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Pelikan Nib Grade Markings

(This page revised March 17, 2022)

Reference Info Index | Glossopedia  ]

Pelikan has probably produced a greater range of standard-production nib grades (tip styles) than any other fountain pen manufacturer. Because some Pelikan nibs have been marked in German, many collectors find the markings sometimes difficult to understand. This article lists all of the nib-grade markings of which I am aware. Note that Pelikan has also produced an unknown number of custom nib grades that do not appear here.

Not all of the grades listed in the table were in production at any given time. For example, the 07 designation (medium left-foot oblique) was used several decades ago, while the OM designation (also medium left-foot oblique) was used more recently, until some time in the 2010s.

It is important to understand that the tip shapes associated with a few Pelikan nib markings underwent a revision at some point, probably in the mid-1980s. Markings that changed are listed twice in the table and are labeled by colored text as either vintage or modern. Descriptions for the vintage versions are expressed in modern terms; e.g., before the change, B indicated a “medium italic,” which was wider than a medium round nib.

Furthermore, under the older system, oblique nibs were all italic in shape while under the newer system, oblique nibs were essentially round nibs designed to accommodate the user’s rotation.

The catalog listing above is for illustration only. Do not use it as a reference.

Pelikan Nib Grade Markings
Imprint German Description English Description

04 Besonders Breit Left-foot oblique triple broad (vintage)
05 Sehr Breit Left-foot oblique double broad (vintage)
06 Breit Left-foot oblique broad (vintage)
07 Mittel Left-foot oblique medium (vintage)
08 Fein Left-foot oblique fine (vintage)
09 Sehr Fein Left-foot oblique extra fine (vintage)
1.0mm Calligraphy italic, 1.0 mm wide
1.5mm Calligraphy italic, 1.5 mm wide
1.75mm Calligraphy italic, 1.75 mm wide
2.0mm Calligraphy italic, 2.0 mm wide
A (Anfänger) Beginner’s nib (rounded tipping)
B (Breit) Medium italic (vintage)
B (Breit) Broad (modern)
BB (Sehr Breit) Broad italic (vintage)
BB (Sehr Breit) Double broad (modern)
BBB (Besonders Breit) Extra broad italic (vintage)
BBB (Besonders Breit) Triple broad (modern)
BBL (Sehr Breit Lettering) Double broad lettering
BL (Breit Lettering) Broad lettering
DEF (Durchschreib Sehr Fein) Manifold extra fine
DF (Durchschreib Fein) Manifold fine
DM (Durchschreib Mittel) Manifold medium
DOM (Durchschreib Linksschräge Mittel) Manifold oblique medium
EEF (Besonders Fein) Extra extra fine
EF (Sehr Fein) Extra fine
F (Fein) Fine
HB (Harte Breit) Hard Broad
HEF (Harte Sehr Fein) Hard extra fine
HF (Harte Fein) Hard fine
HM (Harte Mittel) Hard medium
I (Italic Breit) Italic Broad (modern)
IB (Italic Breit) Italic Broad
IM (Italic Mittel) Italic medium
KEF (Kugel Sehr Fein) Ball-pointed extra fine
KF (Kugel Fein) Ball-pointed fine
KM (Kugel Mittel) Ball-pointed medium
M (Mittel) Medium
ML (Mittel Lettering) Medium lettering
MM (Breit) Broad
Music Nib A flexible nib with two slits For musical notation
OB (Linksschräge Breit) Left-foot oblique broad (modern)
OBB (Linksschräge Sehr Breit) Left-foot oblique double broad (modern)
OBBB (Linksschräge Besonders Breit) Left-foot oblique triple broad (modern)
OEF (Linksschräge Sehr Fein) Left-foot oblique extra fine (modern)
OF (Linksschräge Fein) Left-foot oblique fine (modern)
OM (Linksschräge Mittel) Left-foot oblique medium (modern)
PF (Pfannenfeder) Pan spring nib
R (Rechtsschräge Mittel) Right-foot oblique medium
RB (Rechtsschräge Breit) Right-foot oblique broad
RBB (Rechtsschräge Sehr Breit) Right-foot oblique double broad
S (Scheiben Mittel) Disk top medium
SB (Scheiben Breit) Disk top broad
SBB (Scheiben Sehr Breit) Disk top double broad
ST (Stenofeder) Flexible, for Pitman shorthand
STEEF (Stenographie Besonders Fein) Stenographic extra extra fine
STEF (Stenographie Sehr Fein) Stenographic extra fine
STENO (Für Kurzschrift) For shorthand

  1. Highlighted nibs are in current production as of this writing.  Return

  2. This nib produces somewhat broader strokes. It is not a true flexible nib, but it is springy enough to respond to variations in writing pressure.  Return

  3. These nibs appeared on early Pelikan models. They have an angled tip that is flat on the end, like a hockey puck with rounded edges, to produce strokes of uniform width with rounded ends like those made by a Hunt Speedball type B dip nib. They are now scarce.  Return

The information in this article is as accurate as possible, but you should not take it as absolutely authoritative or complete. If you have additions or corrections to this page, please consider sharing them with us to improve the accuracy of our information.

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