Q&A: What Is The Choice Of Lamy Fountain Pen Nibs

Q&A: What Is The Choice Of Lamy Fountain Pen Nibs

Lamy Nib family

Lamy Nibs - A Quick Introduction

Lamy is a staple across the fountain pen universe. They cover a range of writing instruments from uses with school children who are just starting out, to the die hard of adult stationery addicts. As such, they have a good range of various styles of nibs for all.

In the main Lamy Z50 nib family we have 4 differing sizes: Extra Fine, Fine, Medium, Broad. These steel nibs are available in either Polished or Black.

There is also the Left Hand and a beginner nib labelled with an “A” for the German word Anfänger, aptly meaning beginner. These are similar to the Medium size.

For the more creative, Lamy offer the Joy calligraphy pens which carry italic Z50 nibs in 1.1mm, 1.5mm, 1.9mm.

Spot the difference (from left to right: Z50, Z53, Z52)

The Lamy LX pens come with the fancy Z52 steel nibs which have mirroring EF, F, M and B sizes as per the normal Z50 range. These have a black coating with laser etched detailing. The widths are similar but as you get up to the M size you start to notice a bit of line variation between vertical and horizontal strokes with the B size giving way to a good difference.
These fit all other Lamy pens using the Z50 nib.

With the release of Lamy Aion fountain pens, the Z53 nibs were launched. These make a departure in design from the Z50/Z52 with a new wing shape. The new construction responds more to pressure. A lighter touch is needed to acheive the same stroke width as the Z50/Z52 so writing with a bit of pressure has a boldening effect.
The M and B sizes have similar levels of line variation as their counterparts from the Z52 range but applying pressure can exaggerate this further.
Lamy have managed to keep the compatability here too so the Z53 can be used throughout their range just as the original Z50.

Nib Width Comparison

Lamy Standard Z50 Nibs

Lamy Nib comparison test

Lamy Calligraphy Z50 Nibs

Lamy Nib comparison test

Lamy Z52 'LX' Nibs

Lamy Z53 'Aion' Nibs

Where to start?

If you’re new to fountain pens we always recommend going middle of the road and trying the medium Z50 nib. They are a good all rounder, not too thick and not too thin. Once you’re a bit more in tune with your writing style then you can decide if you would prefer going with the Broad, Fine or even Extra Fine.

The Z53 nibs are great if you like writing with a bolder, juicier line. The medium and broad have good line variation and the slight spring of the nib lets you go even wider when needed. Excellent for those looking for something approaching the calligraphy nibs.

For those who are learning how to pick up and write for the first time, Lamy have the A nib which is similar in width to the Medium nib. Generally these are for young children so they don’t feel discouraged with their initial attempts at writing with a fountain pen. They are made stiffer and have a more rounded tip to reduce skipping if held at an awkward angle.

The Left Hand nib is for, you guessed, the left handed crowd. It is intended to have a similar width as the Medium nib and which allows writing for the particular way the pen meets the paper when using the opposing hand.

Line Variation of Lamy Joy Nibs

Lamy Nib comparison test

For more creative writing, Lamy’s Joy pens come with italic nibs in 1.1, 1.5 and 1.9mm sizes. If you’re stuck deciding, then it’s always better to go straight into the deep end first with the widest offering, the 1.9 is just a great deal of fun! If it is too much then you’ll have a better idea of how much to come down than if you do it the other way.

These Italic shaped nibs give a very nice line variation when holding the pen with the nib at a 45 degree slant, you can see the results of this in the photo above. At one extreme you get a very fine line and then coming down the other way is the full width of the nib at work.

The fantastic thing about it all is that all these Lamy nibs are interchangable so if you decide to switch one way or the other as you progress or want to change it up, it’s much cheaper than buying a whole new pen!

Lamy Standard Z50 Nib

Lamy Nib comparison test

Lamy Z50 Calligraphy Nib

Lamy Nib comparison test

Lamy Z52 'LX' Nibs

Lamy Z53 'Aion' Nibs

Alongside the standard nibs, the more premium pens (i.e. Lamy 2000, Lamy Dialog etc.) have a 14 ct. gold nibs with a platinum coating. They still have the same scale between the EF and B but also introduce the Double Broad (BB) and Oblique nibs (from M to BB).

Once we have had a chance to play around with these then this article will be updated.

Reader Comments

  1. Has any left hander actually used the LH nib and noticed a significant difference? The only lefty nib I’ve ever used has been a calligraphy nib with a left-handed oblique cut.

    Now if you want to send me, say, a new petrol Lamy with a LH nib I will happily test it and let you know what difference it makes!

  2. Hi Mark, I am a left-hander though I write in the ‘normal’ style with my writing sloping to the right and my pen under the script. I have tried out the left-hand nib but can’t find any difference personally so stick with the standard nibs so that I can have the width variety. We do sell a lot of LH nibs though and it maybe that people who have an alternative style of writing/pen holding might find it a benefit. Anyone who is in London is welcome to pop by and try out all the nibs as we have them inked and ready to test. We’ll even make you a coffee too.

    1. Hi…I’ve used the LH nib and it made a huge difference to my writing. I too, write in a ‘normal’ style but found it much easier to write with – much better than my Montblanc!

  3. As a leftie, I have tried a range of nibs. I have Lamy’s with standard and leftie nibs. The real difference I have found is with the fine nibs. For me, writing with hand under the script, I find the left handed nib much better than the standard. Why this is I have no idea. But, I do love Lamy pens!

  4. I realise biros have their uses but children will NEVER learn to write clearly and with style until they use a Fountain pen and proper nib.!! Now it is just typing on keyboards and scribble! Am I old fashioned? I love the pens I have bought from you both the ordinary Lamy with the appropriate nib and my new ECO TWSBI With almost chalk free ink . Many thanks

    1. Hahaha, I totally agree! My hand writing is terrible and I blame my childhood lack of experience for it. It does seem to be improving now that I am using nibs and inks and waaaay more enjoyable 🙂

  5. What ever happend to the MK nib? I have a Lamy AL-Star and had a Lamy Accent with a MK nib. In my opinion the best Lamy nib ever! I read somewhere the new M nibs are like the old MK nibs. This is absolutely not true. I read the MK was a beginners nib. That it was more forgivable to write with. But also it was usable for left handed writing. Is this also the other way around? Is a LH nice / waaier to write with for a right handed writer?

    1. Hi Robert,

      MK nib is no longer produced by Lamy. We have Z50 A nib which is made for beginners, but it may not be as rounded as MK (which is often compared to a rollerball). Modern M nibs are now ground rounder than earlier M nibs and I read somewhere that Lamy felt that the old was no longer needed….

      Take care,


  6. Just wondering, is it possible to fit a regular Lamy fountain pen with an italic nib? I’m aiming to save money by doing that, as I already have a regular one, but can’t tell if it’ll be compatible.

  7. Hello
    Sorry I have a doubt a little apart from the subject. What kind of font are you using in the example of Lamy Z53 ‘Aion’, I liked it a lot, but I can not find it hahaha
    Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Paul

      The person who wrote out the test for the Z53 Aion no longer works here so I’m not exactly sure what font it is that they were using. It’s a cursive italic style, so if you google around that you may find some helpful resources!

      Keep on writing, Faisal 🙂

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