Fountain Pen Nibs Explained

The Nib is very crucial for a fountain pen. There is a wide range of choices with different tips, sizes, materials, and characteristics available for you to choose from. With many options available, it is often confusing to get the best Nib for your fountain pen.

What is a Fountain Nib?

Fountain nib is the actual part of a pen that makes contact with the paper. It is a tapered piece of metal through which the ink flows onto the paper. The Nib should be perfect for getting smooth writing on the paper.

Types of Fountain Pen Nibs

There is a wide range of nibs to choose from for the fountain pens. Some of the types are:
  • Italic or Stub Nib
  • Calligraphic Nibs
  • Left Handed Nibs
  • Music Nibs
  • Fude Nibs
  • Zoom Nibs
  • Flexible or Smooth Nibs
  • Oblique Nibs

Characteristics of Fountain Pen Nibs

When choosing the Nib for your pen, consider these characteristics.

1. Tip Size

The width of the Nib is referred to as the tip size of the Nib. The tip of the Nib is a crucial element that defines your writing. Choosing the tip size depends on how you intend to use the pen. Smaller tip pens are for daily usage and small writings. If you wish to make line variations, then you need to select nibs with a wide tip. Narrow tips tend to be scratchier than the wider tips. Wider tip pens are more lubricating and give an exceptional writing experience.

2. The Shape of the Tip

The shape of the tip is either round or square. Your writing depends on the shape of the tip that you choose for the fountain pen. Round tips can create more elegant lines and are best for everyday use. There is a wide range of shapes in the round tips, designed to create line variations. Square shaped tips referred to as italic or calligraphic tips. These tips are designed to alter the thickness of the lines based on the direction of writing. You can create italic strokes with the help of these nibs and create calligraphic writing.

3. The Material of the Nib

Nib material can affect the writing experience but not that much as the shape and size of the Nib. The most common materials are stainless steel and gold. Many of the stainless steel nibs are tipped with gold, iridium, or other metals to make the writing smoother. Price of the tips. Since gold is more precious, the nibs made of gold are costly. Do not look for the color; see the designation on the Nib because some stainless steel nibs are gold-colored.

4. Nib Flexibility

One of the last and essential features is the flexibility of the nibs. Much pressure is applied to the Nib while writing. We can say that the Nib bends while pressure is applied. Flexible nibs create a wider line and more variations when pressure is applied to the pen.


Nibs are most important for any fountain pen. We have listed the most important things to consider while choosing the Nib for your fountain pen. Do you have any queries related to nibs and how to choose them? We can help. At Buchan's Kerrisdale Stationery stores in Vancouver and Richmond, we stock a wide variety of fountain pens from top brands like Lamy, Parker IM, Visconti, Speedball, etc. Pick your favorite pen instore or shop us online. We ship our products internationally.