Saturday, February 27, 2016

Pencil Grips Review {& Giveaway}

Recently, I was contacted by Pencil Grips, Inc to see if I wanted the opportunity to review their family of pencil grips. I was thrilled to be asked and jumped at the chance to participate. Just a few days later, I got a box in the mail with two sets of grips for me to use, manipulate and ultimately, review. 

First of all, I had to examine how I was already holding a pen or pencil. Let's be real: teachers do a lot of writing! Despite the digital age we find ourselves in, I tend to spend a huge amount of time writing with paper and pencil. So much so that I often get hand cramps. I was, quite honestly, very much looking forward to trying out these grips and seeing if they would alleviate the problem.

 I do believe part of my problem is that I love to have my nails done in the salon. So my nails are not short. They aren't obnoxiously long, but they are longer than when I don't have gels/acrylics and that can very much affect how I grip a pen or pencil. So I decided to do an unscientific study of my own grip.

Exhibit 1: The "Thumb Tuck"
 I just picked up the pen and began to write, without really thinking about how I gripped the pen. I did this because I knew I would grasp the way I normally do. This is not an effective grip, does tire my fingers out pretty fast.

Exhibit 2: The "Finger Tuck"
This is usually the other way that I grip a pen. When I'm in a hurry, I tend to grip like this. It is also not very effective since my fingers can go numb pretty fast. (Who know how much I'd learn about how I hold a writing utensil by doing this??)

So after examining my "default" ways of gripping, I set out to try the grips I received. I used one type of grip for 3 days each while at school and at home so I could see, over time, if they really helped me with fatigue in the fingers and improved my writing efficiency.

Exhibit 3: The Original Grip

 The Original Grip is...well the original! It's pretty basic in design with no bells and whistles. It's very comfortable to hold and I used it first. Since I was sent two sets, I took a set to school and kept a set at home on my desk. I take a lot of notes the old school way (paper/pencil) for my doctoral program so I definitely had use for one at home too. I graded papers with it, used it while demonstrating work on the document camera and for pretty much every situation in which I had to write. My fingers never got tired and my hand didn't hurt at all, even during a grading marathon. (Pencil Grips: 1, Raye: 0)

Exhibit 4: The Pinch Grip

The pinch grip provides a different feel from the original grip from the slight top lip of the grip. It provides a resting place for those long nails of mine and kept them from rubbing against each other and getting in the way while I was writing. (Probably what contributes to my bad writing grip...don't want those nails clicking together because it's annoying and uncomfortable.) This grip was the second one I tried. I very much enjoyed how it helped me to keep a firmer...uh, grip on the pen simply because of that extra material at the top of the grip. No fatigue or numbness with this one either...and bonus, the red color totally enhanced my reddish/pink nails. (Pencil Grips: 2, Raye: 0)

Exhibit 5: The Crossover Grip
The Crossover Grip provides a much larger guard to keep your fingers in place and prevented me from crossing my thumb over like I usually do. The extra guard also helped me to keep those pesky nails away from each other which I liked. This one was my least favorite of the three but not because there was anything wrong with the style; I had no fatigue or discomfort using this grip, it just wasn't my favorite grip. (Pencil Grips: 2, Raye: 1)

Exhibit 6: Versatility
I was worried that I wouldn't be able to transfer these grips to a bigger writing instrument. As someone who loves to journal, write and of course, who grades a ton of papers, I get a fancy pen every 1-2 years from The Husband. The pen I got this year is awesome but quite slippery and difficult for me to keep in my hands. I was leery of whether or not the Pencil Grips would fit on this pen, but as you can see, they do. And it makes writing with this super fun pen even more fun. This particular pen writes so smoothly and I was very sad that I couldn't use it much before because it is so darn slippery. But with the Original Pencil Grip, I can write to my heart's content and a) my hand doesn't get tired and b) the pen stays where I need it to stay (namely, in my hand!). (Pencil Grips: 3, Raye: 1)

Verdict: Pencil Grips are a clear winner. They are comfortable, provide correct positioning of your fingers for both left or right hand writers and fit many different sizes of writing instrument. The Original Grip is my favorite because of its sleek design but all three of the grips are great. Even my left-handed husband took one to use for work and loves how it helps him have a better handle on his writing tool.

I'm pleased to announce that Pencil Grips would like to give you the opportunity to try their grips too!

1 comment:

  1. I have some kiddos this year who have been complaining about their hands hurting after writing - I'm imagining it's all about the grip. Thanks for the opportunity to win! :)