Nib Tuning, Smoothing, and Customizing

$25.00$60.00

Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 22 customer ratings
(22 customer reviews)

NOTE: Nib repair for damaged or bent nibs cannot be ordered here and will need to be quoted based on images. Please contact me directly at dan@thenibsmith.com.

Current turn-around time: 6-7 weeks (yes, this is up to date).

This page lets you order nib work on pens that will be shipped to the Nibsmith. If you would like to add nib work to pens purchased from the Nibsmith, please add those customizations on that particular product page.

Process For Ordering Nib Work

    1. Select the desired nib customization from the “Nib Work” drop-down menu below.
    2. Continue down the page to select additional options and fill in associated fields as required (denoted by an asterisk *).
    3. Click the orange “ADD TO CART” button when finished. If sending multiple pens, the form needs to be filled out and added to the cart for each pen.
    4. Click “View Cart” at the top of the page or the orange cart icon in the upper most right corner of the page.
    5. Click “PROCEED TO CHECKOUT.”
    6. Complete the order process by typing in your billing information, selecting your return shipping method, and completing payment.
    7. Finally, write your order number on the outside of the package (please do not print your order) and ship to the following address:

Daniel Smith
3368 E Kimberly Rd #236
Davenport, IA 52807

You will be notified once your package enters my work queue and again when I've finished the work. You will receive the tracking information as soon as your package ships.

For more details and writing samples of each grind, please see the Product Description below.

SKU: 001 Category:

Product Description

Tune & Smooth: Whether your pen won’t write at all or just needs a little adjustment, you’ll want the tune & smooth. This basic services includes reshaping the tip and aligning the tines to get the smoothest feel and adjusting the ink flow to your preference. The tune & smooth is included with all custom grinds and is not an additional charge.

Round nib: This is the most common nib type where the tip of the nib is shaped like a sphere to provide a consistent line in all directions. An extra fine nib will generally measure 0.20-0.25mm. An extra extra fine nib will generally measure 0.10-0.15mm.

Stub: This nib is created by grinding a small bit of material away from the point transforming it from a sphere into a rectangular shape. The edges are then rounded to bring back the smoothness you get from a traditional round nib.

A stub grind provides line variation by creating a thick vertical stroke and a thin horizontal stroke. Stub nibs are recommended if you want to add a little pizazz to your everyday writing while keeping that smooth, round nib feel. Stubs can easily be ground as narrow as 0.5mm in width. Any narrower and their line variation starts to become less noticeable.

stub nib profile

Cursive Italic: This nib is created in the same fashion as the stub nib, but the edges are slightly sharper. Cursive italic (CI) nibs provide excellent line variation by creating a thinner horizontal stroke than a stub nib at the cost of smoothness. Cursive italic nibs can be ground as narrow as 0.3mm while maintaining noticeable line variation.

Sharp Italic: Sharp italics, or just italics, are created just like stub or CI nibs but the edges are extremely sharp. They provide the maximum line variation by creating the thinnest horizontal stroke. Because of the sharp edges of an italic nib it will lay down a line with well defined edges, but also feel quite scratchy when compared to a stub or even a CI. These nibs are recommended for calligraphy.

Oblique: A nib can be ground into an oblique to compensate for a writer who rotates the pen in their grip. There are two types of oblique nibs, the left foot oblique (commonly referred to as just “oblique”) and the right foot oblique (commonly referred to as a “reverse oblique”). If you look at a left foot oblique with the nib imprint facing you, the tip would resemble the shape of a left foot. The left foot oblique compensates for a right handed writer who rotates their pen counter-clockwise. Oblique nibs can also be ground into stubs, CIs, and sharp italics.

oblique nib profile

Depending on how you hold the pen in relation to the paper, oblique grinds can also be used to achieve Hebrew-like or stub-like results.

Hebrew/Arabic/Architect: You can think of this nib as a stub rotated 90 degrees. It creates a thin vertical stoke and a thick horizontal stroke. Because of the nature of this grind it is important to hold the pen at the correct angle. Please let me know if you hold your pen at a shallow or upright angle so I can adjust the grind as necessary.

hebrew nib profile

architect-hebrew-nib-writing-sample

A Hebrew/Architect nib creates a thin vertical stroke and a thick horizontal stroke.

Please contact me for the shipping address.

When shipping your pen, please use a method with tracking and insurance incase of damage or loss. I cannot be held responsible for pens damaged or lost during shipping.

Please note, packages are generally delivered to the reception office of my apartment complex and will be signed for by someone other than myself. Once I have checked in your package you will receive an email notification. When I’ve finished the work on your pens, you will receive a shipping email notification containing the tracking information. If you don’t receive the shipping email within the stated turn-around time please let me know.

If you’re unhappy with my service, please contact me immediately.

If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to ask.

Product Enquiry

Additional Information

Weight 0.9 lbs
Dimensions 8 x 5 x 1.5 in

22 reviews for Nib Tuning, Smoothing, and Customizing

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Dan does great work, with good turnaround time. He really dials in on your preferences, on making sure the nib works for you. And he’ll work at it till it’s perfect for you, whether you see him at a pen show or mail in your pens. I especially like his architect’s grinds and stubs, but I also send him any nib that needs a little tweaking. I put him in the very top rank of nibmeisters, up there with John Mottishaw and Mike Masuyama, which is pretty heady company, but he’s worked wonders for me.

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    (verified owner)

    I had the Waverly modification and grind/polish on my Lamy 2000 EF nib.
    Dan’s communication throughout the process was good and I’m very happy with the result.
    I think I’ll be sending more pens Dan’s way in the future.
    Cheers
    Duncan

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    I purchased an m405 and m205 from dan without any knowledge of different types of grinds. I basically described how I wanted the pen to write and somehow Dan understood my gibberish. The pens arrived and I fell in love the moment that pen touched paper. Highly recommended to anyone and I will be sending a few pens his way for customization.

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    (verified owner)

    Terrific work on my nibs by Dan. I sent him three pens, one to be straightened and two for nib alterations to grind to an italic nib. All the pens write perfectly – great job. Thanks.

  5. Rated 5 out of 5

    (verified owner)

    My late father’s Parker Sonnet was no longer functioning..I asked Daniel to restore it – repair the bent nib and change it from a medium to
    a fine line..He did exactly that, and now the ink flows properly, the line is perfect and I will have the use of my father’s pen. I am deeply appreciative.

  6. Rated 5 out of 5

    (verified owner)

    I sent a pen to Dan for an architect grind. Upon receiving the pen back, I discovered that the angle I gave Dan was incorrect and the pen was incredibly uncomfortable to write with. After I emailed Dan explaining my error, he had me send the pen back to be fixed. He had the pen back to me promptly. Now the angle is perfect!

  7. Rated 5 out of 5

    (verified owner)

    Am a lifelong artist, and work in multiple mediums.

    Now have four very good models of fountain pens, a decent fine point Waterman, a nice Platinum and two Sailors. Have less- than-no interest in collectable pens or precious details…the interest in a pen for me is the ergonomics, the writing/sketching and THEN the aesthetics.

    NibSmith worked on the larger of the two Sailors, a 21k Zoom purchased in Kyoto last August for me by a friend. It was a major disappointment in performance compared to the smaller version I have, and in reading about Architect nibs on the internet…another site made first mention of the Architect mod that I saw, at a higher price and a 6 month turn, and I was like “cool mod, screw the wait time/cost, and then found Nibsmith.

    The pen work performed does EXACTLY what I want it to do…..there are three distinct line widths that I have found out of a dedicated hour of playing with it on hot pressed Strathmore 300 paper and Waterman Mysterious Blue ink. It sketches wonderfully and will be my favorite pen, whereas it was my LEAST favorite pen due to not being able to produce a fine line before modification work.

  8. Rated 5 out of 5

    (verified owner)

    my first pen mod and I chose him after seeing multiple reviews. The order was completed within a month. It writes perfect, just the way i wanted it. He made the pen writes just the way I hold it. Great work. Big fan now!

  9. Rated 5 out of 5

    OMG I didn’t realize getting a nib ground can make it so hard to rotate to my other pens, I have to actively put my M600 stub nib in a safe so I can use some of my other pens. Amazing nib with the right amount of wetness for the tasty tasty sheen. Would recommend and actually have 2 more pens I want to send over to Dan, Thanks alot!

  10. Rated 5 out of 5

    Dan did a fantastic job on my Montblanc Leo Tolstoy! I requested a 0.4mm cursive italic with maximal line variation whilst being smooth enough for everyday use – which was not an easy task. Dan’s work was spot on & ,in fact, exceeded my expectations- I never knew a nib that gives so much line variation can be so smooth! Unlike my other cursive italic, I never had to readjust my grip to accommodate for the nib’s edge; the pen simply works for me. Not to mention his customers service has been exemplary, he is quick with email, a big plus for such a personalised service he is offering. Now I understand why his queue is getting longer all the time. I highly recommend Dan’s work & I would definitely be sending more pens to him in the near future!

  11. Rated 5 out of 5

    (verified owner)

    Finally got my hands on the pilot custom heritage 823 broad nib which dan had ground to a stub for me. I must say it’s BEAUTIFUL!!!! It’s springy, soft and has a wide line variation… Couldn’t have been more happier or satisfied! Thank you so much Dan!!! Will definitely look you up next time I need a beauty shaped! ;))

  12. Rated 5 out of 5

    (verified owner)

    Dan is the master!! I had an unpleasant experience with the MB boutique in my city. So I enlisted the assistance of Dan and with his knowledge and expertise he was able to fix my 146 limited 1924 with MOP and rose gold trim. Now it writes like a dream!! Thanks Dan!!

  13. Rated 5 out of 5

    (verified owner)

    I sent Dan my Pilot Custom 823 to be ground into a 0.6mm stub and receive the Waverly Mod. This thing writes like nothing you can possibly imagine. Everything was spot on; the flow, the smoothness, the line widths, absolutely stunning. I’d recommend his work to anyone who wants a nib that will perform flawlessly. His service is fantastic, he’s highly professional, and the turnaround time, though long, is certainly worth it. Way to go, Dan! If I ever need another nib tuned or ground, I’ll send it straight to you!

  14. Rated 5 out of 5

    (verified owner)

    Dan is simply excellent at what he does. I have sent him two pens so far, and the results have exceeded my expectations. You can tell that he pays careful attention to what you request when sending him a pen, and you get back something absolutely PERFECT. Keep up the great work! 🙂

  15. Rated 5 out of 5

    (verified owner)

    I just received my (previously) scratchy Sailor 1911L Demonstrator back from Dan, and it’s writing smoother than it ever did. I’m a fan of Sailor M/F nibs, and this pen wrote pretty good until I somehow screwed it up. Now that Dan has done his magic on the nib, this is one of the smoothest writers that I own.

  16. Rated 5 out of 5

    (verified owner)

    Dan did an awesome job on both the nibs! The architect grind on my Vac 700 B is perfect. And the narrowing and smoothing on the Kara’s stub really improved that pen as well. Thanks so much for sharing such skill and doing such great work!

  17. Rated 5 out of 5

    (verified owner)

    A very simple review for exceptional service: I had purchased the special edition Pelikan M400 Tortoise with an italic broad nib for
    “creative” expressions and a B nib for everyday use. After using the italic nib, I wanted a bit more flair from the B nib and opted for a stub grind. I came across Dan/s name in The Fountain Pen Network, looked at his website, and decided to give him a a chance to work his magic. The grind is flawless and the nib writes perfectly, all for a very fair price. I also appreciate his ordering system which notifies one when he receives the pen and the shipment date when it is returned. All in all, a perfect experience. Thank you Dan!

  18. Rated 5 out of 5

    (verified owner)

    I asked Dan to produce a fountain pen unicorn and he delivered. I asked for a CI grind that writes smoothly while offering noticeable line variation, all while landing in the FM range. My Visconti Homo Sapiens has hardly left my hand since it was returned. Throughout the process, Dan would respond quickly to questions with thoughtful and helpful answers. I strongly recommend his work and will be sending pens to him in the future.

  19. Rated 5 out of 5

    (verified owner)

    Dan does amazing work.

    I had broken a nib on a century-old pen. And couldn’t find a correct replacement. I did however, find one very close — but one size bigger.

    Dan agreed to attempt to swap the bigger nib into the pen.

    He was able to make it work and I couldn’t be happier with the results! I now have a very early Sheaffer’s BCHR self-filling pen with an oversized full-flex nib.

    Also, Dan’s expedited service is no joke. Fastest turnaround time I am aware of for quality fountain pen repair.

  20. Rated 5 out of 5

    I bought an M400 nib from Dan and asked him to grind it into a stub. Prior to this, I had gotten stubs ground by another very well-known Nibmeister. I am extremely pleased with Dan’s work! I got a stub that writes with fantastic line variation, yet is easy to write with quickly, which is the way I write. It doesn’t “catch” on the paper like some stubs I’ve used in the past. I also like my pens very wet, and Dan accomplished this. The nib lays down plenty of ink and is a joy to write with. I find myself reaching for the pen Dan ground for me above all others in my collection. I plan to have him do a couple more for me in the near future. And on top of all that, Dan’s prices are the most reasonable around, and his turnaround time is great. I will definitely consider Dan before any other Nibmeister when having nib work done in the future.

  21. Rated 5 out of 5

    (verified owner)

    I sent Dan several pens to have the nibs tuned and smoothed – an old Pelikan M800 and two Aurora Continents. He did an amazing job with all three. The flow was improved in all three and the M800 writes such a smooth, consistent line that it is now my daily writer in my planner. Customer service was great, Dan even offered to fix a problem with the piston in one of the Auroras. I would definitely recommend him to any other fountain pen users!

  22. Rated 5 out of 5

    (verified owner)

    My second custom nib from Dan , This time an Architect grind on a fine vanishing point nib that had bent tines and previous flow issues, it was all done in the stated turn around time and it’s now a wonderful nib to write with, Thankyou Dan !!

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.

What if I’m not happy with the resulting nib work performed on my pen? 2017-07-02T14:20:11+00:00

Please contact me immediately to discuss a resolution. The pen can be returned for rework. Return shipping to and from the Nibsmith is the responsibility of the customer. In some instances, a refund may be given at the Nibsmith’s discretion.

Do you offer rush or expedited services for nib work? 2017-07-02T14:49:07+00:00

Yes.

Nib work on purchased pens and nibs is given a priority over all else. Generally, pens and nibs with nib work ship within 24 hours of being ordered.

On pens sent to the Nibsmith, “Rush Services” may be selected on the nib work order form to expedite your order and move it to the front of the work queue. This generally results in a reduced turn-around time of 2-3 business days. In some instances, the turn-around time may be slightly longer if there are several rush orders in the queue or multiple new pen purchases with requested nib work. There is an additional fee of $50 per nib for Rush Services.

How do I cancel my order? 2017-01-22T18:31:01+00:00

If you’ve created an account, you can cancel your order any time before it ships by following these instructions:

  1. Click “My Account” in the upper right of the screen
  2. Log into your account
  3. Click the “Orders” tab on the left side of the screen
  4. Cancel your order

Alternatively, you can contact me via phone or email. Please have your order number readily available.

What shipping services do you offer? 2017-01-22T18:33:58+00:00

Domestically, I use USPS.

Internationally, I use USPS or DHL.

How should I package my pens to be shipped to you? 2016-05-31T16:20:04+00:00

I’m so glad you asked! For maximum protection, purchase a length of PVC pipe, wrap your pen in tissue paper or bubble wrap so it fits snugly inside the pipe, then seal both ends with a piece of tape. Please do not completely wrap the pen or the pipe with tape.

Alternatively, you can roll your pen in bubble wrap until it fits snugly in a small flat rate box.

Can I purchase a pen from a third party and have it sent directly to you for nib work? 2017-07-02T14:58:53+00:00

Yes. Please have the package addressed as shown below and, if possible, mention your Nibsmith order number in the text/comment box when purchasing the pen:

Your Name
c/o Daniel Smith
3368 E Kimberly Rd Apt 236
Davenport, IA 52807

What nib width should I choose for a stub/italic or architect grind? 2017-07-02T15:00:37+00:00

For a stub/italic or architect grind, I recommend starting with an Extra Fine nib or wider (Japanese Fine or wider). For maximum line variation for a stub or italic, the wider the nib, the better. For maximum line variation for an architect grind, you want the tipping to be as thick as possible, like that found on the Coarse nib from Platinum or Pilot or Sailor’s Zoom nib.

Is “X” nib suitable for “Y” grind? 2016-05-31T15:55:39+00:00

Generally, any nib can accept any grind. It doesn’t matter what the nib is made of (gold, steel, titanium, palladium, etc.).

When will my pen(s) ship? 2016-05-31T15:45:03+00:00

Pens sent to me for nib work will be mailed back within the stated turn-around time from the date of delivery. If you do not receive a shipping notification within that time frame, please contact me.

For pens purchased from me, items in stock will ship within 1-2 days depending on if any nib work was selected. Items not in stock are usually available for shipping in 5-7 business days.

Do you offer refunds or returns? 2016-09-15T15:58:54+00:00

All eligible returns will be issued a refund. Credit that can only be used with the Nibsmith will not be issued. Shipping and customs fees are not eligible for refund. The return shipping fee is the responsibility of the customer.

Pens Sent To The Nibsmith
Paid nib work is eligible for a full or partial refund. Each situation will be handled on a case-by-case basis. If you’re unhappy with my services, please contact me immediately so we can work together to resolve the situation.

Pens Purchased From The Nibsmith
Any nib work that was included free of charge with the purchase of a pen is not eligible for a refund.

Any pen with an unmodified nib, used or not, can be returned for a full refund within 90 days of purchase.

Any pen with a modified nib is not eligible for a refund.