- No.1 is an oblique, sometimes called a left foot
- No. 2 is a reverse oblique, sometimes called a right foot.
- No. 3 A straight for people who can hold the nib at a constant angle.
- Standard nib with a rounded pellet for use by everyone.
- A cursive nib has a rounded tip (not shown) and will give an italic effect but is less likely to dig the paper, however the thick line will be reduced in comparison to a straight.
Important: If you Google this subject you will get all kinds of conflicting descriptions. Some of these are based on a misunderstanding, because the nib in such cases is being viewed from the back.
Many years ago a knowledgeable lady at Sheaffer wrote to me the definitive:
"You should look at the back of the nib where the feed is. A left oblique will slant downwards from left to right and is for the right handed person.
A right oblique will slant downwards from right to left and is for a left handed person."
Oblique slants can also be a feature of a conventional nib with a pellet. Just to confuse the issue even further, we tend to sell a lot of reverse oblique nibs for the left handed because this can often apply more nib surface to the paper. Cursive nibs can also be useful, this is where the nib point is rounded at the edges but the italic effect will be reduced. If you want advice just telephone 01895 672537, or use 'Online Help'. You have a thirty day free nib exchange with MrPen so if you make the wrong choice it will not prove to be a problem.
There is no standard for nib widths, they vary from maker to maker and model to model. Ink flow, type of paper and brand of ink used, can alter the line width characteristics on the paper.