Fountain Pen Stub Nibs and Why I Love Them

This weeks post is a little late, and for that I apologize. I was writing my post and making some corrections, with one of my favorite pens, and the fun stubbish quality of the nib just inspired me to redo my entire post.

What is a stub nib?

There are a couple of categories of nib that I consider a Stub. You have Italics, Music Nibs, and true Stub. Each has a different feel and a different look. A Stub nib in the traditional sense is a nib with a flat tipping or no tipping at all that offers line variation depending on the writing direction. Most Stub nibs that I am familiar with, and most that are available in today's fountain pen market lack tipping and are simply stubbed where the tipping would typically be attached. A good example of this would be the 1.1mm TWSBI Stub I have on my Vac 700. It's rounded corners mean that it offers line variation without some of the hazards of the more crisp and sharp Italic nib.

Italic nibs are much more sharp, and still have tipping material at the end of the nib. The two types that I own are an Italic Broad from Pelikan and a custom ground Cursive Italic from Franklin-Christoph ground by the talented and revered Japanese nib master Michael Masuyama. The custom ground Cursive Italic differs in that Mr. Masuyama takes some of the sharpness and crispness of the edges off as you can see in the pictures on the Franklin-Christoph custom nib page. These nibs offer a much more controlled and tighter line than a standard Stub.

Lastly, there is the Music Nib. Originally used to write music, the shape of the nib allowed for thin and thick strokes depending on the orientation of the nib to the direction of your writing. The Music Nib has tipping very similar to an Italic nib, but it has been softened so that it can be used in a vertical and rotated fashion. Some Music Nibs even come with a third tine for added ink flow.

Why do I love them?

Stub nibs for me, give my writing an added flair. They also make me feel a bit fancy when I use them. As you can see in the writing sample provided in the photo gallery for this article, the added line variation gives my writing a calligraphic appearance without me knowing any calligraphy.

I also happen to have fairly large handwriting, and because most Stub Nibs that are easily available on the market are larger, they tend to fill out more of the whitespace than a standard Medium or Broad nib that I normally use.

The variation in line width offered by Stub Nibs also helps somewhat with the shading seen when using different inks. I find that when I use Stub Nibs, I tend to see shading more often mainly on the thicker downstrokes than the thinner sidestrokes. This leads to some beautiful variation throughout a page of writing.

Below you will find a gallery with some examples of the different Stub Nibs talked about here, as well as a writing sample of the various pens and a comparison to a standard rounded nib.