Ask The Readers: Broad Nibs for the Vision Impaired

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Mark has a really great question, and I know that you, my readers, will have some great ideas for him:

I’m legally blind, and looking for a broad line. Currently, I use a Uni-ball Signo RT with 1.0mm refill. I’m considering the Ohto Fude Ball 1.5mm, Pilot VP with tuned broad nib, and Lamy 2000 with B or BB nib.

The Lamy BB looks nice and broad, but it has a reputation for QC issues. I’d love to see a line comparison between the Ohto Fude Ball and Vanishing Point in broad.

I tend to favor fine line pens so I’m not the best person to recommend broad nibs but that’s such a good option to help folks with vision issues. I’ve used the Kaweco BB nib and it lays down a THICK line. My instinct is that a European or US fountain pen with a broad nib, like most fountain pens, is going to have a broader nib than a Japanese pen, unless it is modified by a nibmeister.

Of course, the Nib Nook tool on Goulet Pens is a great to get a visible comparison between various B and BB nib options that they stock. Like this:

Nib Nook B and BB

In regards to gel pens, JetPens has a post on Broad Pens for its Penpedia that covers the pens it stocks from 1.0 to 1.6mm. There’s some good options there that will be both  broad and reasonably priced.

Does anyone have other thick line recommendations for Mark? Or some comparison images of some broad lines to share? If you include links in the comments, I’ll add them to the post. Thanks!

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8 comments / Add your comment below

      1. The pens pictured in the post are fountain pens and the Pilot Envelope Pen from JetPens which is a liquid rollerball. The pens mentioned from the reader were the UniBall Signo RT which is a gel pen and is often listed in the US as the Uni-Ball Impact 207 with 1mm bold line. I hope that helps.

  1. I just recently acquired a Pelikan M205 with a BB nib and it is GLORIOUS. A big line, plus very wet and smooth. It’s a joy to use, and would cost about the same as the Pilot VP or Lamy 2000 Mark originally inquired about. I got mine from Missing Pen.

  2. The broadest, wettest nibs I have would be the B nibs on a TWSBI Eco and a Retro 1951 Tornado fountain pen. I also have a couple of 1.1mm stub nibs (from Goulet Pens), and a 1.5mm TWSBI stub nib – they’re also nice and broad (at least on the down-strokes!), but you have to be a bit more careful in terms of how you hold them…

  3. Franklin-Christoph is my go-to for broads. They have the same Jowo nib as many other pens, but their resident nibmeister does a great job. (Key: I always ask in my paypal comments for them to open up the flow and make as wet as possible. I haven’t tried their stock broad.) I believe they also have access to 18K BB nibs if you ask nicely.

  4. Pelikan nibs (the gold ones) tend to write on the broad side. I would certainly suggest one of those – a broad or if you’re able to get a hold of one, a double broad.

  5. Ignore the ‘quality issues’ (of which I think a lot pertain to fine nibs and older generation pens) – Lamy 2k broad is a wonderful nib. Or even get a BB. I have two, and love them to bits. They seem sharper and less ball-shaped than Pelikan so give a little more line variation.

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