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What Is Your Ideal Nib?

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23 replies to this topic

#1 Eric_H

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 10:11

What is your ideal nib?
Mine would be a EF 21k flex nib with some feedback,lesser-moderate wetness, and preferably No.9 sized.
What would a nib like this cost,and are there nibs like this out there?
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#2 jar

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 11:43


I don't have an ideal nib and can't imagine any unique nib that would be "The Ideal Nib" to the exclusion of all others.  There are too many other factors that go into the experience including the paper, the actual task, the ink, the other factors like the pen itself...

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#3 Mech-for-i

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 12:16

No such exist, a EF cannot write broad as a stub, a M cannot do Extra fine writing, gold does not equate smoothness, and smoothness always come with a price of lacking positive feedback. There are different kind of nib simply because there is different writing / drawing / illustrating need and one size do not fit all



#4 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 12:59

What are you going to use the nib for?

For shading ink a springy nice riding 'true' regular flex nib is on the whole better than a wetter stubbish semi-flex or maxi-semi-flex nib.

For line variation with out having to work at it...I like semi&maxi.

 

Stubs and Cursive Italic nibs are 100% line variation always. Semi&Maxi are line variation on demand.

 

If you alternate Stub and Cursive Italic, then there is only @ 45 different width and flex of nibs to be had.

 

What do you want the nib to do?...........What are your limitations? Someone new to fountain pens is normally heavy handed......so should avoid Super flex..........more than likely maxi-semi-flex also.

 

What papers are you using? What inks. It really IMO is limiting to have just supersaturated vivid inks....one needs inks that shade, inks that have sheen which is rather new to inks.....and the newest is Glitter ink.

I can not see glitter inks in a EF, nor do I have eyes good enough to see shading ink in EF. Nor would I....waste my money having a stub or CI in EF.

Do you want super skinny, miss marked printing nibs from Japan :rolleyes: or properly sized for cursive Euro and US nibs. :happyberet:

 

Did I mention each company has it's own standards of nib width...even the so called milometer nibs of .08/1.0/1.2 and so on. In the tolerance/slop....a Skinny M can = exactly a Fat F. The next company will overlap that by half...or a 1/4th....in the nib widths were set back in the day of the corner pen store....with feed back from the customers. That was in the Day of One Man, One Pen, so Parker made a thicker nib, than Sheaffer. In a pen was bought only every 7-10 years, having it's own standard prevented Parker's customers from making a ghastly mistake of buying a Sheaffer by mistake...if they both had the exact same standard.

I suggest not getting OCD on width....real skinny, skinny, middle, wide and real wide works fine. Even in the same company, on the same size a nib can be '1/2' a size off from the next.

 

Then paper and wet or dry ink makes them wider or narrower. :P

 

I do like shading inks and find the disrespected 'true' regular flex M to be as good if not better than a regular flex F...for shading. It could be the B is a tad wet, so might drown the shading....depending on the ink and paper. :D

 

I suggest for first pens; a nail EF in you don't want the line getting wider and a B...in it's fat and sassy. Either a Pelikan 200 or a nice semi-vintage or vintage pen in 'true' regular flex. In F&M.

Start with the two nails....then the two 'true' regular flex..............for the fifth pen a 140 or a Geha 790. The latter two are to be posted, in then they have great balance.

 

Of course if you lock your self into the Large Pen only room****.................. :( :unsure: :crybaby: :wallbash:

You only need the nails you are going to get. 4, B, M, F, EF would be enough to last a live time....No!! six...add BB and XXF.

 

 

***not counting the thin Sheaffer Snorkel...which has a grand balance posted. Come in nail, regular flex and rare '50's semi-flex. :happyberet:


Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 13 August 2017 - 13:13.

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.

 

 

 


#5 s_t_e_v_e

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 16:53

MY ideal nib is a Visconti 14k large nib which isn't available anymore. I have a medium and a broad and both are excellent.

A close second is the pelikan M80x nib. I have a fine and it writes wider than many medium nibs I have.

In both cases I believe the feed is very well designed to regulate ink flow perfectly. So the feed plays a vital role in making those nibs ideal for me.

#6 Meltemi

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 18:30

14k, superflex nib, elongated or in a Platinum "tubular" style. Needlepoint and with a river feed. Slim, ideally.


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#7 max dog

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 18:44

The vintage Waterman No 2 Ideal flex nib that I have on my Waterman's 52V is quite ideal for me.

Just wish I could transfer it to a modern fountain pen body with a piston filler so I can carry it around everywhere.  The fragile 90 years old hard rubber body the nib currently resides in forces this pen to be used and admired at home only.

 

My other two runner up ideal nibs are:

Montblanc 146 18K EF with slight architect character

Pilot custom 74 14K SFM (soft fine medium) nib


Edited by max dog, 13 August 2017 - 18:46.


#8 pajaro

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 19:07

The vintage Waterman No 2 Ideal flex nib that I have on my Waterman's 52V is quite ideal for me.

Just wish I could transfer it to a modern fountain pen body with a piston filler so I can carry it around everywhere.  The fragile 90 years old hard rubber body the nib currently resides in forces this pen to be used and admired at home only.

 

My other two runner up ideal nibs are:

Montblanc 146 18K EF with slight architect character

Pilot custom 74 14K SFM (soft fine medium) nib

 

I was going to resac an old Waterman pen with a flexy nib, when I burned the barrel.  I pulled the nib and found it said "2 A" near the base.  I put this nib in a Waterman Laureat I with a corroded nib.  The Laureat or a similar pen might work for you.


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#9 pajaro

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 19:20

What are you going to use the nib for?

For shading ink a springy nice riding 'true' regular flex nib is on the whole better than a wetter stubbish semi-flex or maxi-semi-flex nib.

For line variation with out having to work at it...I like semi&maxi.

 

Stubs and Cursive Italic nibs are 100% line variation always. Semi&Maxi are line variation on demand.

 

If you alternate Stub and Cursive Italic, then there is only @ 45 different width and flex of nibs to be had.

 

What do you want the nib to do?...........What are your limitations? Someone new to fountain pens is normally heavy handed......so should avoid Super flex..........more than likely maxi-semi-flex also.

 

What papers are you using? What inks. It really IMO is limiting to have just supersaturated vivid inks....one needs inks that shade, inks that have sheen which is rather new to inks.....and the newest is Glitter ink.

I can not see glitter inks in a EF, nor do I have eyes good enough to see shading ink in EF. Nor would I....waste my money having a stub or CI in EF.

Do you want super skinny, miss marked printing nibs from Japan :rolleyes: or properly sized for cursive Euro and US nibs. :happyberet:

 

Did I mention each company has it's own standards of nib width...even the so called milometer nibs of .08/1.0/1.2 and so on. In the tolerance/slop....a Skinny M can = exactly a Fat F. The next company will overlap that by half...or a 1/4th....in the nib widths were set back in the day of the corner pen store....with feed back from the customers. That was in the Day of One Man, One Pen, so Parker made a thicker nib, than Sheaffer. In a pen was bought only every 7-10 years, having it's own standard prevented Parker's customers from making a ghastly mistake of buying a Sheaffer by mistake...if they both had the exact same standard.

I suggest not getting OCD on width....real skinny, skinny, middle, wide and real wide works fine. Even in the same company, on the same size a nib can be '1/2' a size off from the next.

 

Then paper and wet or dry ink makes them wider or narrower. :P

 

I do like shading inks and find the disrespected 'true' regular flex M to be as good if not better than a regular flex F...for shading. It could be the B is a tad wet, so might drown the shading....depending on the ink and paper. :D

 

I suggest for first pens; a nail EF in you don't want the line getting wider and a B...in it's fat and sassy. Either a Pelikan 200 or a nice semi-vintage or vintage pen in 'true' regular flex. In F&M.

Start with the two nails....then the two 'true' regular flex..............for the fifth pen a 140 or a Geha 790. The latter two are to be posted, in then they have great balance.

 

Of course if you lock your self into the Large Pen only room****.................. :( :unsure: :crybaby: :wallbash:

You only need the nails you are going to get. 4, B, M, F, EF would be enough to last a live time....No!! six...add BB and XXF.

 

 

***not counting the thin Sheaffer Snorkel...which has a grand balance posted. Come in nail, regular flex and rare '50's semi-flex. :happyberet:

 

I have considered this post at length.  I think it is the real deal.

 

Not everyone will be interested in flexible writing.  I have tried it, and that convinced me I have trouble walking and chewing gum at the same time.  It's a skill that takes talent and effort.  I can read short pieces of flexible writing, but a longer passage gives me a headache, but just looking at it is OK, and it is beautiful.


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They took the blue from the skies and the pretty girls' eyes and a touch of Old Glory too . . .


#10 ENewton

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 02:00

I am delighted with the nib on my Parker Victory.   It is soft and wet, yet capable of producing a fine line.



#11 zaddick

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 04:49

What is your ideal nib?
Mine would be a EF 21k flex nib with some feedback,lesser-moderate wetness, and preferably No.9 sized.
What would a nib like this cost,and are there nibs like this out there?


Really your only close option is a Sailor King of Pen nib with some to modify it to add flex, like Masuyama. That's pretty much is what you asked for. 21K is likely to be a Japanese nib and the Sailor nibs are the only ones in terms #9 size. The new Pilot Urushi with a #30 nib is similar in size but I don't know the gold content.

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#12 NinthSphere

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 04:53

I don't have an ideal nib and can't imagine any unique nib that would be "The Ideal Nib" to the exclusion of all others.  There are too many other factors that go into the experience including the paper, the actual task, the ink, the other factors like the pen itself...

 

Exactly this, as far as I'm concerned.



#13 alexander_k

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 05:07

Ideal nib, ideal pen, ideal ink ... Like many of the posters above (Bo Bo Olsen sums it up in an admirable manner, as usually), I've come to realize the variation of circumstance and purpose, and appreciate the wide availability of solutions (yet more reasons for having too many pens and inks and ... ). I can happily spend hours writing with a pen one day only to find it mildly disappointing the next one. Over the years I've developed no firm preferences, only considerable interest in some kinds and sizes. 

 

As for the original question, zaddick points to the right direction: go Japanese and you can't go wrong. The only thing I would add to that advise is that one might also consider titanium as an alternative to 21k. 



#14 max dog

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 10:40

 
I was going to resac an old Waterman pen with a flexy nib, when I burned the barrel.  I pulled the nib and found it said "2 A" near the base.  I put this nib in a Waterman Laureat I with a corroded nib.  The Laureat or a similar pen might work for you.

Thanks for the suggestion of the Laureat. Will keep that in mind. My 52 is in need of re-sacing too but I am worried the section and barrel might not survive a disassembly. Will see what happens.

Edited by max dog, 14 August 2017 - 10:41.


#15 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 12:23

If a printer....Japanese is designed for a tiny short stroke printing script. If you want skinny..........if you print, then Japanese is the only way to fly.

 

If you write cursive the US and Euro nibs are designed for the long strokes of cursive and semi-vintage and vintage are @ 1/2 a width narrower than modern. If one wants there are springier nibs with more character than modern, semi&vintage nibs are the way to go.  (Also top of the line pens are very affordable....some are even cheap!!! :thumbup: )

If you insist on 'butter smooth" at all costs, there are very many fat and blobby modern nail and semi-nail nibs..................that will make nice stubs and Cursive Italic nibs when you get bored with characterless nibs made for ball point barbarian.

 

Outside of the Pelikan 200, it appears the bottom line is to make sure ball point barbarians don't make pretzels out of the nibs, so nails and semi-nail are the nib of the companies choice. Thankfully we have the used market to hunt other once fashionable nib flexes.

 

To save money a steel nail or semi-nail will buy you lots of inks and good to better paper.

Nail is nail gold or steel.

Some folks IMO think gold nibs are automatically softer than steel. I think they might be comparing a gold semi-nail (like a P-75) to a steel nail... :bunny01: ....................or are believing a myth they read. Belief will move mountains or convince the user of the fabled soft gold nail.... :lticaptd:

 

 

There more posts a year than one would expect with folks asking how to get rid of 'butter smooth'. Having been use to old style ball points and finally this year looking at gel & hybrid ball point pens, I come to understand the search for 'butter smooth' at all costs more.

 

I do have a few butter smooth nibs (a nib to be wary of on slick paper), some toothy nibs ((often not for laid (not for skinny nibs either)  or linen effect paper))  and most are in the middle, 'good&smooth'. 

 

As mentioned, your taste will change....some times daily. I was once a semi-flex snob :rolleyes: , lately just often I like a 'true' regular flex nib just as much...especially if I'm using shading inks.

 

I remember as a 'noobie' thinking twelve pens would be enough. :lticaptd:

When I had 20, I was still sort of ignorant of nibs.............still am with over 70 pens.........but levels of ignorance decreases somewhat over the years.

 

Once I learned something new here every day, then every week....now only every month.....

I still consider my self a paper noobie, with in or about 40 papers. There I'm on the learn something new every day still.

I'm behind the moon, with the new sheen, and glitter inks.

There is always something to learn....and here it's fun....there are no tests.

 

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Nor the pen of the month. :P ............................The pen of the month and a half club is twice as good a pen than from pen of the month club. :happyberet:

Pen of the Quarter will get you a top of the line pen/nib, and you will know exactly what you have and why.

 

Remember LA was not built in a Day....so take your time.

 

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Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 14 August 2017 - 12:34.

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.

 

 

 


#16 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 12:45

21 k, is reputed to be a mushy nib, that bends and stays bent easy. From my reading 'soft' nibs, 21/18 K and even the Japanese 14 K 'soft' nibs are refereed to as mushy by user's with different experience in nibs.

After reading how mushy those nibs are, never had the desire to have one.

 

18 K....at least the modern are also if not a nail, not as robust as a 14 K nib 'true' regular flex or semi-flex nibs. Such 18K as the semi-flex 1000's nib....need a writer with a very light Hand....it to bedns and stays bent easy with a ham fisted writer. 

 

A 'run of the mill' '50-60's  14K German semi-flex can survive a ham fisted writer.....Ie me. After three months my Hand was lighter.

 

(I did grow up with 'true regular' flex.........not that really matters, in I didn't know my P-75 was a semi-nail until I got here. Back in the Day....we were on the whole real, real ignorant before the net. Clean a Pen???????????? was not in the normal user's vocabulary. Of course that was one ink, only so it flushed when filling...........pre expensive cartridges.


Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 14 August 2017 - 12:47.

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.

 

 

 


#17 Bluey

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 13:07

Similarly to Jar, above, I don't have a favourite nib. Each pen(ie nib, because the nib is the essence of the pen) that I buy is distinct from all the rest; each nib has their own character and personality and is bought specifically for that aim.


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#18 mitto

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 15:37

1) my Pelikan 400 Flexy M nib.
2) my Candian Parker Vacumatic 1st generation BBB flexible stub nib.
3) my conklin cushion stub flexy nib.
4) my MB 146 double broad stub nib.
5) my Waterman 52 flexy stub nib; and
6) a number of my P51 broad and double broad + stub nibs.
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#19 biancitwo

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 02:49

On any day, I will have several types of nibs. All but one will likely be Pelikan. The mediums, or wider will be italic. The Delta (for now) will have the hard fine nib. The extra fines will all be Pelikan, with some flexible, some less so, and one will be a double holed stiff nib. Each will have a different ink. Most of the inks will be dark, saturated, and well lubricated. I will switch pens many times a day. Sometimes I switch in the middle of a single document. I love the varying looks of nibs, and inks. My favorite would be a broad italic, with Asa Gao ink. But, I must have them all.

#20 siamackz

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 05:53

I assess nibs in terms of their output characteristics, not input variables (gold content, size, shape, etc). This is because there is no real way to definitely say that x y z inputs will yield a certain output. For example - the output of flex cannot reliably be determined by solely the material of the pen (gold or steel). So, I think about what is the output I want. For me, I like nibs that do not flex, that promote better cursive writing, and lay down a 0.7mm line. This output gives me the outcome of my neatest and most attractive handwriting. It doesn't matter how large the nib is, what material its made of, or what nib size is mentioned on its barrel. But, typically, a rigid oblique western medium will do the job :)

Edited by siamackz, 15 August 2017 - 05:56.

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