Sailor Nib Size Guide - Vintage Fountain Pen Buyer's Guide

It can sometimes be hard to understand the way that Sailor sizes and labels their nibs. But, with this guide, we aim to clear any confusion you might have. 

Sailor uses a numbering system on a lot of their nibs. Especially on the older pens. If a Sailor nib does not have a letter on it indicating its size or type, it will have a number 0-9. Each number correlates to a specific nib size or type.

It is also important to remember that Japanese made nibs are finer than Western nibs. This is even more true for Sailor, as their nibs run on the finer side of other Japanese made nibs. For example, a Montblanc extra-fine nib would be comparable to somewhere in-between a Sailor Fine and Medium. 

- Sailor #0 Nib - Saibi Togi: The Saibi Togi nib is Sailor's "Ultra Extra-Fine" nib. It is the finest nib Sailor makes and allows the writer to produce extremely fine lines on the page.

- Sailor #1 Nib - Extra Fine: Sailor's extra-fine nib allows the writer to produce a slightly wider line in comparison to the Saibi Togi nib. However, a Sailor #1 extra-fine is still more fine than Pilot's extra-fine nibs.

- Sailor #2 Nib - Fine: One of the more common nib sizes we see from Sailor. A Sailor #2 fine nib is just barely wider than a Pilot extra-fine. In our experience, the Sailor #2 Fine is a better balance of smoothness and feedback than a Pilot extra-fine, although it is definitely a close comparison.

- Pictured Above: A 14k Gold Rhodium plated Sailor Fine nib.

- Sailor #3 Nib - Medium-Fine: This size is exactly what it sounds like. It is directly in-between a Sailor #2 Fine and #4 Medium. This nib is ideal for those who enjoy the feedback Sailor nibs are known for but also want something just a tiny bit more smooth than a Fine.

- Sailor #4 Nib - Medium: The Sailor #4 is another one of the more common sizes we see. A Sailor Medium nib is very similar to a Pilot Medium nib, if not just a hair wider. A Sailor #4 is the nib size I would recommend for someone new to Sailor who came from using Fine US/Euro nibs, or someone who is new to fountain pens in general. A medium nib Sailor is a great place to start. 


-Pictured Above: 18k White Gold Sailor Medium Nib.

 -Sailor #6 Nib - Broad: The Sailor #6 nib is comparable to a U.S. or European made medium nib. A broad nib will offer one of, if not the smoothest writing experiences from a Sailor pen. 

-Sailor #7 Nib - Zoom: The Sailor Zoom nib can accomplish line widths that not many other brands can. The Zoom nib offers the writer the ability to write with 3 different line widths, all the way from fine to a double broad line, depending on how the writer holds the pen. 

-Sailor #9 Nib - Music: The Sailor Music nib also produces different line widths depending on how it is held. Designed to write music notes, it is capable of thin lines to draw music note stems and thick lines to draw the head of the note. When held in a standard position to the paper, this nib writes with very thick lines.

Sailor does offer other specialty nibs, but the nibs we went over above are the standard range offered in most new and vintage Sailor pens.