Nib Notes: Esterbrook #1461 Rigid Fine

Esterbrook #1461 Rigid Fine nib

The second Esterbrook nib up for review this year is the Esterbrook #1461. The box calls this a “Rigid Fine” and a “Manifold Fine”. According to the 1938 catalog called this a “Rigid Medium”. While I don’t doubt Brian is right about the catalog (he probably has one) I can’t see this nib being classified as a medium.

My nib came with a pen but it was represented as a NOS nib. The box was included and the nib did appear unused. I don’t know when my nib was made but they date to the 30’s so other examples may differ from my experience. The 1xxx series of nibs are made by just rolling the steel tip into a ball, no tipping material, and called DuraCrome nibs. But unlike the 1314 nib, it is not stamped “DuraCrome” on the nib itself.

“Manifolding” means “to make several copies of” such as with carbon paper. So a manifold nib is stiff enough make several carbon copies. A poster child for a nail-like nib. While carbon paper is nearly extinct the nib still has some benefits today. Top most is I just plain enjoy writing with it. In theory the added strength should help the nib last longer and it should also be a safer nib to give to a fountain pen neophyte.

In the photos the pen is inked up and I didn’t do any cleaning before shooting the photos.

Side view of the Esterbrook 1461

This is one of my favorite Esterbrook nibs so far, if not the favorite, when it comes to just sitting down and writing. The ink flow is consistent and the nib is smooth. I also like the way the nib turns down at the point. It helps the nib touch the paper at just the right angle for me.

It puts down a thin line. The writing samples shows a comparison with four other nibs – a Pelikan extra fine, then the Esterbrook #1461, my new Platinum ultra extra fine nib and a Pilot Metropolitan medium nib. The line is sized between the Pelikan EF and the Platinum UEF. It’s closer to the UEF which surprised me (pleasantly). I used a light touch with all the pens. Additional pressure with the Esterbrook 1461 does put down more ink, but the line isn’t any wider.

The nib is inexpensive and seems relatively easy to find although I’ve only come across one myself. Anderson Pens has them in stock for $6 and eBay has several listed, starting at $9.

I inked the nib up just to check it out and write a quick review. I ended up using the Esterbrook #1461 nib for several extended writing sessions. It’s been the most used pen since being inked up.

Writing Sample

Esterbrook #1461 Writing Sample

3 thoughts on “Nib Notes: Esterbrook #1461 Rigid Fine

  1. Your nib likely dates mid 1950’s as evidenced by the rounded comb style feed. Somewhere I have an image of the Rigid Medium box (If I don’t have the example itself, now where did I put that…), it would be interesting to see if they changed the style, but Esterbrook was so consistent I would highly doubt that.

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