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Steel Vs 14K Gold Vs 18K Gold - Does It Matter?

gold nibs steel nibs nibs fountain pen nib gold nib steel nib fountain pens

67 replies to this topic

#61 mitto

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 16:06

For me it is gold nibs most of the time. But I also use good steel nibs. But I don't like plated steel nibs. They become ugly when they lose plating with usage.
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#62 Frank66

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 07:35

One true advantage of the gold nibs is in my mind their polish-ability.  By this I mean their ability to be polished to their original color after they have been modified.  This does not hold true for plated steel nibs.  Plus because gold alloys are softer that steel alloys, gold nibs are generally easier to polish too.  Perhaps that is one of the reasons that some professional nib-meisters, when it comes to modifying the body of the nibs, such when they try to add flex to a nib, prefer to work with gold nibs only...

 

Edited based on comment #64 below by Driften, thanks for your input.


Edited by Frank66, 08 August 2017 - 07:31.

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#63 RocketRyan

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 10:14

My opinion on the original question, is that pens with gold nibs often seem to be of better quality. As for writing, that can vary massively.

#64 Driften

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 15:33

One true advantage of the gold nibs is in my mind their polish-ability.  By this I mean their ability to be polished to their original color after they have been modified.  This does not hold true for plated steel nibs.  Plus because gold alloys are softer that steel alloys, gold nibs are generally easier to polish too.  Perhaps that is one of the reasons that some professional nib-meisters prefer to work / modify gold nibs only...

 

nib-meisters normally shape and polish the alloy blob that is welded to the steel or gold part of the nib. They don't normally cut or shape the metal of the nib unless its a flex conversion or repair of a mangled nib. I don't know of a US nib professional that does not work on modern steel nibs, could be some but I think all the big names do. Ones that do: Richard Binder (but retired), Mike Masuyama, John Mottishaw, Dan Smith (Nibsmith), and more. 



#65 tinta

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 21:47

 

nib-meisters normally shape and polish the alloy blob that is welded to the steel or gold part of the nib. They don't normally cut or shape the metal of the nib unless its a flex conversion or repair of a mangled nib. I don't know of a US nib professional that does not work on modern steel nibs, could be some but I think all the big names do. Ones that do: Richard Binder (but retired), Mike Masuyama, John Mottishaw, Dan Smith (Nibsmith), and more. 

If I remember correctly, on John Mottishaw's old nibs.com web site, he clearly stated that he did not favour or work on stainless steel nibs (though he did sell a few Pelikan ss. nib-units).

 

On his latest revised web site, his shop only recommends fountain pen brands that have gold nibs as expressed in the following:

https://www.nibs.com...t-fountain-pens

 

I've had a couple of excellent JoWo stainless stubs ground by Pendleton Brown (no affiliation).  Personally, I do prefer the looks & perhaps the feel of 14K nibs.


Edited by tinta, 07 August 2017 - 22:29.

*Sailor 1911-M, Black/gold, 14c. 0.8 mm. stub(JM) *2 Sailor 1911-M Burgundy/gold pens: 14c. 0.6 mm. "round-nosed" CI (MM) & 1.1 mm. CI (JM) *Sailor Standard sized Brown Marbled Mozaique,(machined acrylic/rhodium),14c. 1.0 mm.CI (JM) *2 Kaweco SPECIAL fountain pens: 14c."M" "B",-0.5 mm & 0.7 mm (BLS) *Kaweco Stainless Steel Lilliput, 14c "B" -0.6 mm. (BLS) *Montblanc 254, 14c. "BB" (1.1 mm?) flügelfeder factory stub

#66 Driften

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 22:30

If I remember correctly, on John Mottishaw's old nibs.com web site, he clearly stated that he did not favour or work on stainless steel nibs (though he did sell a few Pelikan ss. nib-units).

 

On his latest revised web site, his shop only recommends fountain pen brands that have gold nibs expressed in the following:

https://www.nibs.com...t-fountain-pens

 

I've had a couple of excellent JoWo stainless stubs ground by Pendleton Brown.  Personally, I do prefer the looks & perhaps the feel of 14K nibs.

 

 

John sells steel nibs.com (Pelikan M200/M215) on his site with custom grinds.... So it's not that he will not do it. Also many of the brands in his link on best pens also sell steel nibs on some models. Just because he only sells pens with gold nibs (only sells the Pelikan m20x with M400 nibs) could also be seen as wanting to make more money off his sales. He says gold nibs "make a worthwhile investment" not that steel nibs can't be good.

 

After the things you pointed out I am not sure I will be buying from him. I have a mix of steel and gold nibs myself and like them both.



#67 Frank66

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 07:40

 

nib-meisters normally shape and polish the alloy blob that is welded to the steel or gold part of the nib. They don't normally cut or shape the metal of the nib unless its a flex conversion or repair of a mangled nib. I don't know of a US nib professional that does not work on modern steel nibs, could be some but I think all the big names do. Ones that do: Richard Binder (but retired), Mike Masuyama, John Mottishaw, Dan Smith (Nibsmith), and more. 

 

Thanks for your input Driften, I edited my previous post to be more precise:

 

One true advantage of the gold nibs is in my mind their polish-ability.  By this I mean their ability to be polished to their original color after they have been modified.  This does not hold true for plated steel nibs.  An accidental nick on the body of a steel nib can ruin its aesthetics because it is difficult to bring back the gold plating of a nib once it has been tarnished.   Plus because gold alloys are softer that steel alloys, gold nibs are generally easier to polish too.  Perhaps that is one of the reasons that some professional nib-meisters, when it comes to modifying the body of the nibs, such when they try to add flex to a nib, prefer to work with gold nibs only...


- Kaigelu 316 Modification (250 #6 Bock Nib / Beaufort Ink Converter)
- Titanium Bock Nib - Kaigelu 316 - Beaufort Ink

- Bock Rollerball Nib In Jinhao 886 Pen - Beaufort Ink Converter

- No affiliation with pen industry, just a pen hobbyist.

- It matters what you write, only for us it matters what we write it with.


#68 Kevan

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 08:04

I think the revised version on the Nibs.com website is better than what he used to have....something along the lines of "We're not fans of steel nibs.  They don't last as long as gold and aren't as responsive" or something.  I always thought that was an...odd thing to say.  But considering the pen models he focuses on and the prices for which they sell, it makes sense that they should come with gold nibs.

 

For my part, as I said above, the difference between "good steel" and "good gold" isn't that large in terms of writing quality, if what you care about most is just writing.  But these days if I get a steel nib, it either has to be modified, or something unique.  I've become so bored with the endless Jowo and Bock steel nibs on most pens.  I want a different tactile sensation when I write.





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