The most important determining factor in how your calligraphy turns out – aside from your skill – is what type of nib you use. Only use the best calligraphy nibs to create beautiful writing.
We have reviewed the best calligraphy nibs below and provided helpful information in choosing the right one. We are no strangers to using fountain pens. They are helpful in creating aesthetic labels in our planners. Let’s dive in now to help you quickly choose the right calligraphy nibs for your style.
Best Calligraphy Nibs:
1. Zebra Comic G Model Chrome NibsView at Amazon
Although “comic” is in the name of this nib, professional calligraphers have praised it. We think the Zebra Comic G Model Chrome Nibs are some of the best calligraphy nibs for beginners who are ready to try a different nib.
This dip pen nib does an excellent job of creating thick-to-thin lines. It may take practice to get the hang of it, especially for those who are new to using fountain pens.
Consumers say these nibs work well for calligraphy, including copperplate calligraphy. They describe them as easy to use and good value for money. The set of 10 same-size nibs will last a long time.
- 10 in the pack to last a long time
- Made in Japan by one of the leading nib brands
- Chrome plated for a shiny appearance that complements elegant pens
- Both thick and thin lines turn out great
- Suitable for any type of calligraphy
- Writes smoothly
- No size variations in the pack
2. Nikko N-Gpen Nib 3-Piece SetView at Amazon
These Nikko calligraphy nibs are excellent for pointed calligraphy. They are also beginner friendly.
We love the crisp, strong lines these nibs are capable of creating. You’ll have no problem creating lines of varying thickness either.
Consumers who are new to calligraphy praised these nibs for being easy to use, being resilient while they learn, and producing beautiful lines. These nibs don’t dig into the paper on upstrokes, skip or bounce.
- Durable, stiff nibs that aren’t likely to break
- 3 nibs in each set to have a backup nib available
- Made in Japan by a trusted brand in calligraphy and manga supplies
- Beginner friendly
- Doesn’t break easily
- Reliably creates thin to thick lines
- Ink applies smoothly to paper
- Heavy-handed writers wear them out quickly
3. Brause Steno Nib 3View at Amazon
The Brause Steno Nib 3 is considered one of the best nibs for writing shorthand, but it’s also great for modern calligraphy. Consider this nib if you need to create very thin lines. It holds a lot of ink and applies smoothly to paper.
These nibs are also easy for beginners to get the hang of. Three same-size nibs come in each package.
The Brause Steno Nibs are nicknamed blue pumpkin nibs for their color. Consumers who use these nibs for calligraphy say they write smoothly and create beautiful hairlines and downstrokes.
- Very fine point capable of creating thin hairlines
- High ink capacity keeps you writing longer
- Three same-size nibs in each pack to always have an available nib
- Ability to create quality hairlines and thick downstrokes
- Made by a trusted brand
- Ink lasts long
- Excellent for modern calligraphy
- Suitable for beginners
- More expensive than some other nibs
4. Brause 66 NibView at Amazon
The Brause 66 Nib, also known as the Arrow Nib, features an extra fine point and high flexibility. It’s one of the best copperplate pen nibs.
You can create gorgeous thin upstrokes and thick downstrokes with this nib. It works well for any pointed pen calligraphy.
Intermediate calligraphers have found the Brause 66 Nib easy to use. They love the smooth writing experience and quality performance of this nib. Customers confirm the Arrow Nib is great for pointed pen calligraphy.
- Extra fine point for detailed calligraphy
- High flexibility to create an array of thin to thick lines
- High ink capacity lets you focus on writing longer
- Great for pointed pen calligraphy
- Trusted brand
- Holds ink long
- Smooth writing
- More expensive than other nibs
5. Speedball Pkg-512 & 513EF Calligraphy Pen NibsView at Amazon
The bowl points on these calligraphy pen nibs make them excel at ruling and lettering italic and Roman calligraphy. Two similar but different nibs are in the set.
The nibs are firm, durable, and suitable for beginners. They draw up a lot of ink and write smoothly.
Consumers like that these nibs last long and produce quality italic and Roman calligraphy. Beginners say that they’re firm enough to prevent problems with ink dropping on the paper.
- One 512 bowls pointed nib that works well for ruling and lettering italic and Roman calligraphy
- One EF 513 globe bowl pointed nib designed for industrial arts
- Made in the USA for thicker writing than EF Japanese nibs
- Works well for italic and Roman calligraphy
- Two different nibs in the set to experiment with
- Beginner friendly
- Both nibs are extra fine for more precise writing and thinner overall lines
- Not very flexible if you’re in need of a high-flexibility nib
6. Tachikawa Comic G Nib 3-PackView at Amazon
G nibs are Japanese-style nibs with cuts in the shoulder. They are designed to write finer lines than one expects from their size. These nibs are also capable of writing thick strokes.
Among calligraphers, the Tachikawa G Nib is often considered one of the easiest and smoothest G nibs to write with. Beginners and heavy-handed writers will want to choose this brand G nib for calligraphy.
Consumers love the ultra-thin and bold thick strokes they can write with these nibs. They also like that the nibs write smoothly without making loud scratching sounds.
- Comic G model nib type that creates crisp, strong lines
- Made by a well-known Japanese nib brand that professionals use
- Three nibs in each pack to last you a while
- Can be used by beginners
- Slight flexibility
- Can create a wide variation of thin to thick strokes
- More expensive than other nibs
7. Zebra Comic G Titanium Nibs 10-Piece SetView at Amazon
The Zebra Comic G Nib creates some of the thinnest lines among G nibs. It’s more flexible than the Nikko G Nib.
Compared to other G nibs, the Zebra Comic G Nib is scratchier. However, it’s durable and delivers quality strokes for those who know how to use it.
The Zebra Comic G Titanium Nibs are well-loved among customers. They say it’s not only good for beginners but performs at a level more experienced calligraphers demand. The nibs are also durable and last long.
- Titanium coating that reduces wear and tear
- 10 identical nibs in each pack to last a long time
- Colored gold for a luxurious style
- Suitable for beginners
- More durable than the average nib
- Lasts long
- Costs more than some other nibs
8. Gullor 5PCS Fountain Pen Nibs Fit Jinhao 250/301/500/5099/8802/9009/5000, Gold, Bent NibView at Amazon
Bent nibs adjust line thickness based on the angle you hold the pen. They are commonly used for writing Chinese characters, but western calligraphers also enjoy using bent nibs like the Jinhao 5-Piece Bent Nib Set.
With the nibs in this set, you can write from EF to 4B. Ink picks up well and applies smoothly to paper.
Many customers enjoy the smooth ink laydown and vast options in line thickness while writing with these nibs. They say the nibs hold a lot of ink as well.
- Five nibs in each set to keep you covered for a year or longer
- Coated in iridium for durability
- Bent style perfect for Chinese characters
- Line thickness is adjustable via changing the angle while writing
- Holds ink well
- Lasts long
- If you’re not used to bent nibs, you may need to adjust to the different style of writing
9. Tachikawa Comic Pen Nib SetView at Amazon
Are you looking for a set of different types of calligraphy nibs? The Tachikawa Comic Pen Nib Set comes with five different nibs to give you a lot of variety. You can figure out what style of nib you like if you’re new to calligraphy.
The set includes the Tachikawa G nib, Saji nib, Maru nib, Nipponji nib, and school nib. Flexibility varies among the nibs with some of them being fairly stiff. All of them hold ink well to avoid frequent dipping.
Many customers have successfully used these nibs for intricate work and love the quality of the ink laydown. If you need to write small, then they are good nibs to use. Beginners who tried these nibs also had a positive experience. One criticism some consumers have is the nibs are too scratchy for their preference.
- Five different nibs in the set to add variety to your calligraphy supplies
- Made in Japan by a reputable brand
- A bowl-shaped nib is included that can create striking bold strokes
- Five unique nibs to work with
- Helps you discover what type of Japanese nib you like most
- Flexible without being high in flexibility
- Suitable for beginners
- Not very flexible for those who prefer highly flexible nibs
Factors to Consider When Buying Calligraphy Nibs
At first, you may feel lost not knowing which nibs to buy for calligraphy. It seems there are many different types of calligraphy nibs to choose from. Learning how to buy the right calligraphy nibs is easy. Through a little experimentation, you’ll find which ones suit your personal style the most.
Flexibility and Shape
Flexibility and nib size are two of the most important factors to consider when buying calligraphy nips. You shouldn’t buy firm nibs because they don’t offer a lot of variation in line thickness. Firm nibs are designed for everyday writing.
If you want to do any type of calligraphy with drastic differences in line thickness, look for a highly flexible nib. Keep in mind that the more flexible a nib is, the greater the learning curve. They tend to be very sensitive to pressure, which can result in ink dropping onto the paper.
You’ll also want to avoid nibs that have a round nib shape because this nib shape produces uniform lines. Italic nib shapes are those which create thin to thick lines.
Nib size determines how thick the writing is, similar to the way ballpoint and rollerball pens produce thicker lines with larger point sizes. In the world of nibs, your size options are EF, F, M and B. This stands for extra fine, fine, medium, and bold.
You may also find nib sizes expressed numerically, such as 0.5 mm (EF), 0.6 mm (F), 0.75 mm (M), and 0.9 mm (B). Additional common options in calligraphy nib sizes are 1.1 mm and 1.5 mm for very broad lines.
These are the western sizes. Japanese nibs run smaller than western nibs because Japanese script requires greater detail and precision. An EF Japanese nib is 0.3 mm. F Japanese nibs are 0.45 mm, and M Japanese nibs are 0.6 mm.
Most calligraphy nibs are made of either gold or stainless steel but plated in another metal. Always check the product specifications rather than assuming based on its color. Gold nibs can be plated in chrome, and steel nibs can be colored gold. Genuine gold nibs usually have gold content imprinted on them, such as 14K or 18K.
The material doesn’t matter much when choosing a calligraphy nib. However, gold does have springier properties, so it can provide more cushioning from scratchiness that results from tipping imperfections.
Making the Decision
We chose the Zebra Comic G Model Chrome Nibs as the best calligraphy nibs because they create quality thin to thick lines and are used by professionals. If you’re looking for the most durable calligraphy nibs, consider the Zebra Comic G Titanium Nibs 10-Piece Set.
The choice you make in which nibs to buy depends mostly on what type of calligraphy you’re doing. Choose a bowl-pointed nib like Speedball EF 512 and EF 513 Calligraphy Pen Nibs for italic and Roman calligraphy.
Chinese calligraphy would work well with a bent nib, such as the Jinhao 5-Piece Bent Nib Set. Our top pick tends to be great for most types of calligraphy.