For beginners, Michael Sull recommends the Nikko G nib for Spencerian Script. In his book, Learning to Write Spencerian Script (B1816, $17.50) he also suggest these nibs: Hunt 101, Hunt 99, Gillott 404, Gillott 303, Gillott 170, and Gillott 1950.
Other nibs to try are the EF Principal nib, Hunt 22 and Hunt 56.
These nibs from Japan are hand cut, extremely smooth, and long-lasting. They are chrome plated and have a medium flex. Great for Spencerian. Smooth writing with no burrs or scratchiness. Highly recommended by Michael Sull.
N120. Leonardt Principal EF Nib N120.EF Principal Nib
You can now purchase a modern nib that is equal to the best of the vintage nibs. Brian Walker, a respected pointed pen enthusiast, has worked with a pen manufacturer to duplicate the quality and performance of the legendary Gillott No 1 Principality. The new nib has received rave reviews for both Copperplate and Spencerian. It's flexible and responsive and gives fine hairlines, but is smooth-writing and catches the paper less.
A very steady and durable nib, the Hunt 101 is a great choice for projects that require larger writing with x-heights above 1/4". It can be used on most paper surfaces, though it can have a tendency to catch on the upstroke when used on a rougher surface. The Hunt 101 requires firm and deliberate pressure to open swells, while its strength and steadiness makes it an ideal selection for student practice. Bronze finish.
A popular nib for Copperplate. Good flexibility - not too stiff, not too flexible. Very thin hairlines and good swells. Works for scripts 3/16-1/16". Sharp point but will work on slightly textured surfaces. Tends to catch on upstrokes.
Similar to the popular Nikko G Nib, but a little more flexible and sharper. It will produce a finer hairline than the Nikko. Same sturdy quality. If you are using the Nikko G but would like to be able to write with thinner hairlines and thicker strokes, give these nibs a try. Michael Sull still recommends the Nikko G nib as best for learning Spencerian, but this Zebra G Nib is a good one, too, for Spencerian.
Just wanted to let you know about my experience with the ZEBRA G nibs: Santa was very generous to me this year and I got a dozen. I pulled the nibs out to play with this weekend and I have found my new love. I used the nib with Walnut Ink and the hairlines, so thin, so smooth, with a light touch and the nib skated effortlessly across the page. I really enjoyed working with this nib. If you haven't had the chance to try this nib out yet, it's worth the couple of bucks. I haven't tried any of my other inks, but I will be doing that this week. So far, I'm loving these nibs. Don't know if they are workhorses yet - I only had them a few days. - Ilovepenmanship
I love them too. The nibs are great with the iron gall inks because the ink does not eat the nib as fast. Great hairlines and just enough flex for shades. Much thanks to John Neal for these!!! - Nan DeLuca
N118-10PK. Zebra G Nibs -- 10 pack Zebra Nibs -- Pack of 10
Zebra G Nib. Similar to the popular Nikko G Nib, but a little more flexible and sharper. It will produce a finer hairline than the Nikko. Same sturdy quality. Michael Sull still recommends the Nikko G Nib as best for learning Spencerian, but this Zebra G Nib is a good one, too, for Spencerian.
Quantaty discounts available at 2,3, and 5 packs.
The Gillott 404 is a popular, sturdy nib. It is long-lasting, fairly stiff nib, and suitable for writing at x-heights from 3/16" to 1/4", on all surfaces from smooth to textured. It is a good choice for beginners (or those with a heavy hand.) Because they require more pressure to create the swells, stiffer nibs are easier to control. With thicker hairlines others, The Gillott 404 is a good choice for work for reproduction. The Gillott 404 is stiffer and less sharp than the Gillott 303 and Gillott 170.
Recommended by Eleanor Winters in her Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy (B1109) for beginners and professionals because they "provide fine line quality without being too fragile." Satisfactory for Spencerian Script.
A very popular and dependable bronze-finish nib that is great for Copperplate, Spencerian, and other pointed-pen scripts. The Hunt 22 has good flexibility -- not too flexible, not too stiff and can produce very thin hairlines and good swells. The nib works for x-heights of 3/16"-1/16". It has a sharp point but will work on slightly textured surfaces, though it will have a tendency to catch on upstrokes on those papers. Compared to the Gillott 303, the Hunt 22 point is less sharp, and it has more stiffness, so more pressure will be required to create thick shades (swells).
Vintage Hunt 22 nibs (N93-V) are also available. When they were made, many decades ago, a higher quality of steel and craftmanship was employed in nib manufacture. They have similar characteristics, but are of a better quality.
N86. Hunt 56 Nib
The Hunt 56 nib is useful for writing larger letters on smooth or textured papers. The nib is a steady and durable one making it a great nib for beginners. The Hunt 56 produces healthy swells of ink when firm and deliberate pressure is applied. Strong hairlines. Comparable to Gillott 404 in stiffness and width of hairlines.
N88. Hunt 99 Nib
An extremely flexible nib, the Hunt 99, is can be used on
smooth papers to create very large and bold text. A light touch is all that is needed to produce thick swells while the nib glides effortlessly across the paper. It is suitable for script with x-heights down to around 3/16". Fairly strong hairlines comparable to Hunt 101.