On the Flip Side of the Nib


Above is an example that’s easier to see: two sides of a Kaweco Sport double-broad nib.  On the left is the normal tipping material, which is nice and thick.  On the right is the reverse side of the nib, which has a smaller profile, but still has recognizable tipping.

There isn’t always enough tipping material on the reverse side, or sometimes it’s too scratchy.  But it’s worth trying in a pinch. On the Kaweco AL-Sport extra-fine nib, for example, the reverse side is quite nice.  It just needed a few light passes with micromesh to be silky smooth, which is great for an extra-extra fine.

Here are some writing samples to show the difference between the two sides of a few nibs.  First is the Kaweco extra-fine.  The first three lines are written with the normal extra-fine tip, and the next are written with the reverse.


You can see that the reverse really gives a nice, thin line.  I just used this to fill out a sports team form release, to make sure all the information was legible.

Using the flip side of the nib also works with wider nibs.  Here is a Montblanc broad.  The Montblanc’s reverse side isn’t as smooth as the Kaweco reverse side, but it still writes more narrowly.


Here is a vintage Parker Vacumatic.


So, it’s a nice little trick.  If you need a thinner line and don’t want to pull out a different pen, turn the nib over and see if that works.

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