Pens, Nibs, Pens and Nibs

Lamy nibs

I’ve been writing a review of a Lamy Linea this week. This is my seventh Lamy and the fifth that I’ve reviewed (either here or for The Pen Company). They all use the same, easily interchangeable, nibs. Most manufacturers use the same nibs across many different models: Faber-Castell use identical nibs with all their pens; Pilot use the same nibs across their cheaper range (and possibly with more expensive ones too but I’m not fortunate enough to know); Kaweco are the same; Franklin-Christoph too although they have so many you could review all of their range and never have to repeat yourself. No doubt most manufacturers are the same. In fact, many manufacturers use the same nibs as each other. Franklin-Christoph and TWSBI both use JoWo nibs, for example, and they’re not the only ones. (Kaweco and others use Bock nibs.)

Not only are the same nibs used across different models and even across different brands, the same nibs vary from example to example. I’ve a Kaweco medium nib that writes a narrower line that a Kaweco fine nib, and a Faber-Castell medium nib that is wider than a Faber-Castell broad (and one that isn’t). I’ve had a rather dodgy Lamy nib and half a dozen great ones.

Then there’s the Frankenpen: putting a nib from a different manufacturer into another’s pen. I’ve got a Franklin-Christoph (or should I say JoWo?) extra-fine in my Levenger L-Tech Stealth and a Franklin-Christoph medium stub in my Karas Kustoms INK.

So all this leads to the question: does it make any sense to review a pen and its nib as one unit?

What do you think?


  1. I would have thought they were two separate entities, inter dependant but also inter changeable, hence the need for two reviews.

  2. I swap around my Pelikan, Pilot Namiki, Sailor, Aurora, Waterman & Lamy nibs. Given my love of custom grind nibs I have more nibs than pens for most of those makes. When I post about one of my pens in rotation I treat the pen and nib as separate entities.

  3. Is there an online source somewhere, like a spreadsheet, that shows which nibs will fit on which bodies? I love my F-C music nib, but I hate the Jinhao body I put it on, and I’m not sure what else I can put the nib on.

  4. The pen and nib are sold as one item and should be reviewed as such, that other nibs can be swapped in is a bonus, one which a great many fountain pen fans enjoy doing, this can be mentioned in the review, giving the size, like #6.

  5. Perhaps after a review you should put a disclaimer “due to the varying (poor) quality control of these manufacturers please take my review with a pinch of salt because yours is likely to be completely different”. It’s such a bonus that yours writes well straight out of the box like it should ………

  6. You are sharing the experience of a certain package. That is a review. Readers will find different reviews of a specific nib or specific body. Even Frankenpens can provide inspiration.

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