Trouble with pencil grip? Two great tools

By Kathy Kuhl     One of my favorite tools for those who struggle with pencil grip–how to hold it correctly, and how to hold it without getting tired–is the Twist-n-Write pencil by Baumgartens. (Links are below.)

Shaped like a wishbone, this pencil:

  • makes it easier to hold a pencil correctly
  • lets the sensory-seeking child or adult feel more of the pencil.

These mechanical pencils have a good thick lead, perhaps 1 mm, and are refillable. They come in an assortment of colors: black, blue, raspberry, and lime. They are symmetrical, so they work for left- or right-handed writers.

Not just for kids

All ages can use it, though a child is holding in these photos. A child as young as six can hold it, and so can most adults, though adults with very large hands will find it too small.

They aren’t for everyone, but I’ve been surprised by how some people just love the feel. (One tall teenage boy said, “Holding this makes me want to write, and I don’t even like to write!” I felt I was living in a commercial, but no cameras were in sight.)

A friend just asked for help for her friend with multiple sclerosis, and realized I’d never blogged about these. My dear high school friend Meg has MS, and uses the Penagain ErgoSoft pen, a retractable pen by the same company, Baumgartens.

Here’s the pen. On the back is a clip, and the button to extend or retract the point. penagain back It is the same size as the pencil, and comes in four colors, which you can specify as you order. I like their silky matte finish.


I have a few Penagain refills to give away. If you buy or already own a Penagain Pen and want a refill, enter your name in the comments section below to win a refill pack or two ink cartridges. I’ll contact winners in about a week.


Penagain comes in 4 colors.
Penagain comes in 4 colors.


Like the Twist-n-write pencil, the Penagain is refillable. These pens, pencils, and special refills are produced by Baumgartens, a family-owned business in Georgia. I’ve sold them at conferences, and you can buy them through my Amazon store here.

Speaking of Amazon, if you want to support my work helping families with struggling learners at no cost to yourself, consider a trial of Amazon Prime. If you use this link to sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime, they will contribute to my work, even if you drop Amazon Prime during the trial period. I know Prime is not for everyone. Learn more about Amazon Prime free trial. 

Got a favorite pen, pencil, or grip for your struggling writer, or for yourself? Share it in the comments below, please. If you’d like to win a pen refill, say so in the comments below.

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  1. Rhonda Nain says:

    I’m interested in the giveaway. Thank you.

    1. Thanks for entering to win refills for your Penagain pen.

  2. Rhonda is our winner. Rhonda, look for an email just sent from me requesting your mailing address. Don’t post it here, though.

  3. I have 2 more refills left if anyone else has an ErgoSof or Penagain pen.