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Your Favourite Steel Nib

steel nib

64 replies to this topic

#1 sansenri

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 21:21

the question has come to my mind a few times, which are your favourite steel nibs? and why?

Are there some really great steel nibs out there?

 

I usually prefer gold nibs due to their greater degree of springiness (with some notable exceptions especially in more modern nibs) but a few steel nibs deserve my admiration too.

 

The first one that comes to mind is the Pelikan M200 (or 120) steel nib.

I like the M200 nibs in almost all widths from F to B (BB should be nice too but have not managed to get one yet).

I also have an old OM that is really nice.

All of them have this special springiness that's uncommon in steel nibs and that makes me prefer them over any other steel nib.

Only the EF admittedly is not my favourite, slightly scratchy, but then again I'm not really an EF guy...still springy though.

 

Another pleasant recent experience with a steel nib is the B nib on my Momento Zero and Furore.

Very smooth and... slightly springy! I do like that! (some of you had some bad experience with Leonardo nibs, I have not tried the narrower nibs, but my Bs are really great.)

 

Faber Castell steel nibs: I like these for a different reason, in reality they are stiff, but oh, so smooth!

If I had to make a comparison with gold nibs the FC steel nibs would be the Waterman Man100/200 of gold nibs (or Dupont)

 

A few other good steel nibs come to my mind when I think of Stipula, Visconti, Delta. These are likely Bock nibs, made to custom design.

They all usually are very smooth, Stipula and Delta, especially in earlier pens like the Journal, sometimes showing slight springiness.

 

Generally speaking, Bock own branded steel nibs are good (I have several on my Ranga pens), nothing too surprising, slightly stiff, but usually very pleasant and reliable.

 

But are there other really great steel nibs out there that I'm not aware of?

 

(I know some of you will come up with those flex nibs like the zebra G nib, but those are really out of my interest/capabilities of use... I also disregard most of the Chinese nibs, some of them can be smooth, but oh, so stiff...)


Edited by sansenri, 11 February 2020 - 21:49.


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#2 N1003U

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 21:48

Pelikan M2xx Steel nibs are for me consistently smooth and consistent right out of the box.

When they are well-tuned, #6 nibs JoWo nibs are maybe the best steel I have experienced. Out of the box, they are occasionally a bit temperamental.

#3 sansenri

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 21:53

I use Jowo steel nibs too, they are ok, but I feel a huge difference vs Pelikan nibs.

It's not so much a matter of smoothness or consistency. Jowo are much much stiffer! Do you note this too?



#4 Ron Z

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 21:54

I have in my pocket, an Esterbrook Visumaster with a 9668 nib that is the best writer I've encountered.  Better than any major brand, modern or vintage.  Its so sweet its almost sinful.  No, I'm not making this up.  Another one is a 9461 (my favorite Esterbrook nib) that's running a close second.


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#5 Karmachanic

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 21:59

M205 F CI. Because semi-flex. I have 2 Bock steel CI nibs but no longer use them. Because semi-nail. I'd like to try a WWII MB 136.

I've come to prefer much softer nibs, given the choice.


Edited by Karmachanic, 11 February 2020 - 22:00.

"Simplicate and add Lightness."


#6 carlos.q

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 00:09

In my current collection these are my favorite steel nibs:

Pelikan 200/205: EF/F/M/B

Esterbrook: 9668

MB 234 1/2: BB

MB 332: B



#7 essayfaire

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 00:27

Another vote for Pelikan 200 - I was shocked a steel nib could be so smooth.

 

I also am finding I am quite partial to the Esterbrook 9556 that I was lucky enough to win. 

 

Platinum F and M nibs, while not in the same class as the two mentioned above, are the best I've found at lower price points, but I wouldn't call them my favorites overall.


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#8 MuddyWaters

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 09:10

The very inexpensive wing sung EF nib on the 6359 is absolutely great. I also enjoy the Kanwrite flex nib now (Ahab nib) and the delike upturned nib. Never tried the m 200.

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


#9 como

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 10:12

I don't have many steel nibs, and they are modern, from Bock and Jowo. The Stub 1.5mm (friction fit, Bock, I think) on Leonard Furore has tiny bit softness to it. The Jowo #6 nibs on Franklin Christoph, John Twiss are well tuned, smooth but stiff. The steel Jowo 6 nib with Masuyama ground CI is very nice, crisp but not scratchy, very precise. John Sorowka also tuned a Jowo 6 which is excellent. Jowo 6 tend to be good out of box, at least from my experience. I don't have enough Bock steels to comment. Vintage pens sometimes have nice steel nibs with some flex but I still prefer the gold nibs on vintage. I prefer steel the least, in general, due to their stiffness. sansenri, it's good to know that Pelikan's steel nibs are good. I don't have any but I am curious now. Thank you.



#10 hari317

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 10:30

The most enjoyable steel nib that I own currently might be a Degussa OBB given me by Thomas, mounted on a Mercedes Piston pen.

 

Steel nibs have been workhorses for me during my student life. One English Parker 45, the nib of which I managed to wear down to a flat foot by sheer use and a Sheaffer 444 which did not wear at all but the section shell developed cracks. Both pens will still write well for me but have earned their retirement. 

 

Among the present crop of Bock/JoWo/Schmidt generic nib units, I like Schmidt and Bock very much.

 

M200s are very good and regularly find place as replacements for the nibs in my eyedropper pens. My only complaint is that the nibs run narrow. I have some M200 nibs marked BB which write a Mish line.


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#11 RubenDh

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 17:28

I do like the FC Music nib (1.9 stub) as well as the Stipula steel stub (1.1)



#12 N1003U

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 18:06

I use Jowo steel nibs too, they are ok, but I feel a huge difference vs Pelikan nibs.

It's not so much a matter of smoothness or consistency. Jowo are much much stiffer! Do you note this too?

 

Yes, the JoWo nibs seem stiffer to me. I generally write with a very light hand, so I am not sure the difference in stiffness to me is huge (yes the Pelikan nibs are bit more pliable (as I just now pull out both and try them), but both are nice steel nibs. I like a bouncy nib when I am sitting at my desk, but for everyday note-taking, I find using a good, stiff, free-flowing nail works well for me.



#13 Dr.X

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 19:28

I have yet to meet an unmodified Pelikan steel nib I dislike.

 

That said, I prefer EF/F soft flexible or at least soft nib these days. And I detest scratchy nibs.

 

My favorites are a Soenneken S4 and an S6 I own.

 

I also really like my:

-Parker 51

-a 1940s Sheaffer Triumph nib

-a Geha Schullfuller

-modified Noodler’s flex nibs

-FPR ultra-flex nib

-Pilot Elite 95S

 

I like (but don’t love) my:

-Osmiroid italic nibs

-Cross

-Inoxcrom

-UHU Primus

 

Am only “meh” about:

-Most of my Esterbrook and some of my Osmiroid nibs

-BRAUSE Iserlohn 3030 piston-filler

 

And I detest:

-Wearever “Flex” nib. One of the most vile writing experiences I’ve had.

 

This exercise made me pause (briefly) because 90+% of the pens I buy now have gold nibs. I have to stop acquiring…



#14 Joe in Seattle

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 20:54

Rotring 600 F


"how do I know what I think until I write it down?"

#15 SchaumburgSwan

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 21:27

Hi,

 

I have one steel nib, I really like.

A Böhler BB stub made in the 1930s:

 

Boehler_56_BB_03.jpg

 

Boehler_56_BB_01.jpg

 

 

Best

Jens

 


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#16 como

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 21:37

This one is in great shape, no corrosion etc. That ink window is very clear, no ambering. Very nice. congratulations! That's the kind of steel nib I would like to have  :) .

Hi,

 

I have one steel nib, I really like.

A Böhler BB stub made in the 1930s:

 

 

 

Best

Jens

 



#17 MusterMark

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 21:48

I have in my pocket, an Esterbrook Visumaster with a 9668 nib that is the best writer I've encountered.  Better than any major brand, modern or vintage.  Its so sweet its almost sinful.  No, I'm not making this up.  Another one is a 9461 (my favorite Esterbrook nib) that's running a close second.

My Esterbrook 9668 is also a fantastic writer. Hands down my favorite steel nib.



#18 SchaumburgSwan

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 22:06

This one is in great shape, no corrosion etc. That ink window is very clear, no ambering. Very nice. congratulations! That's the kind of steel nib I would like to have  :) .

 

Thanks, Como,

 

yes the celluloid is still in good shape... the piston moves, just the cap doesn't have much grip anymore... so I leave this pen at home.

 

Here a photo of the full pen:

Boehler_56_BB_02.jpg

 

Best

Jens


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#19 ardene

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 22:13

Rotring’s italic nibs.



#20 Tseg

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 22:44

I'm not a big fan of steel nibs, but my Fine Pelikan 120 and Fine Leonardo Momento Zero nibs are particularly good, smooth, wet and springy.  I have a Broad TWSBI in an AL580 that is a smooth, wet workhorse.

 

What I don't like in a steel nib is a high frequency reverberation in hand as it writes.  I'm not sure it is considered "feedback", but just a different feel in hand than I get from my gold nibbed pens that seem more muted/luscious is this regard.  With that said, it may just be psychosomatic snobbery.





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