Updated: August 12th, 2019

One of best things about writing with a fountain pen is the wide range of nib size options. However, it can feel overwhelming trying to learn how all of the different nibs write. I created a Fountain Pen 101 video called Nib Sizes and Grinds to help explain all of the different options out there. But in this video, our Customer Care manager Drew and I dig deeper into stub nibs specifically. We talk about what makes a nib a stub, the differences between the various kinds of stub nibs, and how to properly write with one.

What is a stub nib?

  • A nib with tipping material that’s ground flat on the end
  • Produces a narrow line on the cross stroke, broad on the down stroke
  • Mimics calligraphy (without doing anything different!)
  • Different than flex nibs, which require pressure to change the line width

What is the difference between a stub, a cursive italic, a crisp italic and an oblique nib?

  • Stub – rounded edges, smooth but you sacrifice more line variation
  • Cursive Italic – slightly more rounded edges, smoother than crisp but still with good line variation
  • Crisp Italic (true italic) – very sharp edges, gives the cleanest definition of thin/broad strokes
  • Oblique – stub nib that’s ground at an angle (left or right) to compensate for specific hand angles, not widely available today, more of a vintage thing

How do you properly write with a stub nib?

  • Write more intentionally
  • You can write from just about any angle, as long as the nib stays flat on the paper at all times
  • Misalignment is felt worse than a normal nib


Different fountain pens with stub nibs

Specific brands and models available with stub nibs:

Writing with a stub nib takes practice. These nibs are unique, so don’t be surprised if you have to change up your writing angle when using one. And be sure to give yourself some time to learn how to write with them!

What has your experience been writing with a stub nib? Let me know in the comments below.

Write on, 
Brian Goulet & Drew