Four reasons to love broad nibs

A while back I wrote a post mentioning that I’d gravitated toward fine and even extra-fine nibs, and the many reasons to do so. But it seems I’ve… diversified my collection.

My 15-pen collection now has a good mix of nibs ranging from UEF to BB, but if anything I have more broads than fines.

What is it that broad nibs offer?

Colour!

Like many pen addicts, I’m in it for the ink as much as for the pens. Broad nibs give you a bigger hit. They show off colour like no fine nib can. And the difference is most noticeable in paler colours, like oranges, pinks, yellows and sky blues, and in less saturated inks. I would never have got into oranges if I stuck to EF nibs.

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This broad TWSBI shows off Graf Electric Pink amazingly.

Shading!

Shading, sheen and the other intoxicating properties of inks have more room to shine in a broader line.

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Check out the shading on Edelstein Olivine

If you’ve ever loved an ink when swabbing it on to a swatch card, then been disappointed when nib hits paper, try a broad nib. The joyful expressiveness will come flooding back.

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The Pelikan M400 makes delicate inks like Swan Illusion look their shaded best

Smoothness!

There’s an undeniable attractiveness to a fat blob of tipping gliding over the page on a wave of ink. Broad nibs, like the tyres on a monster truck, give a smoother ride over the page grain. If you’re annoyed by scratchy fine nibs, give a broad nib a chance. The freedom and speed are just plain fun.

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My beast of a Sheaffer floats across the page.

Thirst!

One hidden joy is that broad nibs guzzle ink. If, like me, you get bored of inks fast but also like large piston fillers, a broad nib is practically the only way to empty the tank fast enough.

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The tank on my Visconti Wall St still takes a while to drain…

All are welcome

This doesn’t mean I’ve rejected fine nibs. They have obvious value on bad paper, when space is tight, or just when you want that neat, crisp, precise line. You could say that I’ve shaken off a prejudice. I welcome nibs of any grade — they’re all fun in their way.

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Broads come in all shapes and sizes — this is an FPnibs Architect grind.

8 thoughts on “Four reasons to love broad nibs

  1. Thank you for making the case for broad nibs. I quite agree! Over the past year I have come to love broad nibs and quality paper. The reason I got into fountain pens in the first place was because I wanted a way to use all those lovely colors of inks. I’ve also become addicted to premium paper; life is too short to write on crappy paper! Broad nibs on excellent paper really show off the color and shading of inks. I love inks that shade, and it’s hard to show off that shading in a super fine nib. I also love stub nibs for the same reasons, plus that beautiful italic look that they impart to my writing. While I still sometimes enjoy the crispness of finer nibs, more of my pens have broad nibs than any other size.

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