Ink nib: Pitt Artist Pen bullet nib 1.5 India ink pen, black

Nib Pen- Facts and History of Dip Pens


Dip pen is a writing tool that consists of two parts: a metal point – “nib”, and a handle that holds the nib. Metal nib was made of copper and bronze while
today it is made of steel. It has a slit that leads the ink from a vent hole to the paper and works by a combination of gravity and capillary action.
Handle can be made of plastic, metal, glass and even bone. Dip pen is used for writing and drawing and it does not have its own reservoir for ink. Dip pen
is dipped in an ink bottle or inkwell (action from which it got the name) so it could be used. Some people, on the other hand, fill the dip pen with
eyedropper or a syringe.


Metal nibs date from Ancient Egypt and a copper nib was found in the ruins of Pompei dating from the year 79. These nibs could not replace reed pens and
quills later because of their poor quality.


The Times from 1792 advertised ‘New invented’ metal pens. A metal pen point was patented in 1803 but nothing
came out of it. Bryan Donkin tried to sell his patent for the manufacture of metal pens in 1811 but no one bought it. When the patent expired, in 1822,
John Mitchell of Birmingham started to mass-produce steel pen nibs and their popularity took off. After all, they were better that quills that were used at
the time (and for centuries). They lasted longer than quills, were built uniformly so you didn’t have to get used to every new cut quill and didn’t require
skill to sharpen (because they are not sharpened). Pen nibs were easily made to have different characteristics for different uses. Soon, many other
manufacturers of Birmingham opened their shops for making pen nib. By 1860 there were 1000 of them, big and small. In Germany the first dip pens were made
in 1842 by Heintze & Blanckertz of Berlin. By the 1850s, half of all dip pens were made in Birmingham. They were cheap and easily produced and became
affordable to those that before that could not afford writing tools. This helped the development of education and literacy.


Like we said, nibs are made in different shapes to suit different needs but they mainly made in two styles: broad nibs and pointed nibs. Broad nib, also
called broad-edge or chisel-edge, appeared first of the two. It is stiffer nib and has a flat, wider “point”. When writing, user changes the direction of
the stroke and with that, thin and thick lines. The pointed nib has a sharp point but it also can give thin and thick strokes. Thick strokes are achieved
with stronger pressure on down strokes which spreads “tines” of the nib and leaves more ink on the surface. If nib stands less pressure, tines don’t spread
and nib writes thin line. Except for writing, pointed nibs are used by artists and drafters for sketching, mapping and technical drawing.


For writing with dip pens people used various various accessories to make their writing more enjoyable. A leather writing-pad is a surface which allows
metal pen to “dive” into paper and “glide” more easily. A rocker-blotter or blotting-paper dried the ink and prevented it from smearing the paper on which
it wrote. Inkwell was a container made of glass, porcelain, silver, brass, or pewter that held ink into which dip pen was dipped. It usually had some lid
that prevented spillage and contamination of ink. Inkstands hold two inkwells, a place for spare nibs and stands for pens. Some even had a place for a
rocker-blotter.

Lets Get Inky with Nibs: An Inktober Series

Inking with a nib might seem intimidating, but it only takes a little practice to get a hang for the basics.  Nib inking is commonly referred to as dip pen inking, and is seeing a resurgence in popularity, especially among letterers.  There’s a great deal of appeal for comic artists as well, and dip pens are still very popular in Japan, although not quite as popular here in the West.

Inking with a dip pen or nib pen takes a great deal of patience, but offers more control than brush inking.  Nibs can be quite affordable, but are commonly sold in sets- often with nibs you won’t need.  I recommend you find a store that offers nibs open stock, such as Paper and Ink Arts- this will allow you to sample a variety of nibs without purchasing sets. 

Robust Inking Toolkit Guide for Professional Artists

Inking with a nib is very much about personal preference.  First off, you may not enjoy it at all, preferring brushes, brush pens, or technical pens to nibs.  Secondly, you might enjoy the act of inking with a nib, but hate the maintenance that nibs require.  Thirdly, you may discover that you prefer some nibs to others, so I recommend you experiment widely.  Even amongst nib types, there are certain brands that work better than others.

Main Categories of Nibs

Flexible:




Maru (map)

G Nib

Spoon (turnip, globe, Saji, Kabura)

Crowquill

Fixed Width:




Tape

Brush

A, B, C, D

Poster

Ornamental-
Generally refers to monoline/fixed width nibs such as A, B, C, and D

Terms You May Hear:

Pointed Pen
In this post, Pointed Pen nibs have been referred to mainly as ‘flexible’ nibs.  Pointed refers to the tip of the nib, which often comes for a point and takes advantage of twin tines flexing to release ink.  These nibs were originally designed for correspondence and calligraphy.  Originally used for copperplate.

Monoline
In this post, Monoline has been referred to as Fixed Width.  These are nibs that only make one lineweight- A, B, C, D and tape nibs fall into this category.  These nibs are not designed to flex, and additional pressure may ruin the nib.

Drawing
Although artists will use pointed pen nibs and monoline nibs for art, originally, artists used drawing nibs.  These nibs were originally designed for drawing and sketching and are capable of very fine lines.

Mapping/Crowquill
Mapping nibs were originally designed for cartography.  These nibs have very fine points and are similar to crowquill nibs.

Music
Music nibs come in two varieties- a three tined nib suitable for drawing the staff, and 5 pronged nibs for drawing the signature.

Scroll
Scroll nibs feature two points, and are used for decorative scrollwork or special effects.


Popular Brands:
Tachikawa
Deleter
Kuretake 
Zebra
Brause
Hiro

Common Brands:
Hunt
Speedball
Manuscript
Leonardt


My Favorite Nibs:
Tachikawa G Nib
Brause Rose
Kuretake Saji
Tachikawa Tank
Brause Steno

For a wonderful introduction to inking with nibs, please check out this post- Inking Basics- Nibs!

Nibs for Borders:
Tape
Poster
Brush
Scroll

Nibs for Lettering (these are generally Fixed Weight Nibs)
Speedball A, B, C, D


Nibs for Varied Lineweight Cartooning
Brause Rose (originally used for hand written correspondence)
Brause Steno (originally used for handwritten notes)
Tachikawa or Zebra G or Student Nibs
Spoon and Globe Nibs

Manga Nibs
Kuretake Saji
Zebra and Tachikawa G and Student Nibs
Deleter Maru nibs

For an overview of various types of nibs with detailed photos, check out this post- In The Inking Supply Box 


Inking Tutorials 

Manga Nib Demonstration

Inking with a Manga Nib- Kuretake Saji Demonstration

Inking Your Character To Life With a Nib

Inktober Saji Nib Timelapse:

Inktober G Nib Timelapse:

Inks to Use with Dip Pens

Acrylic Inks:
FW
Liquitex
Lukas

Sumi Inks
Kuretake – Regular- Cartoonist
Yasutomo
Moon Palace

Deleter Inks
Deleter 1- Semi gloss finish, suitable for use with alcohol markers
Deleter 2- Quick drying time, alcohol marker proof
Deleter 3- Waterproof, matte finish
Deleter 4- Darkest ink, waterproof
Deleter 5- Indian style ink.  Waterproof.
Deleter 6- Indian Ink Style.  Fast Drying.  Waterproof.

Kaimei Sol K- Alcohol marker proof.

Indian Inks– available in waterproof and non waterproof
Dr PH Martin’s Bombay Inks (available in a variety of colors)- waterproof when dry
Winsor and Newton- Not Waterproof

Liquid Watercolors
Hydrus
Ecoline
Dr PH Martin’s Radiant Concentrated Watercolors

Fountain Pen Inks
Pigment Based- Waterproof:
Platinum- Carbon Black, Rose Red, Sepia, Blue 
Sailor Storia Inks

Dye Based- Generally Non Waterproof: 
J Herbin
Diamine
Noodler’s Inks

For more ink compatibility tests, check out Once Upon a Tine

Walnut Ink


This can be prepared at home by collecting walnuts, purchased as crystals, or purchased as a ready made ink.

Walnut ink is an ink made from the green husk surrounding the nut of walnuts. The Black Walnut Juglans nigra is usually used. The ink may be liquid or made of crystals that are mixed with water before use. It can be used to produce stains and darken paper to make it look older.

Iron Gall Ink

Iron gall ink (also known as iron gall nut ink, oak gall ink, and common ink) is a purple-black or brown-black ink made from iron salts and tannic acids from vegetable sources.

Please note that Iron Gall Ink can be highly destructive to papers and nibs, due to acid content.

Watercolors

How to use watercolors with dip pens

Finetec Watercolors

Gold/Metallic Inks
Gold and Silver Mica Ink
Winsor and Newton Gold Ink
Winsor and Newton Silver Ink


Creating Colored Lineart wtih Nibs

G Nib Inking with FW Acrylic Pearlescent Moon Violet 

Inking with Waterfall Green

J Herbin Ink Swatches

Nib Holders:

Types of Holders

Oblique

Used for calligraphy

Straight

Used for calligraphy, sketching, and inking

Brands of Holders:

Speedball
Deleter
Tachikawa
Kuretake
e+m
Brause


Recommended Nib Holders:

Tachikawa
Kuretake

Papers to Ink On

Strathmore 400 and 500 series- plate
Strathmore 400 and 500 series- vellum
Illustration board
Hotpress watercolor paper

Terms to Know

Tank- A small reservoir attached to the nib to increase ink capacity.
Cage- A spring welded onto the nib to increase ink capacity.  Ink sticks to the spring, allowing the nib to hold more ink.

Other Types of Dip Pens

Folded

Handmade Folded Pen Unboxing and Demonstration:

Reed

Reed Pen Size Breakdown:


Witch

Paper and Ink Arts Haul:

Recommended Additional Materials

Tips and Tricks

With cheaply made nibs, excessive force can cause the nib to shatter.  Hunt nibs are particularly prone to this.

New nibs have been coated with oil to prevent rusting.  You can remove this in a number of ways:

  • Burning the oil off with a lighter (may cause nib discolouration)
  • Wiping the oil off with an alcohol wipe
  • Washing your nibs in a dish of water and dishsoap before first use

For more information about Nib Care, check out this post-Brush and Nib Care.

Excessive force can cause nibs, even high quality nibs, to ‘nip’ and tear at the paper

Nib Reviews:

Student Art Nib Set

Outside Reviews: 


The Well Appointed Desk- Review: Kaweco Special Dip Pen

Gourmet Pens- Review: Brause Dip Pen Set
Parka Blogs: Review: Speedball Sketching Project Set

The Desk of Lori: Pen Review: Kaweco Special Dip Pen


Second Opinions and Outside Resources
Deleter Ink Difference
Difference of Deleter Nibs
Dip Nib Guide
Wikipedia: Walnut Ink
Making A Walnut Ink
Wikipedia: Iron Gall Ink
The Iron Gall Ink Website
The Postman’s Knock- How To Use Watercolors With Dip Pens
The Postman’s Knock- Watercolor Calligraphy Tutorial
The Postman’s Knock- How to Know When a Calligraphy Nib is Done
How to Use the Finetec Palette
Which Calligraphy Nibs To Use and Why
Common Calligraphy Ink Problems + How To Solve Them
How To Prepare New Calligraphy Nibs for Use
Getting to Know the Brause Rose Nib
5 Tips for Maintaining Your Calligraphy Nibs
Six Tips for Taming Calligraphy Nibs
Richmond Illustration Inc- Inking Tutorial Part 1
Jackson’s- A Guide To Dip Pens and Drawing Ink
Jetpens-How to Use Manga Nibs
The Lowdown on Calligraphy Nibs

Care and Feeding of the Calligraphy Dip Pen

So…. you’ve got your pen holder, a few nibs, a bottle of ink and some paper…now what?

What you will need:

  • nib with a reservoir
  • bottle of ink
  • a piece of scrap paper
  • dropper or small, round sable brush
  • mild soap (dish washing detergent) and water
  • ammonia (window cleaner) or commercial pen cleaner
  • soft cloth rag or paper towels
  • an old, soft toothbrush

Nib Anatomy and Preparation

First, let’s take a look at the parts of the nib:

Parts of a Nib

Check the tines of your nib – sometimes old, used nibs will have the tines splayed out from the split (usually by heavy hand pressure) which will cause problems with ink flow and lettering.  If you can see light behind the split, it is probably time to “retire” the nib and replace it rather than trying to fix it.

Preparing New Nibs

If your nibs are new, they will need to have the factory-applied lacquer removed (this is used to prevent rust. )  I normally clean them with a bit of warm water, dish washing liquid and scrub them with an old, soft toothbrush.

Other sources have suggested dipping the nib in gum arabic or hot water – whatever method you use, just make sure that you wipe off any excess water and dry the nib thoroughly or it will rust!

Nib Reservoir

Next, take a look at the reservoir for your pen nib.  The reservoir is what holds the ink and feeds it to your nib.  Depending on what type of nib you prefer, the reservoir will either be on top of the nib or underneath the nib.

The most common dip pen nibs will have the reservoir attached by a couple of metal tabs.  The reservoir should be attached firmly.  If it is too loose (e.g. slides easily off the nib), simply press the tabs in a bit so that the reservoir holds tight but can still be moved a little up and down the nib.

Speedball nibs have the reservoir attached so you don’t need to do anything – just check to make sure the lower section of the reservoir is centered and lies flat against the nib.

Variety of Pen Reservoirs and Side View of Speedball Nib

Mitchell nibs use a slip-on reservoir underneath the nib, while the Brause, TO and Tape nibs have the reservoir on the top.  As with the Speedball nib, reservoirs on the top of the nib should be centered and have the tip touching the nib.

The Mitchell reservoir  has a bend in the center and can easily be gently adjusted to ensure the tip of the reservoir touches the back of the nib.

The position of the reservoir is important as to how the ink will flow – too high up and the ink won’t reach the end of the nib; too far down and the ink will just blot.

Generally, adjusting the reservoir so that it is about 1/16″ from the end of the nib should work fine as a starting point.  A little adjustment might be necessary for long nibs.

Loading the Nib

Before you can start creating beautiful lettering, you have to get some ink into the pen nib.

You weren’t just going to dunk the pen into the ink, were you?

I must confess that when I first started calligraphy (and didn’t know any better) I would just dunk the pen nib in the ink and make quite a mess.   This was back in the days when calligraphy wasn’t very popular and there were no courses or workshops available.

Many years later, I was fortunate enough to attend a workshop with an expert calligrapher who demonstrated the proper way to load a pen using a dropper or a brush.

Dunking can be done, however the downside to dunking is that the pen holder will pick up ink from around the inside edge of the ink bottle and this will inevitably find its way to your fingers.  Dunking also feeds an excessive amount of ink to the reservoir and nib, causing the dreaded blots.

Loading the pen using a dropper or a small, round sable brush is not only cleaner, but gives you greater control as to the amount of ink held by the reservoir.  Some inks, such as Higgins, have an dropper built in to the lid.

Loading a Mitchell reservoir

Loading a Brause reservoir

Once you have loaded the reservoir, test the pen by drawing a few strokes on a scrap piece of paper.  If the strokes have clean, sharp edges and the ink is feeding evenly, you are ready.

If the ink is blotting or the pen strokes look dry, try adjusting the position of the reservoir, and make sure that the tip is touching the pen nib.

Cleaning Pen Nibs

It is good practice to get into the habit of cleaning your pen nibs, reservoirs and holders after every lettering session.  Dried ink, especially waterproof ink, can be difficult to remove and little dried bits of ink stuck between the tines or in the reservoir can inhibit ink flow.

Cleaning solutions will depend on what type of ink was used – most non-waterproof calligraphy inks will clean up well with mild soap and water.  Some inks, especially waterproof inks, will require a cleaning fluid such as ammonia (window cleaner works well) or a commercial pen cleaning solution.

If possible, disassemble the pen (remove the reservoir from the nib) and clean each piece separately using your cleaning solution and an old, soft toothbrush.  A toothbrush is also very handy for cleaning pen nibs that have a built-in reservoir or a reservoir difficult to remove.

Pen holders can be cleaned with mild soap and water or use the pen cleaning solution to remove stubborn, dried ink.  Be cautious about using pen cleaning solutions on holders that are made of wood and have cork finger grips – some of the solutions might damage these materials – always read the labels!

Make sure that the pen nibs, reservoirs and pen holders are dry.  Pen nibs, reservoirs and pen holders with metal grips will rust.  I wipe them down with a soft cotton rag or an absorbant paper towel to make sure all the moisture is removed before putting them back in the box.

Dip Pen Problems

If you’re having problems with a dip pen refer to the Troubleshooting a Calligraphy Dip Pen post.

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The Paper & Ink Arts Guide to Walnut Ink – Calligraphy and Lettering Blog

Walnut inks are incredibly versatile and a great alternative to traditional black inks. The beautiful sepia tone of walnut ink softens calligraphy letterforms, and can add an aged appearance when used as a wash on watercolor paper. Walnut ink is a great addition to any artist’s studio, whether you’re practicing pointed pen calligraphy, broad edge calligraphy, painting, or drawing. We carry three varieties of walnut ink: Daniel Smith, Tom Norton, and Paper & Ink Arts walnut ink crystals. We’re going to outline the differences between these inks, the benefits of each, as well as providing some project ideas and videos to help you get started.


Video by @nobhilljane with a Brause EF66 nib

Daniel Smith walnut ink is a finely pigmented, water-based ink made from walnut husks that resembles the traditional walnut inks used by artists such as Rembrandt and Leonardo da Vinci, but will not fade. Daniel Smith walnut ink is water-soluble and transparent, and can be used like watercolor. This ink produces the lightest sepia color straight out of the jar, but can be repeatedly layered to create darker tones. You can also lift color from this ink with a wet brush; however, we recommend using this technique on heavyweight watercolor paper to avoid damaging your paper.

Top Left: @little_red_dress_calligraphy
Top Right: @spaghetti_bolognese with Simply Simmons brushes
Bottom: @spaghetti_bolognese with a Zebra G nib

Daniel Smith can be used for calligraphy and will not degrade your nibs as easily as walnut ink crystals, but is more acidic than Tom Norton’s walnut ink because it is actually made from walnuts. Therefore, we do recommend cleaning your nib thoroughly after using Daniel Smith walnut ink. This ink is the best choice for painting and drawing techniques.


Walnut Ink crystals are the most economical choice––although there is an extra step involved to create the ink, you will end up with a more long-lasting supply for a significantly lower price. Mix 3/4 teaspoon of crystals with 2 oz of distilled water for thicker, dark brown ink that adheres perfectly to calligraphy nibs. Use more water for thinner, lighter ink with the more traditional sepia tone, or less water for an even thicker, darker ink that almost appears black. For best results, allow your mixture to sit for 30 minutes to an hour before using in order for the crystals to fully dissolve. Some users have noticed that using warm water speeds up the dissolving process.

Left: @la_potiere_anglaise
Right: @oliveleafcalli

Walnut ink crystals are made from walnut hulls, and the ink they produce is highly acidic. To avoid nib corrosion, it is important to clean your nibs after using the ink. However, it should be noted that eventual nib corrosion is unavoidable with frequent use, as with iron gall inks such as McCaffery’s. We think the trade-off is worth it––walnut ink crystals produce ink that is lightfast and flows beautifully, and is a favorite amongst many calligraphers. It can also be used for drawing, painting, and creating homemade antique paper surfaces.

Sarah demonstrates the process of dying paper with walnut ink crystals.

The gradient of sepia color that can be achieved using walnut ink crystals is incomparable!

While both walnut ink crystals and Tom Norton’s ink are our top choices for calligraphy techniques, we love the versatility of these crystals. It’s easy to play with consistency and color until you find what works best for you!

Video by @kylie.yoshida with a Nikko G nib


Tom Norton’s walnut ink is not actually made from walnuts––it’s made from acid-free pigments that mimic the rich walnut colors of previous generations. This ink will not corrode your nibs and remains water-soluble when dry, making it easy to wash out of nibs and able to be used in fountain pens. Norton’s ink produces the best hairlines of all three inks, making it a perfect choice for delicate scripts like Engrosser’s and Spencerian.

@arrowartstudio

Tom Norton’s walnut ink is water-soluble and can be used like watercolor. When used straight out of the bottle, it produces a sepia tone that is a middle-ground between the light color of Daniel Smith and the rich, dark shade of walnut ink crystals. Like Daniel Smith walnut ink, you can layer Norton’s ink to darken it, and use a wet brush to lift and lighten.

Tom Norton also carries Walnut Darkening Medium, which is a highly pigmented solution made with the same binder as their walnut ink. These can be mixed together without changing the properties of the original ink, producing a richer, deeper shade of brown. It can also be used straight from the bottle for an intense dark brown that almost appears black. We recommend working with the two side by side, dipping between bottles to create a wide range of gorgeous sepias.

Tom Norton’s walnut ink is definitely tied with ink crystals as our favorite choice for calligraphy––but don’t hesitate to use it for drawing and painting techniques too.


We hope this guide makes it a little bit easier to choose which walnut ink will work best for your creative endeavors! Already made your choice? Click here to browse our walnut ink collection and get your favorite.

Cover artwork by Randall Hasson (@hassonstudio).

Using A Reservoir, With Dip Pens

A dip pen reservoir is designed to slip on the nib that are using, the purpose of a reservoir is to hold an excess amount of ink. There are 2 types of reservoir nibs, 1. Nibs that come with the reservoir pre-attached such as Leonardt Tape nibs or Brause Bandzug nibs and 2. Those that the end user can if they wish attach a reservoir too, such as the William Mitchell Round Hand.

Some nibs such as the William Mitchell Round Hand do hold ink well in comparison to the William Mitchell Italic nibs, therefore it is dependent on the nib being used. Another factor to consider is the wider the nib, the more ink will be transferred to the page, compared to a narrow nib; therefore a reservoir would be of more help on a broader nib.

The fitment of a reservoir is important, the reservoir should not be too loose that it simply falls off and conversely should not be too tight that it distorts the shape of the nib that you are using. The distortion would most likely result in the tines at the end of the nib splitting, resulting in 2 separate unwanted lines.

Reservoirs are typically made of brass, and are therefore malleable; the two main types are the William Mitchell and Manuscript reservoirs both of which are made of brass. On the actual reservoir you will find a lug, at each side; they can be bent in order that the reservoir attaches itself to the nib.

It it is important that the tip of the reservoir, touches the underside of the nib; in order that that ink can be fed to the nib. The reservoir should be about 3mm or 1/8″ from the actual tip of the nib. It is a matter of choice whether you dip or brush ink, onto the underside of the nib with the reservoir attached. It is quicker to dip the pen into ink, however there may be a risk of excess unwanted ink on the page, therefore a small piece of tissue / cloth to wipe unwanted ink from the nib can be useful.

IAMPETH has more an article on achieving hairlines with broad edged nibs, there is a short section on positioning of reservoirs; it is quite helpful. If you would like to read more about this; please click here. Thanks for reading.

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  • 3.11. Pen

    3.11. Feather

    Figure 14.87. Pen tool in Toolbox

    The Pen tool simulates a variable nib ink pen for drawing solid strokes with smooth edges. The size, shape and angle of inclination are determined by the corresponding parameters.

    3.11.1. Tool activation

    The Pen tool can be activated in the following ways:

    • via the picture menu → →.

    • by clicking on the tool icon in the toolbar;

    • or with the shortcut key K .

    3.11.2. Modifier keys (default)

    Ctrl

    When this key is pressed, the pencil becomes the Eyedropper.

    3.11.3. Parameters

    Figure 14.88. Pen tool options

    Normally, the parameters of a tool are displayed in a panel attached to the toolbar as soon as you activate it. If they are not there, you can go to this panel by selecting → → → in the menu.

    Mode; Opacity
    Refer to the drawing tools overview for a description of the options common to all drawing tools.
    The change
    The size

    Determines the apparent thickness of the pen. Values ​​range from 0 (very narrow) to 20 (very wide).

    Injection

    Specifies the apparent angle of the pen tip compared to horizontal.

    Sensitivity
    The size

    Determines the size of the pen.A value of 0 means the minimum size, but not zero.

    Incline

    Specifies the apparent tilt of the pen relative to horizontal. This parameter is related to the angle parameter. Experiment with them.

    Speed

    Determines the effective size of the pen nib as a function of drawing speed.The faster you draw, the narrower the line.

    Type and shape
    Type of

    There are three shapes: circle, rhombus and square.

    The form

    You can reshape the pen tip by holding button 1 on the small square in the center of the shape icon and moving the cursor.

    90,000 Gold or steel nib: which is better

    For a long time I was going to write my thoughts on the use of different materials for making a pen, even announced a topic somehow … and still hesitated, collecting statistics. I share. Criticize.

    Generally speaking, nowadays not only gold and steel nibs are installed on ink pens, but also titanium and plastic and others … But, nevertheless, the most common nibs are made of steel and gold.Therefore, today we are talking about them.

    The “better” characterization in the title is not very accurate. Additional information is always required for this word: better for what conditions? for which person? What’s better?

    But the question from the questioner usually sounds like this: which is better?

    Let’s try to figure it out.

    Introductory

    Ever since pen nibs were made of metal rather than bird cover, gold has been the only alternative for nib production in terms of corrosion resistance.And steel alloys did not yet acquire stable stainless properties, and the cost of steel was not very low. And it turned out that the feather was made of gold, although it was more expensive to manufacture, but not as much as its corrosion resistance was higher.

    But time passed and steel alloys became much more stainless, and ink began to be produced from less aggressive components than at the beginning and middle of the 20th century … And today, the statement that the golden pen is better because it does not rust, practically lost its original meaning.

    Ok! We figured out the corrosion resistance. And what else is the difference between golden feathers?

    What do we generally expect from gold as a feather material? Gold is a softer metal than steel. And gold alloys are soft as well. But if the feathers were stamped from pure gold, then they would not last long, since they would bend at the first significant pressure on the feather. But the gold alloys, from which, in fact, nibs for pens are made, have [potentially] significantly greater elasticity than steel ones, since the nib itself turns out to be softer, but does not bend from pressure, but returns to its original position if we weaken this pressure …And with such an elastic pen, as a rule, it is more comfortable and more pleasant to write, since its elasticity forgives us not always the optimal position of the pen and pen relative to the paper.

    Steel nibs are usually stiffer and should therefore not write as nicely as gold nibs. In theory.

    Another characteristic of pen writing is the smoothness of the glide of the pen on the paper.

    No, I know, of course, people who love “toothy” feathers and enjoy writing like that. But, firstly, there are fewer such people than those who prefer a sleek nib for regular writing.And, secondly, lovers of “toothy” pens and write, more often, steel.

    So we need a smooth writing. Let’s assume.

    And one of the stereotypes says: gold nibs write smoother. Because they are gold. Point.

    But the gold alloy, again, is relatively soft. And it wipes off on the paper, and pretty quickly. And the pen should last a long time.

    And quite a long time ago, manufacturers came up with a particularly hard alloy containing the element iridium and the technology of applying this alloy to the tip of the pen.So, by inertia, this iridium-alloy “ball” on the tip of the pen began to be called iridium or simply iridium.

    But! The Iridium “ball” fits on both gold and steel nibs! Accordingly, the smoothness of writing does not depend on the material of the nib, but on the presence of this “ball” on the nib (yes, very inexpensive nibs are also produced without this ball, and on very vintage gold nibs this “ball” was not originally),

    for its shape and polishing features.

    Also, the shape of the body of the pen itself, its weight, balance, abundance and stability of ink supply to the pen and, of course, the personal characteristics of the writer himself, influence the character of writing. But we will return all the same only to the pen, more precisely to the material of the pen.

    What else does the golden feather bring us? This is, without a doubt, a sense of self-worth (it is nice to realize that you have a piece of precious metal in your hand 🙂 and aesthetics of appearance. Since gold nibs are usually installed on more expensive nibs, the fineness of the outer finish of gold nibs is usually also higher than that of steel nibs.And production stamps are more interesting, and drawings are more intricate, and multicolor is used (usually limited to two colors – yellow-gold and white). Well, it should be more and significantly more expensive product and look more expensive!

    Today, quite high-quality inexpensive steel nibs can be purchased at retail at a price of US $ 6-15, and quite high-quality gold nibs – from US $ 80 and beyond. That is, the difference in price is from 5 times and more. As expected, gold nibs should be “better” 5 times or more! Is this so?

    So, in the concept of the “best” of the pen, we, as it seems to me, mean the expectation of its elasticity and smoothness when writing.In terms of aesthetics and significance, gold feathers win without competition.

    Is the golden pen “better”? Smoothness

    The stereotype that gold nibs write “better” is well founded. At least in terms of the smoothness of the letter. But this is because gold nibs, in production, are given more attention, time and more highly qualified personnel are entrusted with working with them (while steel nibs, more often, are produced entirely by machine). Simply because the final cost of the gold nib is significantly higher for the end customer and the manufacturer can afford it.

    But steel nibs are also installed on middle-class handles. And so these steel nibs are being finished to about the same high level as gold nibs. And these nibs write as smoothly as gold ones! Just because they “brought” them to mind pretty well.

    Is the golden pen “better”? Elasticity

    Gold feathers, due to the peculiarities of gold alloys, require, or rather “ask”, a sheet of greater thickness, from which blanks of feathers are stamped than the thickness of a steel sheet, for, respectively, steel.Not that much more, but still.

    And some manufacturers use a fairly thick gold leaf for gold nibs. And the elasticity of gold we expect dissolves in this thickness. Without a trace.

    In addition, the elasticity of the feather depends not only, and sometimes not so much on the thickness of the gold sheet of the blank, but, to a greater extent, on the shape of this very feather. Moreover, feathers outwardly similar in shape may differ in insignificant details of this shape, but these very insignificances sometimes very significantly change the elasticity of the feather.

    More feathers good and different …

    To the above, examples would be needed. I have them.

    Favorite Sheaffer Targa. Both steel and gold nibs are installed. The shape of the feather leaves no chance – the feather is tough. Gold may be a little more elastic, but this is from a series of nuances.

    But the writing of both gold and steel Targa nibs is almost the same. Equally pleasant, velvety and soft. Simply because the “ball” on the feathers is made and processed with the same quality.

    Pelikan Classic M200 / Pelikan Souveraen M400. Nibs are the same shape and are interchangeable. Yes, the golden pen (on the M400) writes more richly. But steel, on the M200 – more elastic. And I like it better.

    Aurora Ipsilon. Both steel and gold nibs are installed. The shape is the same. But the thickness of the sheet on the gold plated is such that the gold is just – hard, “nail”. And steel (less expensive) is quite elastic.

    Parker Sonnet.Gold and steel nibs do not differ from each other either in form or in character of writing. They write quite … just write.

    Subtotal

    Here it would be to complete the reflections with a simple one: “It doesn’t matter what the pen is made of, look at the shape, but, better, try it before buying.” But everything is not so simple.

    Let’s not forget about the importance and aesthetics. Gold feathers even on the aforementioned models are pleasing to the eye. And this is important.

    But there are other examples

    Unbeatable in terms of price / quality ratio, the Pilot 78G pen also has the more expensive predecessor Pilot Custom Regal.The nib shape of these pens is almost identical. Only the gold nib on the Custom Regal is so resilient, flexible and substantially smoother that the completely non-rigid nib on the 78G feels like a stainless steel nail after the Custom Regal nib. Although this golden feather looks completely unpretentious.

    Or, for example, the tapered nibs on Sheaffer handles from the 40s – 70s of the 20th century. The vast majority of these feathers are made of gold. And, despite this, they are tough, without a grain of elasticity, simply because of the shape of these feathers.But they write smoothly and velvety. The shape of the feather and the “ball” on it is as follows. Well, there were also other technological secrets. Nowadays, it seems, lost or simply forgotten.

    Recently, one of our new acquaintances (Sergey, hello to you!) Admitted that his freshly bought Sailor Lecoule with a simple (and quite high-quality) nib, which is installed, including on very inexpensive Sailor Candy, writes better than his much more expensive Montblanc Meisterstuck Pen! 🙂

    Does this mean that reputable Montblanc is making the “wrong” pens? In no case! It’s just that modern Mont Blancs seem to have people who often write with a ballpoint pen as their target audience.And, therefore, for them the company produces beautiful massive significant stiff nibs made of thick gold leaf, which are familiar to a hand with a ballpoint pen.

    And that Sailor “lay” in the hand of a particular person. And that’s all. Montblanc didn’t go to bed. And it happens the other way around.

    Kind of summary

    It’s short. I myself prefer gold feathers. And, with pleasure, I write with steel too. Not just gold or steel, but specific tried and tested pens and nibs.

    And to the question, which feather is “better” – gold or steel, I will give the answer: gold is “better”.But concrete is golden. The one that suits you! Try it! Write! Write easily! And with pleasure!

    90,000 white, ink pen, printer paper, scroll, pen, ink, calligraphy, hebrew, writing, characters

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    90,000 Chapter 763Ink Pen / Monster Paradise

    As soon as the tentacles pierced Lin Huang’s eyeballs, the spirit noticed that something was wrong. He froze for a moment. At that moment, a crimson glow, similar to lightning, hit the evil spirit’s head.

    The glow moved so fast that the monster did not have time to react.His huge body fell to the ground. Half of the two-meter blade penetrated the spirit’s head, and the man in whose hands the weapon was – none other than Lin Huang – was enveloped in the crimson Life Force.

    At the same time, that “Lin Huang”, which the monster pierced his head, crumbled into sparks and disappeared. Lin Huang held the blade with both hands. He put in more strength, trying to penetrate as deep as possible.

    The evil spirit roared and hundreds of tentacles flew at Lin Huang at the same time.The monster wanted to rip him to pieces. Lin Huang immediately drew his blade and kicked off the ground with his foot and retreated.

    Black blood oozed from the wound of the spirit. Due to the special characteristics of the Air Cutter, even with strong regeneration, it was difficult for the creature to heal in such a short time.

    Enduring excruciating pain, he threw out hundreds of tentacles towards Lin Huang, the length of which increased from the original seven meters to a thousand and continued to grow.

    Thanks to the Vampiric Particles, Lin Huang’s speed has become much higher than that of those who have just reached the rank of Emperor. However, the tentacles were faster and the distance between them and Lin Huang gradually decreased.

    “How much longer can they lengthen?” Lin Huang pondered in bewilderment as he continued to fly.Since he had encountered similar monsters in the past, he knew that their tentacles could grow. Previously, he believed that it would not be difficult for him to leave the zone of their attack, but what was happening exceeded all his expectations.

    The tentacles were already less than two meters from his ankle and were still approaching. Lin Huang was left with no choice but to raise the Dark Mirror.

    Hundreds of tentacles completely ignored the shield’s appearance and rushed straight at it, but were blocked by other tentacles, which reflected off the mirror.

    Seeing this, Lin Huang did not fight, but retreated.

    At a certain distance, the Dark Mirror lost its strength and collapsed, while the tentacles resumed their pursuit. Having won time for himself, Lin Huang managed to break the distance by tens of meters.

    Although the Dark Mirror could block the tentacle attacks, Lin Huang did not want to waste energy on it.

    The cost of energy for the Dark Mirror corresponds to the strength of the enemy. The higher it is and the more often attacks, the more Life Force is needed. According to what the spirit said, his powers came from his real body and were infinite. Even though Lin Huang had three Life Force Replenishment Cards, this was not enough.

    So he only used the Mirror to buy time and escape.He knew that the increase in the length of the tentacles of the spirit must have a limitation, because such a skill will load the body in any way. If you exceed the limit, you can get serious damage.

    In fact, the spirit stopped lengthening the tentacles when they began to extend over a distance of more than three thousand meters. He didn’t want to stop, but there was no choice.

    When the attack stopped, Lin Huang, who was three thousand five hundred meters away, also stopped and turned around.Even though his blow hurt the spirit and Lin Huang managed to escape successfully, the guy did not appear relaxed.

    “The attack range of its tentacles covers at least three thousand two hundred meters. Given their number and speed, I find it difficult to get close. Even if there is a chance to attack, and I can get close to him, I cannot kill him in one or two blows, and by that time I will not be able to escape.”

    As Lin Huang thought about what to do, the body of the evil spirit gradually disappeared. It became transparent again, merging with the environment.

    After reaching the sixth rank of Immortality, the area of ​​Lin Huang’s Territory was no longer limited to Lancelot, who was at the third rank.The radius increased from 3000 meters to 6000. Lin Huang seemed to be doing nothing, but he followed every movement of the spirit.

    After the creature disguised itself, it rushed towards Lin Huang. The speed of the evil spirit was the same as that of Liu Lin Huang. In the blink of an eye, he was a hundred meters from the guy.

    Lin Huang still stood still and did not move, did not dodge or defend himself.At a distance of twenty meters, the spirit finally attacked.

    “Now you can’t run away!”

    Hundreds of tentacles rushed towards Lin Huang from different directions. They immediately blocked all escape routes for him. Not even a mosquito will fly by.

    At that moment, a strange sound came from Lin Huang’s sleeve and black daggers flew out of there.The Ink Pen, which had not been used for a long time, resembled a school of black fish that swam from the guy to the tentacles.

    – So you can really see me ?!

    Realizing that the daggers hit exactly each of his tentacles, the spirit realized that he was fooled. All this time, Lin Huang saw him.

    “I don’t see,” Lin Huang said immediately, shaking his head, “BUT I can feel it.

    The evil spirit was taken aback when he heard this, but soon came to his senses:

    – Do you have the Territory Skill ?!

    Lin Huang said nothing.The daggers struck the tentacles of the evil spirit like writhing fish, inflicting wounds and deviating them from their original path.

    Even though the black daggers were not as sharp as the Air Cutter, they were still an ancient relic. The body of the evil spirit was at the rank of Immortality and could not resist them.

    Lin Huang hovered high in the sky, letting the tentacles attack him as daggers flew from his sleeve.He was like a mountain, unbending despite the waves crashing against him.

    The evil spirit made several attempts to attack. Its tentacles resembled waves that constantly rolled in search of a weak point, but the efforts were in vain.

    The number of daggers grew and the situation changed radically.

    Initially, the evil spirit had a huge advantage due to the number of tentacles. However, the daggers brought him to nothing. The Ink Pen set contained 3,600 daggers. After 10OO left Lin Huang’s arm, he managed to defend himself.

    As the number of daggers grew, Lin Huang began to control the rest by penetrating through the cracks between the tentacles to attack the spirit.

    The creature could do nothing and had to dodge by removing its limbs.

    The battle completely changed the course.

    When almost 3000 daggers flew into battle, the spirit lost the ability to attack.He had to focus on defense. The daggers floated in the air like piranhas in water, scaring away the creatures.

    The evil spirit still did not want to retreat, despite the fact that its tentacles were injured and blood splattered around the area. None of the limbs went away with impunity.

    However, do not forget that daggers, unlike Lin Huang’s blade, did not have special characteristics.Therefore, the wounds of the evil spirit were healed in the blink of an eye, leaving only blood on the tentacles. Of course Lin Huang noticed this. The feather can injure him, but it cannot inflict real damage due to strong regeneration.

    In the next ten minutes, the spirit’s perseverance was once again proven, as it managed to survive the attacks of three thousand six hundred blades. Spirit not only

    evaded with tentacles, even his drop-shaped body made strange movements, taking on unimaginable forms.

    – You control thousands of ancient relics that work with telekinesis in different ways. You really did a great job. However, how long can you hold out? I guess about three months.

    Lin Huang knew this estimate was not exaggerated. The creature had an infinite supply of energy, and the wounds healed by themselves.In addition, he could easily evade by deforming his body.

    “If this continues, then it will be me who will die.”

    The evil spirit’s cuts were constantly covered with flesh and, despite countless injuries, its aura did not weaken. Rather, the opposite is true. Feeling small changes in his spirit body, Lin Huang finally made up his mind.A fury flashed in his eyes.

    “Since one set of Ink Feathers is not enough for you, here are two! I don’t believe I can’t kill you! ”

    .

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