Wacom pens are designed to have removable nibs that users can replace when necessary to promote optimal pen precision and accuracy. Because these replacement nibs come at a cost, it isn’t uncommon for people to wait until their nib are worn to near extinction before replacing it. Unfortunately, this often means that the nib is now too short to remove manually, so what can you do?
In this article, you’ll find our top four easiest solutions for removing your Wacom pen nib when it is too short to remove through your typical methods. All of these methods require some form of tool, either ones you have around your home or specialized options you can purchase. Depending on your pen and nib length, one approach will likely be more suitable than others.
1. The Wacom Nib Removal Tool or Hole
Something a surprising number of Wacom pen owners don’t know is that their Wacom pen comes with a specialized nib removal tool or hole that is designed specifically for these situations.
When your Wacom nib needs to be removed, the first method you should try is to use the pen’s accompanied nib removal tool or hole. The tool is a small, metal, pincer-like ring that is excellent for safely and gently removing Wacom nibs of nearly any length, whereas the hole is built into various parts of the pen itself and is best for longer nibs.
The Wacom nib removal tool (the metal ring) typically comes with most Wacom pens upon purchase, but you can purchase one online if necessary (they’re typically included in bundles with replacement nibs, like this option).
The Wacom nib removal hole is a little simpler and built into any Wacom pen that doesn’t come with a nib removal tool. This hole isn’t as effective for excessively short nibs, since you can’t really grip the nib like the handheld tool, but it’s always worth a shot.
The nib replacement hole’s location will depend on what Wacom pen model you have. It will be found in one of the locations listed below.
- On the bottom of your pen stand
- On the pen storage case
- On the pen holder attached to your device
- Underneath one of the built-in stand legs.
We always recommend trying these two options first, but when both fail, one of the following methods will likely do the trick.
2. Pincer-Like Hand Tools
The only way you are going to be able to remove an extremely short Wacom nib is if you can get enough grip on the nib and apply enough force to pull it out of the pen, and the easiest way to do this is with a pincer-like hand tool.
These hand tools don’t have to be anything special. In fact, the ones that work best are often common household items, such as tweezers, nail clippers, or a pair of very small and thin needle nose pliers.
The key with these tools is to get enough grip on the Wacom nib without accidently pinching off or removing another layer of the nib. Try to take this process slow and apply as little pressure as possible while you wiggle and pull the nib out.
3. Mounting Putty
If you don’t want to risk removing more of the nib by using some of the previously mentioned tools, we recommend opting for a strong and sticky putty.
Mounting putty can be an extremely effective product for removing an short Wacom nib without the risk of causing further damage to the nib or its surrounding pen. Simply press some of the putty onto the nib or partially into the pen’s top, if necessary, and try to see if it sticks to the nib enough to pull it out.
The biggest issue people have with this method is either that the putty isn’t sticky enough to grip the nib and/or you can’t apply enough for to pull it out, but this isn’t always the case. It is also worth mentioning that the putty might stick to parts of your Wacom pen, especially inside the pen itself, so you’ll want to be cautious not to let any stick to and dry within the nib housing, as this could cause issues in the future.
4. The Thumbtack Trick
The last method we’d like to recommend for removing a Wacom pen nib is a bit more involved and might pose an increased risk to your pen’s integrity when done wrong, but many Wacom users find that it is one of the few options that work when their nib is too short for basic tools to grip and remove.
The thumbtack trick will essentially work by melting a hole into your Wacom nib and then allowing the material to dry around the thumbtack, so it sticks to the thumbtack enough for you to pull it, and the nib, out.
The process for this is pretty simple. First, heat the metal end of your thumbtack with a lighter (or some flame source) until the tip is red hot. Next, gently press the hot metal tip of the thumbtack into the Wacom nib deep enough to create a small indent for the nib to cool around and grip the thumbtack.
You’ll then wait a few seconds for the Wacom nib to cool before attempting to pull it out using the thumbtack. If the nib doesn’t come out with the thumbtack, you could try prying it out using the indent you created with the thumbtack and the thumbtack’s metal tip.
While this method can be effective, you’ll want to be cautious as you could potentially burn or scrape part of your Wacom pen on accident in attempts to remove the nib.
Hopefully, one of the methods listed above helped you remove that Wacom nib that has been too short to remove until now. If all else fails, there are some Wacom pens with removable tips that you could unscrew and potentially remove the nib that way, but this is not always the case. Ultimately, a lot of trial and error and maybe a bit of force might be what it takes to force that pesky nib out.