Pen barrel foam coverings

Question: I am trying to source foam rubber (or other material) tubes that would slip over a pen barrel and thus make it easier to grip. May I ask if anyone can help me please?

Answer 1: When I was a kid, my school had something like that to make pens and pencils easier to hold correctly when we were learning to write. Perhaps you could try an educational supplier.

Answer 2: If they don’t do anything specifically for this, you could try the gas tubing used for bunsen burners etc. There is a make of ballpoint which has a rubber layer on the barrel. I can’t remember what it’s called, though. If the foam is too soft, you may end up gripping more tightly to get the same precision of control (I’m sure I would — I habitually grip such things as pens too hard) which may make it worse.

Answer 3: If you are anywhere near London, The Pentonville Rubber Co, in Pentonville Road, N1 has all sorts of foam plastics, rubber etc. But whether they go down to pen sized, I do not know. But they often make up to requested sizes.

Answer 4: These are commonly available at most book/stationery shops, i.e. Whitcoulls, in New Zealand if that’s any help!

Answer 5: The mail order company ‘Chester Care’ supplies them. They provide devices for disabled people. Sorry, contact details not handy.

Answer 6: I use ladies’ foam hair rollers. You can get them in yellow and blue over here (Canada) as well as pink! I am sure you would have them in UK. Inexpensive, can buy a whole pack, washable…

Answer 7: Most good independent pharmacies have a disability aids catalogue (or a catalogue which has a section for disability aids) which contains these things, and they can order them for you. The Occupational Therapy Department at your local hospital probably sells them ‘over the counter’. I’ve obtained them from both these sources without difficulty. Also, there’s the purpose-made Pilot Dr Grip pen – order from any stationer.

Answer 8: I have a pen with foam covering called a Zebra Jimnie pen. From within the UK you can get the pen from Guilbert Niceday. My workplace got mine for me.

Answer 9: I have just been given a catalogue to look at with a view to finding a way to improve my workstation (progress at last!) and in it there are also writing grips, soft and firm, which come in packs of three – I’m waiting for a price list. The company is ‘Active Sitting’ tel: +44 (0)181-961-4515, freephone: 0808-1006080, fax: +44 (0)181-965-3302, email: sales@activesitting.com, post: Unit 7, Everitt Road, London, NW10 6PL. They do everything for the workstation / desk / telephone.

Answer 10: I’ve never heard of Guilbert Niceday. Do they specialize in pens, or in adaptive equipment?

Answer 11: Having found one of mine, it turns out this is the one I was thinking of. In Cambridge, you can get them from Heffers (who I expect will supply them by mail order too).

Answer 12: Guilbert Niceday is not really a specialist supplier of sorts. They supply general office stationery, furniture and equipment. We use them a lot for supplies for our office. Their details are: Guilbert Niceday Ltd, Guilbert House, Brown Lane West, Leeds, LS12 6NN. Tel: 0113 242 1133, Fax: 0113 242 6247. They probably have offices elsewhere too but this is the main office we use.

Answer 13: Guilbert Niceday are were part of WH Smiths – at least they were before they added the Guilbert part. They are ‘office suppliers’ of all sorts of equipment and have branches in all areas of UK and Europe. If they still are part of Smiths maybe that means that Smiths may be able to help?


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