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Who Really Need Pencil Grips?

by Melissa Roy on January 27, 2019
all firesara pen grippers

Pencils are so commonplace in our society and culture – in schools, in businesses, and in our homes – that most of us would readily admit that we, in fact, give very little thought to these indispensable tools with which we write, draw and doodle. And we certainly don't give much thought to the fact that, for many sectors of our population, holding a pencil is far from easy; it can be impossible, in fact. But when you add a pencil grip to the process, using a pencil becomes magically, suddenly easier.

The pencil grip was invented by Doctor Lois Provda, a prominent educational therapist, in 1992. She saw children struggling to write, and even make clean, straight lines on a page, and wanted to help. That's when pencil grips were born. Pencil grips are made of materials like silicone, foam, rubber, plastic. Main differences in those grips lie in softness, comfort level, finger positions, etc.

How various pencil grips function?

The way we hold a pencil is most commonly referred to as the “tripod grasp.” That simply refers to the position in which we keep the pencil's shaft between our three fingers – the thumb, the forefinger and the middle finer. Think about it; the name perfectly describes the fingers' placement, like the legs of a camera's tripod.

Overall, pencil grips are used to guide people to hold a pencil correctly. However, why are there so many different types of pencil grippers outside? What are the differences? I will take Firesara pencil grips as an example. 

3 finger holes
Finger holes for thumb, index, middle finger. Examples are Firesara  elephant, owl, puppy pencil grips. The 3-finger hole design provides more control on thumb, index, middle fingers.  

3 finger hole pencil grips firesara

2 finger holes
Finger holes for thumb, index finger provides control on them but not on the middle finger. Example is the Firesara double-wing butterfly. 

2 finger hole firesara butterfly wing gripper

1 finger hole
Finger hole for index finger only or middle finger only provides control on index or middle finger.  Examples are Firesara ring, single-wing butterfly, etc.

one finger hole pen gripper

No finger hole but with handle
With little handle for separating fingers and palm. Examples are handle, monkey grips.

no finger hole but with handle

No finger hole
No finger hole. Thumb, index, and middle fingers just need to rest on their corresponding positions.

no finger hole dolphin grips

Styles and Shapes

For such a simple little device, pencil grips come in a dazzling array of colors and shapes, but the end goals are always the same: make writing more comfortable and lessen the furious grip with which we all tend to clasp them. 
Some pencil grips are shaped like triangles; some are ridged, for extra comfort. Some are made of foam, while others, as previously mentioned, are made of rubber. Some pencil grips have crazy designs on them and come in vibrant colors, while others come in shades and hues that are more subdued. The ones you choose depend solely on two things: your needs, and your tastes. If you like everything from your car to your clothing in bright, flashy colors, there's a pencil grip out there to suit your tastes! Just because they serve a vital purpose doesn't mean they aren't cute! They come in many styles and shapes, and there is certain to be a pencil grip out there that's perfect for you, or that special someone who's getting ready for school!

Does one pencil grip fit all? 

Definitely not. There are various pencils, pens, crayons, or writing tools in various diameters, so it's hard to find one versatile gripper that fits all even if a gripper is elastic. What you will need to focus on is diameter of the finger pencil grip.  
diameter of a pencil

Consider how essential the common, everyday pencil is to our lives; then, imagine not being able to hold one. Imagine not being able to hold a pencil steady when you're helping your grandchild do a drawing, or when you're doing the daily crossword puzzle in your favourite local newspaper. Considering these scenarios might give you an idea of what life is like for those who can't hold one....it's more than inconvenient; it's frustrating and maddening. Fortunately, for people in these and other situations, pencil grips are a solution that enables folks to write, draw and puzzle to their hearts' content!



Pencil Grips: An Essential Tool For Children

Pencil grips can make the life of a child so much easier, particularly when they are just beginning to learn how to print, write, or draw. According to most experts, children are learning to hold a pencil by about the age of four. Lots of kids can hold them steady, but not all; a pencil grip is just the right aid to help them get going. Rather than seeing them get discouraged by the task, simply add a pencil grip. It allows them to grip the pencil less furiously, and helps them steady their hand, so they can focus on that lovely drawing of your family's pet they are working so hard on! And that, in turn, encourages them to keep practising their writing or drawing – the goal of every good parent, right? So yes, you should buy pencil grips for your children; they make a fine, helpful addition to any backpack of school supplies or pencil case...and they're not expensive!

write with a pencil

Pencil Grips For The Differently Abled:

In some cases, children struggle to hold a pencil if their fine motor skills aren't fully developed. This is where the right pencil grip for your child, your student, your grandchild or any other person you know will make all the difference in the world.

Pencil grips can help children ease off the intense pressure they sometimes put on the pencil's shaft, and that makes their learning process easier! They are a helpful tool for any child to use, but in particular, children with special needs, like those with Arthritis, Autism, Dyspraxia, Dysgraphia or other health concerns that affect their motor skills. And because they are made of non-toxic materials like rubber and foam, pencil grips are environmentally friendly and fine for kids of all ages to use.

Arthritis: Anybody with arthritis will tell you...doing a crossword puzzle or writing out a check (yes, people still do that,) can be frustratingly difficult when your hands and knuckles are swollen and sore. And most pencils, by design, are slender. But add a pencil grip, and suddenly you've eased that problem...it adds thickness in just the right spot, so you don't have to squeeze the shaft with all your might to try to hold it steady. And because pencil grips aren't slippery – they are often made of rubber, like an eraser – they don't cause fingers to slide around the shaft of the pencil. All of a sudden, the pencil is staying where it's supposed to, and the individual can legibly write his or her name. No more struggling to fill in the crossword clue without messing up the little box's border. It may not deal with the pain of arthritis, but it certainly helps deal with the inconvenience, and that counts for a lot! For the very small investment of a few dollars, or even less, pencil grips make the life of someone who doesn't enjoy writing or drawing anymore so much easier!


Dyspraxia is defined by the Dyspraxia foundation in the United Kingdom as a “form of developmental co-ordination disorder, affecting gross and fine motor skills in both children and adults.” It can cause an “individual co-ordination difficulties (that) may affect participation and functioning of everyday life skills in education, work and employment.” And what more fundamental skill is required of both children and adults than using a pencil? Just imagine the struggle faced by some – and then the relief brought by something as simple as a pencil grip? Getting this simple tool for the child in your life who's attempting to keep up with his classmates would be the greatest gift you could bestow.

Dysgraphia, on the other hand, is formally classified as a learning disability. Anyone with this condition has a tough time, usually, even drawing a straight line, and so a pencil grip is a vital tool for parents and teachers who are encouraging kids to express themselves on the page.

Autism is a more widely known condition. It, too, can cause those living with it to be unable to write clearly and comprehensively. Ergo, a pencil grip makes their lives easier, because it provides the stability and steadiness children need when putting down thoughts and ideas.

Although the root causes of these and other motor skill disorders are not fully understood, the net effect is the same: trouble with writing, printing and drawing. Consequently, children suffer through the pain of being unable to communicate on the page; they can't write their thoughts down, and their lives becoming increasingly frustrating.

Pencil Grips For People who Write a Lot

Bumps always occur on fingers for people who write for an extended period of time. We know it doesn't feel good. Even if you know how to hold a pencil correctly, you can still grab one pencil grip  to reduce handwriting fatigue.  

Pencil Grips For Apple Pencil

Many tech users may use apply pencil to write, draw on their ipad. What troubles them most is that apple pencil is so slippery that it easily slides away. Plus it fatigues hands if you hold it for a long time. Pencil grips can not only be used to reduce handwriting fatigue, but they can also be used to prevent apple pencil from slipping away.  

Making sure that anyone you know who has a hard time using a pencil has a grip is such a simple, inexpensive thing to do, but the benefits it brings are almost immeasurable. Have you ever watched a child's face as she holds up her drawing for you, and you playfully shriek, “is that me???” As she smiles and nods “yes”! You'll know that you played a small but pivotal role in bringing that smile to her face, and that feeling is priceless. All because you made sure she had a colorful supply of pencil grips before she started drawing. Soon, she'll be printing or even writing her own name, and that accomplishment is something she'll remember for many days to come.

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