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In Fountain Pens

Go With the Glow or with Stainless Steel?

October 21, 2017
Go With the Glow or with Stainless Steel?

Nibs maketh the pen

The last time we spoke about how to go about selecting a fountain pen we could love, we talked about the simple act of using our eyes to settle on a look that caught our attention before moving on to finer points. One finer point being, of course, the nib. This is the part that touches the paper and forms the lines and creates the whole fountain pen-y experience. No nib, no inky line, no impressive signature at the end of a document.

Now here’s the thing. There is a galaxy of nibs to choose from. From plain but hardworking, not to be casually dismissed stainless steel to distinguished soft gold.

The right Nib for you

There are all kinds of nibs, in different tip shapes and grades: round, stub and italic. Unless you’re into calligraphy, round is the one that applies to most of us. If your handwriting is tiny you will want a fine nib. You will keep in mind that Japanese fine nibs are finer than others. If you make thicker strokes you will want a medium grade nib. In general, unless you’re into calligraphy, you won’t need more than a medium grade nib. If you’re just starting out – well, don’t go immediately for gold. You might want a low cost but by no means insignificant stainless steel nib. Once you’re comfortable writing with a fountain pen, go ahead and upgrade. Gold nibs will soon adapt to your writing style and that’s quite a thrilling process to experience. It’s when you feel your pen is truly yours. So, now that you’ve settled on an overall look, focus on the nib type. Try writing with a variety of nibs to figure out which one’s for you. Focus on the hand feel the pen offers and see if you like the lines the nib forms (and this is tricky because a nib takes time to settle down). So now you’re a minor, minor expert on fountain pens. Check out nib types right here and in our next blog we’ll discuss the burning issue of cartridge versus converter.