Suzanne Cunningham: Favorite Pointed Nibs
WHAT ARE MY FAVORITE NIBS?
This is such a loaded question, and it is the one I get asked the most! Which nib you choose depends on several
variables: paper, ink, x-height, skill level, etc. I use different nibs for different reasons and they’re all the best nib
for that particular scenario. It is also a very personal decision. What works great for one person may not work
Here is a rundown of a few that I use most often. Of course, there are LOTS more wonderful nibs besides the
ones I have listed here. I’m not including vintage nibs (although I have favorites in that category too) because
there’s no reason to try and track down a vintage nib when it won’t help you write any better than a modern one.
|HUNT 101: my go-to nib when practicing! I love to pair it with walnut ink. It produces very fine hairlines and a wider swell. I don’t use it when my x-height is below 5 mm because I feel like the swells are too wide for the height of the letters (of course, I could use less pressure to keep the swells more narrow).|
|HUNT 22b: this is one of my favorite nibs for addressing envelopes. The swells aren’t as wide as with the 101 and my x-height on envelopes is usually 4 mm, so it’s perfect. The hairlines aren’t quite as fine as what the 101 produces, but you can still get a very delicate look.|
|ZEBRA G: this nib is also great for envelope work because it is very sturdy and lasts forever, especially if you get the titanium version. I use it most often for when I am writing a wedding invitation suite that is to be reproduced. The hairlines are slightly thicker which is needed for reproduction. Those super thin lines won’t show up! I do have to concentrate a little more when I make square tops and bottoms because the tines are less flexible and don’t open as easily.|
|GILLOTT 404: my go-to when using metallic ink or handmade paper. The 404 isn’t quite as sharp and pointed so it’s great for gliding across rough surfaces like handmade paper or cold press watercolor paper. I don’t even know why it works so well with metallic ink, but it does and I don’t question it! I don’t use the 404 if I’m using non-metallic ink or a smooth surface. The hairlines are definitely not as fine.|
|GILLOTT 303: very similar to the Hunt 101, but even more flexible. Great nib!||LPEF: Leonardt Principal Extra Fine. Flexible, fine hairlines, great swells. I need to use it more!|
|BRAUSE ROSE: best nib for writing with very large x-heights. A must when you need it!||CAGED NIBS: these nibs have a coil glued to the underside which allows you to write a LONG time before re-dipping. Be careful not to let ink drip on your paper if you use these caged nibs!|
Suzanne Cunningham is a world-class pointed pen calligrapher and instructor with 28 years of experience.
She offers commissioned calligraphy services and teaches a range of live and pre-recorded online classes;
topics include Copperplate, Modern Calligraphy, flourishing, envelopes & etiquette, and layouts. She was
one of three co-editors of the 25th edition of The Speedball Textbook.
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ZebraMSRP:Now: $4.25List:N153. Zebra G Titanium Nib. This nib is an upgrade from the Zebra G (steel) nib (N118), which is made of chrome-plated steel. It has a titanium coating, which is said to have four times the endurance of the steel version. It is a bit less flexible. ...N153MSRP:Now: $4.25List:Qty in Cart: 0Quantity:Price:MSRP:Now: $4.25List:Subtotal:
ZebraMSRP:Now: $18.50List:N118-10PK. Zebra G 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...N118-10PKMSRP:Now: $18.50List:Qty in Cart: 0Quantity:Price:MSRP:Now: $18.50List:Subtotal:
ZebraMSRP:Now: $1.95List: $2.00N118. 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. If you are using the Nikko G but would like to be able to write with thinner hairlines and...N118MSRP:Now: $1.95List: $2.00Qty in Cart: 0Quantity:Price:MSRP:Now: $1.95List: $2.00Subtotal:
John Neal BooksMSRP:Now: $16.95List:N202. Suzanne Cunningham's Favorite Pointed Nibs.A sampler set of 8 nibs. One each of Suzanne Cunningham's favorite nibs for pointed pen scripts (such as Copperplate Script, Engrosser's Script, Modern Calligraphy): Hunt 101, Hunt 22, Zebra G, Zebra G...N202MSRP:Now: $16.95List:Qty in Cart: 0Quantity:Price:MSRP:Now: $16.95List:Subtotal:
LeonardtMSRP:Now: $2.25List: $4.02N120. Leonardt Principal EF 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...N120MSRP:Now: $2.25List: $4.02Qty in Cart: 0Quantity:Price:MSRP:Now: $2.25List: $4.02Subtotal:
John Neal BooksMSRP:Now: $5.00 - $8.50List:N204. Ink Cage Nib. The revolutionary Ink Cage is a reservoir for pointed pen nibs. It allows you to write or flourish much longer before re-dipping. The Ink Cage is sold permanently attached to the nib of your choice. It is not removable or reusable.-...N204MSRP:Now: $5.00 - $8.50List:Qty in Cart: 0Price:MSRP:Now: $5.00 - $8.50List:Subtotal:
SpeedballMSRP:Now: $16.29List: $18.96N93-12PK. Hunt 22 Extra Fine - Box of 12A 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...N93-12PKMSRP:Now: $16.29List: $18.96Qty in Cart: 0Quantity:Price:MSRP:Now: $16.29List: $18.96Subtotal:
SpeedballMSRP:Now: $1.28List: $1.58N93. Hunt 22 Extra FineA 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...N93MSRP:Now: $1.28List: $1.58Qty in Cart: 0Quantity:Price:MSRP:Now: $1.28List: $1.58Subtotal:
SpeedballMSRP:Now: $1.58List: $1.95N77. Hunt 101 Imperial.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...N77MSRP:Now: $1.58List: $1.95Qty in Cart: 0Quantity:Price:MSRP:Now: $1.58List: $1.95Subtotal:
GillottMSRP:Now: $0.89List: $1.09N74. Gillott 404 Nib. 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...N74MSRP:Now: $0.89List: $1.09Qty in Cart: 0Quantity:Price:MSRP:Now: $0.89List: $1.09Subtotal:
GillottMSRP:Now: $0.79List: $0.99N72. Gillott 303 Pointed Nib. 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...N72MSRP:Now: $0.79List: $0.99Qty in Cart: 0Quantity:Price:MSRP:Now: $0.79List: $0.99Subtotal:
BrauseMSRP:Now: $3.30List:N69. Brause Rose Nib. The Brause Pen Company worked to manufacture a nib with the qualities of vintage nibs. Brause 76. - Excellent for pointed pen scripts such as Copperplate or Engrossers' Script - very flexible, can create very thick...N69MSRP:Now: $3.30List:Qty in Cart: 0Quantity:Price:MSRP:Now: $3.30List:Subtotal: