Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the FPN Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies

Registration on the Fountain Pen Network

Dearest Visitor of the little Fountain Pen Nut house on the digital prairie,

Due to the enormous influx of spammers, it is no longer possible to handle valditions in the traditional way. For registrations we therefore kindly and respectfully request you to send an email with your request to our especially created email address. This email address is register at fountainpennetwork dot com. Please include your desired user name, and after validation we will send you a return email containing the validation key, normally wiithin a week.

Thank you very much in advance!
The FPN Admin Team


Evolving Nib Preference...

nib broad double broad nib size width nibs oblique medium fine extra

  • Please log in to reply
24 replies to this topic

#1 Sach


    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 208 posts
  • Location:London
  • Flag:

Posted 23 December 2013 - 22:34

How has your nib prefer eve changed over the years? I used to buy fine and extra fine nibs exclusively until about seven years ago, when I started getting into broad and upwards. Now, my standard nib is is almost always going to be a stub or cursive italic, and wouldn't bother with anything smaller.

I think larger nibs can be more demanding to use, but also help in maintaining a clear hand. Any thoughts?

Sponsored Content

#2 psfred


    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,132 posts

Posted 31 December 2013 - 02:03

After 45 years or more, still want the finest nib I can write with.  I suspect it won't change at this point.  I can tolerate slightly wider than I used to, but my favorites pens are still those with accountant nibs.



#3 inkstainedruth


    Ancient Artifact

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 19,033 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 31 December 2013 - 04:40

At the moment I'm sort of going the opposite direction (well, mostly -- but the pendulum keeps swinging).  I started out with medium nibs being the way to go, but found that I got more mileage out of F nibs as far as ink usage. 
OTOH, a really light colored ink did much better in a fine italic, which is broader than I'm used to.  But I recently picked up a Sheaffer Snorkel with an EF nib, and finding it, well, interesting....

Okay, I'm a Libra.  And you're asking me to make a *decision*.  Yeah, right, good luck with that.... :P

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

#4 lamylover


    Near Mint

  • Member - Silver

  • PipPipPip
  • 25 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 31 December 2013 - 11:41

For me it has always been a medium nib. Sometimes I need to write in Chinese so I have got one Lamy Safari in EF but most of my many pens still have F and M nibs. One of them is of a B nib because it is very clear to correct papers (i am a teacher).

#5 ncpenfan



  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 149 posts

Posted 31 December 2013 - 11:50

I have gone from broad ci to fine and now want nothing but semi flex fine nibs. I am sure I will continue to evolve.

#6 pmhudepo



  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,531 posts

Posted 31 December 2013 - 13:52

I used a Parker 95 with medium nib for many years. I was pretty wet and smooth, easy to write with. But it also got knocked around a bit during the college years and at some point it started to leak ink, just a little. That didn't look so good at the office.


Next, I bought a Waterman Expert II with a fine nib. What a difference! Much neater, tighter and yet pretty easy to use. This was it. Definitely.


Then I discovered Fountain Pen Network, saw pictures of pens and handwriting. Neat handwriting. Bold handwriting. Flourished handwriting. Italic. Looped. Print. ALL CAPS. tiny. Line variation because of nib shape, or created by varying pressure. And ink. Oh dear... Well, I suppose you know how that story ends: nibs from Japanese XF to German OBB. Most of them used, some of them from the 1950s, 40s or 20s. A great variety.


Here are some of my current favourites:

- neat writing, small, "modern business" or Palmer: Pilot Metal Falcon with soft EF nib, or Montblanc 136 EF steel nib.

- bit bigger, bolder, adding line variation: Montblanc 244G flexible EF nib or Waterman 52 flex F nib.

- notes at work: anything sturdy, fine-to-medium, like Parker Duofold Intl. F nib or Montblanc 149 F or M nib.

- captions, cards etc.: Montblanc 146 OBB nib or TWSBI 580 1.1 stub italic.

- big cards: Pilot Parallel 1.5 and up.

Edited by pmhudepo, 31 December 2013 - 13:55.

journaling / tinkering with pens / sailing / photography / software development

#7 Arts11


    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 895 posts
  • Location:The South, USA

Posted 31 December 2013 - 16:08

(For simplicity's sake, I'm gonna go with Western nib standards, so a Western Fine = Japanese XF, etc.)


Started out with what could be considered a <M-F> nib, but then quickly shifted to a <EF> nib and despite brief forays into <F>, <M>, and some stubs/italics, I seem to inevitably end up back using <EF> nibs. It mainly has to do with my smallish handwriting and how I hold my pens. For all the times I've tried to tweak it, 20 odd years of practice using my atypical grip makes it my default preference for both comfort and speed no matter how long I practice otherwise. At this point, I'm just about ready to concede to it fully, although when I do have the luxury of time, I will use some of my wider-nibbed pens and utilize a "proper" pen grip to write.

#8 DanF



  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,905 posts
  • Location:Spokane, WA
  • Flag:

Posted 31 December 2013 - 21:35

It really depends on what handwriting style I am using - I like a cursive italic or medium to broad standard nib for writing cursive italic or italic, and a Japanese fine for writing monoline Spencerian (Business hand). I used to like wider nibs until I started the Spencerian thing - it just seems to require a fine nib to look right. Were it not for that, I don't think I'd have much use for a fie nib, I like to see more ink on the page. 



"Life is like an analogy" -Anon-

Posted Image

#9 ac12


    Museum Piece

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,535 posts
  • Location:San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA - SFO
  • Flag:

Posted 31 December 2013 - 22:57

I used the old Parker Fine nibs for MANY years, and still do.


I just started being comfortable with the Medium nib, because I am writing in a journal with WIDE ruled paper.  The Medium nib forces me to write larger to fill the space in the wide ruled paper.  So while I still am primarily a Fine nib writer, I will use a Medium nib where I have the additional space for it.


I have been playing around with italic nibs, and used a Lamy 1.1 for my Christmas cards.

I like the effect of an italic nib, that makes my handwriting look more interesting with virtually no additional work on my part.


End result is I am still a Fine nib writer, but I have additional nibs in my tool box to use as appropriate.

One nib size does not fit all uses.

San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California


#10 yogalarva



  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 406 posts
  • Location:Richmond, VA
  • Flag:

Posted 01 January 2014 - 02:13

For me it so depends on the writing I'm doing - if I were to use a pen to take notes or do homework, I need either an EF or EEF, which is why I usually prefer a ballpoint or pencil for that.  But for my "everyday" stuff I am starting to become more fond of broader nibs, especially my Lamy 1.1 which just makes writing fun.  :-)

Fountain pen blog | Personal blog


Current collection: Pilot Vanishing Point, TWSBI Vac 700, Kaweco Al Sport, Lamy Safari, Nemosine Singularity

#11 Baric



  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 453 posts
  • Location:USA

Posted 01 January 2014 - 08:18

Size of nib depends on many factors, but I tend to stick near the fine end of the scale. Broad nibs require a slightly larger hand than I like to be legible. Stubs are another matter, I like those broader as long as they aren't too wet, since my hand uses them along the fine stroke more than the wide stroke.

#12 RMN


    Ancient Artifact

  • FPN Super Moderators

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 14,211 posts
  • Location:the Netherlands
  • Flag:

Posted 01 January 2014 - 12:16

I have tried, and still own most nibsizes, except BB and obliques. I can adapt my script to them, but I get troubles with the broader nibs because of excess ink causing feathering, bleeding and smudging. The finer nibs make my script look a bit scrawny unless I go into micrographia-mode which is not handy for normal writing.


And I try to get an Italic or stub nib where available. And if not available that is sometimes the reason not to buy a pen unless I really really want it...







Freedom exists by virtue of self limitation.





#13 sonorma


    NOS (New Old Stock)

  • Member - Bronze

  • PipPip
  • 22 posts
  • Location:my office
  • Flag:

Posted 01 January 2014 - 12:22

I have started writing with medium nibs. Today I use either a medium stub or an extra fine nib. 

Yet another hobby that is completely out of control...

#14 mikehodgman



  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 307 posts
  • Location:Battle Creek, MI
  • Flag:

Posted 01 January 2014 - 13:57

When i first got into fountain pens, I only wanted the very fine nibs.  I loved the precision feel of a very fine fountain pen.  While I still love these fountain pens, I have evolved to really enjoy medium nibs and stubs.  You can really get more interesting looks out of your inks that way.  No broads yet though!

#15 Blue_Moon


    Pen Quest

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,330 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 01 January 2014 - 14:00

Most of my pens have Medium nibs.  However, I buy Medium non-Italic, Cursive Italic, Stubs, and I'm about to pick up some Broad Stubs and CI's as well.  I don't  care for Extra Fine, and as far as Fines, I usually just use an Eastern Medium which generally is finer than a Western Medium.  However, I must say, the Pilot Falcon (formerly the Namiki Falcon) has me interested in the Fine nib due to the great line variation.

Franklin-Christoph, Italix, and Pilot pens are the best!
Iroshizuku, Diamine, and Waterman inks are my favorites!

Apica, Rhodia, and Clairefontaine make great paper!

#16 mercurius


    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 321 posts
  • Location:UK
  • Flag:

Posted 01 January 2014 - 14:16

I have always tended to use medium nibs. But a curious thing has happened since I started hanging out at this forum.


When I was at primary school in the early 60s I used a Platignum cartridge pen. Then when I went on to grammar school my parents bought me a new FP (think it was a green Parker 45). I have only recently remembered that I struggled initially with that pen because it was a medium blob and it was so different from the italic style of the Platignum.


Eventually, of course, I did get used to it and forgot about the Platignum until very recently I tried out a medium stub on a Parker Flighter. It was like a Proustian moment - the feel of the nib and the effect on my writing reminded me instantly of my old Platignum. It was a very happy reunion. Now I'm looking to have a Pelikan M215 I bought on eBay turned into a medium cursive stub.


So it's never too late to discover new nib loves, or as in my case, re-discovering old ones.

#17 ISW_Kaputnik



  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,767 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 01 January 2014 - 14:37

At first I thought that I'd always want fine or extra fine nibs, as they are practical for writing on any size of paper.  I still make sure that I always have a fine nib available, my Vanishing Point fine is right for just about anything.


I do like, however, to let my handwriting spread out when I can, writing on larger unlined paper.  For that, I've come to appreciate some medium and broad nibs.  Never really gotten into Italics, although I have a few, but one left oblique that I have, an Esterbrook 2442, is very nice.

Edited by ISW_Kaputnik, 01 January 2014 - 14:38.

"So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do." - Benjamin Franklin

#18 georges zaslavsky

georges zaslavsky


  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,078 posts
  • Location:France
  • Flag:

Posted 01 January 2014 - 14:52

For fine, extra fine, medium fine, I only  use vintage Sheaffer because they are true to their size.

Other I use medium, large and stub nibs.

Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time

#19 Bo Bo Olson

Bo Bo Olson

    Pen Dust

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 21,660 posts
  • Location:Germany

Posted 02 January 2014 - 15:27

I had M when I started 'collecting', I went broad....Fines were only because I needed that pen.

Soon I had more Fines than all the rest....so I started using them.

I find regular flex Fines and Mediums give more shading in some inks than wetter Semi-flex or Broads.

Some inks do better with broad nibs.


I don't have a pure favorite...if editing, then a F....if I'm going to be writing on the back of the page, then OB or OBB with some flex.


The problem with editing, is I'm using copy paper that didn't make the cut, even if it is 100g (Avery Zweckform).....It is not the paper for a OBB flexi Pelikan 500, or an English Sheaffer Snorkel flexi stub BB. 

They are different patterns.

Leopard vs Cheetah.

Flexi OF in a 400NN is not bad either.

Got three nice springy '90s Pelikan nibs inked, one M and two Celebries F in both gold and steel.

I only got 14 pens inked instead of the normal 17.


There is always going to be a few grand nibs of this or that width not in rotation, and a few good ones....the ok ones...must be rooted out....another new years and again nothing done....Smoking was given up in the year, but nothing difficult like selling a pen.



German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,


The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.




#20 csacks



  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 95 posts
  • Location:Vińa del Mar, Chile
  • Flag:

Posted 02 January 2014 - 19:21

As many others, I started using M nibs (which is the only nib available in non specialized stores). At the beginning, 30 years ago, I was looking for a smooth pen, it was enough.

Until that expensive day that I discovered the chance to buy FP out of Chile, with customization. After that, I have going from M to B, sometimes to BB, and from round to stub and to italic nibs. At the moment, my "eccentricities"  are: 1,1 stub (TWSBI Vac 700 and 580), a B (also TWSBI, Micasa), a BB (Pelikan 600, customized by J Mottishaw), and a 1,1 stub (FC 29 Bellus, by R Masuyama), and a Music (Platinum 3776). About 8 years ago 1 bought a Pelikan B (M800, customized by Sam Fiorella, from Pendemonium), it was my first cursive italic,and certainly one of my favorites.

I also have a left oblique nib in a Lamy Safari which a delight.

The remaining 30 are regular nibs (Oh God, the OCD is going out of control!!!!!) 

Since I do not have to write long notes, and my hand writing is big enough, I have no problem with broad nibs. As you already noticed, I love them.


Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: nib, broad, double broad, nib size, width, nibs, oblique, medium, fine, extra

Sponsored Content