The Fountain Pen Nib Guide - Lamy

Lamy Nib family

Get acquainted with Lamy's nibs.

Lamy is a staple across the fountain pen universe. They cover a range of writing instruments from uses with school children who are just starting out, to the die hard of adult stationery addicts. As such, they have a good range of various styles of nibs for all.

In the main Lamy Z50 nib family we have 4 differing sizes: Extra Fine, Fine, Medium, Broad. These steel nibs are available in either Polished or Black.

There is also the Left Hand and a beginner nib labelled with an "A" for the German word Anfänger, aptly meaning beginner. These are similar to the Medium size.

Lamy also offer the Joy calligraphy pens which carry italic nibs in 1.1mm, 1.5mm, 1.9mm.

The Lamy LX pens come with the fancy Z52 range which have mirroring EF, F, M and B sizes as per the normal Z50 range. For all intents and purposes for this article, the finished writing on the page is similar in appearance. However, we will have a look at comparing them in more depth the coming weeks.

Nib Width Comparison

Lamy Standard Nibs

Lamy Nib comparison test

Lamy Joy Nibs

Lamy Nib comparison test

Where to start?

If you're new to fountain pens we always recommend going middle of the road and trying the medium nib. They are a good all rounder, not too thick and not too thin. Once you're a bit more in tune with your writing style then you can decide if you would prefer going with the Broad, Fine or even Extra Fine.

For those who are just learning how to pick up and write for the first time ever with, Lamy have the A nib which is similar in width to the Medium nib. Generally these are for young children so they don't feel discouraged with their initial attempts at holding a pen.

The Left Hand nib is for, you guessed, the left handed crowd. It is intended to have a similar width as the Medium nib and which allows writing for the particular way the pen meets the paper when using the opposing hand.

Line Variation of Lamy Joy Nibs

Lamy Nib comparison test

For more creative writing, Lamy's Joy pens come with italic nibs in 1.1, 1.5 and 1.9mm sizes. If you're stuck deciding, then it's always better to go straight into the deep end first with the widest offering, the 1.9 is just a great deal of fun! If it is too much then you'll have a better idea of how much to come down than if you do it the other way.

These Italic shaped nibs give a very nice line variation when holding the pen with the nib at a 45 degree slant, you can see the results of this in the photo above. At one extreme you get a very fine line and then coming down the other way is the full width of the nib at work.

The fantastic thing about it all is that all these Lamy nibs are interchangable so if you decide to switch one way or the other as you progress or want to change it up, it's much cheaper than buying a whole new pen.

Lamy Standard Nib Writing Sample

Lamy Nib comparison test

Lamy Joy Nib Writing Sample

Lamy Nib comparison test

Alongside the standard nibs, the more premium pens (i.e. Lamy 2000, Lamy Dialog etc.) have a 14 ct. gold nibs with a platinum coating. They still have the same scale between the EF and B but also introduce the Double Broad (BB) and Oblique nibs (from M to BB).

Once we have had a chance to play around with these then this article will be updated.

10 thoughts on “The Fountain Pen Nib Guide - Lamy”

  • Mark Gilchrist
    Mark Gilchrist March 30, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Has any left hander actually used the LH nib and noticed a significant difference? The only lefty nib I've ever used has been a calligraphy nib with a left-handed oblique cut.

    Now if you want to send me, say, a new petrol Lamy with a LH nib I will happily test it and let you know what difference it makes!

  • Jo

    Hi Mark, I am a left-hander though I write in the 'normal' style with my writing sloping to the right and my pen under the script. I have tried out the left-hand nib but can't find any difference personally so stick with the standard nibs so that I can have the width variety. We do sell a lot of LH nibs though and it maybe that people who have an alternative style of writing/pen holding might find it a benefit. Anyone who is in London is welcome to pop by and try out all the nibs as we have them inked and ready to test. We'll even make you a coffee too.

    • John

      Hi...I've used the LH nib and it made a huge difference to my writing. I too, write in a 'normal' style but found it much easier to write with - much better than my Montblanc!

  • Gareth

    As a leftie, I have tried a range of nibs. I have Lamy's with standard and leftie nibs. The real difference I have found is with the fine nibs. For me, writing with hand under the script, I find the left handed nib much better than the standard. Why this is I have no idea. But, I do love Lamy pens!

  • Jean Slater

    I realise biros have their uses but children will NEVER learn to write clearly and with style until they use a Fountain pen and proper nib.!! Now it is just typing on keyboards and scribble! Am I old fashioned? I love the pens I have bought from you both the ordinary Lamy with the appropriate nib and my new ECO TWSBI With almost chalk free ink . Many thanks

    • Faisal

      Hahaha, I totally agree! My hand writing is terrible and I blame my childhood lack of experience for it. It does seem to be improving now that I am using nibs and inks and waaaay more enjoyable :)

  • Robert Bakker

    What ever happend to the MK nib? I have a Lamy AL-Star and had a Lamy Accent with a MK nib. In my opinion the best Lamy nib ever! I read somewhere the new M nibs are like the old MK nibs. This is absolutely not true. I read the MK was a beginners nib. That it was more forgivable to write with. But also it was usable for left handed writing. Is this also the other way around? Is a LH nice / waaier to write with for a right handed writer?

    • Mishka

      Hi Robert,

      MK nib is no longer produced by Lamy. We have Z50 A nib which is made for beginners, but it may not be as rounded as MK (which is often compared to a rollerball). Modern M nibs are now ground rounder than earlier M nibs and I read somewhere that Lamy felt that the old was no longer needed....

      Take care,


  • Redmunk

    Just wondering, is it possible to fit a regular Lamy fountain pen with an italic nib? I'm aiming to save money by doing that, as I already have a regular one, but can't tell if it'll be compatible.

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