In Praise of Steel Nibs

Hi Pen Fans!

My most recent article can be found here.

I have tackled a topic that I feel needs to be covered in order for fountain pen consumers to make an educated decision with their purchases.

Click here to read this article.


Brian at Edison

8 replies on “In Praise of Steel Nibs”

I hope not. My intent was not to put down gold nibs, but to show the differences. Steel is sometimes overlooked as a nib material, and just wanted people to consider it, if cost is an issue. Gold is a better nib material, but is the cost worth it? Each customer can decide.

I have a gold nib from Brian, and I don’t feel foolish. I had my reasons for requesting the gold over steel. I’m very happy with it and my wonderful Huron pen. My next Edison pen will have a steel nib because Brian makes a great case for trying one.

Perhaps in the mid-nineteenth century, gold nibs made sense since most alloys of that time would corrode in contact with ink. These days we have far superior materials. Stainless steels are certainly adequate as you point out, but alloys such as Inconel-X, K-Monel, and several of the Hastelloy and Stellite group are far superior, being hard, springy, very corrosion proof, and workable. As for flex, I see no reason why one cannot thin the point in strategic areas to achieve this. Electro-etching or mechanical methods would work well.

I would go one step beyond your comment and suggest that those who buy gold nibs in modern times are grossly ignorant with their vanity far exceeding their intelligence. There is also the ethical point that the gold industry is corrupt and environmentally destructive.

I think you make a great point about the ethics of gold. I just got into fountain pens and am trying to find a high-quality one without gold for those very reasons.

Brian wrote an extremely informative article about steel lbs, so good, in fact, that it solidified my keen interest in purchasing an Edison Collier (steel nib, Fine) through Goulet Pens.

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