How to Use a Loupe

  • Why do you need a loupe? (0:39)
  • Details of the Goulet Loupe (1:39)
  • How to hold the loupe (4:27)
  • Aligning your nib tines (7:27)

Update as of August 2017: Unfortunately we no longer offer the Goulet Loupe, though the demonstration of how to use the loupe is consistent across all types of loupes. We still sell the Carton 10x Loupe.

If you want to do any kind of tinkering with your fountain pen nibs, the first thing you're going to need is a good loupe. A loupe is essentially a high-powered magnifying glass, to allow you to inspect your nib in detail. You won't get very far with your nib inspection if you can't see what you're doing! Oftentimes a scratchy fountain pen nib is simply a matter of misaligned tines, and a loupe will make your life much easier when you try to aligned them.


Person using a loupe to look at a fountain pen nib

There are a variety of different loupes out there, especially for photographers, graphic designers, and jewelers. Really, anything that magnifies will do the trick, but some loupes are easier to use than others. When looking for the right type of loupe to consider for fountain pen enthusiasts, I relied on my own personal experience and preferences when looking for just the right one.

This LED-lit 10x loupe is just the tool to help you get to know your nib better. So often a scratchy fountain pen nib is simply a matter of having the tines misaligned, and a loupe will make your life much easier when it comes time to try to align them.

Carton loupe lying on its side on a piece of mylar paper

Magnification allows for easier inspection of your fountain pen nib.

This loupe features a wide viewing field which is great for those with little experience viewing their fountain pen nib under magnification. There are stronger-powered loupes out there, but this one strikes a nice balance between ease of use, affordability, and magnification. Sure, you can spend more on loupes with better optics, but for the casual enthusiast this loupe will be well-suited for casual inspection of your pens and nibs. It's pretty cool to look at your ink on the paper under magnification, too!

Built-in LED lights assist in low-light conditions.

Loupe in the dark showing the LED light

The Carton Loupe is priced reasonably and is just one of the latest nib tuning tools we love to use along with Brass Sheets, Micro-Mesh, and Mylar Paper.

We're also offering these all together as a nib tuning kit. We're on a campaign to empower the everyday user to get more function out of their pens, so look for more videos to come soon.