How to Spin a Pencil: 20 Pen Spinning Tips & Tricks

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There are many ways to impress your classmates, friends, family – and perhaps even a crush at school! Few are as cool as gracefully spinning your pen or pencil, though!

That’s why pen spinning is an excellent back-to-school activity to teach kids! The adults and teens in the house may even want to join in the fun!

However, you may be wondering how exactly to go about learning this skill? Not to worry – these useful spinning tips and tricks will help you to learn the basics of how to spin a pencil.

Follow them, and you should be spinning your pen perfectly before you know it! Just remember to be patient – pen spinning takes plenty of time, persistence, and practice!

Pen Spinning Tips

In This Post:

  • Learning How to Spin a Pencil
  • 16 Pen Spinning Tricks
    • 10 Basic Pen Spinning Tricks For Beginners
    • 3 Hard Pen Spinning Tricks For Intermediate Pen Spinners
    • 3 Complex Pen Spinning Tricks For Advanced Pen Spinners

Learning How to Spin a Pencil

Learning How to Spin a Pencil

Learning how to spin a pencil isn’t the easiest thing to do. But, the best things in life never are! And this is exactly what makes pen spinning moves so impressive and cool!

So, if you don’t get a move right, don’t beat yourself up – keep trying! Much like any coordinated movement, you’ll need to do these moves over and over again to get them perfect!

Who knows? With enough practice, you may even get so good that you can compete in a pen spinning competition one day!

Of course, pen spinning is also a fun ice breaker! You can use your skills to make new friends and impress coworkers and schoolmates later on in life, too!

Tip 1 – Watch Slow Motion Tutorial Videos

The best way to learn the intricate movements of pen spinning is to watch slow-motion tutorial videos. As pen spinning is a swift movement, I find it an effective visual way to learn.

Many professional pen spinners post tutorial videos like this online. In these videos, they cover the basic step-by-step movements of pen spinning tricks with their tips, too.

Tip 2 – Get Acquainted With the Movements

There are plenty of unique pen spinning methods and tricks, some of which I’ll cover below. Start with the basics first, though – you’ll find these easier to grasp – literally!

Each trick has its own finger placements, movements, and eccentricities. So, do stick to mastering one at a time to make the best progress, too.

The good news is that many tricks build onto more complex ones, though. For example, the Sonic, Charge, Thumbaround, and Fingerpass spinning tricks get combined to make others.

So, once you master each of these basic tricks, you’ll be equipped to perform one of these complex variations!

Tip 3 – Practice Makes Perfect!

At first, your hand and finger movements will be clumsy. And, you will surely drop your pencil quite a few times!

That’s ok and completely normal – pen spinning involves complex, graceful, and fast movements. Therefore, it takes and takes time to learn and nurture this skill! 

Your fingers have to learn the moves just like a dancer needs to learn dance moves! Do be persistent – don’t give up if you get frustrated, instead take a break and try again.

It’s advisable to start off spinning with a pencil you don’t prize or a pen or spinning pen, instead! If you drop your favorite pencil, the lead inside will likely shatter.

Tip 4 – Arm Yourself!

These days, you don’t have to settle for any old pencil or pen for practicing pen spinning! Instead, there are a variety of modified spinning pens available designed for this purpose.

Each of these pens has balancers that allow it to spin better than your average pen or pencil. As such, it’s a lot easier to learn how to spin a pencil or pen with these options, too.

Some pen spinning pens have special features, as well! For example, they are usually longer than other pens – some even light up in amazing colors when they spin!

Here are a few excellent affordable pen spinning pens from which to choose!

16 Pen Spinning Tricks

Pen Spinning Tricks

So, you want to know how to spin a pencil? If so, you’ll need to learn a few tricks! Below are my top ten tricks for beginners and a few for intermediate and advanced spinners! 

Learn these tricks, and you’ll never be without a conversation starter again! I have covered most of the basic moves; however, these aren’t all of them. 

There are tons more tricks to try out or even adapt once you’re more adept! When you feel comfortable doing the basics, you can advance to them.

Don’t worry if you’re left-handed, either – you can also do these tricks. Use your dominant hand, reversing the spins’ direction mentioned in the instructions below to adapt to them.

10 Basic Pen Spinning Tricks For Beginners

At this point, I’m guessing you have very little to no experience with pen spinning. That’s ok – everyone has to start somewhere!

These basic pen spinning tricks are the perfect way to begin learning how to spin a pencil or pen. Don’t forget to look up slow-motion tutorial videos to get the hang of the movements, too!

Trick #1 – The Thumbaround

This basic pen spinning trick involves spinning your pen in a 360° arc around your thumb. To start, hold the pen or pencil on its lightest side with your thumb, index finger, and middle finger.

Lower your middle finger out of the way of the trajectory of the pen. Then, release your index finger, pushing your pen or pencil anti-clockwise around your thumb.

Trick #2 – The Charge

The Charge trick involves flipping your pen or pencil in an arc between your middle and ring fingers. Though it looks flashy, it’s quite a simple movement.

To start, place your pen or pencil between these fingers, with its end supported by your thumb. Then, move your thumb out the way and press your middle, and ring fingers together to spin it.

Trick #3 – The Backaround or Indexaround

The Background trick is very similar to the Thumbaround in that you’re spinning your pen in a 360° arc. However, you’re doing so over your index finger, not your thumb!

To start, hold your pen or pencil as you would for writing – pressed between your thumb, index, and middle fingers. Then, release it from your thumb, curl your middle finger, and spin!

Tip #4 – The Sonic

The Sonic is a slightly more tricky pen spinning trick. It involves spinning your pen or pencil over your ring or middle finger, moving it from one finger slot to the next.

Place your pen or pencil between your pinky and ring or ring and middle fingers for this trick. Then, move either your ring or middle finger out the way while flipping the pen or pencil over it. 

Trick #5 – The Fingerpass

The Fingerpass is a slightly more complex move akin to a drumstick spin. It involves spinning your pen over your fingers, moving between your pinky, ring, middle, and index finger gaps.

To start, place your pen between your pinky and ring finger. Then, spin it from one finger gap to the other, pressing the finger you want it to go in the direction of palm-wards on each turn.

Trick #6 – The Thumbaround Reverse

This trick builds on the Thumbaround, so you’ll need to be confident performing it to do this trick! You can combine it with the regular Thumbaround to make a Thumbaround Harmonic, too!

To start, hold the pen or pencil where it would be when the regular Thumbaround ends – at the tip. Then, move your index finger out of the way and spin the pen or pencil clockwise.

Trick #7 – The Wiper

The Wiper is another simple trick to try. It involves spinning your pen in a 180° arc with your index finger and thumb, just like a windscreen wiper!

To begin, place your pen or pencil pointing up to the sky with the tip between these fingers. Then, flip it downwards gracefully without dropping it, so it points to the ground. 

Tip #8 – The Triangle Pass

The Triangle Pass is another basic pen spinning trick that is perfect for beginners. It involves spinning your pen or pencil in a 360° arc using your thumb, index, and middle fingers.

To start, hold your pen or pencil delicately like a single flower between these fingers. 

Then, curl your index finger in and push your pen counter-clockwise with it to spin it, repeating with your other fingers.

Trick #9 – The Half Tap and Full Tap

These beginner-friendly pen spinning tricks are ones to try when learning how to spin a pencil! They involve “tapping” your pen or pencil to spin it onto your thumb – or in a complete arc over it.

To start, balance the tip of your pen on the thumb-ward tip of your middle finger. The end of your pen or pencil should sit in the depression between your index finger and thumb.

Place the tip of your index finger on the pen, moving your thumb slightly under it. Then, tap the pen with your index finger, spinning it 360° over your thumb or landing it half-way at 180°.

Trick #10 – Neosonic

The Neosonic is a pen spinning trick similar to the Sonic – so you should be able to make this move first! It involves flipping your pen over your index finger to land between it and your thumb.

To begin, hold your pen or pencil as if writing with it – wedged between your middle and index fingers. Then, move your thumb out the way and use your other fingers to spin it clockwise over.

3 Hard Pen Spinning Tricks For Intermediate Pen Spinners

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s introduce you to some more complicated tricks! These are perfect for trying out once you know how to spin a pencil and have built up skills and dexterity.

Trick #1 – The Shadow

This intermediate trick is a bit harder to perform than most. Therefore, it is also advised to use a modified pen spinning pen to perform it.

To begin, place your pen, lightest side in, in the gap between your pinky, ring, middle, or index fingers. Any of these is fine to start – you can also move the pen between them during the trick.

Drop your left-most finger downwards while raising the right-most up to spin the pen anti-clockwise over it. The pen or pencil should land back in the same gap between your fingers.

Trick #2 – The Twisted Sonic

This trick builds on your Sonic skills, so do practice it before attempting the Twisted Sonic! Knowing the Charge trick is beneficial, too, as it also forms part of this trick.

To start, place your pen between your middle and ring fingers as you would for the Charge or Sonic trick. Then, do a Charge, but curl your index finger in to catch your pen at the end of it.

This movement is done instead of catching it with your thumb as you typically would at the end of a Charge. So, you end up sandwiching the pen between your fingers mid-trick instead.

Finally, curl your ring finger in, press your middle towards your palm, and push your index out. This will make your pen or pencil flip, pointing outwards between your index and middle fingers.

Trick #3 – The Infinity

The Infinity is similar to the Wiper basic in that it involves spinning your pen point-out. However, to start, hold your pen between your thumb and index finger like you want to write with it.

Spin it over your index finger anti-clockwise, intersecting and catching it between your index and middle fingers. 

Then, do another 360° anti-clockwise arc and finish in the trick’s starting position.

3 Complex Pen Spinning Tricks For Advanced Pen Spinners

So, you know how to spin a pencil like a pro? If so, try out these advanced moves – or give them a go just for the fun of it!

Trick #1 – The Fingerpass Reverse

The Fingerpass Reverse is just that – the reverse movement of the basic Fingerpass trick! With this move, you’ll be able to continue to spin your pen once it reaches your pinky or index gaps.

To start, do the Fingerpass, moving your pen between multiple gaps. You can go from your index/middle finger gap to your pinky/ring finger gap, or vice versa.

When you reach the last gap, spin your pen or pencil around. But, catch it with your middle or ring finger instead of flipping it over your pinky or index like you would for the Fingerpass. 

Your pen should continue to spin anti-clockwise during the whole maneuver, no matter the direction it’s going. This is a cool trick to do continuously back and forth once you get it.

Trick #2 – The Double Charge

The Double Charge is an impressive hybrid looped trick that looks like two Charges. It can be done continuously for any space of time and combines a palm-up Twisted Sonic and a Pass.

However, the pen goes under, not over your index finger, during this trick. During it, the pen or pencil also spins back and forth between your index/middle and middle/ring finger gaps.

To begin, place your pen or pencil between your thumb, index, and middle fingers like you’re going to write. Drop and spin it 360° in between your middle and ring finger gap. 

Then, flip it between your index and middle finger gap, repeat the spin, send it back down, and so on. It’s a mesmerizing trick that will have spectators wondering what just happened!

Trick #3 – The Sonic Moonwalk

The Sonic Moonwalk is definitely one of the more impressive and complex tricks to perform. Much like Michael Jackson’s Moonwalk dance, the movements of this trick are 100% hypnotic.

As such, it’s one to definitely add to your arsenal! To start, wedge your pen or pencil in between your index and middle fingers, placing your hand palm up. 

Do a Charge, but connect your index and ring fingers to transfer the pen over your middle finger. Then, transfer it like you would for a Charge 13 to your next middle/ring finger slot.


Learning a new trick like pen spinning isn’t always easy, but it can be very rewarding! Hopefully, this post has helped introduce you to the basics of how to spin a pencil.

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