View Full Version : Nib numbering / Size reference

May 17th, 2014, 11:54 AM
Not looking for someone to be my Google. :-)
I am interested in community recommendations to learn about Esterbrook numbering (and dip pen numbering ) how those numbered nibs compare to the sizing on modern European/Asian letter coded nibs


May 17th, 2014, 12:21 PM
The Esterbrook nib chart I usually depend on is Anderson Pens' (http://www.andersonpens.net/Articles.asp?ID=256).

As for how Estie nibs compare to modern nibs... well, modern nibs aren't standardized either. John Mottishaw has a helpful chart comparing nibs in current production (http://nibs.com/TippingSizespage.htm) from a few popular high-quality manufacturers. You can make some generalized conclusions (eg, a Japanese F nib will probably draw a thinner line than a German F), but for precision, you'll have a lot more success asking if somebody has two particular nibs and can compare them directly.

Jon Szanto
May 17th, 2014, 12:42 PM
ardgedee did a great job of summation!

On the Esterbrook's, Anderson's is good, and here is an alternative (http://www.snyderfamily.com/current/estienibs.htm).

And, as to nib numbering and sizing, it truly is all over the map. The best you'll get is consensus within one brand as to what the tip sizes of the nibs are like, but you really have to compare nibs to see. Also, people get confused between the size of the nib and the size of the tip of the nib. People can refer to a #6 modern nib, and that will be how big the entire thing is. Then, it can be XF, or B, or whatever. In general, Japanese nibs run smaller than other nibs (their F would be like a German XF). And when you get back into vintage, all bets are off, there simply is no across-the-board terminology. Sorry.

May 17th, 2014, 01:51 PM
At least I have reference points I can trust aren't hot air now. Thanks, all

August 10th, 2014, 12:33 PM
Why do I have one nib 9668 and another same number but it is written sideways on the nib?

August 10th, 2014, 12:40 PM
Why do I have one nib 9668 and another same number but it is written sideways on the nib?

They were made at different times.

August 10th, 2014, 01:52 PM
To make the matter more cloudy...
The width of the tip is not the only factor, the profile of the tip also affects how wide/narrow the ink line is.
I measured the tip of my Pelikan M nib at 0.038 inch, and the tip of a Parker 51 M nib at .030 inch. With the same ink Cross/Pelikan blue, the ink lines look about the same width.
Similarly the different tip profiles of the various Estrbrook nibs will affect the width of the ink line.
You can measure the width of the tip, but you cannot measure the tip profile. All you can do is describe it; spherical, cylindrical, slab, wedge, etc.