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Esterbrook Nib Chart: The Renew-Point

(This page revised September 30, 2016)

Reference Info Index | Glossopedia  ]

NibsUnlike the earlier dip pens, whose nibs could generally be interchanged in a moment, fountain pens usually had a nib/section assembly that made changing nibs a job for a professional. A few companies devised schemes using nibs that were pressed or molded together with their matching feed units and then threaded as an assembly into the pen’s section. Among vintage makers, Esterbrook, with its “Re-New-Point” design (U.S. Patent No 1,918,239, by Leon H. Ashmore), was perhaps the most successful of the vintage American companies. At various times, Re-New-Point nibs (later renamed Renew-Point) were available in 33 styles. The standard Renew-Point was the Duracrome series. For a short period beginning in late 1938, Esterbrook also produced the 3xxx series of Osmiridium Tip nibs; these nibs have a very attractive sunburst design. (There also exist certain 3xxx nibs that are gold plated and lack the sunburst imprint.) Production of 9000-series Master Series nibs began in 1940; like the 3xxx, these nibs were tipped with osmiridium and provided better performance and durability than the standard nibs. During the Second World War, Esterbrook made 8000-series nibs of 50% palladium alloy to conserve critical war resources.

Fountain pen The Wahl Personal-Point system (from the 1920s) and Sheaffer’s Fineline pens (from the 1940s and ’50s) used unique designs; but Osmiroid, Tuckersharpe, and some Venus pens could accept Esterbrook Renew-Point nibs. Venus even packaged its nibs in boxes bearing the words “Standard Thread.” The pen illustrated here, a Tuckersharpe, is interesting because of its transparent section and nib assembly.

Image of nib chart Click on the thumbnail to the left to see a 1959 Esterbrook in-store countertop nib chart. For comparison, click on the thumbnail to the right to see an Osmiroid nib chart. Image of nib chart

Today, the most prominent maker of user-interchangeable nibs is Pelikan; but Pelikan’s nibs come in several sizes to fit different pen models, and not all sizes are interchangeable.

The table below lists all the known Renew-Point nibs.

Nib 1xxx and 2xxx: Duracrome Nibs
Number Style Use

1314 Flexible stub Social use and manuscript
1461 Rigid fine Manifold
1550 Firm extra-fine Bookkeeping
1551 Firm medium Student
1554 Firm medium-fine Clerical
1555 Firm fine Gregg shorthand
1556 Firm fine Fine writing
2048 Flexible fine Shaded writing
2128 Flexible extra-fine Fine penmanship (Pitman shorthand)
2284 Broad Signature stub
2312 Medium italic
2314-B Relief broad stub
2314-F Relief fine stub
2314-M Relief medium stub Social correspondence
2442 Falcon fine stub Backhand writing
2450 Extra-firm extra-fine Posting
2460 Rigid medium Manifold
2461 Rigid fine Manifold
2464 Rigid broad Manifold
2550 Firm extra-fine Bookkeeping
2555 Firm fine Gregg shorthand
2556 Firm fine Fine writing
2668 Firm medium General writing
2788 Flexible medium Shaded writing
2968 Firm broad General writing
FINE Firm fine General writing
MEDIUM Firm medium General writing
BROAD Firm broad General writing

Nib 3xxx: Gold-Plated Nibs (Made in U.K.)
(Photo by Andrew Gnoza)
Number Style Use

3312 Relief medium italic
3314 Relief medium stub Social correspondence

Nib 3xxx: Osmiridium Tip “Sunburst” Nibs
Number Style Use

3550 Firm extra-fine Bookkeeping
3556 Firm fine Fine writing
3668 Firm medium General writing
3968 Firm broad Script

5xxx: Dip-Less Nibs
Number Style Use

5284 Broad Signature stub
5442 Falcon fine stub Backhand writing
5460 Firm medium General writing and record keeping
5461 Rigid medium Manifold
5550 Firm extra fine Bookkeeping
5554 Firm fine Penmanship and secretarial work
5556 Firm fine Fine writing
5668 Firm medium General writing
5788 Flexible medium General writing
5968 Firm broad General writing

Nib 6xxx: Conical Style Nibs
(Nib wrapped only halfway around the feed)
Number Style Use

6668 Firm medium General writing (U.S. Patent No D146,012; extremely rare, apparently an experimental design)

7xxx: Dip-Less Nibs
Number Style Use

7550 Firm extra fine Bookkeeping
7556 Firm fine Fine writing
7668 Firm medium General writing
7968 Firm broad General writing

Nib 8xxx: WWII Palladium Nibs
Number Style Use

8440 Firm extra-fine (“Superfine”) Bookkeeping
8461 Rigid fine Manifold
8550 Firm extra-fine Bookkeeping
8556 Firm fine Fine writing
8668 Firm medium General writing
8968 Firm broad Script

Nib 9xxx: Master Series Nibs
Number Style Use

9048 Flexible fine Shaded writing
9128 Flexible extra-fine Fine penmanship (Pitman shorthand)
9284 Broad Signature stub
9312 Medium italic
9314-B Relief broad stub
9314-F Relief fine stub
9314-M Relief medium stub Social correspondence
9450 Extra-firm extra-fine Posting
9460 Rigid medium Manifold
9461 Rigid fine Manifold
9550 Firm extra-fine Bookkeeping
9555 Firm fine Gregg shorthand
9556 Fine Records and charts
9650 Medium Manifold
9668 Firm medium General writing
9788 Flexible medium Shaded writing
9968 Firm broad Script

  1. These numberless nibs may reflect an effort to cut costs; or they may be an indicator of the public’s declining interest in nib variety due to the rise of ballpoint pens.  Return to text

  2. Early 5000- and 7000-series Dip-Less nibs are technically not Renew-Point nibs; they slip with a mating feed into a threaded socket (which can accept either these nibs or Renew-Points) and are locked in place. I include the 5000 and 7000 series here because they bear 4-digit numbers and are contemporaneous with the Renew-Point. (Later versions of these series are Renew-Point interchangeable.) The photos of feeds shown here have been retouched to show the feeds’ features more clearly.  Return to text

  3. NibAs illustrated here by an 8440, 8000-series specimens exist with a gold-plated variant of the 3000-style Sunburst design. I have no information on why these unusual and very attractive nibs were given numbers in the 8000 series.  Return to text

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. Information on gold-plated 3000-series nibs provided by Andrew Gnoza. Information on 5000- and 7000-series nibs provided, and nibs and feeds lent, by Brian Anderson. Osmiroid nib chart provided by Ray Ulrich.

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