How Long Do Calligraphy Nibs Last?- Master Guide
Calligraphy

How Long Do Calligraphy Nibs Last?- Master Guide- InkSmooth

How long do calligraphy nibs last? How to know if your calligraphy nibs are worn out? How long can you use a nib? When should you change nib? And finally How to take care of calligraphy nibs so it will last long? Let’s find out all of these in this article.

How long do calligraphy nibs last? The G nibs are very rigid and strong, so they last 3 weeks with 2 hours of daily writing. So G nibs last for 42 hours of continuous writing. And other Flex nibs tend to be flexible so they are not that strong. Therefore if a calligrapher has a heavy grip then it will get worn out in 1 day. And with a soft  grip it can last up to 5 hours for 1 week. So that’s 35 hours.

Read below for getting further information about calligraphy nib. we included every information about calligraphy nibs.

Do Calligraphy Nibs Wear Out?

Calligraphy nibs do get worn out after use. It will depend on your nib and how much pressure you apply while writing. The nib gets a little bend, gets rusty. Also the ink flow of the nib gets inconsistent while writing. And the tip of the nib got spread and didn’t snap back again.

After using the nibs the nibs get worn out. And you have to change the nibs for writing smoothly again. You had to change your calligraphy nibs between one or few weeks time period.

The time will depend on how much you write and how heavy your grip is. If you apply heavy pressure while writing the nib will get worn out quickly, within a day sometimes.

And if you use soft pressure it will last a little longer.

And following is the heading for How Long Do Calligraphy Nibs Last? Also below that there is information for how you get to know if your nib gets worn out.

When the nib gets worn out, the nib gets rusted a bit, especially on the back side. It happens when we keep nibs moist and ideal for a long time. Therefore You should have to clean the nib properly after using it.

Also the tip of the nibs get slightly open. And not snap back again. Therefore the ink flow of the nib gets inconsistent. And it didn’t write properly.

And lastly the nibs don’t write finely the same. Therefore the quality of writing gets decreased. Therefore you have to change your nib to write properly.

How Long Do Calligraphy Nibs Last?

There are two different types of calligraphy nib we can use. The normal nibs which cost about $2 per nib. They are not as durable as G nibs. They are meant to be flexible.

So therefore they last less then G nibs. Your grip and how much pressure you apply while writing will make a dramatic effect. The normal nibs with heavy grip will last you for 1 day only. And if your grip is softer then it will last you for 1 week with 5 hours of writing daily.

If you use 5 hours daily then it will get worn out in 1 week. And other types of nibs are G nibs.

What are G nibs? The G nibs are very famous types of nib among the people, especially in the creation of manga. G nibs are a Japanese-made pen nib. Which has cuts in its shoulders that make a “G” shape. G nibs are large, but capable of creating fine lines for its size. 

Also the G nibs are very durable and stronger then normal nibs. Therefore it is very famous and favorite among calligraphers.

The G nibs like nikko G, Tachikawa G are stronger then normal nib. The G nibs will last you for 3 weeks with 2 hours of writing daily. That’s 42 hours of total writing til nib gets worn out.

And other high end nibs which are more expensive will last you for different times periods. So therefore you should have to know when your calligraphy nib gets worn out. And when you should change your nib. Therefore the following is the guide for how to know if your nibs get worn out.

How Do You Know If a Nib is Worn Out?

Following are the things to check to know if your nib gets worn out or not-

  • The nib will get rusted, especially on the back. (but it’s not enough to know)
  • The tip of  the nib gets open up, and doesn’t snap back together.
  • The ink flow gets inconsistent. And nib gets unusable.
  • Nib didn’t write as finely as new .
  • There is a gap in between while writing.
  • If you look close enough the tip of the nib gets bent.
  • And lastly, you feel it while writing. When the nib is new it glides smoothly on paper but afterwards it doesn’t write properly and smoothly.

These points you should keep in mind for knowing whether your nib is worn out or not.

1. Your Nib Gets Bent a Little Bit.

Firstly when you write on paper with a nib, the nib gets bent because of your hand pressure.

When you apply pressure to the nib many times for writing, the nib gets bent. And it affects the strokes of the nib.

Following is an example of how it looks when the tip of the nib gets bent.

It affects the stroke quality a lot. Stokes are pulled inconsistently and imperfectly. It will dramatically affect nibs and you are not able to pull perfect strokes like before.

2. The Tip of Your Nib Gets Separated.

As well as with this the tip of the calligraphy nib gets separated.

Normally when we write the tip of the nib gets open and perfectly distributes the ink. It helps to pull perfect strokes. And then the tip gets close again. 

But after many uses, the tip of the nib didn’t snap back together tightly. If you look closely you can see a tiny space between them. It’s one of the signs your calligraphy nib gets worn out.

When the tip of the nib gets separated the ink flow of the nib also gets affected. As a result you get inconsistent writing.

The nib stops while writing. And you are not able to write continuously. The image below is a perfect example for understanding this.

So if your pen starts pulling inconsistent strokes like these then you preferably should consider changing your nib.

This gap between writing will affect your writing and stroke a lot.

3. The Ink Flow Became Inconsistent.

When your nib gets worn out, the tip of the nib gets separated and therefore ink flows inconsistently from it. Also because the nib gets bent, the ink flows become inconsistent.

The strokes get inaccurate and it affects your overall writing. If you ignore it and continue writing with it, then nib stops between the writing. And if you continue further then it will become worse. And nib will become unusable.

Therefore you should not want to ignore it. And change your nib properly from time to time. And if you take care of your nibs carefully. Then it will help you for quality writing.

And trust me when your ink flows gets inconsistent then your pen stops writing in between. And it gets really really annoying.

It stresses you out a lot and increases your anxiety while writing. And no one is willing to face it. Therefore you should take care of your nibs and change them from time to time.

4. Nib Didn’t Write as Finely as When It’s New.

When your nibs get worn out, then it doesn’t write as finely as when it’s new.. You notice it by yourself automatically.

You notice and feel by yourself that the strokes thickness and quality has decreased over the time. And this is the best method for knowing when to change your calligraphy nib.

When you feel that the nib is unpleasantful for writing and strokes are not according to you. Then you can change your nib.

The difference between new and worn out nibs is substantial, therefore anyone can feel it while writing. Or even you can see afterwards and compare the old and new writing.

When nib starts to feel unpleasant for you then you can change it. It is the best method to know when you have to change your nib.

Because when nib starts to get worn out, it slowly affects the writing. And then you are not able to provide good quality work. So change it when you feel it doesn’t give you the necessary quality or comfort.

5. The Nib Gets Rusted.

When nib gets worn out the easiest sign to know is nib gets rusted. You can clearly tell it by just seeing the nib. Especially the back side of the nib gets rusted, you can easily tell that.

It happens because of the ink. When the nib stays moist for a long time it starts to get rusty. Therefore the easiest way to prevent this is to clean the nib properly and wipe it with dry cloth.

By doing this your nib will last longer and not get rusted. The rust is easily visible and anyone can tell that the nib is old.

Here is an example and comparison between a new calligraphy nib and old nib which has rust on it. And you can easily tell by just looking at it.

The rust didn’t affect much on the performance of the nib. It just creates a little ink flow problem. But you can clearly tell the nib is old.

So, the rust indicated that the nib is old, but did not affect the performance of the nib. But it’s a great way to know that nib is old and should be worn out.

How Long Can You Use a Nib?

You should use one nib for at least a week, and if you take care of it properly it can last you for 3 weeks. And it also defer on nib types. G nibs usually last longer for at least 3 weeks. And other nibs are flexible so it will last you for 1 week with 5 hours of daily writing.

The normal and general Calligraphy nibs in the market will easily last for 1 week. Therefore you should want to use a nib for 1 week.

But here is a thing to consider, you should check whether your nib has gotten worn out or not.

Because the life of the nib is deferred from its build quality and types. So the time may defer on the nib type and quality.

But in general normal Calligraphy nibs which we can find everywhere in the market last you for 1 week if you have a soft grip. But if you apply heavy pressure while writing then it will only last you for 1 day. That’s a general answer.

But if you have a G nib (e.g. Nikko G) then it will last you for 3 weeks with 2 hours of daily writing. Because these are strong and durable. They are very famous among calligraphy because they last longer than other normal nibs.

And now let’s see in depth in this question. I will suggest that You use a nib till it gets worn out. How will we know when it gets worn out and you should change a nib? See above the heading we mentioned there how to know if you are nib gotten worn out or not?

And if you are really serious about your writing quality then you should consider changing your nib when you feel.

When the nib starts to get worn out, slowly it’s writing quality decreases. You get to see inconsistency in writing. The ink stops coming between writing. And strokes also get pulled inaccurately.

It didn’t happen suddenly, these things happened slowly and gradually. 

So once you feel that nib is affecting your writing quality and strokes come inaccurate then you should stop using that nib.

That’s my expert suggestion. 

The following is a specific nib’s model and how long you should use them. It’s my personal experience with the nib. and This time is calculated from when the nib gets worn out.

So here is the table, how long should you use a nib for specific model-

Nib’s modelHow Long You Should Use It.
Nikko G3 Weeks with 2 Hours of Daily Writing (42 hours Total)
Tachikawa G 3 Weeks with 2 Hours of Daily Writing (42 hours Total)
Zebra Comic G Model Chrome Pen Nib3 Weeks with 2 Hours of Daily Writing (42 hours Total)
Brause EF66 Nib1 Week with 5 Hours of Writing (35 hours Total)
The Leonardt Principal Nib1 Week with 5 Hours of Writing (35 hours Total)
The Brause Rose Nib1 Week with 5 Hours of Writing (35 hours Total)
William Mitchell Calligraphy Copper Plate Nibs1 Week with 5 Hours of Writing (35 hours Total)
Manuscript Leonardt Copperplate Crown Nib And Polished1 Week with 5 Hours of Writing (35 hours Total)
How Long Should You Use a Nib For Specific Nib Models

These are some of the popular nib models and how long you should use them.

How to Care for Calligraphy Nibs? 

And now lastly let’s see how to take care of nibs so it will last you longer.

1. Clean Your Nib Properly After Using It.

If you want to use your nib for a long time and want to maintain it properly then, the first thing you should consider is cleaning it.

You should want to clean your calligraphy nib properly after every use. Take all the ink properly from the nib and then wipe it with dry cloth.

The ink gets rusted if it stays moist for a long time.  Because the nib is continuously in contact with ink. and if it stays more moist it will get rust.

Cleaning your calligraphy nib properly after every use and storing it properly will increase your nib’s life.

  • You should clean your nib with lukewarm water.
  • Then wipe your nib with a non fibrous tissue. Such as old toilet paper.
  • Some Calligraphy uses window cleaners to clean their nibs. To make sure they leave no grease on the nib.

2. Use a Softer Grip While Writing If You Can.

Some calligraphy has a soft grip while writing. They do not apply heavy pressure while writing. And some calligraphy has a heavy grip so they apply a little more pressure while writing.

If you apply too much or heavy pressure on the nib while writing, the tip and nib will get slightly bent. And it will worn out your nib.

If the tip of your nib gets bent then ink flow will become inconsistent. And the ink will stop coming in-between while writing. And it’s annoying.

Also if you apply heavy pressure while writing, the tip of the nib will get separated like in the picture below.

Usually these ends get split up while writing and let the ink flow when you apply pressure to them. And when you stop applying pressure and lift the nib they snap back together. Thus stops the ink flow.

But after constant uses and if you apply heavy pressure to it they will get split up a little bit.

And if you look very closely you can see a tiny gap between these. It’s permanent.

And it affects the ink flow and sometimes nib creates a big ink spot while writing.

If you use a softer grip while writing then the nib will not get born out fast.

It will not prevent it from bending or getting split up, it will happen eventually. But it will delay the process. And you can use nib for a longer time.

So if you can use a soft grip then you should. It will increase the nib’s life.

3. Use Good Quality Paper.

You should use a good quality paper while writing. It will not just look good but it will increase your nib’s life.

Your nib will not get worn out quickly. While writing if your paper is smooth the nib will gild on your paper easily. It will not have to force it against the texture of paper.

You will save a lot of Money in your tools if you use good quality and smooth paper. Not just your nib but also your other pen will last you longer if you use a smooth paper.

Especially if you are writing with brush pens, then rough paper is the worst enemy of a brush pen. Paper will ruin your pen’s brush and eventually you have to throw that pen away. So if you use good quality paper you will save a lot of money on your pens and nibs.

If you want more information about calligraphy paper, here is the full guide about it- InkSmooth Best Paper for Calligraphy- Complete Buyer’s Guides

It has all the things included. What to look for when buying and what difference will it make.

If you use good quality paper it will increase your nib’s life. And nib will last you for longer.

4. Use good quality ink.

Lastly, use good quality ink for writing. If ink is old and has clots to it, then it will create trouble to nib.

You should want to maintain your nib correctly. If ink is slimy and has clots then it will have trouble to flow properly from nib.

Also if it remains stuck on the nib after use, it will damage it. And metal will also get rusty.

Also keep in mind, the ink is made from chemicals. Use good quality ink so your nib will not get worn out quickly.

Maintain your nib properly!

If you want more information about calligraphy inks then check out this article- Ultimate Calligraphy Ink Master Guide

What to Do If Nib Stops While Writing.

If your Calligraphy nib stops flowing ink while writing, then it definitely worn out or started to worn out.

You can choose to change nib if it has other performance issues, like strokes are coming inaccurate or something.

But there is a simple way to fix that nib and make it usable again.

So if you want to use the nib again as its new then follow the steps below.

  1. Carefully take out the nib from the pen.
  2. Get a candle or paper and lit it up.
  3. Then carefully hold the nib on the fire for 5-10 second.
  4. Use something to hold the nib, don’t hold it with your hand. You will get born, because the nib is made from metal.
  5. Then give nib a few seconds to cool off. Or rinse it with water.
  6. Then it should be good to use again as normal.

The Calligraphy nib is made from metal, so If you do this the metal will contract because of heat.

And it will solve your ink flowing problem.

Lot of calligraphers use this technique to make nib usable again. 

But just don’t overheat a nib. Even though the nib is made from metal, it is a small metal piece.

Also by heating your nib the tip of the nib will snap back together again. So it’s a great trick to fix your Calligraphy nibs.

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