Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Fine Lines

Given my penchant for Japanese fine nibs, I've been wondering how "fine" a line they actually make and what, if any, difference there might be between them. So I took out a handful of fountain pens, and stated playing with them.

The finest line is without a doubt the Lamy Al-Star extra fine nib. If that's cheating, then the next one looks like the Sailor Regulus fine. One of the wider lines is from the Namiki Falcon II soft fine. I put more flex into the top line as I wanted to see what that would look like, then put in the second line with a much lighter touch.

Pelikan's German nibs actually stack up quite well next to the various Japanese nibs, which surprised me. I thought the Pelikan nibs (and the Edison Huron Bulb Filler with an iridium steel nib) would be much wider, but they all came down fairly even in width.

The biggest surprise is the Monteverde Invincia (Stealth) Color Fusion fountain pen, which has a medium cursive italic nib. The pen looks like it could fly to the moon and back in stealth fashion without being detected, and the rather fine-looking line from this nib kind of proves it. I'm not sure if having it made into a cursive italic took the width off it somehow, but I was expecting a broader line and didn't get one. I'm now curious to see what the Invincia fine would look like next to this group.


  1. I think you would be surprised by the Fine nib on the Pilot 78G, it writes more like an extra-fine. I'm sure you're probably already aware of the pen/nib, but just in case you're not, I thought I'd let you know. :)

  2. Great comparison of fine nibs!

    The MV Invincia Fine is much alike an extra-fine. I love fine points, and the Invincia Fine almost too fine for me.

  3. This is very cool. Thanks for the work. Could you let us know what inks you used? Some of the inks may lay down thicker than others.


  4. ThirdeYe, Tom, I seem to recall the nominal Chinese and Japanese nib sizes are generally regarded as one size smaller than the same Euro and American nib sizes. Japanese fine equals a Euro extra fine, etc.

    Tom: "too fine". I thought I was a heavy (30g on up) pen over a Western medium nib type of dude. Well, yes. But, my Sailor Hi Ace econopen is a Japanese fine (Western extra fine) nib hitched to a featherweight 10g barrel (posted). Feels like you're writing with compressed air. Wunderbar! Sailor and the Duke (or Staedtler-Duke) #962 have persuaded me it's time to move on up.

    Best wishes to Diane and all for Christmas and the New Year! Jack/Y-town