The Nib Section

9 - Nibs 101

December 6, 2017

Our hosts tackle your questions about fountain pen nibs - what they are, what we love about them, and why they (sometimes) give us so much trouble.


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The hosts were Diana Dai, Taveet Sinanian, Sharyn Zha and Patrick Antolovich.



02:12—What We Are Writing With

Tav: Visconti Homosapiens Dark Ages, Edelstein Smokey Quartz

Sharyn: Caran d’Ache Hexagonal Carbon Fibre, Sailor Penlux Cobalt Blue

Patrick: Lamy Joy 1.9mm, Bookbinders Red Belly Black

Diana: Aurora Optima Black Pearl EF, Kobe Tao Black


08:27—The Basics

Nib shapes, materials, and the grinds they come in, both the mundane and the exotic.


  • Pictures and writing sample of a Spors glass-nibbed pen at Leigh Reyes’ blog.
  • Sailor Specialty Nibs reference page at
  • Teoh also has great reviews and photos of Sailor specialty nibs at ParkaBlogs.
  • Mike Matteson also has a YouTube video that provides a good overview of the different nib grinds.




38:52—Let’s Talk About Flex, Baby!

A reminder to flex with caution!

David Nishimura’s posts on nibs at The Vintage Pens Blog



TNS now has an Instagram

BYOB Pen Club Podcast


49:16—Nib FAQs

  • How would you make a nib wetter or dryer? (Quentin)
  • Are there people who can retip nibs? (Maria)
  • Have you used any of the Sailor specialty nibs? How easily can we get our hands on them? (Maria)
  • Is the cost of warranty the only thing stopping modern penmakers from making vintage wet noodle nibs? (David Brennan)
  • Which companies should you try before you buy due to QC issues? (Sunelle)
  • Which non-branded nibs would you recommended? And which pens can you swap out the nibs on? (Sunelle) and Greg Minuskin can retip a nib. Despite the mention in the episode, it appears that John Mottishaw no longer offers retipping services over at Classic Fountain Pens.

The Desiderata Pen Company make hand-turned pens that will take a calligraphy dip nib.



Blade Runner (Director’s Cut)

Chuck (NBC)


Edith Rewa



Producers: Diana Dai, Taveet Sinanian, Max Schumacher, Patrick Antolovich, Denise Tang. 

Recording and editing: Patrick Antolovich, Denise Tang.
Music: Michael Pearce.
Logo: Will H. Smith.
Logo artwork: Melissa Graf.

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