One of the things we really appreciate about fountain pens here at Goulet is the ability to choose different nib sizes that can make our writing look different on the page. While most pen companies offer a fairly standard offering such as extra-fine, fine, medium, etc, there are a whole host of specialty nib grinds that are available for an even more nuanced writing experience. If you know exactly what you want and are willing to pay a nibmeister to grind it for you, there are a myriad of options available to you, though these are seldom economical options for those who are just starting out.
That’s why we were so excited when we found out we could get our hands on some Lamy specialty nibs, such as the Oblique Medium, Oblique Broad, and Left-Handed nibs. These are standard stainless steel Lamy nibs that fit on all of the Lamy steel-nib pens such as the Safari, Al-Star, Vista, Joy, CP1, Logo, Studio, Nexx, Lx, ABC, Aion and others. What’s special about these nibs is the grind at the tip. Given that these nibs are the same price as regularly offered Lamy steel nibs, it’s the most economical way to try out these specialty grinds. So let’s check them each out:
We actually carried these for a very brief period a couple of years ago, so we are pretty familiar with the way these work. It’s essentially a Lamy medium nib, but it’s ground at a slightly steeper angle and a little more rounded, so that the nib writes more reliably in a “push” motion, as you would do when writing left-handed.
Now one thing about lefties is they tend to have a very wide variety of hand positions, and this can really provide a varied writing experience when lumping all “lefties” into one group. We break these all down in our FP101: Fountain Pens for Lefties video. So it needs to be said that some lefties will find the Lamy LH nib to be helpful, others will not notice a big difference between it and a regular medium nib. In fact, we have two lefties on the Goulet Pens team, Lydia and Katy. Lydia loves it and noticed a big difference, Katy, not so much. A lot of it will depend on your specific hand position, angle, and rotation of the pen in your hand.
What in the world is an oblique?
Obliques are interesting nibs, and we give an overview of them in our FP101 Nib Sizes and Grinds. Essentially, it’s like a conventional round nib that’s ground flat at an angle. Why would you want this? It’s really for people who rotate the pen in their hand as they write. The nibs can be ground slanting down to the left (left-foot oblique, named after the shape of your left foot) or to the right (right-foot oblique). The Lamy LH nibs are ground as a left-foot oblique, meaning they’ll be most comfortable for right-handers who are rotating their pens counter-clockwise, or towards themselves. It’s a little confusing, yes. And how in the world to you assess if you even need one of these nibs? Well, that’s been the tough part, and why pretty much no fountain pen company offers oblique nibs (with the exception of some higher-end brands like Pelikan by special order).
They’re just not in high demand these days. Which is what makes these nibs so interesting, for $13 you basically get to try an oblique nib and see if it’s anything that helps your writing. If not, well, then you have a cool and interesting spare nib with minimal investment. If you love it, then hey, it may be worth it for you to look into a special order or custom nib grind.
This is a Lamy medium nib ground with a left-foot oblique, ideal for righties rotating the pen in their hand counter-clockwise. There’s ever-so-slightly a bit of line variation that can occur, but it’s really very subtle and shouldn’t probably be your main motivation in buying this nib. The nib is not gushing wet, so it’s not quite as forgiving as the oblique broad. It will take a little practice to get the hang of this one, as it has kind of a “sweet spot”.
This is a Lamy broad nib ground with a left-foot oblique. Like the medium, it’s ideal for righties rotating the pen counter-clockwise in their hand. There’s a bit more line variation with this nib, especially if you hold it at just the right spot. This nib is wetter and a bit more forgiving, though the line is much thicker and thus your writing will need to be larger.
All of these nibs need to be considered as “specialty grinds”, which means that not everyone will notice or appreciate the subtleties of these grinds. It’s best to set your expectations to be realistic, that it will take some getting used to and that it may not make that much of a difference for you using them if you don’t hold your pen in such a way that it really benefits from the grinds. But if you suspect that you may benefit from them or are just curious to try them out as a way to expand your own writing experience, there’s really no better opportunity to do it than these Lamy nibs. Be sure to check out writing samples of them in our Nib Nook tool on our site, too.
We have them available in silver and black at GouletPens.com as standalone nibs (not available on pens) for $14. These nibs are ones we’ve purchased as a test batch, and if they are well-received and in good demand we will look to carry them ongoing. Otherwise, we will sell the relatively small amount we have and not look to reorder. Do please give us your feedback!