| | | | |

Pencil Grips–Pros and Cons

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Most kids do not need to use a pencil grip. I rarely recommend having a student use a special grip, and when I do recommend it, it means that the grip really does help.

What are the determining factors for needing a pencil grip?

The student is not able to maintain the proper grip on a pencil once placed, and the student’s grip and or writing is improved with a grip. A grip could also reduce fatigue or reduce pain.

So what do I really think about specific grips? Most therapists have their favorite grip, and reasons for what they like and don’t like. I have my own personal opinions of course which are no better or worse than any other opinion.

I will tell you what I feel are the pros and cons to the different grips and I will start with my favorite pencil grip.

My favorite pencil grip is the The Pencil Grip JUMBO . It is a bulb that goes smaller at the finger area and has indentations for the fingers.

jumbo grip


  • It is large and cushiony
  • the size can help maintain the thumb web space
  • comfortable any way you hold it
  • has leeway for finger position (if you don’t grab it perfectly, it is still comfortable)
  • comfortable (did I say that already?)


  • I can’t think of any except that it may be too big for some people.

The Pencil Grip. It is the same as the jumbo grip, but smaller.

the pencil grip

  • PROS and CONS are the same, except that it probably would not be too big, but too small.

Stetro Pencil Grip. A tiny little grip with indentations that your fingers go in.

stetro grip


  • If you place your fingers properly, your fingers are placed properly


  • I have never met a child that can place or keep their fingers placed properly.
  • I find it uncomfortable

The The Pencil Grip Writing CLAW . 3 rubber cups that slips onto a pencil. The index, middle and thumb slip into the cups to be held in position on the pencil.

the claw grip


  • Can hold fingers in the right position for writing.


  • Uncomfortable for some people to be held in that position (I personally hate the position).
  • Very very limited position

HandiWriter Handwriting Tool. A wrist strap that has a charm to hold in the palm, and a loop to go over the pencil top to hold it in position

handi writer


  • Gives stabilization of the pinky side of the hand
  • Keeps pencil in the web space.


  • Uncomfortable around the wrist
  • Feels restrictive to write with the pencil held back.

Grotto Pencil Grips and The Pencil Grip Crossover Grip. Both have rubber that goes over the front of the grip to keep the fingers from crossing in front of the pencil

grotto gripcrossover grip (2)


  • Keeps fingers from wrapping over the front of the pencil


  • Can feel restrictive and limit needed movement for control

Writing Charms. Toy attached to the pencil to hold in the palm

new writing charms 3 web


  • Helps stabilize the pinky side of the hand
  • leaves only writing fingers available to hold the pencil


  • Confuses kids having the toy dangling from the pencil
  • Can be distracting

Triangular Pencil Grips. Rubber triangle on a pencil



  • Encourages proper finger position


  • None that I can think of

Weighted Pencil. Putting a foam padded weight onto a pencil



  • Makes kids more aware of the pencil in their hand
  • Helps to decrease extra movements in the hand.


  • Does not have an effect on finger placement

Egg Ohs! Handwriting Grips .  This is a large egg shaped grip

egg oh grip


  • Very large, so can be useful for students with very weak hands and difficulty grasping.


  • Too large for most students

Ishy Sail Pencil Grip. A bulky grip that cradles the thumb and finger to maintain finger joint position.


  • very large with support for hyper-mobile joints
  • helps fingers stay in a functional position
  • comfortable
  • even comfortable and functions well when held in an adapted position
  • decreases pain in finger joints
  • good for weak hands


  • May be too big (but comes in 3 sizes)
  • since it cradles the joints, you have less movement of the fingers when writing
  • the silicone texture makes kids want to chew on it


There are a couple of other grips that I have never tried so I don’t have an opinion on them, but I think this is enough of an opinion to start with anyway.

What is your favorite grip, and why?


Looking For More? Try these categories


Fine Motor

Visual Perceptual


Motor Planning

Oral Motor

The following two tabs change content below.
Tonya is a pediatric Occupational Therapist, and loves creating things to work on skills and solve problems.

Latest posts by Therapy Fun Zone (see all)

Similar Posts


  1. Hi Tonya,

    Yes, I agree about the jumbo grip. It supports a hypermobile thumb and finger and should nestle comfortably between them in the webspace. Other pencil grips promote thumb-finger opposition, but don’t provide the support to sustain it.


  2. Hi Tonya,

    Thanks for your review of these pencil grips. I find that the kids who want to use grips are usually not the ones who could benefit! (the regular ed. kids with beautiful handwriting). My favorite is The Pencil Grip, but wish it were a bit less squishy. I’ve had success using the Egg with a child with CP.

    Just wanted to add a con to the Claw: I find that there’re very fragile and the little plastic pieces connecting the cups break easily. Also, in my 15 years of school-based practice I did find one child that really benefitted from a stereo. I was amazed! He always had it on his pencil.


  3. Thanks for this post and I too agree with the pro’s and con’s. I also prefer the pencil grip. I was just wondering how OT’s feel about a thumb wrap tripod grasp and if they try to correct it or see it just as functional as a tripod grasp? At the kindergarten, grade 1 age I will try to correct and promote an open web space. However as kids get older I often feel that a tripod thumb wrap grasp can be just as functional as a tripod grasp with an open web space.

    Also what has been the most successful strategy for regular population students with hypermobile fingers?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.