brown / Fact checked by Helen B. Harris

how to properly hold a pen

Writing is a fundamental skill that is essential in many aspects of life, from education to work and beyond.

One key factor for good handwriting is learning how to properly hold a pen, as it can impact the legibility and flow of your writing.

In this article, we’ll explore the importance of proper pen grip and provide detailed instructions to help you write properly with a pen.

Whether you’re a student or a professional, mastering the proper pen grip can make a significant improvement for writing skills.

Different Ways to Properly Hold a Pen

1. Tripod Grip

Step 1: Grab the pen with your index finger and thumb.


Hold the pen between the tips of your index finger and thumb, leaving a gap of about half an inch between these fingers.

The pen should rest on the side of your middle finger, just below the top knuckle.

 Step 2: Tuck the pen under the top knuckle of your middle finger.


This will create a stable tripod-like grip. Your fingers should be slightly bent, providing additional support and stability to your grip.

Step 3: Hold the pen lightly.


Put your fingers one-third of the way down from the tip of the pen, and use only enough pressure to guide the pen across the paper.

Step 4: Rest your hand on the page with your palm facing down.

Put the back edge, the pinky, and the ring finger of your hand on the page. Find a comfortable hand position to write.

Step 5: Choose a good angle to write.


Position the pen at a comfortable angle for you to write without pain. Raise your wrist slightly and write. Don’t raise it too high, as you might get cramps.

Check this video for further instructions:

2. Quadropod Grip

Step 1: Hold the pen in the right way.


Hold the pen in your dominant hand, between your thumb and index finger, with the tips of these fingers resting on the pen.

The pen should be positioned so that the tip can point toward the writing surface.

Step 2: Put your thumb and index finger close to the pen’s tip.


Place your middle finger about one-third down from the pen’s tip to provide additional support.

Step 3: Lower your middle finger and place it squarely on the pen.


Your 3 fingers will work together to adjust the pen, so make sure to maintain a firm and consistent grip with those fingers.

Step 4: Place the pen on top of the ring finger.


Slide the ring finger until it’s below the middle one. Use the top half of your fingertip to grip the pen gently, providing additional support and control.

Put your pinky finger under your ring finger and adjust the pen so that the tip touches the page and as long as you feel comfortable writing.

Check out the below video for detailed instruction:

Common Pen-holding Mistakes


1. Holding a pen too tightly

Holding a pen too tight may cause hand fatigue and strain. Your fingers can be squeezed and cramped, and you’ll be suddenly unable to write properly.

To deal with this problem, simply loosen your fingers. You can practice holding other objects, such as balls and scrolls, to make your hands more open.

2. Holding the pen the wrong way

A common mistake is that the index fingers overlap the thumb, or 4 fingers on the pen, but only the thumb controls the pen.

Another mistake is the entire fingers curl and rest on the pen, making writing difficult.

To fix these problems, try adjusting the grip by holding the pen lightly, with the index finger and thumb forming a slight “O” shape.

Avoid curling the fingers too tightly around the pen, and let them rest gently on the pen. You also should practice writing with this grip until it becomes natural.


Can proper pen holding improve my handwriting?

Yes, holding pens in a proper way can improve your handwriting. How you hold a pen or pencil affects the control and precision of your writing.

When you hold a pen correctly, you have more control over the pen’s movement, which can lead to better letter formation and legibility.

What age to teach to hold a pen?

The ideal age to teach a child to hold a writing tool ergonomically is 3 years old.

At this age, most children have developed enough fine motor skills to grip a pen or pencil in the correct way and start practicing writing letters and shapes.

The recommended grip is the tripod grip, where the pen is held between the tips of the index and middle fingers and the thumb.

However, some children may naturally develop different grips that work for them, so observing and guiding them is important.

Tips for maintaining a proper pen grip

  • Move arms and shoulders while writing: This can help prevent cramping and fatigue in your fingers and wrist.

Using larger muscle groups to control the pen can also improve the stability of your writing.

  • Practicing writing in the air: This exercise can increase flexibility and strengthen your fingers and wrist muscles.

It also helps you focus on the pen’s movement and develop muscle memory for proper grip.

  • Practice writing on paper: Use a pen that is comfortable to hold and writes smoothly.

The more you practice, the better you will become. Try to practice writing every day to write neat and fast.

  • Practicing pen walking: This technique involves holding the pen between your fingers and walking it across a flat surface.

It helps to improve your grip strength and dexterity while providing a fun and engaging exercise.

Choosing the right pen


  • Test the pen: Before buying a pen, try it out to see how it feels in your hand and how it writes. Make sure the pen feels comfortable and produces the type of line you want.
  • Consider the ink type: A fountain pen, ballpoint, gel, rollerball, quill pen, or calligraphy pen will have different types of ink. Each one has its own unique characteristics, so choose the one that suits your writing style and preferences.
  • Consider writing hand: Some pens are specifically designed for left handed or right handed writers, with features such as angled tips or ink that dry quickly to prevent smudging.
  • Set your budget: Pens come in a wide range of prices, so decide how much you want to spend before shopping.
  • Consider the pen’s design: One can choose a suitable pen design based on the pen-holding styles personality.

Look for a pen that is well-balanced, easy to grip, and has a cap or retractable tip to protect the ink, depending on your preference.

To know about details of ink type, please click the following comparisons:


How to properly hold a pen? By following the basic steps of placing the pen between the index finger and the thumb, resting it on the middle finger, and holding it with a light grip, we can ensure a comfortable and effective writing experience.

You can learn tripod grip and quadropod grip for beautiful handwriting. The first is the best way for children, and the second will be easier for adults.

It may take some time to get used to this new grip, but it will become second nature with practice and patience.

5/5 - (2 votes)