Many fountain pen users will tell you that getting a fountain pen is a great investment. While it is true that fountain pens last longer than many other writing instruments, you may be wondering just how long you can expect yours to stay in great working condition. Is it several months, a few years, or a couple of decades? Here, we’ll talk about how long fountain pen nibs last so you know what to expect from your trusty fountain pen.
Most fountain pens are made to last a lifetime. That said, this does not mean they can be expected to last forever. Not all nibs are created equally, so this can have a bearing on how long they last.
Fountain pen nibs are made of metal, usually stainless steel or gold, so they are not something that typically wears out that easily. It is the material use for tipping on the nib that is most important as it takes on most use. Nib tipping is the part of the nib that actually makes contact with the paper and is used for writing. On many nibs, tipping looks like a little round bubble at the very end, and it is usually made of iridium or other alloys that are harder than steel.
If you were to have a plain steel nib without any tipping, it wouldn’t be able to take the wear that regular writing causes. Fountain pens with tipped nibs will last much longer than untipped nibs since they are wear-resistant. What will determine how long your nib will last in this case is the material used. For instance, iridium tipping will last much longer than golden ones. Some golden nibs like the Pelikan two-tone M800 nibs are tipped with iridium to make them last much longer.
Depending on the quality of the tipping, fountain pen nibs can last anywhere between 10 to 30 years of use. Some can last even longer; this is why some vintage fountain pens are able to write well even after decades of use.
Use will also matter when asking how long your nib will last. Your nib will undergo the process of wear the more you write. And if you’re bending and flexing the nib often, it will certainly go through that process more quickly. Often, this may allow you to enjoy your pen more as it adjusts to your writing style. However, the opposite may also happen if the nib goes through a lot of use.
If you like experiencing a smooth, glassy feel when writing, then you may be glad to know that fountain pens can get smoother with use and wear. This may be because of eventual wear with time and how you use the pen. Take note that sturdy nibs will take years before any physical changes can be observed. But the longer a nib lasts, the smoother it may feel as you get used to the grip, writing angle, and hand position when writing.
The Bottom Line
So, how long do fountain pen nibs last? That will depend on the nib type you have and how you’re using it on daily basis, but tipped nibs should write well for at least a couple of decades. Observing best practices in fountain pen cleaning and maintenance also helps. Remember that while nibs are meant to last a lifetime, they are also made to be used! You can always replace your pen’s nib if needed, and you can always take it to a nibmeister for tuning.
Written by EndlessPens Blogger Ramona Kabigting