Kakimori Nib Review

Shan from Stationery Studio Sheen in Hong Kong has very kindly sent me something else that has seriously lit my fire. A Kakimori nib and holder!

Now this really has got my attention. And it’s not just that it’s a great looking modern reinterpretation of the classic Venetian glass dip pen, which it is – it’s what it can do!


For writing, this nib has plenty to offer. Firstly, by dipping it into a bottle of ink, it can draw a fair amount of ink into the deep cut side grooves. Using it in a vertical position you get a thin line. Change your hand position by 10 degrees or so and you get a 2mm width line. Change your hand position by a further 10 degrees or so and you get a 5mm width line. So what does this mean? Well, it means that if you want to create Japanese or Chinese characters that have the look and feel of a brush with thin and fat strokes – you now have, what is in effect, a nib brush! Below I have created some quick abstract alphabets to demonstrate the line width variation. Until now, I have only been able to achieve this using automatic pens.

003But, and this is a big BUT, the other big area where I see this nib having a potentially HUGE impact is in ink illustration. This is not a flex nib but when used as detailed in the previous paragraph AND with practice, you can still achieve great line width variation plus you can block in areas quickly and easily. And, the nib doesn’t spatter like the Zebra G nib and automatic pens can, plus, it’s robust and built for longevity.



Above are 2 very quick fountain pen ink sketches and already, I think you’ll agree, the potential for illustration is just mind-blowing (Thanks to Cherry @prune_and_fork for the black and white sketch). The nib can also take any fountain pen ink – standard, shimmer and sheen – dye or pigment! So, what we have here is the freedom of a brush combined with the precision of a nib! And it’s all from a single easy to use pen. What’s not to like?

At this point I ought to mention the Kakimori nib holders. These come in a range of finishes. They accommodate the nib perfectly and they are extremely comfortable in hand. The Sakura wood handle that I used retails at circa £30.00 (GBP). The Kakimori nib comes in 2 finishes – stainless steel and brass. I have used the stainless steel version which retails at circa £50.00 (GBP) with the brass nib slightly cheaper. So a bit of a financial outlay but if you’re into your sketch books and journals this, to my mind, is a must have and I’ll be posting my further explorations on my social media sites.

For further info you can message Shan via her Instagram @stationery_studio.sheen_shan

And don’t forget that Inktober is only 30 days away!

HEY! If you’re interested to know more about how to use fountain pen inks in more creative ways – whether it’s simply to observe their chromatic behaviours, or, to recreate one of my swatch cards, or, to learn how to use them in watercolour painting, illustration and calligraphy, why not check out my online course or, even better, sign up for a workshop?