Beyond the Size

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Fountain Pen

Fountain Pen

Nib Sizes: How They Affect Your

Writing Experience

Have you ever wondered why some fountain pens have a finer or broader line than others? The answer lies in the nib size the small metal piece at the tip of the fountain pen.

In this article, we will discuss the different nib sizes, their effects on writing experience, the materials used, and the anatomy of a fountain pen nib.

Nib Sizes

The most common fountain pen nib sizes are extra-fine, fine, medium, and broad. The extra-fine nib produces the thinnest line and is suitable for small handwriting or intricate drawings such as calligraphy.

A fine nib gives a slightly thicker line than an extra-fine nib. It is a versatile nib size that can be used for everyday writing.

The medium nib produces a medium-sized line that is ideal for everyday writing and note-taking. Lastly, the broad nib produces a thick and bold line, making it a popular choice for signatures and special occasions.

Aside from the common nib sizes, Japanese fountain pens have slightly different sizes. Japanese nibs are known for being finer than Western nibs.

The Japanese nib sizes are extra-fine, fine, and medium. With the extra-fine nib being the thinnest, fine being thicker than extra-fine, and medium being thicker than fine.

If you prefer a finer nib, a Japanese fountain pen might be the right choice for you.

Writing Experience

The nib size affects the writing experience by determining the ink flow and the thickness of lines. The thinner the nib, the less ink it will deposit on paper, creating a finer line.

On the other hand, a broader nib will deposit more ink, creating a thicker line. If you have small handwriting or like to write in small spaces, an extra-fine or fine nib might be the best choice.

Whereas if you have large handwriting or enjoy making bold statements, a broad nib might be a better option. Additionally, the writing experience is also affected by the writer’s hand pressure and the ink used.

The nib size, along with the ink and hand pressure, all work together to create the final result on paper. Experimenting with different nib sizes, inks, and pressure can help you find the right combination for your writing style.

Materials Used for Nibs

Fountain pen nibs are typically made of steel, gold, or titanium. Steel nibs are the most affordable and commonly found in entry-level fountain pens.

They are durable, easy to produce, and provide a consistent flow of ink. Gold nibs are considered to be a luxury option and are usually found in high-end fountain pens.

Gold nibs are softer and more flexible than steel nibs, making them more responsive to different hand pressures. They also last longer than steel nibs and tend to add a slight sheen to the lines they produce.

Titanium nibs are a newer option and are often found in modern fountain pens. They are strong, lightweight, and have a unique feel on paper.

Anatomy of a Fountain Pen Nib

The fountain pen nib consists of several parts, including the tines, shoulders, breather hole, slit, and tip. The tines are the two prongs that form the tip of the nib.

They spread apart when pressure is applied, allowing ink to flow through the slit and onto the paper. The shoulders are the curved part of the nib that connects the tines to the pen’s body.

The breather hole is a tiny hole located near the base of the nib that allows air to flow in and out for consistent ink flow. The slit is the narrow gap in between the two tines that allow ink to flow through and onto the paper.

Lastly, the tip is the very end of the nib where the ink flows out, creating the final product on paper.


In conclusion, fountain pen nib sizes play a critical role in the writing experience. The size of the nib affects the thickness of the lines, ink flow, and overall writing experience.

Japanese fountain pen nibs differ slightly from Western nibs, offering a unique option for those seeking a finer nib. The materials used for fountain pen nibs also vary, ranging from steel, gold, and titanium, each with its unique properties.

Understanding the anatomy of a fountain pen nib can help you appreciate the artistry of fountain pen design and enhance your writing experience. Choosing the perfect fountain pen is a personal and subjective decision.

With numerous brands, shapes, colors, and prices on the market, it can be overwhelming to pick the pen that best suits your needs. In this article, we will discuss the considerations to make when choosing a fountain pen, recommend the PILOT Metropolitan for beginner calligraphers, and suggest the Waterman fountain pen as a luxurious option for those seeking an upscale choice.

Considerations for Choosing a Fountain Pen

When choosing a fountain pen, there are several key factors to consider: weight, girth, and price. These considerations are subjective and depend on the individual’s preferences and writing style.

Weight – The weight of a fountain pen can affect writing experience. Heavier pens provide more balance and can make it easier to write for extended periods.

However, lighter pens are typically more comfortable to use if you have weaker hands or prefer a lighter touch. Girth – The girth of the fountain pen refers to its thickness or diameter.

Consider the width of the grip, as it can impact the comfort and control of your writing. A thicker grip may be more comfortable to hold but can affect precision, while a thinner grip may offer greater control, allowing for more precision also it can feel uncomfortable in some people’s hands.

Price – Fountain pens’ price range can vary from a few dollars to thousands of dollars, depending on the brand, material, and technology. Keep in mind that a higher price does not always result in better quality or performance.

If you are a beginner, stay within your budget and look for pens that offer good value for money.

Beginner Calligraphers – PILOT Metropolitan

For those interested in calligraphy, a good starting point would be the PILOT Metropolitan fountain pen. It is an affordable, entry-level option that offers exceptional performance relative to its price point.

The PILOT Metropolitan fountain pen comes with a steel nib that provides consistent ink flow and a comfortable grip. It is also lightweight and features a sleek and stylish design.

The PILOT Metropolitan is an excellent choice for those new to the world of fountain pens, as it is easy to use and requires little maintenance. Moreover, it comes in a variety of colors and finishes that let you customize to your preferences.

Upscale Option – Waterman Fountain Pen

If you are looking for a luxurious and elegant option, then the Waterman Fountain Pen is an excellent choice. Waterman is a French brand that has been in business since 1883.

It is known for its quality and timeless design that has been a classic for over a century.

The Waterman Fountain Pen comes in a range of styles and finishes, including gold and silver.

The intricate details and quality of the material make it a piece of art that can be passed down for generations. The pen is made of premium materials such as 18 karat gold and stainless steel, ensuring its durability and longevity.

Furthermore, the Waterman Fountain Pen is equipped with a variety of features such as a smooth consistent flow of ink and a balanced weight distribution that makes it comfortable to write for extended periods. The pen’s fine craftsmanship and attention to detail make it an upscale option for those looking to invest in a high performing and stylish fountain pen.


Choosing a fountain pen is a personal decision that requires careful consideration of your preferences, writing style, and budget. When it comes to weight, girth, and price, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

However, considering these factors will help you narrow down your choices. If you are a beginner looking for a starting point, the PILOT Metropolitan fountain pen is an excellent option.

For those looking for a more luxurious and upscale option, the Waterman Fountain Pen offers unmatched quality and timeless design. In summary, choosing the right fountain pen and nib size is essential to achieve the desired writing experience.

Considerations such as weight, girth, and price play a significant role in making this decision. For beginners, the PILOT Metropolitan is a great place to start, while the Waterman Fountain Pen offers a more luxurious option.

Remember, practicing with different pens and nib sizes and experimenting with ink and pressure can help you find your perfect fountain pen.



What are the most common fountain pen nib sizes? The four most common fountain pen nib sizes are extra-fine, fine, medium, and broad.

2. How does the nib size affect writing experience?

Nib size influences the thickness of the lines, ink flow, and overall writing experience. 3.

What materials are used for fountain pen nibs? Fountain pen nibs can be made of steel, gold, or titanium, each with its unique properties.

4. How do I choose the right fountain pen?

Considerations such as weight, girth, and price are crucial when choosing a fountain pen that best suits your needs. 5.

What is the best fountain pen for beginners? The PILOT Metropolitan is an excellent fountain pen for beginners, offering good value for money and ease of use.

6. What is the most upscale fountain pen on the market?

The Waterman Fountain Pen is an upscale option, offering unmatched quality and timeless design.

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