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






Photo

Best Handwriting Nib For Dip Pens...?

dip pen handwriting

16 replies to this topic

#1 MiracleChild

MiracleChild

    Dipped Only

  • Member - Silver

  • Pip
  • 8 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 11 November 2019 - 09:21

Hello

 

I’ve been using dip pens for handwriting for a very long time now, but I’ve either used whatever nibs the pens came with, if antique, or just picked from whatever nibs came with it if it was a modern calligraphy pen set.

 

I need to get a new one, and I’m trying to think a bit more systematically about nib selection. I handwrite a lot (I hate typing) but my handwriting is rather poor and scribbly, which is one reason I’ve used dip pens for so long - because they force me to slow down a bit and take greater care. I’m certainly no calligrapher.

 

Does anyone have any recommendations for the best nib type for general-purpose handwriting with a dip pen? I need something with a reasonable flow rate and not prone to spatter when writing quickly.
 

Thanks - suggestions much appreciated  :)

 

 



Sponsored Content

#2 Honeybadgers

Honeybadgers

    Museum Piece

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,619 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 11 November 2019 - 10:04

Zebra G, no contest. super consistent, never hard starts, quite smooth, modest flex, cheap, easy to obtain, extremely consistent.


Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#3 AAAndrew

AAAndrew

    (Not so) Wee Timorous Beastie

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,003 posts
  • Location:Durham, NC
  • Flag:

Posted 12 November 2019 - 19:29

It all depends on what you like. There were hundreds of different styles made during the hey day of dip pens. I'm assuming you want a pointed pen. If you're looking for new, then Honeybadger's suggestion is a good one. If vintage, then there are a lot of different ones to choose from. You're in dip pen paradise there in England. More pens were made in Birmingham than anywhere else in the world, by far. And there are a lot still around to choose from. 

 

If you had a choice, and you're just looking for a pen which is easy to write with, I would find a William Mitchell "Fine" "J Pen". The "J Pen" (and everyone made their own version, I just happen to like William Mitchell's the best, though Geo. Hughes made a nice one) was the best selling pen style in England, outside of maybe Gillott's 303. The Medium ones, I find a little large for regular writing, but then I write rather small. If you're a large writer, medium will work. 

 

Look for any of the shoulder pens. They make great every-day writers. I like the Birmingham Education nibs that show up fairly regularly, and inexpensively, on the auction site. If you want no flex, then look for a Manifold pen. They were stiff enough to write through sheets of carbon paper, but their tips were also finished to be smooth since you're putting more pressure on the pen. It's basically a nail, but smooth. 

 

Post Office pens were also meant for lots of different kinds of people to write with, so they are not too flexible, and fairly robust. Also any "spoon" pen or falcon pen is meant to be an everyday writer and should work well. 

 

You can visit my glossary of pen shapes to know what I'm talking about with these shape names. https://thesteelpen....posed-glossary/

 

Unless of course, you're looking for a stub. Then you have to go vintage. Pretty much any of the vintage stubs will be great. They were originally invented to be smooth and to facilitate rapid and continuous writing. I'm particularly fond of the Esterbrook 314, which was made both in the US and in England. 

 

If you show an example of the kind of writing you do now, and if you have had a vintage nib you've liked, I can get very specific for vintage nibs. Modern nibs are more limited in what's available, and the Zebra G is probably the best all-around pen made now.  

 

Glad to hear someone else uses dip nibs for everyday writing. Most of my collection and knowledge is focused on American dip pens, but you can hardly be completely ignorant of British pens if you study this subject for long. 

 

Andrew

 

fpn_1557237114__2018_12_20_example_of_wr



“When the historians of education do equal and exact justice to all who have contributed toward educational progress, they will devote several pages to those revolutionists who invented steel pens and blackboards.” V.T. Thayer, 1928



Check out my Steel Pen Blog


"No one is exempt from talking nonsense; the mistake is to do it solemnly."

-Montaigne


#4 MiracleChild

MiracleChild

    Dipped Only

  • Member - Silver

  • Pip
  • 8 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 13 November 2019 - 12:36

fpn_1573647949__0a78d6b1-c506-46ce-ad79-



#5 MiracleChild

MiracleChild

    Dipped Only

  • Member - Silver

  • Pip
  • 8 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 13 November 2019 - 13:00

Dear Andrew, Honeybadgers,

 

Thanks very much for the suggestions! 
 

I do like the Massag 521, as I said above - it came attached to a Caran d’ache 114 holder that someone got me as a present from a second-hand shop. I managed to work out the make and found some unused ones for sale online, so I’ve been able to order some.

 

I’ll definitely give the Zebra G a go too.



#6 MiracleChild

MiracleChild

    Dipped Only

  • Member - Silver

  • Pip
  • 8 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 13 November 2019 - 13:14

I’m also quite fond of this pen - I use it for marking books in green ink. My parents got it for me from an antique shop; the holder is Edwardian silver, I believe, and needs a thorough polish. I don’t know if you’d be able to identify the nib type....? I’m not sure if it counts as a stub or not, or if it is from the same time as the holder... Thanks!

 

fpn_1573650643__ada1a6cb-50b7-4dea-aa23-


Edited by MiracleChild, 13 November 2019 - 13:17.


#7 AAAndrew

AAAndrew

    (Not so) Wee Timorous Beastie

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,003 posts
  • Location:Durham, NC
  • Flag:

Posted 13 November 2019 - 13:28

that one in the silver holder is a J pen. You can see the "J" just sticking out. That looks like a "J" in medium size. You'd have to pull it out to see the maker.

 

These are great pens and very smooth to write with. The mediums seem more common, and the fine "J" is a little harder to find. 

 

the Massag up above looks like a fairly stiff pen. I like Massag, they're well-made Czech pens. The manifold pens I mentioned before would write like this. I'm not as familiar with the British pens which would be firm like this. I do know the American ones. Esterbrook 322 Inflexible pens would be my preferred ones for this. I made a video showing a selection of the Esterbrook as well as a few other "Inflexible" pens and how they perform. I have posted up on my channel a few other experimental videos of different kinds of pens . Someday I'll add more. 

 



“When the historians of education do equal and exact justice to all who have contributed toward educational progress, they will devote several pages to those revolutionists who invented steel pens and blackboards.” V.T. Thayer, 1928



Check out my Steel Pen Blog


"No one is exempt from talking nonsense; the mistake is to do it solemnly."

-Montaigne


#8 ac12

ac12

    Museum Piece

  • Member - Gold

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

Posted 30 December 2019 - 03:15

G nib is my favorite.

But I've also used the Falcon nibs, and a few others.


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

www.SFPenShow.com


#9 txomsy

txomsy

    Ignoramus maximus

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 909 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 30 December 2019 - 17:04

There are many nibs.

 

But general consensus seems to be that the Zebra G or Nikko G are among the most recommendable for beginners. They are certainlly not as "powerful" as other, more advanced nibs, but hey, it's like any tool: you start with a jigsaw and end up with a chainsaw... Just take it easy and build up at your own pace.



#10 sidthecat

sidthecat

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,152 posts
  • Location:Los Angeles
  • Flag:

Posted 30 December 2019 - 21:11

If you want to go the vintage route, Hicks nibs are rare but worth having. They’re not crazy-flexy but they have a huge sweet spot, which is what you want for handwriting. Check the nibs carefully - a lot of these old dears have been abused...it’s worse than pit bulls.

#11 awa54

awa54

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 248 posts
  • Location:Middlebury, VT
  • Flag:

Posted 31 December 2019 - 02:28

for a dip nib that's less demanding of technique, I'd choose a "bowl pointed" type, rather than a pointed pen.  They won't catch and spit ink on a botched upstroke and can be used on crummy paper without as many issues as pointed nibs.


David-

 

So many restoration projects...


#12 MuddyWaters

MuddyWaters

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,038 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 31 December 2019 - 03:25

My favorite is the Hiro 41. Easy to use, flexible, catches the paper less than zebra but is likely less fine as a result.

Link to a post about ergonomics I made: http://www.fountainp...with/?p=4179072


#13 txomsy

txomsy

    Ignoramus maximus

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 909 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 31 December 2019 - 08:21

OTOH there is always "blunt end" italic writing. Nibs are also somewhat demanding (in that they may also catch on paper), but a lot less.

 

I'll have to try a Hiro 41 one day. Looks interesting.



#14 Stompie

Stompie

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,443 posts
  • Location:Portsmouth, England
  • Flag:

Posted 31 December 2019 - 17:00

I see you are in the UK MiracleChild.

 

If you have access to "The Range" have a look in their Art and Craft section. 

Manuscript pens do a starter pack with dip nibs which gives you about 4 or 5 different types of nibs and a holder. They are all pleasant and easy nibs to write with.

Perhaps once you try those and have more of an idea of what you would prefer to use, you could them make a more informed decision about what nib would suit you better

 

Mitchell and Gillott do mapping pens with a reversible pen holder so you can carry the dip pen around with you. However, a lot of mapping nibs are needle points but they do make some that are smooth and have a little flex just so you can have some sort of variation if you want. The nibs are also cheap as chips!



#15 ENewton

ENewton

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,142 posts

Posted 31 December 2019 - 17:03

The Zebra G is a little stiff for my taste.

 

My favorite nib for writing at a luxurious pace is the Brause Rose, but for carefree writing, I like the Eagle bulb point, which is slightly flexible.  



#16 Ermennda

Ermennda

    NOS (New Old Stock)

  • Member - Silver

  • PipPip
  • 12 posts

Posted 01 January 2020 - 09:02

This may not catch your fancy, but there is the posibility of using a fountain pen nib and feeder in an easy friction fit holder. Ranga pens from India makes some of this in ebonite, although the design is a little bit garish. You can find them in ebay.



#17 AAAndrew

AAAndrew

    (Not so) Wee Timorous Beastie

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,003 posts
  • Location:Durham, NC
  • Flag:

Posted 06 January 2020 - 19:10



This may not catch your fancy, but there is the posibility of using a fountain pen nib and feeder in an easy friction fit holder. Ranga pens from India makes some of this in ebonite, although the design is a little bit garish. You can find them in ebay.

 

 

Same for the vintage Esterbrook Dip-less pens, and there were others. The advantage of these is that the feed holds a huge amount of ink compared to a nib by itself. The disadvantages include, harder to clean, and you can't really get the good flex in one of these as in a vintage steel pen. It's a trade off. 

 

The "bowl pointed" or "oval pointed" or whatever the marketing department decided to call it, are very smooth and easy to write with. They can't make terribly fine lines, but fine enough for regular writing. If I were going to introduce students, for example, to dip pen writing, I would use an Esterbrook 788. They're common as dirt (at least in the US) and easy to use. 

 

Here's what a bowl point or oval point (same concept, different names) looks like up close. The last picture illustrates why these are smooth. The indentation creates a nice, smooth round shape where the pen meets the paper. This is from an Esterbrook 902, but this tip looks the same on all of Esterbrook's "Oval Point" pens.(#143, #145, #668, #787, #788, #789, #789, #802, #805, #902, #905, #968, #968, #987, #988, 5125, 5126)

 

 

fpn_1543454642__est_902_oval_tip_top2.jp

 

fpn_1543454617__est_902_oval_tip_side.jp

 

fpn_1543454666__spencerian_oval_tip_42_b



“When the historians of education do equal and exact justice to all who have contributed toward educational progress, they will devote several pages to those revolutionists who invented steel pens and blackboards.” V.T. Thayer, 1928



Check out my Steel Pen Blog


"No one is exempt from talking nonsense; the mistake is to do it solemnly."

-Montaigne




Reply to this topic



  



Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: dip pen, handwriting



Sponsored Content




|