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News & Insight

Wacom Pen Nibs Can Be Substituted With Spaghetti, Really

By Kishore Sawh on April 12th 2017

Regardless of what you shoot, and no matter what post processing software you’re partial to, a Wacom tablet will likely improve your workflow and the quality of your edits in ways you simply can’t replicate without one. We’re often asked about retouching techniques and ultra specifics about the processes, and while that is oh-so-necessary, perhaps the biggest thing you can do for your photo retouching is get yourself a pen tablet. Truly, there is absolutely no substitute.


Once you do you’ll use it a lot, and when you do you’ll need to replace the actual nibs which DO wear down with use, especially if you have a heavy hand. This in and of itself isn’t an issue since your tablet will have come with spares, but they get lost, and used, and as cosmic comic law would have it, you’ll be out of one precisely at a dire moment of need, and you can’t find these replacement nibs at your corner store. So what’s to be done? Pasta. Yes, pasta to the rescue.

Digital artist Brittany Botehlo recently recently tweeted out that she stuck a piece of spaghetti into the Wacom pen in that sort of curious/bored way only a teen can be, and posted a photo of it. Upon doing so the tweet was retweeted thousands of times over and everyone wanted to know: Did it work?

It did, and she posted a video to prove it.

So, if your’e ever in a bind for nibs, and Amazon won’t overnight them to you or you can’t wait that long, go to your cupboard instead. Hats off to Brittany for this unusual discovery, for sure.

If, however, you’re curious about extending the life of your nibs, it’s pretty well known that you can use certain types of material to lay over the active area of your tablet that will still allow for its use, and things like screen protectors (acetate type materials) that allow capacitive touch is one way to go, and since they’re smooth there is less friction with which to wear down your nibs. I’ve heard mixed reports on how sensitive they can be, however, so keep that in mind; no point in getting a tablet with 1024 or 2048 pressure levels and so on and not getting the most out of them.

Check out our reviews of some Wacom tablets below, and the first looks to be the one Brittany was using.




Source: DIYPhotography

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A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Marilyn Goodwyn

    don’t use spaghetti, it WILL scratch your screen! and if it doesn’t scratch your screen, it MIGHT break inside the pen. PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS, repairing a tablet screen that has been scratched costs WAY more than buying a replacement nib, don’t risk it!

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