Bent fountain pen nibs may be a sign of damage, but they are usually a specific style of a fountain pen that differs from the traditional split nib that most people recognize.
A bent nib fountain pen, also known as a fude nib fountain pen, is a style that bends upwards at the tip. Instead of responding to changes in pressure, bent nib fountain pens create various line widths by adjusting the angle at which the pen touches the writing surface.
In this article, we dig deeper into what a bent nib fountain pen is and how to use it. Understanding the benefits, shortcomings, and popular uses of the pen will help you determine whether this is a great choice for you.
Bent (Fude) Nib Fountain Pens
The term fude (pronounced foo-deh) actually means bent in Japanese. While the Japanese fude pen uses an ink brush to accomplish unique calligraphy twists and turns, bent nib fountain pens have a unique upturned design. This requires a unique approach to writing, but it allows the user to create beautiful variations in line width common in traditional Asian and modern western calligraphy.
Check out this video for a brief history of fude nib fountain pens:
Using a Bent Nib Fountain Pen
While other fountain pen nibs rely on changes in pressure, a bent nib fountain pen uses the same pressure with varying angles to adjust line width.
Holding the bent nib fountain pen upright near a 90° angle with the paper results in a thinner line. Because less of the nib touches the paper, there is less opportunity for the ink to flow out.
While holding the fountain pen closer to the paper increases the width of the line. For the thickest line, you would hold the pen close to flat and use it sideways to cover more area.
Similar to other fountain pens, flipping the pen and using the very tip of the fude nib gives you the thinnest line possible.
Benefits of a Bent Nib Fountain Pen
Bent nib fountain pens are a favorite of many for their uniform results and intuitive design.
Great for Ink Lovers
Because bent nib fountain pens are more generous with ink flow, they are a great way to show off fancy or elaborate inks you may own.
Many note that the wide lines of the pen work phenomenally to showcase the deeper dimensions of the ink, including highlights and lowlights that other fountain pens diminish.
Because the lines rely on the angle of the nib in relation to the writing surface, it is much easier to create uniform lines with bent-nib pens.
It is much easier to maintain a certain angle than it is a certain pressure. This eases some of the stress on professionals using the pen, and it prevents frustration from hobbyists or crafters.
This varies depending on the person, but some find it is easier and more natural for them to adjust the angle of the pen over the pressure.
If you struggle with using typical fountain pens, a bent nib fountain pen may be an easier choice.
These types of fountain pens mimic other methods used for faux calligraphy, including the process used by anyone starting out on Crayola broad line or super tip markers, so this is often a seamless step up.
Clean and Elegant Appearance
The combination of ink generosity and clean lines makes bent nib fountain pens a great choice for work centered on sleek and elegant appearance.
The precision of the bent nib fountain pen is difficult to mimic with other, more fluid pen tips, and you cannot replicate the results easily.
Shortcomings of Bent Nib Fountain Pens
Despite all these benefits, bent nib fountain pens are not a perfect or universal writing instrument.
Differ from Other Fountain Pens
If you are already familiar with using other fountain pens, the intuitive design may not apply to you.
This is because the process for using a bent nib fountain pen varies so greatly from other fountain pen designs. You’ll only frustrate yourself when you adjust the pressure and find no change.
Perform Poorly with Extended Writing
Bent nib fountain pens are made for calligraphy, and they are not the best choice for extended writing.
The process to write with a bent nib fountain pen requires more attention and dedication, and exerting that effort over a longer period is exhausting and a poor use of resources. You’ll likely tire out or get bored quickly and using a regular pen will offer similar uniformity without requiring your undivided attention.
Use Lots of Ink
Using a lot of ink is not necessarily an issue, and it is what leads these pens to their rich results.
It also forces you to pay better attention to your work. You need to take special care to ensure the ink is dry before moving or going over the work.
Not Great for Left-Hand Dominant Individuals
If you use your left hand for writing, working on left-to-right writing with a bent nib fountain pen is difficult at best.
This is rooted in the pen’s likelihood of leaving ink wet. If you rest your hand on the page while writing, you’re almost certain to smear your work.
This varies depending on your writing habits, the type of ink, and the type of paper.
Popular Uses of Bent Nib Fountain Pens
Bent nib fountain pens are best used for hobbies, interests, or creative work that relies on uniformity and varying line width. This includes:
- Comic illustration
A single bent nib fountain pen can replace an entire case of pens, and they work great for on-the-fly creation.
The attention required to use a bent nib fountain pen makes them a great tool for mindfulness activities. They present the perfect blend of reflecting the time and busywork.
Your first thought relating to a bent fountain pen may be that it is broken, but fude fountain pens are far from that. They offer plenty of benefits that make them perfect for a variety of tasks.
While a bent nib fountain pen is not suited for regular writing, anyone interested in calligraphy or art can find a use for this type of fountain pen.
Featured image by Fotero – https://www.flickr.com/photos/fotero/23000780342, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/