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Thread: Lamy Nibs With or Without Breather Hole?

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    FPG Donor ♕ Chrissy's Avatar
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    Default Lamy Nibs With or Without Breather Hole?

    When looking for Lamy 14ct nib prices I've found there are 4 different Lamy reference numbers: Z 55, Z 56, Z 57 and Z 58. Apart from the fact that the Z 57 is black, the other main difference I can see is that the Z 55 is the only one with a breather hole.

    In steel nibs Lamy Joy nibs: 1.1mm, 1.5mm and 1.9mm also seem to come without breather holes compared with the standard Z 50 nibs for Safari, Nexx, Al-Star etc.

    Has anyone ever found any difference between the writing performance of the Z 55 and Z 50 nibs with breather holes compared with the others that don't have them?

    I haven't noticed any significant writing difference when I swap a standard Z 50 EF, F, M or B with breather hole to a 1.1 or 1.5 without and can't help but wonder why Lamy make some with and without.

    People do tend to swap nibs like these between Lamy models that they all fit and I wonder if maybe breather hole nibs are designated only for use in those pen models that they originally start life with or vice versa. Or is the absence of a breather hole just for cosmetic appearance in some of their models? Exactly what function does the breather hole perform if it is unnecessary in some models?
    Regards, Chrissy | My Review Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lamy Nibs With or Without Breather Hole?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    ... I wonder if maybe breather hole nibs are designated only for use in those pen models that they originally start life with or vice versa. Or is the absence of a breather hole just for cosmetic appearance in some of their models? Exactly what function does the breather hole perform if it is unnecessary in some models?
    Richard's pen pages observe that breather holes are ostensibly there to improve ink flow, but also prevent cracking from stress at the end of the slit, noting their absence from firm nibs.

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    Default Re: Lamy Nibs With or Without Breather Hole?

    So maybe Lamy are confident that their nibs without breather holes are good enough for ink flow and won't crack
    Regards, Chrissy | My Review Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Senior Member christof's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lamy Nibs With or Without Breather Hole?

    ...Or is the absence of a breather hole just for cosmetic appearance in some of their models?
    Yes I think that this is very likely.

    I have LAMY nibs without breather holes with perfect ink flow. For example this:

    LAMY Aion by C.M.Z, auf Flickr
    Last edited by christof; January 23rd, 2023 at 07:23 AM.

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    Default Re: Lamy Nibs With or Without Breather Hole?

    I have also swapped in "non breather hole nibs" nibs to Lamy models that started life with "breather hole" nibs. I haven't even been sure if it could become a problem or not.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Review Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Default Re: Lamy Nibs With or Without Breather Hole?

    The holes are mainly just stress management anyway.

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    Default Re: Lamy Nibs With or Without Breather Hole?

    Quote Originally Posted by jar View Post
    The holes are mainly just stress management anyway.
    ...but look quite good in some cases




    and according to this drawing, the air takes another way:


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    Default Re: Lamy Nibs With or Without Breather Hole?

    Compare the above nibs to the very flexible nibs typically found in dip pens that lack breather holes. Dip pens have no ink flow coming from an ink reservoir, as do fountain pens.

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    Default Re: Lamy Nibs With or Without Breather Hole?

    A close examination of Lamy nibs without breather holes reveals that the area where the slit ends is quite nicely rounded to relieve any stress concentration which might initiate fracture in that area. I note the same construction in Pilot Music nibs using twin slits without breather holes. The cutting of the slits ends with cleanly rounded areas which limit any stress concentration.

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