Weekend Chats – Nibs Galore

If you’ve done your research on which pointed nibs to use for beginner modern calligraphy, you would’ve probably decided on the Nikko G or one of the other common G nibs available (Zebra or Leonardt).

I’m all for beginning with harder nibs because calligraphy is more than just the creation of alphabets. Stiffer nibs allow you to focus on your grip and arm movement without having to concern yourself too much with whether you’ll break the nib or not.

Personally, it’s been a long while since I’ve used a Nikko G nib. While I still keep a massive stock of it, I much prefer softer nibs these days. So today, I thought to just list 3 of my favourite nibs for modern calligraphy that you can consider when you’re ready to challenge yourself a little.


1. Leonardt 40

This is the other nib I provide at my modern calligraphy workshops. Perfect for those who are generally light handed, this Leonardt nib is an easy transition from the hard Nikko G. Relaxing and not holding your breath helps, especially for heavy handed folks like me. These help with loosening your grip on the pen.


2. Gillott  404

For some time, I couldn’t get enough of the Gillott 404 nib. Beautiful hairlines and soft enough for a lovely swell, this nib is another great one to consider after the Nikko G. Not that it’s expensive, but they tend to wear out real fast. I’ve received a few faulty ones and began to doubt its quality control.

Having said this, I still have a few of these nibs in my collection for the few times when I’m feeling blue and not Leonardt.


3. Hunt 101

My favourite soft nib of all. I’d say it’s the softest of the three but the hairlines you can create from this is delicate and oh so lovely. To be honest, it wasn’t too long ago that I finally managed to handle this nib well. Being a heavy handed writer, I’d say it’s been a long journey to get to this stage. Slowly but surely.

On some days, this still doesn’t bode well with my grip but I cut myself some slack. It’s out of personal preference that I’d rather hunker down and practice just so I can use this nib deftly. So really, whichever nib you choose to use depends on the aim of your calligraphy journey.



These are just some of my recommendations based on what I can easily obtain where I am. What are some of your favourite nibs? I’d love to know!



sign off


  1. I’m really new to pointed pen stuff so my experience is pretty much limited to the Nikko G, at this point. But i picked up a Brause steno 361 “blue pumpkin” for a softer nib and I absolutely love it. I’ve been planning on giving the the Hunt 101, and the Leonardt 40 a chance for a while now. 🙂 so we’ll see.

    • The Brause steno is very similar to the Leonardt 40, they pretty much have the same shape. Hope you’ll like the Hunt 101! 🙂

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