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Who Makes The Best Nibs Today

pens nibs best pens

72 replies to this topic

#21 tinkerteacher



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Posted 24 March 2015 - 02:14

Thanks max dog for that very informative list, another bit of knowledge to file away somewhere.


As was said, the question is too subjective [and flame/troll worthy].


But ... the one maker I absolutely, positively know that if I pick up one of their pens, it will write well and will put down the line that is stamped on the nib no matter the price point, Pilot/Namiki. That's down to rock solid, magical levels of Q&A though, not how enjoyable their nib will be to use.

Semper Faciens, Semper Discens

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#22 CarlosCaligrafia



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Posted 26 March 2015 - 04:05

It is down luck and personal preference.
For me, Pilot/Namiki has been amazing on all ranges, from cheap MR to the expensive Namiki.

Is also about luck, for example all the Lamys I tried has been awful...
Sheaffer Targa M / Parker 45 M / Sheaffer Imperial M / Parker Arrow
Lamy Vista F / Lamy Safari EF / PELIKAN M400 M Vintage (for sale)
Pilot Custom 74 F / Namiki Falcon SF / Pilot VP M / Pilot Prera / Pilot Metropolitan F M
Sailor Sapporo B / Platinum 3776 BB Stub
Pilot Custom 91 SFM / Pilot Custom 74 Dark Blue B
INSTAGRAM: @carlosoutfocus

#23 Frank C

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Posted 26 March 2015 - 04:46

The majority of (western) nibs are made by Bock or JoWo.  Faber Castell, Pelikan, Omas, Kaweco, Edison, you name it...  Bock and JoWo are comparable, in my opinion.


Montblanc and Aurora are the two up-market manufacturers that come to mind as still making their own nibs.


Generally, I think the Japanese (Sailor, Pilot and Platinum) make better nibs than Bock or JoWo (flame-suit on).



For regular nibs from EF to C to MS: Platinum


I also love the Sailor Speciality multilayer nibs, they have no competition.



For me, the one company who's nibs just can't be beat is Pilot/Namiki. They have gone above and beyond with QA on all their stock nibs. I have multiple Pilot pens that were amazing right out of the box. However, the "best" nib is all about individual needs. While I like really wet writers, you may not, and so on. It all depends on what you're looking for, and your writing style. For a truely personalized feel, bringing it to a nibmeister is the way to go. There are several out there that can make even the most stubborn of nibs glide across the page. I had a particularly stormy relationship with a vintage Indian ebonite pen, and was considering just tucking it into a drawer and forgetting about it. After a small adjustment from Mike Masuyama, that pen is one of my favorites.


TLDR: Out of box, undoubtedly Pilot/Namiki, for the "best" nib, send it to a nibmeister, who can make it the best for you.


I agree that the Japanese nibs are among the best, and that Sailor Multilayer nibs are in a league of their own. 

"One can not waste time worrying about small minds . . . If we were normal, we'd still be using free ball point pens." —Bo Bo Olson "I already own more ink than a rational person can use in a lifetime." —Waski_the_Squirrel
I'm still trying to figure out how to list all my pens down here.

#24 Philosoraptor


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Posted 26 March 2015 - 22:51

My votes go to Pilot and Pelikan. 

"No one can be a great thinker who does not recognize that as a thinker it is his first duty to follow his intellect to whatever conclusions it may lead. Truth gains more even by the errors of one who, with due study, and preparation, thinks for himself, than by the true opinions of those who only hold them because they do not suffer themselves to think." -J.S. Mill, On Liberty

#25 Keyless Works

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Posted 26 March 2015 - 23:08

It's Aurora and Pilot for me followed closely by Platinum.

#26 Precise



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Posted 04 November 2015 - 05:37

I've written here that my Italian nibs are my smoothest because they are slightly flattened where they meet the paper:




More data and photos here:




Since the above, I've purchased a Delta with their "Fusion" nib (Fine).  Once again, Italian is smoothest.  


The flattening can be very slight.  I've started to "Italianize" other pens by slightly flattening them.  The results are stunning!  They float across the paper.



#27 Aurko


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Posted 06 November 2015 - 08:55

For me it has been Sailor followed closely by Pilot. 

#28 TassoBarbasso



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Posted 06 November 2015 - 13:16

Definitely OMAS if you want smoothness; Pilot for variety and reliability. Aurora for those who like more feedback. Lamy in the "steel nib" department. 




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Posted 28 November 2015 - 08:20

To me, the Visconti Smarttouch and Chromium tubular nibs are among the smoothest nibs I've used. Porsche nibs are also very smooth

#30 pen tom

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Posted 29 November 2015 - 18:25

I'd say Pelikan 1000 and Nakaya's soft nib

#31 Hospitalier



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Posted 29 November 2015 - 18:57

I agree that the Japanese nibs are among the best, and that Sailor Multilayer nibs are in a league of their own. 

Sailor - the be all and end all, end of.

#32 Blade Runner

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Posted 29 November 2015 - 20:34

Aurora and Montblanc

Edited by Blade Runner, 29 November 2015 - 20:34.

#33 Drone


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Posted 29 November 2015 - 23:32

The Pilot FA "Falcon" semi-flexible Japanese fine #15 (proprietary size numbering) nib is a good contender for the best modern production fountain pen nib.


Do not confuse this nib with the nib in the Pilot "Elabo" (Japanese market) or "Falcon" (outside Japan market) pen models; which also have semi-flexible nibs. The two nibs are quite different.


Now, if only Pilot would wake-up and make an Ebonite (hard rubber) feed that can keep up with their FA nib!

#34 Sergio 46

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 17:09

The big three japanese : Pilot, Platinum, Sailor lead easily the pack, followed by Lamy and Pelikan.

#35 Christopher Godfrey

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 17:38

@FOUR X FOUR: I am fairly certain that Porsche are not in the nib-making business.  Their nibs may very well be nice and smooth; but I bet you that they came out of either the Bock or the Jowo factory...

#36 Peppers



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Posted 03 December 2015 - 17:49

Pilot!  :D

They make such a lovely nibs. Well engineered and manufactured. High quality and high reliability. Quite beautiful as well.  :wub:

I have dreamt of the day where I am holding a Waterman Carene. Sigh... seems too distant I can only see the fog far away.

#37 FriendAmos



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Posted 04 December 2015 - 00:29



Any other questions?

#38 tragique


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Posted 04 December 2015 - 00:44

Pilot. In my opinion, of course.


I agree, Pilot constantly amazes me.

#39 akustyk


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Posted 04 December 2015 - 01:12

Sailor, for amazing variety and engineering prowess

Aurora, for magic and sheer writing performance

Lamy 2000, for beauty in simplicity

Montblanc, for classy designs, solid performance


Please, visit my website at http://www.acousticpens.com/

#40 pajaro


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Posted 04 December 2015 - 01:23

Montblanc and Pelikan.


If you have sunk big money into something else, that will, of course, be your choice.


Some nibs might seem better if the pen makers paid more attention to finishing the pen.  Heat setting might help in lieu of running a bunch of stuff through machines and slapping the parts together.

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