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Exactly How Broad Are Pilot Steel/gold B Nibs?


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I love my Metropolitan's M nib but want something wider that isn't a stub (eg 78G) or italic (eg Plumix) that's a cartridge-converter style (because I'm having fun playing with ink samples).


Since I'm so happy with the Metro nib's smoothness I am considering another Pilot, preferably with a wider section. The least expensive Pilot fountain pens I've found for sale online that feature B nibs are the Lucina with a steel nib and the CH 74 with a gold nib, which I can find shipped for around $50 and $80 respectively.


But here's my question: is it a Japanese B (more akin to a Europpean M) or is it more like a European B?


I ask because I've seen some individual Japanese pens which offer expected Japanese-style nib sizing for narrower nib sizes but then jump into euro-type sizing when they go broader, so I wanted to be sure.



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The general rule is as follows:

Japanese M and wider = Western M and wider

Finer than Japanese M equates to a Western nib just under a size less (eg J F ≈ W EF).


Of course, the above is very general because it also depends a lot on wetness. Make a pen a lot wetter and it goes up a size.

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Thanks. As my original post indicates I know the general rule and also I know that sometimes that guideline falls apart with some broader nibs, which is why I was asking about these two specific pens' B nibs.

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“We could be heroes/Just for one day” ― David Bowie

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I heard most Broads from Japanese Pens are a size down in European pens. My Pilot CH 92 Broad however is pretty broad. It doesn't write like a Medium Jowo, but thicker.


Pen Habit did a review on the C74 and did a good job of comparing and addressing this question about 14 min into the video. I had the same experience with the CH 92 with regards to the size.


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I heard most Broads from Japanese Pens are a size down in European pens. My Pilot CH 92 Broad however is pretty broad.

Yes! That's one of the sources I discovered that found a broader Pilot nib to be closer to European B. Matt first mentions this around 7:20 in that video you linked to.


I really was hoping for a workhorse Pilot with a Euro M nib. This B is not bad though (and is seems a bit less broad than the Jowo B nib I have on my Jinhao).


However, I don't really need a gold nib as a step up from my $11 Metropolitan. (Also, as a lefty overwriter who pushes his nib all over the page, I don't get the full advantage of a gold nib anyway.) So if this is common for Pilot gold B nibs, I just need to see if the same is true for its steel ones (since a less expensive $50 Lucina purchase is more attractive to me for everyday carry).

“We could be heroes/Just for one day” ― David Bowie

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Well... What you may also consider is using Sailor ink. Inks like Kiwa-guro, Sei-Boku, Shigure, Doyou, Miruai, which I can vouch for, are quite lubricated. So lubricated that I have to use a nib size down to use them.


I prefer M European nibs typically with most inks, especially Noodler's, but I prefer Fine European nibs ( and sometimes EF is the nib is good enough) with these sailor inks I have.


The benefit of the Jentle inks in this context is that you can use finer nibs which use less ink, and they also write smaller, which I find more beneficial for EDC. European Medium nibs simply write too wide for me unless it's personal pleasure. But I will say, I love how Kiwa Guro in my Lamy Safari Medium nib still doesn't bleed through at all, even on Mead paper : )


Also Sailor inks are very well behaved, consistent, and good value for what you get...


... But the value has become a problem lately. The interesting Jentle inks that are more affordable have gone up in price... 50ml bottles are now being replaced with 20ml bottles, but sold at the same price if not more.


Just a heads up, some are still available on amazon right now for a descent price:




Otherwise you'd have to go to Andersonpens or Penchalet and pay a little more for some before they run out and your left with the overpriced 20ml bottles of these interesting colors if your interested in them...


Or if you check out Jetpens or vanness1938 you'll see the transition over to those smaller bottles with the same ink labeled as Sailor shikiori.


My other recommendation is a Lamy 2000 Fine nib, which is touted as a "best" workhorse and recommended by everyone practically, though pricey, it's a true workhorse and I love how it's a snap cap, and the nib sizes do run big.


I honestly think you'd like the Pilot Gold nibs. They start off smooth so going down to a Pilot M may not be as bad as you think regardless of the inks you choose. And if you can find inks like Sailor inks that make their Japanese Medium feel like a European Medium, it may be worth a sample at least. Of course I suggest researching how these inks work with those pens and also if they work well on the type of paper you'd be using them on, and also to see which fit your preference. You don't want an ink you don't like.

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Pilot gold nibs for me write very broad. I’ve an e95 M that writes like a Kaweco broad. I had a VP EF that was like a Euro M. It’s a turnoff for me- I’d love that silky gold smoothness with the steel crispness.

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Gold nibs really seem to do little for my lefty overwriting, so I've been thinking of getting a Pilot Lucina with steel B nib as a step up from my Metropolitan's M nib, but my concern is that as with the gold Pilot B nib in the above video (that acted like a European B with PR Spearmint ink) a steel Pilot B nib would also be more like a European B. I already have a Jowo B in a Jinhao pen, and it's broadness is a bit much, and the longer dry times make things difficult for my left hand.


I had to give away a Safari and an LX because the Lamy triangular grip didn't work for me. The nibs seemed okay, but I'm really happy with the nib of the Metropolitan M - the line's just a little reedy (and the section is too small at 8.9mm).


Thus my question: does Pilot jump from Japanese M to Euro B with its steel nibs the same way it seems to (at least in documented cases online) with its gold nibs, or will it be as I hope - more like a European M ? I can't find any reviews of Pilot pens with steel B nibs, and I haven't encountered anyone who's touched a Lucina in B.

“We could be heroes/Just for one day” ― David Bowie

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  • 3 months later...

Generally, as the previous commentators have explained, Japanese nibs are one size smaller than their description indicates in European terms. So a Japanese medium is a European fine. (How the Japanese produce "ultra extra fine" nibs I do not understand, but they must be as thin as the finest needles!)


Pilot nibs, however, may be an exception to this rule. I have the Pilot 72 in medium, the 92 in broad and the 823 in medium. Both mediums write like European fines, but the broad is as broad as any European broad nib I have written with. All three of great quality but I seem to read that Pilot broads are generally what they say they are.


Hope this assists!

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Bo Bo Olson

I don't know about this general rule that Japanese M= western M or B equaling B.

I don't have nor need Japanese pens.


I've seen charts, that show a Japanese M about Western F, and a Japanese B more towards a fat M.

Pilot is skinner than Sailor.


It does matter when the European nib was made, modern is fatter than semi-vintage and vintage by often 1/2 a width. Aurora is the skinny Euro nib....and could be the same width as from earlier eras.


There is one good poster working on modern Parker & Sheaffer nibs as being close to Japanese....if Parker, then Waterman must be also.......in some are made in the same factory in France. I don't remember seeing his final work.

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.

RIP...200's once great nib, now a double ball.:crybaby::wallbash:


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




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Japanese B nibs are a little wider than a western M, but not a lot. But the size steps up hugely when you go to a C, which is a real double broad.

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

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I have two Pilot Vanishing Points with B nibs and there are both somewhere between a typical western M and B.

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