• Which Calligraphy Nibs to Use and Why

    If you’re looking for some new calligraphy nibs to try, consider the four contenders in this blog post! Today, we’ll explore the pros and cons of using the Nikko G, the Brause EF66, the Leonardt Principal, and the Brause Rose calligraphy nibs.

    Which Calligraphy Nibs to Use and Why | The Postman's Knock

    I want to preface this post by saying that, when you consider how many calligraphy nibs are available, I haven’t tried many of them. So, if you have a favorite, I hope that you’ll contribute it in the comments section! The calligraphy nibs that we are examining today are four of my favorites, and all are worth trying. We’ll start with the most beginner-friendly nib and end with the most finicky!

    1. The Nikko G Nib

    I tout the Nikko G as the best beginner calligraphy nib, and it’s what I start learners off with in all of my beginner calligraphy workshops. The majority of learners find it easiest to use this nib because of its resilience. The Nikko G is tolerant if you apply too much pressure or too little pressure, and it is capable of making nice stroke contrast!

    The Best Beginner Calligraphy Nib | The Postman's Knock

    Pros of Using the Nikko G Nib

    • The Nikko G nib is strong and has a medium flex, which means it can handle a great deal of pressure before it breaks. That’s good news for beginners who still need to figure out their pressure exertion!
    • The medium flex of this nib also ensures that its tines don’t catch on paper much compared to more flexible calligraphy nibs. Its tines are anything but flimsy!
    • This is a large nib, so it holds a large amount of ink. That means less re-dipping for you!
    • The nib is widely available (online) in several countries. For a list of international vendors, you can visit the Ultimate Modern Calligraphy Starter Kit post.
    Not Your Average Calligraphy Drills: Under the Sea Edition | The Postman's Knock
    Calligraphy drills provide a great way to acquaint yourself with any nib!

    Cons of Using the Nikko G Nib

    • As I mentioned, the Nikko G nib has a medium flex. That flex means that the contrast between thin upstrokes and thick downstrokes tends to be less noticeable than it is with flexible nibs.
    • People with a lighter touch will find this nib difficult to use because it requires a bit of strength to get a nice downstroke.

    2. The Brause EF66 Nib

    The Brause EF66 nib is my personal favorite. It’s a small, flexible nib that’s capable of making beautiful thick downstrokes and delicate thin upstrokes. I find it to be very user-friendly, though it’s probably not the best nib to start off with. I’ll explain why in the cons!

    Brause EF66 Nibs | The Postman's Knock
    You can learn more about the Brause EF66 nib — including where to purchase it — in this blog post.

    Pros of Using the Brause EF66 Nib

    • The Brause EF66 nib doesn’t require much strength to write with. When you exert just a bit of pressure on the downstroke, the tines splay and make a thick stroke.
    • The nib’s impressive flex ensures extraordinary stroke contrast.
    • The nib’s tines are strong enough that they don’t catch on the paper easily.
    Luminous Printable Envelope Template | The Postman's Knock
    The Kaitlin Style calligraphy on this printable envelope was created with an EF66 nib. Note the incredible contrast between the thick downstrokes and the thin upstrokes!

    Cons of Using the Brause EF66 Nib

    • It can be difficult to initiate ink flow from the Brause EF66 nib. If that’s something that you’re having trouble with, try the ink dot trick in the Common Calligraphy Ink Problems + Solutions post.
    • This is a small nib, so it doesn’t hold a whole lot of ink. Prepare for frequent re-dipping!
    • This nib wears down a little bit faster than the stronger Nikko G. You will need to replace it more often, comparatively. I replace my EF66 calligraphy nib once every 6 months or so.

    3. The Leonardt Principal Nib

    If you like the delicate vintage calligraphy look, then you’ll really enjoy the Leonardt Principal nib! This is a very fine-tipped nib that is a bit less flexible than the Brause EF66 nib. It makes very (very) thin upstrokes, and reasonably-sized downstrokes. In my opinion, that somewhat reduced contrast leads to a delightful antique look!

    Leonardt Principal Nibs | The Postman's Knock

    Pros of Using the Leonardt Principal Nib

    • The Leonardt Principal loves a light touch. Less pressure exertion means you won’t get tired of writing quite as quickly.
    • This nib can make delicate upstrokes like you wouldn’t believe!
    • The tines of this nib are flexible, but not excessively so. As such, they don’t tend to catch on paper as much as more flexible nibs.
    Mail Art Created with a Leonardt Principal Nib | The Postman's Knock
    This entire Janet Style envelope was created with a Leonardt Principal nib. Notice how delicate the upstrokes and the leaves are!

    Cons of Using the Leonardt Principal Nib

    • If you like a lot of contrast between upstrokes and downstrokes, this probably isn’t the nib for you.
    • If you exert too much pressure on the downstrokes, ink will “dump” onto the page. Use a light touch!

    4. The Brause Rose Nib

    If you love stroke contrast, then you’ll enjoy using the Brause Rose! The Rose is a beautiful, vintage style nib with a ton of flex to make thin upstrokes and thick downstrokes.

    Brause Rose Nibs | The Postman's Knock
    The Brause Rose nib is immediately recognizable because of the embossed rose on its barrel!

    Pros of Using the Brause Rose Nib

    • The super-high flex ensures that you get gorgeous downstrokes with minimal pressure exertion.
    • The nib is resilient in spite of its intense flexibility.
    Getting to Know the Brause Rose Nib | The Postman's Knock
    This Janet Style envelope has some serious contrast!

    Cons of Using the Brause Rose Nib

    • It can be really difficult to initiate ink flow when using the Brause Rose nib. (The All About the Brause Rose Nib article has some tips to help you get the ink started.)
    • This amount of flex can be tough to deal with as a beginner. Exert the tiniest amount of pressure, and the tines will split far apart! It’s best to accustom yourself to using less flexible nibs before you move onto the Rose.
    • The upstrokes that you create with this nib will be thicker than those created with smaller nibs (like the Leonardt Principal). It’s not a big deal, but something to remember.

    As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I haven’t tried a vast amount of calligraphy nibs. When I find something that I like, I tend to stick with it! While I encourage you to try the calligraphy nibs in this post, it’s not my intention to prevent you from trying other nibs. If you find one that you like, let me know about it — I’d love to try it, too!

    I hope that you found this post helpful. If you have any questions (or suggestions), don’t hesitate to contribute them in the comments! Have a great day, and thanks very much for reading TPK.


    Lindsey's Signature | The Postman's Knock