(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)
The Kaweco Special Nib Holder is made of anodized aluminum with a matte black finish. It has an octagonal shape that tapers at the end. Although the holder is made of metal, the matte finish and octagonal shape make it easy to hold. The metal gives the nib holder some weight, and it feels balanced in the hand–not too heavy and not too light.
The Kaweco Special comes in a plastic box that can be used for storage.
Nibs can be inserted anywhere along the circle of the nib grip. In the photo below, you can see rust on the nib holder. I believe this is rust transferred from the nibs (which rust quite easily) and not the metal parts of the holder rusting.
The nib holder comes with a Leonardt 30 pointed nib. It’s a fairly stiff nib that writes a fine line.
I wanted something more expressive, so I purchased a Brause 361 Steno Blue Pumpkin Calligraphy Nib that has more flexibility.
Both nibs write fairly smoothly, but because the tips are sharp, you can definitely catch the paper on upstrokes. The Brause nib offers a great deal more flexibility and I prefer writing with it. But the Leonardt nib is good for basic writing and sketching.
The nibs are easy to insert into the holder, but I have to use rubber gloves to remove them. The nibs are sharp and slippery. They are also prone to rusting, so you need to rinse and dry them off after each use (I learned this the hard way). The blue plating on my Brause nib is flaking off, but these aren’t exactly high-end nibs. I don’t expect them to last long.
I love dip nibs for ink testing because you can simply rinse the nib off between inks rather than having to fill a piston or converter. It saves time and a lot of ink. The downside of using dip nibs, especially if you’re not accustomed to writing with them (like me), is that the ink can come out much wetter than it would with a fountain pen nib. So the ink appears darker and, in some cases, it feathers, when it would not do that in a regular pen.
Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, which I am very grateful for.
Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!