The longevity of a fountain pen is part of what attracts writers. Knowing that your writing instrument is made of premium materials and is made to last a lifetime makes it a great investment indeed.
However, fountain pen users may wonder if it is possible for a nib to wear out, especially over time. Like all things, there is a certain level of wear and tear that can be expected, especially if it is used frequently.
Here, we’ll briefly explore this.
Do fountain pen nibs wear out?
The short answer to the question of whether fountain pen nibs wear out is, yes, they can. It is worth noting that this only happens after extended use. The speed of wear depends on several factors.
Fountain pen nib material
Fountain pen nibs are made of strong and sturdy materials such as stainless steel and gold. Sometimes nib tips are also dipped in iridium, such as the classic fountain pen from Graf von Faber-Castell. Iridium is a hardening agent that makes it very wear-resistant. When properly taken care of, your pens can resist wear and easily last a lifetime if maintained properly.
However, the reality is that nibs used over time will experience some wearing out. Softer nibs like gold can wear out more quickly compared to other metals used for fountain pen nibs. And although they are designed to last a lifetime, nibs do not remain in perfect condition forever.
What causes nibs to wear down?
There are several things that may cause a nib to wear down, such as the nib material, paper quality, ink type, and writing pressure.
The first and most obvious cause of a worn-out nib is dropping your pen nib side down. This can permanently damage your fountain pen nib, and repairs may not always be successful depending on the severity of the problem.
The type of writing surface you use with your pen and how much pressure you apply can cause nibs to wear out slowly over the years. Using different types of inks, such as iron gall, can also affect how long your nib lasts in tip-top condition.
Signs of a worn-out nib
There are several signs of nib that has already been worn out. These may be due to the nib itself, but keep in mind that they could also be because of other issues. It helps to try other solutions and do a visual inspection to really determine whether your nib is worn out. These are the signs to watch out for:
Hard starts after cleaning
Hard starting is a common issue in fountain pens that can easily be remedied. However, if your pen keeps on hard starting even after you’ve cleaned and re-inked it several times, then it might indicate problems resulting from a worn-out nib.
Railroading after cleaning
Railroading refers to when a fountain pen doesn’t release enough ink on the nib, leading to two parallel lines on the paper rather than one, clean line. When the nib consistently does this while feeling scratchy and dry, it may be a sign of misalignment or baby’s bottom.
It’s best to start with the basics of nib maintenance, such as deep cleans, but if your nib is worn out and continues to have problems, then it’s best to take it to a nibmeister or replace it.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, there is no need to worry much over how much your pens will wear out. As mentioned above, significant wear and tear take years and years to become noticeable. This is why vintage pens still work so well after so long — fountain pens are indeed made to last a lifetime.
If you take care of your pen properly by using the correct writing technique, ink, and paper while maintaining it well, then chances are your fountain pen nib won’t wear out significantly.
Written by EndlessPens Blogger Ramona Kabigting