Holding Your Pencil, the Right Way

Holding Your Pencil, the Right Way

Jase Stone, Staff Writer

Everyone holds their pencil differently, but there really is only one right way.

There are many qualities that define a person, whether that be their clothing choices, their personality or how they hold a pencil. It is a little thing, but everyone holds their pencil in their own way.

There are four common ways people can hold a pencil: a Dynamic Tripod Grip, a Lateral Tripod Grip, a Dynamic Quadrupod Grip and lastly, a Lateral Quadrupod Grip. The first Tripod hold is the Dynamic Tripod Grip, the most common way to hold a pencil. In this way to hold a pencil, the pencil lays between the middle finger and the index finger and is held by the thumb at the bottom of the pencil. The next grip is called the Lateral Tripod Grip, the second most common type of grip. The Lateral Tripod Grip is practically the same as the Dynamic Tripod Grip, but the thumb is clamped over the pencil laterally, hence the name.

The Quadrupod holds have the same grips as the Tripod holds. However, the Dynamic and Lateral Quadrupod Grips are based on the pencil laying on the ring finger instead of the middle finger. But every other quality about these grips is the same as the Tripod Holds.

I conducted two polls of ten randomly selected BHS students about what finger they lay their pencil on and the overall rating of their handwriting. The most common finger was the middle finger, with a close second being the ring finger, which makes sense. Coming in third, is using no fingers to lay the pencil on but just pinching the pencil itself with no support from other fingers.

The results with the overall rating for their handwriting was conducted with a rating from 1-10. The most common answer was between six and seven. A rating of ten being the highest and a rating of four being the lowest. The highest ratings came from people using Tripod based holds compared to others using Quadrupod holds or not laying the pencil on any fingers. And there’s a special reason for this.

The Dynamic Tripod Grip is known by elementary teachers and Occupational Therapists as the most efficient and functional grip out of any of them. The article “What does a good pencil grasp look like?” produced by the Occupational Therapy website griffinot.com, explains that using a Dynamic Tripod Grip “provides the most amount of pencil control for the least amount of muscle effort.”

Technically there is no wrong way to hold a pencil; it’s all about whatever is the comfiest and most functional for the writer. However, that doesn’t mean there might not be a right way to hold a pencil, because there is a right way, and that is the Dynamic Tripod Grip.