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Cross nib sizes


Matt

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I'm thinking of getting a Cross townsend pen and was wondering how their nib widths compare to other brands. The only Cross I have is a Solo with a fine nib and it is quite fine.

 

How is the Townsend fine and medium, say compared with Pelikan or Sheaffer nibs (of which I am familiar)?

 

Thanks for any info you can provide.

 

Matt C.

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  • 1 year later...

Hi, I am also looking at getting a Citrine townsend with a xfine or fine nib 18k. Can anyone tell me if these nib sizes are smooth, any problems? This will be my first cross fountainpen.

 

I know some pen companies dont do X-fine nibs very well, and some fines can be very broad. blink.gif

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My limited experience from the pens I've used is that the steel run a little finer than the gold. As for the Solo, mine follows Japanese sizing conventions. As always YMMV.

 

YMMV

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  • 10 years later...

I have the opportunity to buy an Apogee in Frosty Steel fittedwith a M nib, considering that I prefer fine and ef japanese nibs it's a nono for the cross? I was aware that Pilot made some of their nibs so what I should expect' anyone know a reliable source for an xf nib or an alternative nib for that model? (I just love that finish :) )

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I have a number of Cross Townsend pens. Most have gold nibs and all but one of them are medium. Each one is different, both in feel and line width, though that too varies according to the ink and paper. If I use the same ink and paper, the differences are not great, but they are noticeable and show up in my handwriting.

 

What this means is that nibs are not like nuts and bolts (made to exact standards) but will have individual characteristics, even though described as medium.

 

ps - Love them all!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi. The Cross I have is a Fine Century 2. I like to try different brands and compare. I find this nib to be slightly towards the medium range of fine. It is friction fit for cleaning and writes very well. Best, Ron

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I have a made-in-Ireland Townsend which came with a medium nib, which is on the wide side on medium. Last year I ordered a fine nib from Cross, probably made in China unless it was laying around in stock, and is what I'd call extra fine.

fpn_1375035941__postcard_swap.png * * * "Don't neglect to write me several times from different places when you may."
-- John Purdue (1863)

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have two Cross fountain pens. One is several years old and I don't see it on their website, but the closest to it is probably the Classic Century. However, mine is a matte black, not shiny, and has gold-colored trim. The nib is also gold colored, but I'm quite sure it isn't actually a gold nib.

 

My second Cross is new and is a Century II. It is new because I sent in an older one for repair that was similar to my other one except gray instead of black. Since it was no longer made, and evidently couldn't be repaired, they sent me the Century II.

 

Both pens have what they call F nibs, but my older one is much finer than my new one. The one that I sent in for repair also had a fine nib, but wasn't as fine as my older one. I think it is quite odd that nibs from the same company that are labeled as the same size are so different.

~ Cheryl >^..^<

My inks I'm willing to trade: Aurora (Black), Blackstone (Barrier Reef Blue), BunguBox (L'Amant), Callifolio (Violet), Cross (Blue), De Atramentis (Archive Black, Document Violet), Diamine (Ancient Copper, Eau De Nil, Green Umber, Prussian Blue, Sherwood Green, Steel Blue, Twilight), KWZ (Gummiberry), Levenger (Forest), Monteverde (California Teal, Fireopal), Nemosine (Alpha Centauri), Noodler's (Blue Ghost, Bulletproof Black, Lexington Gray, Polar Brown), Parker Quink (Black), Pelikan 4001 (Brilliant Brown, Turquoise), Pelikan Edelstein (Olivine), Pilot Iroshizuku (Ama-Iro, Ku-Jaku, Syo-Ro), Private Reserve (Purple Mojo, Sepia), Robert Oster (Fire & Ice, Lake of Fire, Marine, Soda Pop Blue, Tranquility), Sailor Jentle (Oku-Yama, Souten), Sailor Shikiori (Yodaki), Taccia (Cha), Waterman (Absolute Brown, Harmonious Green, Inspired Blue, Tender Purple).

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@csgebhart

Yes the original Century fountain pens had a much finer nib than todays pens.

I normally use a fine nib, and the Cross F nib in the Century was like an XF or maybe a XXF. I had to look for another pen with a M nib to use.

 

Nib size scale varies over time and as the customer base changes.

Parker US from the 70s had a finer nib scale than the current Parker nibs. My US Parker M nib is like a current Parker F nib.

I understand Lamy is similar. The older nibs is smaller than the current nibs.

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

www.SFPenShow.com

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Also remember that nib sizes are not exact identical in each pen, even from the same line and produced on the same day. Nibs are on a continuum, and the size is on a from-to scale. This scale differs from one brand to another, and even from one penline to another within a brand. An XF could be from .35 to..40mm, an F nib would then be from .41 to .50, and an M from .51 to .65mm. (Given sizes as example, not necessary actual sizes for a given brand)

 

 

A .41 and a .49 mm nib would both be called F but be quite different, while the .41 F would be indistinguishable from the .40 XF.

 

 

 

D.ick

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KEEP SAFE, WEAR A MASK, KEEP A DISTANCE.

Freedom exists by virtue of self limitation.

~

 

 

 

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@csgebhart

Yes the original Century fountain pens had a much finer nib than todays pens.

I normally use a fine nib, and the Cross F nib in the Century was like an XF or maybe a XXF. I had to look for another pen with a M nib to use.

 

Nib size scale varies over time and as the customer base changes.

Parker US from the 70s had a finer nib scale than the current Parker nibs. My US Parker M nib is like a current Parker F nib.

I understand Lamy is similar. The older nibs is smaller than the current nibs.

Well that certainly explains why my older Cross F nib is so much finer than my newer Cross F nib. Thanks for that info.

 

My older Cross has been my favorite for many years, and I still love it. But lately I'm finding I also enjoy a bit broader nib because they show more of the features of ink, such as shading.

~ Cheryl >^..^<

My inks I'm willing to trade: Aurora (Black), Blackstone (Barrier Reef Blue), BunguBox (L'Amant), Callifolio (Violet), Cross (Blue), De Atramentis (Archive Black, Document Violet), Diamine (Ancient Copper, Eau De Nil, Green Umber, Prussian Blue, Sherwood Green, Steel Blue, Twilight), KWZ (Gummiberry), Levenger (Forest), Monteverde (California Teal, Fireopal), Nemosine (Alpha Centauri), Noodler's (Blue Ghost, Bulletproof Black, Lexington Gray, Polar Brown), Parker Quink (Black), Pelikan 4001 (Brilliant Brown, Turquoise), Pelikan Edelstein (Olivine), Pilot Iroshizuku (Ama-Iro, Ku-Jaku, Syo-Ro), Private Reserve (Purple Mojo, Sepia), Robert Oster (Fire & Ice, Lake of Fire, Marine, Soda Pop Blue, Tranquility), Sailor Jentle (Oku-Yama, Souten), Sailor Shikiori (Yodaki), Taccia (Cha), Waterman (Absolute Brown, Harmonious Green, Inspired Blue, Tender Purple).

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Also remember that nib sizes are not exact identical in each pen, even from the same line and produced on the same day. Nibs are on a continuum, and the size is on a from-to scale. This scale differs from one brand to another, and even from one penline to another within a brand. An XF could be from .35 to..40mm, an F nib would then be from .41 to .50, and an M from .51 to .65mm. (Given sizes as example, not necessary actual sizes for a given brand)

 

 

A .41 and a .49 mm nib would both be called F but be quite different, while the .41 F would be indistinguishable from the .40 XF.

 

 

 

D.ick

Interesting. I never thought of it like that, but it makes perfect sense.

~ Cheryl >^..^<

My inks I'm willing to trade: Aurora (Black), Blackstone (Barrier Reef Blue), BunguBox (L'Amant), Callifolio (Violet), Cross (Blue), De Atramentis (Archive Black, Document Violet), Diamine (Ancient Copper, Eau De Nil, Green Umber, Prussian Blue, Sherwood Green, Steel Blue, Twilight), KWZ (Gummiberry), Levenger (Forest), Monteverde (California Teal, Fireopal), Nemosine (Alpha Centauri), Noodler's (Blue Ghost, Bulletproof Black, Lexington Gray, Polar Brown), Parker Quink (Black), Pelikan 4001 (Brilliant Brown, Turquoise), Pelikan Edelstein (Olivine), Pilot Iroshizuku (Ama-Iro, Ku-Jaku, Syo-Ro), Private Reserve (Purple Mojo, Sepia), Robert Oster (Fire & Ice, Lake of Fire, Marine, Soda Pop Blue, Tranquility), Sailor Jentle (Oku-Yama, Souten), Sailor Shikiori (Yodaki), Taccia (Cha), Waterman (Absolute Brown, Harmonious Green, Inspired Blue, Tender Purple).

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  • 6 years later...

I now realize why I like my original Cross Century with an XF nib. It is one of the best I own on cheap spiral notebook paper. Other F size nibs feather but the Cross XF is OK. I heard it was made by Pilot or maybe Pelikan back in the early 80's.

 

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  • 1 month later...

I have a 10-12 year old Cross Townsend bought on sale (so older) at Galeria Kaufhaus, that is a M....and is close enough to any other M I have...but I mainly have semi-vintate'80s-late 90's spring regular flex or vintage late '30's-70 semi-flexes.

 

In I only have one cross I can't say much.

Each company has it's very own standard; so back in the day of One Man One Pen, bought Once in a Decade....you didn't buy some other brand's pen. Your eye was trained to their standeards.

If Parker made a skinny Shaffer nib, why wouldn't you commit heresy and buy a Sheaffer.

Pen companies standards have some overlap as explained above.

So with luck you are with in horseshoes of the width you wanted and marked.

With poorer luck you are hand grenade width away.

 

And it matters much if you started with Western pens or Japanese...those who started with Western know Japanese pens are miss marked one size or more too skinny. Those who started with Japanese know all western nibs are FAT.

 

But the '50-70-'80-late 90's western width which seem 1/2 a width narrower than my few modern gold nibbed Pelikans or my MB Woolf which are fatter than '80's-late 90's semi-vintage.

 

I put my Townsend as normal M in the semi-vintage era...not the perhaps fatter modern...but then again on sale my pen could be 20 or more years older than a new pen bought today.

 

If I'm not bidding in a live auction, I buy in a B&M, where one can test a nib's flex and width.

 

I started when I came back to fountain pen, going wide. Narrow...ie an F or M was bought with the idea they would be place holders until I could get wider of that make and model.....it didn't seem to work.

I do when buying new LE 200's I often go M..........a good nib for classic rough laid or linen effect papers, and a good width to look for two toned shading with.

 I find my Cross Townsend M to be quite M like.

 

 Who knows one day coming of the line it could be M-F, the next B-M...or one could luck out and get an M in the middle of Cross's tolerance. It don't really matter....that is with in horseshoes.

 

 

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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