by Melissa Ashcraft

Guest Blog Post: When and how to change the nib in your WACOM tablet pen stylus (Intuos 4)

Artist and Cartoonist (and ex-MMA fighter) Oni Hartstein wrote a fantastic blog post about how and when to know your Intuos pen nib needs changing and she agreed to let us repost it here. Oni offers more fantastic tutorials on her website, onezumiverse, including topics such as Art Basics and Photoshop. She’s also the founder of Intervention: The Premier Showcase of Online Creativity. Check out her blog post below and be sure to follow @onezumi on Twitter too.

HAHAHA! So basically I have been a digital artist since 2003 and haven’t changed the nib in my tablet once until today. If you know me at all or have ever played World of Warcraft with me this is not surprising. (HINT: I don’t ever assign points or build skills, I just run straight into everything before everyone is ready and get everyone killed.)

So yeah, my Intuos 4 came with a stand that includes 10 replacement nibs.


Regular Nibs: These are the stock plastic nibs that come inside the tablet stylus of ever tablet I have ever owned.

Weird Ring Thingy: There is a notch in this thing. When you remove it from the stand you use it like tweezers to pull out the old nib.

Felt Nibs: These nibs have a felt-like finish. (DUH.) These wear out fast.

Flex Nib: This nib has a rubber tip. WACOM claims this nib is the longest-lasting nib.

Spring-Loaded Nib: This nib is to simulate brush-like pressure and works very well on the CINTIQ / pen displays.

My nib lasted +- a year. These newer tablets have a rougher surface to simulate paper so the nibs wear out now whereas on the older, slicker tablets I had never encountered this. Removing it and changing it was very easy. Today I am giving the Flex Nib a try.

Tra la la. Nibs!

So far it’s really nice. It kind of feels like a soft pencil or marker.

Check out my other tutorials here. Have you used any of the WACOM nibs or accessories? Let me know what’s awesome.

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