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Thread: Help in determining the grade of a Montblanc 146 nib

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    Default Help in determining the grade of a Montblanc 146 nib

    I recently bought a Montblanc 146 on eBay from a reputable seller. It was listed as having a "fine" nib. To my eye it writes like an extra fine. I find it scratchy -- my Pelikan M805 is smoother writing with the reverse side of its fine nib than the Montblanc writing on the proper side of its nib. Given the quirky policy of Montblanc of not putting the grade on their nibs it seems that the best thing to do is to turn to FPG for help. Does this look like a fine or extra fine and does it look like it has been subjected to a custom grind? See photos of the nib and comparisons to a Pelikan M805 f nib and a Lamy 2000 f nib below.
    Last edited by Zaptrax; September 13th, 2023 at 01:35 PM.

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    FPG Donor ♕ Chrissy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help in determining the grade of a Montblanc 146 nib

    It looks like a regular Montblanc EF to me. My F nibs are not as fine as that and some time ago I sold an EF that looked very similar.
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    Default Re: Help in determining the grade of a Montblanc 146 nib

    Richard Binder's line width grading is useful, and what most people follow these days. It's practical because it's based on what line actually ends up on the paper.

    A fine round nib is 0.5mm an extra fine is 0.4mm I know that you need some way to measure like a loupe with a graticule, but they're not impossible to find.

    BTW, I find that the 2000 nibs write a bit on the wide side....

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    Default Re: Help in determining the grade of a Montblanc 146 nib

    Thanks. Yes, I think that's generally true about Lamy nibs. My assumption is that MB, Lamy and Pelikan nibs would be similar widths for each grade. Platinum nibs I have found to be .1 narrower than nibs from other Japanese pen manufacturers and Japanese nibs in general about .1 narrower than German nibs for each grade. This old comparison chart is pretty useful but (argh!) they don't include Montblanc nibs. https://www.penchalet.com/nib_tipping_sizes.aspx

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    Default Re: Help in determining the grade of a Montblanc 146 nib

    I have Sheaffer's nib standard pinned at the top of the repair forum on the "other" board. I can't pin on FPG, so it would get lost if I posted it here. Sheaffer had a dial gauge with the nib sizes marked on it. They'd just slip it under and read it on the dial. I suppose that the same could be done with a pair of dial calipers, but it doesn't measure the line put down when the nib comes in contact with paper. The roundness and shape of the ball, as well as the size of the "pad" makes a difference in the line width that you see.

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    Default Re: Help in determining the grade of a Montblanc 146 nib

    I'd call that an EF.

    Of course the line width, at the end of the day, is what we care about, but MB seems to grind a certain "profile" for a given graded width. This sort of fine flat-tipped grind(almost looks like an architect grind, but rarely writes like one) is often characteristic of and EF. F and M MB nibs tend to be "blobbier" like your Pelikan you show. B will be big with a flat tip(which often writes a bit stubbish), while BB and wider tend toward full blown stubs.

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    Default Re: Help in determining the grade of a Montblanc 146 nib

    Looks like an EF to me as well, and there's nothing in the photos that stands out as abnormal or altered. I'm basing that off of a two-tone EF I have for my 146, which I bought to replace a monotone nib (that I ended up having retipped and now use).

    Some nibs are just scratchy no matter what, and trying to smooth them just ruins them. Lamy 2k nibs in EF are almost always like this, as are most Japanese F and EF, and the odd Pelikan when it's actually an EF and not a blob of iridium labeled EF that writes like a M. I've got an M300 and M101N in EF that are like this (a bit scratchy, but actually western EF).

    My "solution" has been to use those pens with smoother paper (e.g.: Rhodia), or just accept that they're going to feel like a freshly sharpened pencil. Write lightly to not break the tip in the case of the pencil, or not to exacerbate the scratchiness in the case of a fountain pen.
    "A truth does not mind being questioned. A lie does not like being challenged."

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