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My, this poll really changed in scope. Glad to see so many more nibs nominated. One particular one I have been having a ton of fun with is an architect's grind from Bobby in China. I'll try and post some samples and add to the poll.
(Edited)
Medium. Fountain pens and inks doesn't show their character so much on finer nibs. I also like waverly nibs because I'm a lefty overwriter with a tendency to hit outside the sweet spot on other nibs.
This poll reveals a lack of awareness in many people, as a ”Fine” or “Extra Fine” will vary so completely between Western and Japanese pens that it is impossible to answer this poll without qualification. If, on the other hand, you want to know why I often buy Medium nibs, you should realize I do so because it is my if-in-doubt choice. Western pen nibs at “F” are fantastic; Asian writing is quite different from Western cursive, as it requires a precision and different angle not always required in Western writing.
Yeah, it really depends on the brand, but I voted fine because that most often results in something I line to quote with when the brand of pen is ambiguous.
most the Online reviews I’ve seen are people complaining how the ef nibs are scratchy. And on Pen stores online, they seem to have less reviews/be less popular than fine/mediums.
I prefer Italic nibs.
I voted fine...But I use only pilots so I guess it's kinda equivalent to an extra fine
Italic.
I am not voting... Because I can't answer this question. I have a Fine nib that is marked Fine but is actually a medium (I have compared to other nibs from the same manufacturer, this one is definitely marked incorrectly)...
But how do you compare a Waterman's gold #2 nib with a lot of flex to a Steel Schmidt nib in medium to a Pilot Plumix nib with a tomahawk cut to it?
All of these nibs are massively different.
Despite the claim above that you should use a broad nib if you have bad handwriting, if you have small handwriting a broad nib will just make it impossible to read.
And then there is the Japanese/Everyone else size differences, and variations between manufacturers, and...
My preference is for certain nib/feed/pen/ink combinations that work well. I have some pens that constantly need tweaking... I don't like those as well as some I can just use.
Size smoothness all depends on the nib quality. I've used extra-fine nibs which were very smooth, and fine nibs which were "snaggy". Pilot or Lamy seems to have pretty good nibs for the average fountain or dip pen user. Of course in the higher cost brands you can find better, but for value and price/performance, Pilot or Lamy are pretty good. I don't want to spend $100 on a nib pen that sucks, but I will spend $100 on a nib pen that is worth the price.
bsatow
Even when I polish my best, most expensive extra fines to be as smooth as they can possibly be, they are noticeably orders of magnitude less smooth than my broads, which can feel like 0 feedback out of the box. I'm not talking about snaggyness, I'm assuming perfectly tuned and personally polished nibs to your specific writing style--you will still feel the extra fine nib on the paper more than a medium or broad. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I personally like buttery smooth writing, even if it is harder to control. Even Lamy mediums and up, for example, are WAY too much feedback for me, and I only really use them for note taking for more controlled fast writing.
There should be a stub nib option.
laymusic
Indeed! 1.1mm is my personal favorite.
Italics all the way. If I have to have a round nib, then Euro M for me...
HelenM
The current Italix Commodore drop has a plethora of grind options in this vein. I wish more pen makers offered them.
I have been wanting a medium chisel tip fountain pen for a long time now. Still trying to find one — something like a Speedball C-5 nib in size.
aredridel
If your main concern is the nib rather than the pen body, then Pilot has some great flat-tip pens on amazon. The Pilot 78G is 20$, and the nib is a good nib. If you don't care that the pen body is plastic, then I highly suggest it. It's size BB, but that's by Japanese standards, so it's close to a medium nib by European standards.
SilverliteSword
Too small. Is there a BBBB
Always gone for medium myself. I prefer the traction it gives me on the paper.
There is an old saying goes: If your handwriting is shitty, use a board nib.
AutoPointer
Wouldn't a finer nib make it easier to distinguish between shity lines that are too close?
Morgaux
Well shity writing is usually because of the lack of control. If you can't write a straight line, EF is going to be very obvious. Board nib is smoother and easier to control.
I like either an EF or an italic. Usually not too into stuff in the middle.
I'm voting, but with the caveat that my vote at least is for rigid nibs. I prefer a medium for rigid nib, but a flex nib I prefer fine to extra fine.
It sure depends on my mood, but typically I grab bold or music nibs. I also have flex nibs from Pilot/Namiki on Falcon and Special 7xx. I like to lay down lots of ink, and my handwriting is not super.
Is this with Japanese nibs or European?
SinuousMarrow24
I second. It may seem pedantic, but Japanese nibs are consistently at least one size smaller than the "same" European size (i.e. Japanese Medium = European Fine) and it would be nice to see this reflected in the voting. (That's not too much, but I don't think we need to go down the road of detailing manufacturer quirks, such Pelikan's tendency to run large.)
GoodGrief
Yeah, that's an important distinction. I have an italic nib by Pilot, and it's BB. Comparing to a friend's pens, it's really more like a medium nib in European sizing.