Types of pencil grips

Illustration by Ryn Gargulinski

Pencil grips may seem like such a small item but they can be a huge help when it comes to making writing easier or more comfortable. Grips help cramped or calloused hands and can also serve as a teaching tool. Pencil grips are available in different styles and sizes to fit a variety of writing needs.


Most pencil grips are made from a foam or gel plastic so it is easy to hold and adds some cushioning. Grips are also available in a wide range of bright colours and some are even offered in metallic, glitter, neon or other striking hues.


The most basic pencil grip is a simple cylindrical shape that slides into place over the tip of the pencil. These grips are made of a foam material, come in a variety of colours and are very inexpensive, generally less than 60p each. The price increases as the pencil grips become more advanced.

Modified Cylinder

The modified cylinder pencil grip uses the basic cylinder shape with some variations. One type has an indented centre with raised edges that form a groove in which the fingers gripping the pencil can fit. Some of the raised edges are the same height, while others will feature a larger, rounded edge at the top of the grip on the side closest the pencil's eraser.


The crossover grip also has a basic cylinder base but features two raised edges near the top of the cylinder. The grip resembles butterfly wings and adds cushioning between the fingers.

Writing Claw

This grip is specifically designed to assist small children just learning to write or people who are undergoing therapy to regain the use of their hands. The writing claw consists of a central hole through which the pencil fits surrounded by three small thimble-like attachments. The thimble attachments are meant for the two fingers and thumb that grasp the pencil, placing the hand into the proper alignment for holding a pencil.


As evidenced by the variety of pencil grips, no single grip is the best fit for every individual. The best way to choose a grip is to try them out and see which feels most comfortable. You can also gauge which part of your fingers are becoming calloused or sore from constantly using a writing instrument and select a grip that cushions those areas.