A Medium Bias

Favorite Medium Nibs (L-R Aurora Optima, Visconti Brunelleschi, Sailor KOP, MB Ultra Black (OM)

My fondness for thin nibs is not a secret. But, there was a long period where I was actively anti-medium. For example, if I wanted a different nib for the sake of variety, I’d go for a broad nib over a medium, even though a medium would be closer to my preference.

I have no doubt that this cost me money. Most of these broad nibs were rarely used and were sold or ground into something else (usually thinner). I continued this anti-medium bias, picking a broad nib for variety even though I knew I wouldn’t use it enough.

My first fountain pens were medium nibs because that was the only option I saw on the shelves, and I didn’t know any better. After discovering, and falling in love with thin nibs, I began to view medium nibs as a compromise that was forced upon me, and I resented them. One feature of a¬†compromise is that it has something everyone can hate, so anti-medium became even more ingrained than it should have.

In late 2015 my anti-medium attitude began to dissipate. I bought the Cherry Bamboo Vanishing Point with a medium nib, although I did have it ground to a left oblique. Not a dull compromise medium, but a medium none the less. And I liked the nib. Later that year I picked up boring medium nib on a Franklin-Christoph Model 20 and liked it. I did consider a broad, or another style nib, but I finally accepted I wouldn’t use something wider than a medium.

The in 2016 all my bias melted away. I purchased seven pens with nibs, of which five were mediums, and a sixth was a medium oblique. This was the year I also bought the Sailor King of Pen, which has a medium as the thinness nib option. I knew the Sailor bespoke nibs would be lost on me and not worth the price (to me). The KOP and medium nib are now among my favorites and is nearly always inked.

In 2017 I bought my Visconti Brunelleschi, a pen similar in size, and with the same nib, as my Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age. I didn’t want the same extra fine nib. This typically where I would have gone with a broad nib. By now I realized I wouldn’t use a broad nib enough to justify the cost of the pen. So I picked a medium nib.

While thin nibs are still my preference for everyday use, if I had held onto my anti-medium bias, I wouldn’t have had a several of my favorite pens: the Aurora Optima, Visconti Brunelleschi, Sailor KOP. Plus, I would have been less willing to chance an oblique medium.

Favorite Medium Nib Pens

Favorite Medium Nibs (L-R Aurora Optima, Visconti Brunelleschi, Sailor KOP, MB Ultra Black (OM)

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