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I've noticed recently that on heavily-used Wacom pens, especially those owned by a complete klutz such as myself, have a tendency to eventually get really short nibs. So short that it can only detect pressure when held completely perpendicular to the screen. At first you think, "Oh, wow I need to change the nib, that is seriously worn down, geez!" And when you change it out for a fresh one, it's JUST as short as before....

So what's wrong? To find out, give your pen a back-and-forth shake. Does it sound like the innards of the pen are shifting, rattling back and forth? Press on the eraser tip. Does the tip's length suddenly come back? If so, this means that the body of your pen has begun to come apart, thus making the shaft longer and loosening up the inside. (The following is a description of an Intuos4 pen. But others should be similar.)

To fix this, it's an easy matter of removing the duo-switch, (just get a fingernail underneath it and pry it, don't worry, it's strong,) then the cone-shaped grip holder by the tip, (twist it off,) then the rubber grip itself. If you hold the exposed plastic shaft where the grip used to be and the part closer to the eraser and gently (but firmly) pull apart the two halves, the pen should open up. !-Warning: The eraser tip has a small spring inside. Make sure it doesn't fall out! Also, Be careful not to damage the inductor coils at either end of the circuit board. They're held in place with very thin wires! Warning-! (If by chance one does fall off, don't fret -- just put it back in place. The inductor coil by the tip should go at the VERY front -- the nib actually passes through it.) Inspect both halves of the shaft and the circuit board. If everything looks alright, drop the circuit board it back into the nib-side of the shaft first. The circuit board will only drop in one particular way, so make sure you have the two buttons for the duo-switch facing the right direction to line up with the holes in the shaft. Then, bring the eraser side of the shaft over the board and firmly press it back together with the nib-side. The board will also only fit a particular way into the eraser-shaft, so make sure you carefully align it first with the interior notches.

Now that everything is re-seated, the rattling should probably be gone from the pen when you shake it back and forth, and the nib should be at its full length once more. However you're probably not ready to draw with it again. Placing pressure will probably cause the two halves of the shaft to push apart again. Thus, before putting the rubber grip back on, take a very short cut of CLEAR PACKING TAPE and wrap it around the part where the two halves of the shaft meet. (Be careful not to make the length of tape so broad that it covers one of the duo-switch holes.) Wrap it around the shaft tight and mat it down to get maximum grip. Use just enough tape to go around the pen ONCE, you don't want to overdo it or else the rubber pen grip probably won't fit properly anymore. I suggest you use clear packing tape because it's very strong, and remarkably sticky to materials like plastic. Regular scotch tape will probably eventually let go, or break. I don't suggest using super glue on the off-chance that someday you will need to open the pen up again. Removing packing tape is a hell of a lot easier than dislodging super glue.

Now you can put the rubber grip back on, the grip holder, and the duo-switch. Most wacom pens should be like this, at least from Intuos-4/Bamboo onward. Here's a quick photo-guide on disassembling a Wacom Bamboo Pen.

Note that this is also a valid method to remove a STUCK nib in your pen. Let's say if the nib is physically too short and you can NOT remove it with the nib tool or anything else, disassembling the pen like this is probably the quickest and safest method to get it out.

Hope this helps a select few of you out there!
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:iconancientecho:
AncientEcho Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
Hey, this is an old post but I'm having an issue. My pen nib is super short and I tried to get it out with the back of the intuos.. It's so short that It won't even eject. There's no problems with the pen, it's just that I need to put in a new nib.. Should I go to where I bought it and ask? Please help!
Reply
:iconskullzhead:
skullzhead Featured By Owner May 4, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
YOU SAVED MY LIFE TONIGHT. THANK YOU. omg cry Cry forever 
Reply
:iconaxel-angel982:
Axel-Angel982 Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I don't suppose you know how to get the eraser part out if it went it while trying this? it is completely stuck and while I almost got it out it went back in. Any advice?
Reply
:iconlizule:
Lizule Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Can I have a little help??
So I was trying to get my pen nib out by following a different tutorial... (note that i'm really naive..) and it said to use Nail-Clippers to get out the nib.. so.. I did and it completely ruined it by making it so short.. I have replacements and all but, my question is.. how can I get the nib out manually without the back of the tablet?? Please help :T
Reply
:iconswankyshadow:
SwankyShadow Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014  Student Filmographer
That was the single most scariest moment in my life, but it worked! Thank you so much! You're the best!!! :D 
Reply
:iconkanta-kun:
Kanta-Kun Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Bro, will you like, stop saving my life? Nib malfunctioned today in class, got home, opened the pen, reassembled everything, Working again.

THANK YOU.
Reply
:icongabby-chan1994:
Gabby-chan1994 Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
LOL how ironic that i find you here. i cant even take the nib out, it's too short.
Reply
:iconshingworks:
shingworks Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I've pulled up this page at work so many times, you have no idea
Reply
:iconfox-orian:
fox-orian Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Good god, apparently you're not the only one. 18,000 views on this journal entry?
Googling "wacom short nib" has this as the first result.

Interesting.
Reply
:iconshingworks:
shingworks Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Haha yeah, today at work all artists were gathered around the screen, making D: faces as we pulled our pens in half.
Reply
:iconfox-orian:
fox-orian Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
You need to give me an update as to what you're up to over there now, post-playdom. WHERE ARE YOU hahahah
Reply
:iconshingworks:
shingworks Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I'm at Game Closure... doing UI and concepting and shit like that. Honestly most of my time has been spent trying to tamp down my anxiety long enough to bond w/ job and coworkers, that's only started happening in the last 2 weeks so as you can imagine I am pretty cool and have not been awkward at all for like the last 4 months (that is sarcasm)
Reply
:iconfox-orian:
fox-orian Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I've been sitting in with the guys at the Indie Game Collective of Intrepid Labs. (and Proletariat Games, who are also there.)
www.indiegamecollective.org/st…

It's been interesting meeting so many indie developers all under one roof. They like my work a lot, and may want me to do art for their games in the coming year (after they finish up their current projects.) Boston apparently has a game industry scene I wasn't fully aware of. It's cropped up in the last year or two, and it seems promising. Though, only a marginal fraction of what you'd find in the SF Bay area. Proletariat liked my work very much, and told me "The worst thing I could do right now is tell you that you should move to SF right now because you'd be able to get hired at a studio in under 2 weeks. But I'm not going to say that because we NEED you here, man. Boston needs good artists." hahahaha

I'd go to SF if only I had money to actually move and ship all my stuff and pay for an apartment and augh. Apparently I'm quite social at all these indie game events, been meeting people left and right. I never would've guessed that.

I'd love to do UI Design and all that sort of problem solving. I love that kind of stuff more than drawing (for money) for some reason. Too bad I'm not in the area, would be fun working there with you if they'd have me hahahah
Reply
:iconshingworks:
shingworks Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Good to hear that! And they probably would talk to you, they hire out of state all the time for odd reasons. I wouldn't recc my place though, for you, you can probably do better if you are looking for a fulfilling games career (vs a paycheck). I'm working on my own stuff on my downtime so I am making it work for me. You will probably be happier exploring the indie space... and save more money not coming to SF, haha. Why the hell is everything so goddamn expensive, is my perpetual question.
Reply
:iconfox-orian:
fox-orian Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I don't have a problem doing it for a paycheck at the moment, I'm still starting out and need experience. I definitely want to try to make it work in Boston before officially planning on moving. It feels like I could be riding the front of a new wave of startups flooding Cambridge? Seems cool. A fulfilling games career could come after getting just the paychecks for a while. That's how you did it :)

Well, I think we both know the answer as to why everything is so expensive, but the answer is so long that it's not worth getting into hahahah.

We need to talk in a way that isn't DA comments hahah. If you want, let me know if you also want to check out Synthesis' development. You'd be surprised by it compared to all those earlier backstory docs I sent you. This one actually has PLOT. and IDEAS that aren't BAD.
Reply
:iconcvanphoto:
cvanphoto Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I just ran across this, man thanks so much.  I was seriously starting to freak out!
Reply
:iconvixii:
Vixii Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I know this is old, but you literally saved me from a bout of tears. I thought I'd have to buy a whole new pen which would have set me back so much on commissions /cry thank you ♥
Reply
:iconcatbard:
Catbard Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013
You are a lifesaver. I was worried that the pen itself was broken in a way I couldn't fix, and that I would have to shell out who knows how much cash I just don't have to replace it entirely.

Also, I can confirm that this method works for the Intuos3 model of pen as well-- the spring in the eraser was an incredible pain to get put back because it's so extremely small you could literally eat it on accident and not even notice, but I finally managed it and the pen is as good as new now! Thanks so much.
Reply
:iconshingworks:
shingworks Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Holy god, my nib just pushed in. I googled for an answer and found... this =___= plus a comment from my past self. sigh
Reply
:iconfox-orian:
fox-orian Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Gahahah
The tape kept slipping on my pen eventually, so I just used super glue. Problem fixed permanently.
Reply
:iconshingworks:
shingworks Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
NOOO you advised against that in your tutorialllll
Reply
:iconfox-orian:
fox-orian Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Hahaha well I advise it now. I seriously have no idea why you'd have to open it up again. If anything you want to absolutely stop the pen FROM opening hahahah
Reply
:iconshingworks:
shingworks Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Opening up the two halves of the pen was the scariest thing I ever did
Reply
:iconanneawh:
anneawh Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012
WORKED!
Reply
:iconbabileilei:
Babileilei Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks so much for this! It worked like a charm! No spending $60 for a new pen for me!
Reply
:iconthegroon:
thegroon Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012
I'll give this a try. Currently my eraser tip is fine, and my pen tip isn't registering. If I remove the nib, the tablet reads the pen just fine, but then of course it doesn't sense the pressure or click. It's like the sensor just isn't getting close enough to the board.
Reply
:iconjaylpl:
jaylpl Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2012
Thank you so much. I was starting to think that I'd have to buy a new pen. I wouldn't have tried pulling the pen apart without this guide. It turned out that the spring in the eraser had broken and turned on it's side. I just stretched the spring slightly and put it in so it was standing on end again; now I'm back in business.

This article was so helpful.
Reply
:iconrangyrougee:
RangyRougee Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2012  Professional General Artist
The first time I've favorited a journal XD
Reply
:iconnuranooni:
NuraNooni Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
THANK YOU! It was sooo annoying to get unpressured lines every other stroke. I didn't know that this was the problem! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
Reply
:icontomathespook:
TomatheSpook Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Seriously, huge THANK YOU, you have no idea how much it helped ;_;
I'm an ass who can't draw on light pressure settings.
Reply
:iconadrianfedele:
AdrianFedele Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2012  Hobbyist
Thanks for sharing! *>* ick, I hope my pen doesn't do that...
Reply
:iconpickledshoe:
pickledshoe Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2012  Student General Artist
wow that was what my pen was doing!
Reply
:iconsoliton:
soliton Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2012  Professional General Artist
heh you said "making the shaft longer and loosening up the inside" eh heh heh heh heh eh heh heh heh heh heh heh....sorry :)
Reply
:icongraphicd-wannab:
GraphicD-WannaB Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks a lot! I'm sure this'll be useful to me one day! Oh, and by the way, Happy Birthday fox-orian!! :D
Reply
:iconredzer0fox:
redzer0fox Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
very cool. Ive recently just changed my nib. But golly it was well worn down XD
Reply
:iconcyberborg:
Cyberborg Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Yes.

I have had this happen several times before--most recently last week. Although in my case the pens have fractured near the seam between the main body and the eraser casing. Which allowed it come out. When that happens I have been able tightly wind tape around the fracture as described and continue using the pen.

Thanks for the info!
Reply
:icontheheadache:
TheHeadache Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Thanks, this was extremely helpful!
Reply
:iconillysias:
illysias Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2012
That's why I always set my pen pressure settings to something lighter, to cut down on the wear and tear of both my nibs and my tablet. ;p
Reply
:iconmiyazu:
Miyazu Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
how do you do that?
Reply
:iconillysias:
illysias Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2012
Go to Wacom Tablet Properties, select the grip pen, and fiddle around with the tip feel
Reply
:iconmiyazu:
Miyazu Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
omg thanks! ive never even notices there was a wacom tablet prop n tutorials and all that stuff on my 'start' LOL
Reply
:iconhopefulmangaka:
hopefulmangaka Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
wow really helpful!
Reply
:iconmakishal:
Makishal Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2012
Mine did that towards the end of it's life, I live in Canada so I had to wait three weeks before a new one came in thinking it had to be replaced! :XD: Thanks, this can spare me some money later on!
Reply
:icongregatron:
Gregatron Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh my gosh, this is so helpful!! How on earth did you discover what it really was?
Reply
:iconblofu:
Blofu Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very Helpful, thanks.
Reply
:iconthornedvenom:
ThornedVenom Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Or you could have TWO Intuos 4 pens in case of anything (ordered an extra a while ago because I thought I had lost my original one, only to find it in my glove box a year later.)
Reply
:iconfoohasmoved:
FooHasMoved Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
pff I read through almost half of this before I realized that I had a different type of tablet XDD
Reply
:iconlightning-powered:
Lightning-Powered Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2012  Professional General Artist
THIS IS A GOOD POST.
Reply
:iconseaworm:
Seaworm Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Wish I could download a journal like one downloads other deviations..
Reply
:iconawehhh:
Awehhh Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
very helpful
Reply
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