If you love calligraphy for its ability to offer endless customization and personalization but wish you could simply streamline all the materials needed to execute a flawless finished product, you may benefit from a universal nib holder. The concept behind the universal holder is that it can accommodate any (or nearly any) calligraphy nib that you may have in your collection. In this way, a universal nib allows you to pair any nib you want, with any straight calligraphy pen shaft that you want. The result? You bring your two favorite supplies together, and can even streamline many of the supplies in your calligraphy product collection. Read our tips below to learn how to master the process of inserting your favorite nib into a universal holder for best results.
How to Insert a Nib into a Universal Holder
A universal insert is typically a narrow tube that can be inserted on one end onto a straight calligraphy pen shaft. On the opposite end, the metal tube has four curved, metal petals that don’t quite touch in the middle. The rim of the opening has a metal lip with a tiny slit in just one side. It is in the end with the petals where you will insert your calligraphy nib.
To insert the nib into the holder, grip the insert in one hand and the nib in the other. Identify the area of the holder with the slit in the side. Gently but firmly insert the nib between the split edge and the two adjacent petals. It should easily slip into place by making a slight rolling motion. Push the nib securely into place, without jamming or forcing it. You should observe all four petals around the nib. The nib should not wiggle or slide around in any way if you have inserted it correctly and securely.
Customizing Your Favorite Straight Pen
An additional benefit of a universal insert is that you can both find pen shafts that have universal inserts built in or purchase a universal nib holder insert that can be fixed to a straight dip pen shaft. In either case, the insert should include the metal insert with the petals as described above, and the process of insertion should be the same.
Will you Notice a Difference in the Quality of Your Writing with a Universal Nib Holder?
No, if inserted properly, you should not. You should enjoy the benefits of mixing and matching your favorite products without sacrificing quality.
Can You Really Mix and Match Any Nib with Any Pen?
As with many customizations, the universal nib does have its limitations. In reality, you may come across a unique nib that simply does not fit inside your universal holder. Never try to force the two together. You could end up jamming the nib inside the holder, or worse, bending or breaking the nib.