Fountain pen nib size numbers

Fountain pen nib size numbers DEFAULT

Nib sizing?

Brian Chislett said:

Assuming you want to upgrade kit pen with a higher quality nib, how to you work out the size. Numbers, 5,6,7 etc are often quoted. What do these numbers mean? Is there a chart somewhere giving dimensions?
Cheers
Brian

Click to expand...


This should help you out greatly.

#5 nibs: length: 2.5cm, shoulder width: 7mm, base width: 5mm, fits a 5mm feed

#5.5 nibs: length: 2.6cm, shoulder width: 7mm, base width: 5mm, fits a 5mm feed

#35 nibs (also known as #6 and #12): length: 3.5cm, shoulder width: 9mm, base width: 6.3mm, fits a 6.3mm feed

#8 nibs: length: 2.7cm, shoulder width: 8mm, base width: 6mm, fits a 6.3mm feed

As I have said previous, pen kits use either a #5.5 or a #6. #6 is also know as a #35 or a #12 depending on source.

The majority of commercial fountain pens today uses a #6 nib. There are many who do indeed make their own nib sizes.

 

Sours: https://www.penturners.org/threads/nib-sizing.140380/

Guide to Fountain Pen Nibs: Choosing a Fountain Pen Nib

After tip shape, the tip size of a nib will have the biggest impact on how a fountain pen writes. Larger tip sizes create wide lines suitable for bold writing and showcasing the ink used, but many people prefer smaller tip sizes for everyday writing because they create a line width closer to that of a typical ballpoint or gel pen.

Round nibs typically fall into one of four tip sizes: Extra Fine (EF), Fine (F), Medium (M), and Broad (B). Italic nibs can be sized using the same conventions, or in terms of the actual width of their tips. The most common italic nib sizes are medium italic and 1.1 mm italic, which are generally equivalent.

Just knowing the size of a nib is not enough, however. Japanese fountain pens typically have much smaller tips than non-Japanese or "Western" brands. This is because Japanese writing is much denser and more complex than Western writing, requiring a finer, more precise tip.

The actual line width created by a particular fountain pen can vary depending on a number of factors such as the ink and paper being used, but the following table shows typical line widths that can be expected from most Japanese and Western nibs under normal conditions.

Typical Line Widths for Western and Japanese Fountain Pens

*Because Japanese writing requires finer nibs, broad nibs are uncommon among Japanese fountain pens.

Below are listed some of the major Western and Japanese fountain pen brands. Note that some brands like Ohto and TWSBI are considered Western despite being located in Asia because they source their nibs from European manufacturers that use Western sizing.

*The Platinum Preppy and Plaisir are exceptions. While the Preppy extra fine fountain pen is a Japanese EF, the fine and medium Preppy and Plaisir nibs use Western-sized tips.

Other Effects of Tip Size

Besides the obvious difference of line width, there are other factors to consider when choosing a tip size.

Broader nibs often have higher ink flow than finer nibs, creating both a wider and thicker line of ink. The faster ink flow lubricates the nib to create a smoother, more effortless writing experience. However, it can also make the ink more likely to feather or bleed through lower-quality papers. For more information on selecting fountain pen friendly paper, check out our article here.

Finer nibs, on the other hand, tend to have a more controlled flow, making them more tolerant of varying qualities of paper. Finer nibs are typically not quite as smooth as broader nibs, however, and very fine nibs like Japanese EFs can actually dig into the paper if too much pressure is used.

Pros and Cons of Finer and Broader Nibs
Finer NibsBroader Nibs
Pros
  • More suitable for people with compact writing styles
  • Less likely to require high-quality fountain pen friendly paper
  • Showcases ink better
  • Smoother writing
Cons
  • Can be too wet to use on non fountain pen friendly paper
Sours: https://www.jetpens.com/
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Fountain Pen Nib Size & Replacement Guide

Every fountain pen uses a nib to write with and it is made up of three parts which are the nib, ink feed, and the nib housing. When these three parts are assembled, they are fitted to the bottom end of the pen in what’s known as the nib section.

Many fountain pen nib units are manufacturer specific and cannot be interchanged with other manufacturers fountain pens. However, there are some nib manufacturers whose nibs are interchangeable with different makes of fountain pens. In this guide, we will cover all the main manufacturer’s nibs and nib sizes as well as how to replace the nibs.

Fountain Pen Nib Size and Replacement Guide

1. Nib Manufacturers

In the early days, a lot of the fountain pen brands made their own nibs in house but today that is not the case. The two powerhouses in nib manufacturing are Japan and Germany. Other countries do make nibs such as France and India and it could be argued that China could be considered a powerhouse purely from a volume of manufactured nibs’ point of view.

1.1. Japanese Nib Manufacturers

Japanese Nib Manufacturers

The three main Japanese companies that manufacture nibs are Pilot, Platinum, and Sailor. Although there may are some smaller independent companies such as Nakaya whose craftsmen all previously worked for Platinum.

The Japanese nibs are made in house by each brand which makes them have different characteristics than other brands. It is worth noting that a Japanese medium & broad nib line width is roughly equivalent to a western nib. However, a fine and extra-fine are narrower by about one size. So, a Japanese fine nib line width is more closely related to a western extra fine and their extra-fine nib is a size down from that.

1.2. German Nib Manufacturers

This is where nib manufacturing starts to get interesting like Japan there are German pen brands that make their own fountain pen nibs in house such as Lamy and Pelikan. However, there are two main specialist nib manufacturers who produce nibs that are a standardized size that is used by many different pen brands. Although they also produce custom sizes as well.

Jowo and Bock Nibs Logos

These are Bock and Jowo and are usually known as #5 and #6 nibs. Bock uses a three-digit code to denote size. 250 is their standard size which is equivalent to a Jowo #6 and 180 is their standard size which is equivalent to a Jowo #5. Generally speaking, it is possible if the fountain pen has a friction fit nib then you can swap #5 nibs with other #5 nibs and #6 nibs with other #6 nibs. However, you cannot swap a #5 nib with a #6 nib or vice versa as a #5 nib and feed is a lot slimmer and shorter than a #6 nib.

There is one caveat here “generally speaking” there are some nibs that cannot be swapped even if they are both a #5 or a #6. You can permanently damage your fountain pen if you get it wrong our advice would be to do an internet search for how to swap the nib on your brand and model of pen. Then search a forum such as The Fountain Pen Network. If you cannot find the answer, then ask a question on the Fountain Pen Network and somebody will be able to help you. Alternatively, you can ask a question on the fountain pen sub edit r/fountainpens.

Speaking of Reddit there is a very good subreddit on swapping Jowo #6 nibs that is well worth taking a look at.

2. Chinese Nibs

Chinese No 5 and No 6 Nib Comparison

The fun really starts when it comes to Chinese fountain pen nibs it is a minefield trying to determine who the manufacturer of a nib on most Chinese fountain pens really is. When you throw into the mix that when some German nib manufacturers went out of business their equipment was bought up by Asian companies. So, you will find some Chinese nibs stamped with Iridium point Germany as they have not changed the dies and lets face it it’s not bad from a marketing point of view even though the nib has never seen Germany in its life.

On the plus side #5 nibs are quite common on Chinese pens and usually can be swapped out for a different no 5 nib. However, you will need to do some research first before trying to swap a nib as not every #5 nib will work in every #5 nib pen.

An example of this is a Delike fountain pen nib uses a number 5 nib but the nib is shorter and slimmer so the feed would not work properly if you swapped out the nib. Another example is the Wing Sung 659 & 698 can take a number 5 nib but it is Pilot style nib and feed, so it is not compatible with Bock & Jowo #5 Nibs.

There are also some Chinese pens that take a #6 nib The Jinaho X750 is a very popular inexpensive Chinese fountain pen with a #6 nib. This is often swapped for a German Bock or Jowo replacement nib. Also, a lot of people swap the nib for a Japanese Zebra G Super Flex steel nib which is also a #6 nib and only costs a few dollars.

3. Replacing a Fountain Pen Nib

So how do you replace a fountain pen nib and fit something different to it. Before you go diving in a quick disclaimer removing a fountain pen nib can permanently damage your nib and pen. If you choose to do so it as at your own risk and I cannot be held responsible.

My advice would be to practice on cheaper Chinese fountain pens first and if in any doubt don’t try it out on more expensive pens. Now that’s out of the way nearly all fountain pen nibs can be removed and replaced.

It may be a few years old but Kevin over at Fountain Pen Revolution does a good job of showing how to replace a nib and feed in this video.

3.1. Friction Nibs

You may have already seen people on YouTube simply pulling the nib and feed out of the end of the pen. These are what’s known as friction fit and the best type for swapping your own nib but there are other types that we will go into more detail.

Things to bear in mind is when replacing friction fit nib and feed is that the nib housing may have a small locating groove cut into it so you will need to make sure that the feed is sat in the center of the nib and orientated correctly so that its locating lug will fit in the locating groove of the feed.

It sounds complicated but isn’t too bad when you have the nib and feed out of the nib housing. Hold the nib housing up to the light and you will see if there is a locating groove cut into the wall of the housing.

3.2. Threaded Nibs

Some fountain pens such as Kaweco have a nib and feed that it is pre-assembled in a housing with a threaded end that screws into the barrel. With these types of pens, it is best to swap the complete nib unit as you may not be able to take it further apart without damaging it.

Filed Under: Guides


Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try to keep things fair and balanced to help you make the best choices.

Sours: https://blog.penvibe.com/fountain-pen-nib-size-replacement-guide/
Indian fountain pen nib numbers and sizes - Fountain pen nibs

Fountain Pen Nib Tipping Sizes & Chart

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Nib tipping is the surface area or actual portion of the fountain pen nib that makes contact with paper. It is also the portion of the nib used for writing. With many nibs you can actually see a small amount of material that may look like a bubble on the very end of the nib. Different nib sizes have different widths of tipping material. This width is what we refer to as the nib tipping or size. The larger the surface area of the tipping the broader the line the pen will lay down. Wider nibs such as a broad or stub will have a wider tipping than finer nibs. There is no standard in the industry for what width of the nib tipping constitutes a particular nib size. Different brands have various sizes for the same size nib and even nibs within one brand may vary slightly. For the most part Japanese nibs run finer than their western counterparts.

We have compiled a tipping size chart for the most popular brands we carry to give you an idea of the sizes. This may help you when selecting a nib for a new brand you have not used as you can compare one brand nib size to another.

Fountain Pen Nib Size Chart by Tipping Size

Ultra Extra Fine

Extra Fine

Fine

Medium Fine

Medium

Broad

Stub

Italic

Music

Zoom

ACME Studios

 

 

0.4mm

 

0.5mm

0.8mm

 

 

 

 

Aurora

 

0.3mm

0.4mm

 

0.5mm

0.7mm

0.7mm

1.0mm

 

 

Benu

 

0.3mm

0.4mm

 

0.5mm

0.8mm

 

 

 

 

Caran d'Ache

 

0.3mm

0.4mm

 

0.5mm

0.7mm

 

 

 

 

Conklin

 

0.3mm

0.4mm

 

0.5mm

0.8mm

1.1mm

 

 

 

Diplomat

 

0.3mm

0.4mm

 

0.5mm

0.8mm

 

 

 

 

Ensso

 

0.3mm

0.4mm

 

0.5mm

0.8mm

 

 

 

 

Esterbrook

 

0.3mm

0.4mm

 

0.5mm

0.8mm

1.1mm

 

 

 

Kaweco

 

0.3mm

0.4mm

 

0.5mm

0.8mm

 

1.1mm

 

 

Lamy

 

0.4mm

0.5mm

 

0.6mm

0.9mm

1.1mm

 

 

 

Leonardo Officina Italiana

 

0.3mm

0.4mm

 

0.5mm

0.8mm

1.1mm

 

 

 

LOCLEN

 

0.3mm

0.4mm

 

0.5mm

0.8mm

 

 

 

 

Maiora

 

0.3mm

0.4mm

 

0.5mm

0.8mm

 

 

 

 

Marlen

 

0.3mm

0.4mm

 

0.5mm

0.8mm

 

 

 

 

Montegrappa

 

0.3mm

0.4mm

 

0.5mm

0.8mm

1.0mm

 

 

 

Monteverde

 

0.3mm

0.4mm

 

0.5mm

0.8mm

1.1mm

 

 

 

Namiki

 

0.2mm

0.3mm

 

0.5mm

0.6mm

0.7mm

1.1mm

 

 

Nettuno

 

0.3mm

0.4mm

 

0.5mm

0.8mm

 

 

 

 

Noodlers

 

 

 

 

0.5mm

 

 

 

 

 

Online

 

0.3mm

0.4mm

 

0.5mm

0.8mm

 

 

 

 

Opus 88

 

0.3mm

0.4mm

 

0.5mm

0.8mm

 

 

 

 

Otto Hutt

 

0.3mm

0.4mm

 

0.5mm

0.8mm

 

 

 

 

Parker

 

0.3mm

0.4mm

 

0.6mm

0.8mm

 

1.1mm

 

 

Pelikan

 

0.4mm

0.5mm

 

0.7mm

0.8mm

 

1.4mm

 

 

Pilot

 

0.2mm

0.3mm

 

0.5mm

0.6mm

0.7mm

1.1mm

 

 

Pineider

 

0.3mm

0.4mm

 

0.5mm

0.8mm

 

 

 

 

Pininfarina

 

0.3mm

0.4mm

 

0.5mm

0.8mm

1.1mm

 

 

 

Platinum

0.1mm

0.2mm

0.3mm

 

0.4mm

0.6mm

 

 

1.5mm

 

Porsche Design

 

0.3mm

0.4mm

 

0.5mm

0.8mm

 

 

 

 

Ranga

 

0.3mm

0.4mm

 

0.5mm

0.8mm

1.1mm

 

 

 

Retro 51

 

 

0.4mm

 

0.5mm

0.8mm

 

 

 

 

Sailor

 

0.2mm

0.3mm

0.4mm

0.5mm

0.6mm

 

 

1.2mm

1.0mm

Stipula

 

 

0.4mm

 

0.6mm

0.8mm

 

 

 

 

TWSBI

 

0.3mm

0.4mm

 

0.5mm

0.8mm

1.1mm

 

 

 

Visconti

 

0.3mm

0.4mm

 

0.6mm

0.8mm

 

 

 

 

Waldmann

 

0.3mm

0.4mm

 

0.5mm

0.8mm

 

 

 

 

Waterford

 

 

 

 

0.6mm

 

 

 

 

 

Waterman

 

0.3mm

0.4mm

 

0.6mm

0.8mm

0.9mm

 

 

 

Ystudio

 

0.3mm

0.4mm

 

0.5mm

0.8mm

 

 

 

 


Sours: https://www.penchalet.com/nib_tipping_sizes.aspx

Pen nib size numbers fountain

Nib Tipping Sizes

Guide To Nib Tipping Sizes

"Tipping Size" is a term that refers to the actual writing surface provided by any given nib--the size of the part of the nib that actually comes into contact with the paper. Not surprisingly, nibs on the finer side of the spectrum have the smallest tipping sizes, while broads, stubs, and the like offer the largest--but that still isn't the whole story.

Tipping Sizes On New Nibs Can Vary - Even With Identical Nibs From The Same Manufacturer

The tipping sizes on standard nibs differ from company to company, and even from country to country. The Japanese standard, for instance, is smaller than that used by Italian and German manufacturers. The American company, Bexley, uses a German nib. Pelikan, meanwhile, offers the greatest selection and ease of installation.

The numbers below were acquired through our own micrometer measurements of the tips themselves; they are not intended to specify the written line-widths each would produce, since these will vary due to writing pressure, ink, and paper choice. We have also found that there can often be variations in tipping size between individual, identically-labeled nibs made by the same manufacturer--but the chart below still provides a useful reference point.

Calligraphy Nibs and Vintage Nibs

To avoid any potential confusion, it should be noted that calligraphy nibs use a different and much broader scale than fountain pen nibs. A fountain pen fine, for instance, is much less than half the width of a calligraphy fine.

Most vintage pens, on the other hand, are found with extra-fine and fine nibs. Medium nibs are less common in these pens, and broads are rare. Vintage fine and extra-fine tips are even finer than most points made today.

SIZEAURORABEXLEYCROSSCROSS 125*EBOYAJOWOMONTE-GRAPPANAKAYA / PLATINUMOMASPARKERPELIKANPILOTSAILORSHEAFFERVISCONTIWATERMAN
SABI-TOGI.1mm
XXF.1mm.2mm
XF.3mm.3mm.2mm.2mm.3mm.3mm.2mm.3mm.3mm.4mm.2mm.2mm.3mm.3mm
F.4mm.4mm.4mm.3mm.3mm.4mm.4mm.3mm.4mm.4mm.5mm.3mm.3mm.4mm.4mm.4mm
MF.4mm.4mm
M.5mm.6mm.5mm.4mm.5mm.5mm.5mm.4mm.5mm.6mm.7mm.5mm.5mm.6mm.5mm.6mm
B>.7mm.8mm.6mm.6mm.9mm.8mm.8mm.6mm.8mm.8mm.8mm.6mm.6mm.8mm.8mm.8mm
BB.9mm1.0mm>1.0mm.9mm1.0mm
3B1.1mm1.3mm
MUSIC1.1mm1.0mm1.2mm
STUB.7mm1.1mm1.0mm1.2mm.7mm1.2mm.9mm
FA.3mm
ZOOM1.0mm1.0mm
IT1.0mm1.0mm1.1mm1.4mm
OM & OMR.6mm.8mm.6mm
OB & OBR.9mm1.0mm.8mm
OBB.95mm

*Cross Peerless 125 tipping sizes are different from those on other Cross brand pens 

Sours: https://www.nibs.com/content/nib-tipping-sizes
Nib Sizes and Grinds (Fountain Pen 101)

What do all the different nib sizes mean?

Most pens bought in non-specialist High Street shops will be fitted with a medium (M) nib. Whilst this will suit a lot of people's writing, it won't suit everyone which is why, wherever possible, we offer many choices of nib point size.

Here is a brief description of commonly found nib types (note: most pens have just a few of these options!).

Common nib sizes

  • EF (extra-fine). A nib that will give a line width of around 0.4mm. Suitable for those with very small writing.
     
  • F (fine). A nib that will give a line width of around 0.6mm. Suitable for those with small writing.
     
  • M (medium). A nib that will give a line width of around 0.8mm. Suitable for those with average-size handwriting.
     
  • B (broad or bold). A nib that will give a line width of around 1.0mm. Suitable for those with large writing or for signatures.
     
  • A ("Anfänger" = beginner). A rounded point made by Lamy for the abc and nexx fountain pens, although we can fit this nib to any Lamy pen that takes a steel nib. Designed for beginners and young writers. Between fine and medium in line width.
     

Specialist nib sizes

  • Italic (eg IF, IM, IB, 1.1mm, 1.5mm etc). A nib ground so that the tip is flat instead of rounded and often an untipped steel nib. Designed to give extreme line variation between wide down-strokes and narrow side-strokes in the manner of a calligraphy pen. Often specified in terms of width (in mm). Most factory-produced italic nibs are actually cursive-italics or stubs (see below) meaning the corners of the nib are rounded so allow continuous writing unlike a proper calligraphy nib that requires much greater care. Common designations are: MI or IM (medium italic), 1.1mm, 1.5i etc.
     
  • Stub or ST. A more rounded, gentle version of an italic nib such that good line variation is produced. Like italic nibs, these are usually specified in terms of width (in mm). Less demanding in terms of angle to the page than an italic or stub-italic nib. Often labelled S or ST.
     
  • NP (needlepoint). A very small point to give an extremely fine line. Sometimes referred to as XXF or EEF (extra-extra-fine). Usually only available on Japanese pens (see below).
     
  • BB or 2B or EB (extra-broad). A nib that will give a line width of around 1.2mm. Suitable for those with very large writing or for signatures. Usually gives good line variation. Often called "double-broad" but this can be confusing as the line width is not twice that of a broad nib (from the same manufacturer).
     
  • BBB or 3B or EEB (extra-extra-broad). A nib that will give a line width of around 1.4mm. Will give large flowing lines and good variation between down-strokes (wide) and side-strokes (less wide). Now very uncommon.
     
  • OM, OB etc (oblique medium, oblique broad etc). A nib ground so that the tip slopes to the left, rather like your left foot. Designed for those writers that either rotate the pen anti-clockwise or hold the pen at an unusual angle. Note that oblique nibs do not normally give more line variation than a standard rounded point unless specifically stated otherwise (in other words, they are not italic style nibs). Sometimes incorrectly labelled as "left-handed".
     
  • LH (left-hand, eg Pelikano and Lamy). A medium nib but with the point shaped so that it may be more suited to left-handed writers, particularly those who hold their above the line of writing ("over-writers").
     
  • MK (rounded medium). A special nib that was made by Lamy (no longer available) with a more rounded point such that the orientation of the pen relative to the paper is less critical than a standard point and therefore easier for beginners. The designation is no longer used but the current Lamy medium nib is made to the same specification as the MK.
     
  • Music. A type of stub or italic nib to give the wide variation of line widths necessary for writing music scores.
     
  • Zoom. A special nib made by Sailor that offers many line widths. When used normally it produces a generous broad line. When the pen is raised to increase the angle to the paper, the line becomes narrower. Conversely, when the pen is held at a shallow angle the line is wider. This nib also offers an extra-fine (EF) line when used upside down.
     
  • ROM (reverse-oblique medium etc). A nib ground so that it slopes to the right, rather like your right foot. Sometimes suitable for left-handed people. Sometimes confusingly called right oblique. Very uncommon.
     
  • Fude. A type of Japanese nib that is bent upwards at an angle.  Although designed for oriental calligraphy these nibs are popular with sketchers and illustrators as different line widths can be achieved with the same pen. Usually specified in terms of the angle of the bend in the nib (eg 40 degrees).
     

Finally, there is no standard for nib point sizes. Therefore:

  • It is possible for a pen with a medium nib to be similar to another brand labelled B or F.
  • Many steel nibs have a finer point than the equivalent gold nib. This is certainly true for Pelikan, Lamy (except the Lamy 2000 fountain pen), Edison and Bexley.
  • Generally speaking, Japanese-made pens have finer nibs than American pens which are in turn finer than European pens. However, many nibs are produced in Germany for both European and American pens.

Left handed?

Please see this page for more information.

What if I make the wrong choice?

If your first choice of nib is not quite right we will always change this for you free of charge (subject to availability). There is no need to send the pen off to a distributor or manufacturer you have not dealt with before.


Sours: https://www.thewritingdesk.co.uk/content/what-different-pen-nib-sizes-mean.html

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Fountain Pen Nib Infographic

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Small (500 x 867)

<div><a href=”https://www.penchalet.com/blog/fountain-pen-nib-infographic/”><img src=”https://www.penchalet.com/images/infographics/fountain_pen_nibs_sm.jpg” alt=”Fountain Pen Nib Infographic by Pen Chalet” width=”500″ height=”867″ border=”0″/></a></div> <div>Infographic by <a href=”https://www.penchalet.com/”>Pen Chalet</a></div>

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Details of the Fountain Pen Nib Infographic

When selecting a fountain pen of the most important things to look at is the nib. With all of the choices available with different tip sizes, materials and characteristics this process can be confusing. We created this basic infographic about the fountain pen nib to assist you in your search for the best nib for your needs.

What is a Fountain Pen Nib?

Fountain Pen Nib Infographic - Anatomy

Fountain Pen nibs Anatomy

First, what is a fountain pen nib? The fountain pen nib is the actual part of the pen that makes contact with the paper. It is a tapered piece of metal through which the fountain pen ink flows onto the paper. Refer to the section on nib anatomy for individual parts of the nib. When selecting a fountain pen nib consider the following characteristics.

Tip Size

Nib Tip Sizes

Common Nib Tip Sizes – Extra Fine to Broad

The tip size refers to the width of the tip of the nib. The wider the nib, the wider line the pen will write. The tip size on the nib is one of the biggest characteristics of a nib that will effect how the pens writes. Choosing a tip size depends on what you intend to use the pen for as well as your writing style. Smaller tip sizes are great for everyday use as well as smaller writing. Wider tips are good if you wish to create line variation when writing. Line variation is when one direction of writing is thicker than the other, for instance vertical strokes are wider than horizontal strokes. Line variation is most altered by the tip shape which we will discuss in the next section.

Common fountain pen nib tip sizes include extra fine(EF), fine(F), medium(M), and broad(B). Other sizes include stub(S), italic(I), music(M) and zoom(Z).

Things to consider

  • Narrower nibs tend to be scratchier than broader nibs. Narrower nibs have a sharper tip that lays down less ink and can drag on the paper. Wider nibs have more ink that helps lubricate as the pen writes creating a smoother writing experience.
  • The size designation for Japanese nibs tend to be finer than European or Western brand nibs. When selecting a Japanese pen you may want to select a slightly wider nib.

Tip Shape

The shape of the nib will drastically effect the style of writing. Tips shapes come in either round or square. Round shaped tips can vary in size with wider tips creating wider line thicknesses. Round shaped nibs are best for everyday use and are designated from extra fine to broad.

Square shaped tips, also referred to as italic, stub or calligraphy nibs, are designed to alter the line thickness with the direction the the stroke. Italic nibs are made with sharp edges on the outside of each tine while with a stub nib the outer edges of the tines have a slight rounded edge. This rounded edge creates a smoother writing experience because the edges do not catch the paper. An italic nib will have sharper line edges than a stub nib. Italic nibs vary in width as well typically from 1.1mm to 1.9mm.

Another nib tip shape is an oblique nib. Round and square shaped nibs have equal length tines. An oblique nib will have the tines cut an angle so the outsides edges of the tines are different lengths.

Things to consider

  • What is your writing style and what is your desired output. Is the pen for everyday writing or do you want a little style with your writing?

Nib Material

The material which the nib is made from can effect the writing experience but not as much as the nib shape and size. Most common materials today for nibs are stainless steel and gold. Stainless steel nibs are stiffer than their gold counterparts. Gold nibs are not necessarily better than stainless steel nibs. Many stainless steel nibs are “tipped” with gold, iridium or another metal so the writing tip that makes contact with the paper becomes smoother and comparable to gold.

Things to consider

  • Price. Since gold is a precious metal they cost more than stainless steel.
  • Color does not designate the material. Some stainless steel nibs are gold in color. Look for the designation on the nib.

Nib Flexibility

One of the last features to cover is nib flexibility. This simply means how much the nib bends when pressure is applied. Stiff nibs will bend very little with pressure while a flexible nib is just the opposite. Very flexible nibs are called a wet noodle. As the writer applies pressure the tines on the nib separate creating a wider line and more variation. Fountain pen nibs today mainly have little or no flexibility. Some pens come with soft nibs or with flex nibs such as the Namiki falcon or even more flex with the Pilot Custom 912 with an FA nib.

Overall Nib Size

The nib size refers to the overall size of the nib. This characteristic dos not play much in the performance of the nib other than the larger the nib the more distance there is from the grip to the writing tip. The nib sizes are designed numerically, the most common sizes from  #3 to #15, with larger numbers as the nib increases in size.

Nib Swap

Some brands will sell their fountain pen nibs separately making it possible to swap or change the nib to different sizes and materials. Many however do not allow their nibs to be sold without the pen. Other brands such as Pelikan offer a free nib exchange on their fountain pens within the first 30 days after ordering. If you are unsure of the size and type of nib you want you may consider one of  these options when making your purchase.

Fountain Pen Infographic Conclusion

There are many characteristics of fountain pen nibs but these are the biggest factors to consider when making your choice. Hopefully this fountain pen nib infographic and guide help selecting the right fountain pen nib. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to us and we can help you make the choice that is best for you and your needs.

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