Santini 18k nib in Bock housing

Let me share my little project with you. I have a gorgeous Tamenuri Studio urushi pen that came with a Bock #6 steel nib. I thought that this handmade one-of-a-kind pen deserves a gold nib. (Of course steel nibs aren’t bad, I just wanted something more special). I decided to put a Santini 18k solid white gold fine nib into it because I love the writing experience these nibs give. Plus the solid white gold material is also rather unique.

Santini has a massive range of in-house made nibs from XF to B, stub, cursive italic, oblique, flexy, flexy stub, flexy cursive italic, architect, superflexy – all this in gold, solid rose gold, solid white gold and rhodium plated gold.

The regular Santini nibs are about the same size as standard #6 nibs. Santini piston filler pens have a screw-in nib housing into which the nib and the feed is friction fitted. The feed can be made of plastic or ebonite. Santini pens have some silicone paste around the screw-in housing to prevent any ink leak. Thus one must find a good balance to be forceful enough to overcome traction without damaging the pen or the nib unit. (There’s always the option of asking a professional)

Of course I haven’t cannibalised any of my beautiful Santinis but used a spare nib unit. The Santini screw-in housing is different from the Bock one so I had to go with the Bock housing and feed. The base pen was a Ranga, which is hand made and even the threads are hand cut(!!). Thus Ranga pens can vary slightly and this one had a section with a tight fit. I had to be really careful when screwing the nib unit out. Then I removed the friction fitted Bock nib and feed from the housing. It requires a firm grip and a forceful pull. Whenever you remove a friction fitted nib be careful not to deform the feed or crack the housing.

The curvature and shape of the Santini nibs is a bit different than of the Bocks. I expected that the Santini nib may not fit well enough that I can even put the whole thing together, but after some fiddling it did fit. I thought I’d assemble it only temporarily and ask a nib meister later for a proper fit. It seemed that there was a considerable gap between the feed and nib and that it seemed possible that the capillary action wouldn’t work. I screwed the altered nib unit back into the section anyway.

To my pleasant surprise the first try proved to be a success. The nib sits quite securely in the housing. It writes well, there are no hard starts, the feed does seem to keep up without any problems. It writes a bit on the wet side but it’s not a gusher. The nib remains wet even when uncapped for long, it does not dry out easily. So far I haven’t experienced any leaking, there hasn’t ever been ink on the section, no nib creep either.

I thought I’d share this with you. It might be informative for some.

Disclaimer: Changing nib in your pen in almost all cases voids your warranty instantly. You can permanently damage your pen in the process. I take no responsibility if you follow the above steps and end up ruining your pen. If you are not feeling adventurous you can always ask an expert to have your pen altered.

And now for some pictures:

Santini nib with Bock feed in Bock housing

Nib unit screwed into the section.

Writing sample

1 Like

Hello Peter!

I’m so happy to hear you had luck with a Santini nib. I had the worst experience of my life with them. Bought one of their LE pens at the beginning of the year. The pen was so crap I had to send it to Santini for fixing: hard starts, skipping, nib tip completely irregular. Weeks later, got back the same pen. Sent it back again for fixing after insisting that the pen continued to be terrible, after all, that is a 350 euro pen.

Got it back worse than ever. Not only did they increase the ink flow to the point that the nib is useless (I can basically put my finger between the nib tines and use it as a brush instead) but the tipping itself is so irregular that I wonder how would that ever pass quality control. Their customer service is also laughable. When once I asked whether they could send me an update about the status of my pen (after all, the whole process took them 4 months, for nothing), they wrote that I should be more patient. Picture of the nib attached, with a bonus video showing the pen ‘working’ out of the box earlier this year.

I am happy that some customers of theirs are happy. For myself, wouldn’t ever buy another Santini. Wouldn’t get one even if it was sent to me for free. Needless to say, can’t ever recommend their stuff to anyone I know. Lesson learned, better to go for big brands with an actual customer service as well as skills with nibs.


Hi Vini,

Thank you for sharing. I’m so sorry to read your terrible experience. The problems on your photos and your video do look disastrous. I can understand that you are willing to neither buy nor recommend their products. So far I’ve heard only good things about their customer support but it’s clearly not the same for everyone.

Katerina has always replied to me in a timely manner and was patient even when I flooded her with several emails at one time. (I ordered a flexy fine but it wrote more like a flexy medium stub. I was unsure whether to use their nib exchange service and got her involved in my thought process to come to a conclusion. At the end I decided to keep my nib because it was more unique and fun.) I have 4 Santini pens + 1 extra nib and I’m positive so far. It might be that I’m being a bit forgiving as well because of the nice customer experience I’ve been having. To set the record straight let me share all the things I’ve experienced up till now. One of my Santinis had a rather stiff, hard to operate piston but upon disassembling the pen I realised that it was due to a bit excessive use of silicone sealant in that particular pen. I removed the excess and the problem was solved. It was such a minor issue that it hasn’t affected my overall picture about Santini. Regarding the nibs, except for one being more stubish than I ordered, all of them wrote perfectly out of the box. One exception is an EF which is a bit scratchy but that’s not unusual with extra fine nibs. (I’m going to get it tuned for a better writing experience anyway). One of my Santinis (the above flexy fine with ebonite feed) does skip but that seems to happen only when it’s pretty low on ink already. I have a superflexy fine with the same kind of ebonite feed but there I had no issues at all. Since I’ve been having 1) enjoyable & satisfying encounters with their customer service; 2) absolutely amazing writing experience; 3) I find it amazing that they make their own nibs in astonishing varieties + innovating with white gold, #8 size, flexible nibs, etc. – it’s easy to see why I like them. I know that Santini has became more popular in the past 2 years and they got really busy. It’s no excuse to what happened to you but maybe their QC and customer service got overwhelmed in the time period you had your issue.

I don’t want to belittle your terrible experience in any way and I’m sorry for what has happened to you. I understand that you don’t ever intend to buy a pen from them. I just wish that nothing like you described ever happens again and others who may choose Santini will have a great experience.