Nib Tipping Sizes

Guide To Nib Tipping Sizes

"Tipping Size" is a term that refers to the actual writing surface provided by any given nib--the size of the part of the nib that actually comes into contact with the paper. Not surprisingly, nibs on the finer side of the spectrum have the smallest tipping sizes, while broads, stubs, and the like offer the largest--but that still isn't the whole story.

Tipping Sizes On New Nibs Can Vary - Even With Identical Nibs From The Same Manufacturer

The tipping sizes on standard nibs differ from company to company, and even from country to country. The Japanese standard, for instance, is smaller than that used by Italian and German manufacturers. The American company, Bexley, uses a German nib. Pelikan, meanwhile, offers the greatest selection and ease of installation.

The numbers below were acquired through our own micrometer measurements of the tips themselves; they are not intended to specify the written line-widths each would produce, since these will vary due to writing pressure, ink, and paper choice. We have also found that there can often be variations in tipping size between individual, identically-labeled nibs made by the same manufacturer--but the chart below still provides a useful reference point.

Calligraphy Nibs and Vintage Nibs

To avoid any potential confusion, it should be noted that calligraphy nibs use a different and much broader scale than fountain pen nibs. A fountain pen fine, for instance, is much less than half the width of a calligraphy fine.

Most vintage pens, on the other hand, are found with extra-fine and fine nibs. Medium nibs are less common in these pens, and broads are rare. Vintage fine and extra-fine tips are even finer than most points made today.

SIZE AURORA BEXLEY CROSS CROSS 125* EBOYA JOWO MONTE-GRAPPA NAKAYA / PLATINUM OMAS PARKER PELIKAN PILOT SAILOR SHEAFFER WATERMAN
SABI-TOGI                         .1mm    
XXF               .1mm   .2mm          
XF .3mm .3mm .2mm .2mm   .3mm .3mm .2mm .3mm .3mm .4mm .2mm .2mm   .3mm
F .4mm .4mm .4mm .3mm .3mm .4mm .4mm .3mm .4mm .4mm .5mm .3mm .3mm .4mm .4mm
MF         .4mm               .4mm    
M .5mm .6mm .5mm .4mm .5mm .5mm .5mm .4mm .5mm .6mm .7mm .5mm .5mm .6mm .6mm
B >.7mm .8mm .6mm .6mm .9mm .8mm .8mm .6mm .8mm .8mm .8mm .6mm .6mm .8mm .8mm
BB .9mm             1.0mm >1.0mm .9mm 1.0mm        
3B                   1.1mm 1.3mm        
MUSIC               1.1mm       1.0mm 1.2mm    
STUB .7mm         1.1mm 1.0mm   1.2mm     .7mm     .9mm
FA                       .3mm      
ZOOM       1.0mm                 1.0mm    
IT 1.0mm               1.0mm 1.1mm 1.4mm        
OM & OMR                 .6mm .8mm .6mm        
OB & OBR                 .9mm 1.0mm .8mm        
OBB                 .95mm            

*Cross Peerless 125 tipping sizes are different from those on other Cross brand pens