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Jowo Vs Bock Vs Schmidt Nibs - Is There Really An Important Difference?


markh

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In replacing a steel nib with a steel nib (so the feed is unchanged) is there likely to be any performance difference between the brands??

 

thnx,

Edited by markh

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Yes! Each has a different feel. Personally, I like Bock the most. They're springy and provide a tactile feel without being scratchy. The JoWo nibs I've used were smooth, but stiff and even numb. FWIW, Kaweco sources their nibs from Bock, and I think they're some of the best available.

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Currently trying to sell a Pelikan M400 White Tortoise. PM if you're interested. :)

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I would say that there is, indeed, a difference--a huge difference.

 

Tuning nibs, I've run across many nibs, some proprietary to the brand, some sourced from JoWo, Bock, Schmidt. As far as the sourced, non proprietary nibs go, JoWo is definitely the best. There is the occasional JoWo that has to be beat into submission, but it is quite rare. On the other hand, Bock and Schmidt nibs, more often than not, have to be worked with much more intensely and longer before producing a satisfactory result.

 

When I do a "pen hack" I always use the JoWo. It says something--to me, anyway--that Edison uses them, Richard Binder chose them for his "Gate City Pens," Bexley uses them, and many others. Of course, your mileage, and preferences, may vary.

 

Blessings,

 

Tim

Tim Girdler Pens  (Nib Tuning; Custom Nib Grinding; New & Vintage Pen Sales)
The Fountain Pen: An elegant instrument for a more civilized age.
I Write With: Any one of my assortment of Parker "51"s or Vacumatics

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I suspect people will correct me if I am wrong, but it's my understanding that Schmidt do not make their own nibs, and buy them in to a specification from whichever manufacturer will make them at the price they are willing to pay.

 

Bock & JoWo do make their nibs.

I have never had a complaint with a JoWo nib, and use them myself in my own home made custom pens and kit pens I sell. Also have an OEM JoWo in my Onoto Magna Classic.

I have had difficulty with every Bock nib I have tried. OK, I've not tried many - just a replacement nib in a TWSBI and the OEM nib in my FPN Stipula Etruria. The Etruria was unusable when I got it, and the TWSBI is irritating in the way it doesn't work all the time because the italic flats are not ground in a straight line.

 

From that sample of 2 Bock nibs, I've had a 100% failure rate, and a 0% failure rate in about 90 JoWo nibs. That does say something significant.

 

Regards,

 

Richard.

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Doesn't Jowo make nibs for several different pen companies? (ie: I *think* but not 100% certain, that they made Monteverde's Nibs as well as Goulet's), and if so when they do, do their sizes/effect/performance/etc vary from re-branding to re-branding (ie: different formula, etc for each client).

 

Though there was this post from : https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/254164-pens-use-nibs-from-which-manufacturer/?p=2800761

 

Here at F-C we start with JoWo nibs. We get them in disassembled. We do a proprietary treatment to the feeds and nibs, and assemble, test and tune -building them for each pen order, the parts going under the microscope 2-3 times in the process. That's for the factory nib options.

For the Masuyama nibs, he takes our factory nibs and custom grinds, tests and tune them. We review again before shipping.

 

Bock and JoWo are both high quality nib makers. But a lot of the performance depends on what else is done to them and how they are set and tuned (if at all) when matched with a pen.

 

Off the top of my head - Ancora in Italy used to make their own nibs, but not sure that they do now. The same for Aurora but I believe they recently stopped. Pelikan and Montblanc both make a show of making their own nibs - but I've seen the machines in the nib factories that also make theirs. MB may be making more than they used to now. Lamy makes their own nibs. Most of all other major European and American brands use JoWo or Bock. Many of them have custom designs, shapes, etc that are proprietary and have dedicated machines within the nib factories. Schmidt does not make nibs, but have the same specs and order from both JoWo and Bock, so it is impossible to tell from which manufacturer they came. The choice of feed matched well to a nib design is very important.

When you get over to Asia - Platinum, Pilot and Sailor all have nib making capabilities. Whether they outsource some to each other is kept quiet. Then of course there are some Chinese and Indian nib makers which you can find on lower end pens.

 

Nib making is complex and expensive to the point of being most feasible by a few companies that specialize in it.

 

Scott F.

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I've always had greater success with JoWo nibs. I'm referring to nibs out of the box - not tuned by a nibmeister. The quality seems to be higher. Also, many of the pen companies that I prefer use JoWo nibs.

Franklin-Christoph, Italix, and Pilot pens are the best!
Iroshizuku, Diamine, and Waterman inks are my favorites!

Apica, Rhodia, and Clairefontaine make great paper!

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The JoWo nib I have is very hard, it's smooth for an EF but still hard. The Bock nibs in my Kaweco pens are softer, the EF nibs can even get a little line variation, I find them just as smooth but like the cushioning effect the little spring gives.

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I you are switching one steel nib for another, switching brands may cause problems. Sizes are not standard across brands and the feed of one brand may not fit well with a different brand.

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It's also worth adding Knox to the mix here. I got a couple K35 Knox B nibs from xfountainpens and have found them to be very nice. Slightly stubby, a bit springy, and the tine gap allows for generous ink flow. There is also Nemosine. I'm not sure whether Knox and Nemosine make their own nibs, but I've had a good experience with Knox and have heard really good things about Nemosine.

 

The Knox K35 seems to be exactly the same size as a JoWo #6. Both require a 6mm feed diameter.

- - -

 

Currently trying to sell a Pelikan M400 White Tortoise. PM if you're interested. :)

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Also have an OEM JoWo in my Onoto Magna Classic.

Richard, as far as I have seen so far, and per the example of the modern Onoto that I have, they appear to use the FH452 nib unit from Schmidt with their proprietary nib imprint of course. Does your pen have a different nib unit, can you pls share a pic for the curious minded.

 

Thanks!

In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

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Hari, it's the other way round.

Schmidt use the JoWo #12 nib unit and re-number it according to their own system. I have got a new JoWo #12 nib unit to put into custom pens from John Sorowka, and the shape is identical to the Onoto OEM nib & feed unit. Furthermore, John (who grinds all the Onoto non standard nibs) says Onoto use JoWo. I suspect he is a bit of an authority.

 

Regards,

 

Richard

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Oddly, in that I collect German pens...I don't have a single JoWo nib.

I do have a few vintage Bock nibs in semi-flex in gold and steel. Have some in regular flex too.

In reference to P. T. Barnum; to advise for free is foolish, ........busybodies are ill liked by both factions.

 

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 

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Hari, it's the other way round.

Schmidt use the JoWo #12 nib unit and re-number it according to their own system. I have got a new JoWo #12 nib unit to put into custom pens from John Sorowka, and the shape is identical to the Onoto OEM nib & feed unit. Furthermore, John (who grinds all the Onoto non standard nibs) says Onoto use JoWo. I suspect he is a bit of an authority.

 

Regards,

 

Richard

ok. what i mean is that the Jowo for e.g. available from Meisternibs and the ones available from Schmidt (in the case of Onoto as per your word) have different housings. The Onoto uses the nib unit (housing) from Schmidt and they (Schmidt) might be sourcing the nib part alone from JoWo as per the word of the authority which I am prepared to accept.

 

Thanks!

Edited by hari317

In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

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FWIW, I have used nibs from all the three sources. Namely Bock(Several examples), Schmidt (allegedly not a manufacturer just a nib rebrander) and JoWo (Meisternibs)

 

IMHO, I feel that apart from purely the nib, the quality of the feeder, robustness of the housing and the mechanism that anchors the converter to the nib housing's end are also very important factors to consider.

 

From this point of view, I feel the Schmidt housing is the most robust(little chance of nib-feed misalignment, tight grip afforded by crimped metal sleeve) followed by the Bock housing, the converter is held by the nib unit, in both makes, both by the centre nozzle and by the additional circumference walls around the nozzle.

 

In the case of JoWo/WIN(meisternibs), there is only the nozzle's OD to grip the converter/cartridge, the pen maker has to provide additional gripping features for the outer walls of converter lip in the section design.

 

Just my thoughts on the matter.

In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

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  • 2 months later...

Bock is the most used but there are several grades of bock so not all bock nibs are equal

Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time

 

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Oddly, in that I collect German pens...I don't have a single JoWo nib.

I do have a few vintage Bock nibs in semi-flex in gold and steel. Have some in regular flex too.

 

Odd indeed. I've cycled past their hometown a couple of times during my weekend cycling trips, and I never knew they were located on the Bergstrasse until I looked it up!

I'm not sure which company made the nib on my TWSBI 580. But I don't like it. It simply doesn't give me any writing pleasure. :(

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I've driven past the Bock factory often, it's huge. A big factory. As big as or bigger than Lamy. I'd say bigger than Lamy.

 

Heidelberg use to be the fountain pen capitol of the world. Lamy, (the real-high quality) Reform, Herlitz, Luxor, Kaweco, Mercedes, Osmia, Faber Castell,,,many others including a large third tier factory that eventually also made the1745 Reform..

 

Rupp who started making nibs in the '20's-Degussa who took over Osmia's nib factory in '32. Both made nibs until @ 1970

In reference to P. T. Barnum; to advise for free is foolish, ........busybodies are ill liked by both factions.

 

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 

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