Pilot Vanishing Point Fountain Pen Nib and Line Comparison

Pilot Vanishing Point Fountain Pen Nib and Line Comparison

Pilot Vanishing Point is one of the world's most recognizable fountain pens and certainly one of Yoseka's most popular fountain pens. Released in 1963 by Pilot as the "world's first capless fountain pen," the Vanishing Point has a long history and in the decades since its release, Pilot has since designed a number of different models and different bodies for their Vanishing Point series, all of which house the same nib unit. 

For more information on Pilot Vanishing Point models and a look at the history of capless fountain pens, be sure to check out our YouTube video: Pilot Vanishing Point Explained or our blogpost covering the same topic

Today's blogpost will be specifically examining the 6 different nib sizes that Pilot Vanishing Point Fountain pens come with: EF, F, FM (Japan only), M, B, Stub. We'll be using our nib log to break down differences between each nib size. 

Vanishing Point - Extra Fine Nib

From our nib log, we determined that the VP EF nib comes closest to 0.2mm line width. It is comparable to the EF found on the Custom 74, which we had previously measured at around 0.1mm and the Sailor 14k EF, which we had measured at 0.3mm. 

To no surprise, it was not a particularly wet nib with just 0.5mm of ink smear after coloring in our designated space on our nib log. 

Vanishing Point - Fine Nib

The VP F nib came in around 0.35mm, with a noticeable visual difference and a perceivable difference while writing as well. The EF was definitely more feedback-y while the F nib was smoother, which comes with the territory of a thicker nib. 

Comparable nibs to the VP Fine nib would be the Sailor 14k F nib at 0.3mm and Pilot Custom 74 F at 0.3mm.

Our wetness measure was around the same as the EF nib. Both nibs had good flow while writing--no skipping--but neither would be outstanding at showing sheen or shading properties in inks.

Vanishing Point - Fine Medium Nib 

First, it is important to note that the VP FM nib is not available here in the US, which is why you won't see it listed anywhere on the website. But for a comprehensive line comparison, we thought to include it. It also makes perfect sense once you see the pretty significant difference between the Fine and Medium nibs, so for anyone who has tried the F and the M nib and wondered why the jump between the two, it's because there is actually a nib size in between!

The FM nib came in at 0.5mm and was a predictable step up from the F nib. Comparable nibs to the VP FM nib include the Sailor 14k M nib at 0.5mm and the Pilot Custom 74 M nib at 0.5mm. If you like TWSBIs, it will be closest to the TWSBI ECO F nib at 0.5mm.

This nib was not a particularly wet nib--although the FM was 0.3mm thicker than the EF nib, our wetness measure did not pick up that much more wetness.

Vanishing Point - Medium Nib

According to our nib log, the VP M nib measured 0.6mm thick and gave us consistently bold lines across our writing sample. 

Comparable nibs to the M nib would be Custom 74 Broad nib at 0.55mm and TWSBI Diamond 580 Fine nib at 0.6mm. 

Again, despite the significantly broader lines on this nib, it was not a particularly wet nib, but there were also no flow issues at all across our writing sample.

Vanishing Point - Broad Nib

Measuring in at 0.75mm, the VP B nib was considerably different from the Medium. Out of all the Vanishing Point nibs tested so far, it was the wettest nib with nearly 35mm of smeared ink. 

You might like this nib if you enjoy the Sailor 21k Broad nib which we last measured at <0.8mm and any TWSBI Medium at 0.8mm. 

Vanishing Point - Stub Nib

Like all stub nibs, the Vanishing Point Stub nib is ground in such a way that its vertical up-down strokes will be much thicker than its cross strokes, making it a good choice for calligraphic writing. 

The widest line that the stub nib will produce is 0.7mm, slightly thinner than the Broad nib, but of course, you wouldn't be considering this nib only for line thickness. Think about this nib if you are considering learning calligraphy or looking to add a bit more character to your writing. It is also a good nib for showing inks off since it was one of the wettest stub nibs I've ever tested with about 30mm of smear. 


Line Width

Overall, there were pretty consistent jumps in between nib sizes for each of the Vanishing Point nib sizes. The EF and the F were quite fine and if you aren't accustomed to writing with EF pens, it could be perceived as scratchy.

Vanishing Point Nib Size

Line Width (mm)

Extra Fine 




Fine Medium










Softness testing across all the different nib sizes of the Vanishing Point showed that this nib was quite soft, with some flexibility and line variation given a bit of pressure on the stroke. This is not that much of a surprise given that the VP nibs are made of 18k gold rather than the typical 14k gold used in most other gold nibs.

That being said, the VP nib is not intended to be used as a flex nib, and the pressure was applied gently for testing purposes only. Consistent writing with hard pressure on this nib will lead to a distorted nib and possible damage to the consistency of the ink flow if the tines become separated over time.


All the Vanishing Point nibs we tested had good ink flow and even on the EF nib, there were no issues of skipping or hard starting. Our wetness tests revealed that the VP's EF, F, FM, and M nibs all had comparable wetness in that they were not particularly wet at all. Of course, paper has a lot to do with how quickly ink dries and the paper we used for this testing was non-coated MD paper, which allows ink to quickly absorb into the paper. If we were writing on coated paper such as Life or Tomoe River, our results would be different and for sure there would be more wetness observed.

That being said, even on the non-coated MD Paper, the Broad and Stub nibs came through as very wet writers. Both of these nibs had about 30mm of ink smear after writing, making either of them great candidates if you are looking for a nib to maximize ink properties such as sheening, shading or shimmer.

How does this nib compare to other Pilot nibs?

Interestingly, nearly all the nib sizes of the Vanishing Point nibs measured slightly thicker than their counterparts found on the Pilot Custom 74. Comparing with the results from our previous Custom 74 Nib and Line Comparison, the VP was thicker almost across the board. It'll be interesting to see how it compares with more Pilot nibs such as those on the Custom 823 and 912 as we do more line comparisons with our nib log.

Vanishing Point Custom 74
EF 0.2mm 0.1mm
F 0.35mm 0.3mm
FM 0.5mm 0.4mm
M 0.6mm 0.45mm
B 0.75mm 0.55mm
Stub 0.7mm N/A


That concludes it for our study on the Pilot Vanishing Point's 6 different nib sizes! Hope you all found this helpful in determining which Vanishing Point nib size is the right one for you! For live writing samples with each nib size, be sure to check out our nib and line comparison video below.


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