Posts filed under Noodler's

Noodler's Konrad Ebonite Flex Fountain Pen: A Review

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(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)

When Goulet Pens sent Pen Addict a Noodler’s pen to review, I’ll admit, I wasn’t all that enthusiastic. I’ve read that the pens can be hit-or-miss, and I was pretty sure I would not be much impressed. But, I was wrong. I love being surprised, and this pen surprised me quite a bit.

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The pen comes packaged simply, in a small cardboard box decorated with Noodler’s artwork. There was no padding or protection other than a plastic sleeve.

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The pen is made of ebonite and is incredibly light (only 18 grams). It’s a medium-sized pen (144mm capped), a bit longer than a Pelikan M600.

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This particular Konrad has a brown ebonite finish that looks like wood. The colors range from tan to dark brown, almost black.

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The cap is black with a silver-toned clip and ring. Both are engraved with the Noodler’s name. The cap screws on tightly, but the threads seem really rough. Maybe with more use they will smooth out.

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The Konrad is a piston filler with a blind cap.

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The pen even boasts an ink window. But, frankly, what you see in that ink window is the full amount of ink the pen holds (1.54ml according to Goulet Pens). A Pelikan M600 holds 1.75ml.

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The nib is a #6-size flexible steel. It writes a fine line when not flexed. When flexed, you can get the line up to about a broad if you push hard.

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And this is where I expected to find flaws with the Noodler’s pen. I thought writing with it would be unpleasant—a rough nib, not much flex, and lots of skipping. But that’s not what I experienced at all. The nib is very smooth. I can get some good flex out of it when I push down. And the pen never skipped, not even once, in my testing.

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I certainly would not call this a flex nib because it requires a good amount of pressure to get the tines to spread. But it could qualify as a pretty stiff semi-flex. You can see some examples of the line variation in the swirls and lines pictured below:

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I inked the pen with Iroshizuku Yama-Guri, a nice matchy brown. I found the Konrad to be quite pleasant to write with. As you can see, I was in a Dumbledore quote mood.

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You can purchase the Noodler’s Konrad Ebonite Flex in three colors (jade pine cone ripple, Methuselah’s pine cone ripple, or red rebellion) from Goulet Pens for $40.00.

Pros

  • For $40 you get an ebonite pen with a semi-flex nib and a piston filler. That’s a pretty decent price in my view.
  • Although the pen doesn’t hold much ink, I do like that it is a piston filler, and the ink window is a nice touch.
  • For people who prefer light pens, this fits the bill. It’s a good size for most people’s hands, and it won’t tire you while writing unless you push the nib pretty hard.
  • The nib on my pen was smooth, and with some pressure, I was able to get some decent flex from it. I didn’t feel uncomfortable pushing the nib on this pen like I would a gold nib.

Cons

  • I know that some people have had trouble with Noodler’s pens being hard starters or skipping. Goulet Pens instructs buyers of this pen to do a good flushing prior to use.

Due to the residual machining oils used when cutting the feeds for these pens, we highly encourage you to give the pen a good flush before use. We recommend any of the following options: distilled water, water with a touch of dish soap, a pre-packaged pen flush, or a solution of 10% clear ammonia to water. This should resolve most ink flow issues! I did a few flushes with plain water, and the nib worked fine. But if you have any trouble, just follow the above instructions.

  • Normally, I prefer pens with a little more heft to them, but because flexing requires some pressure, I think the weight of the pen is appropriate. It allows you to put some strength into your writing without becoming over-fatigued. Do be aware that you will need to use pressure to get the nib to flex.

(Goulet Pens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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Posted on August 25, 2017 and filed under Noodler's, Pen Reviews.

Noodler's X-Feather Black Ink Review

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

Admittedly, it's been a long time since I've tried out a new black ink. I've been really obsessed with all the different colors available that I forgot about the old standard. In all honesty, I haven't tried a new black ink since I wrote a review about Noodler's Heart of Darkness a year and a half ago. My philosophy on black inks is: you only need one.

Well, that might be true, but the choice isn't an easy one. Let me introduce Noodler's X-Feather — a brilliant, well-behaved black ink that is surprisingly resistant to feathering.

At first glance, this is just an ordinary black ink that you might have a hard time telling apart from other Noodler's black inks (or other black inks of any brand). It's a rich black, it's well-lubricated (maybe a tad dry), and dries pretty quickly. What's the selling point with this one? Well, for one, it supposedly feathers a lot less than other inks — especially on cheap paper. I tested this out on some 20# copy paper, and it actually did pretty well compared to a couple of Iroshizuki inks that I had nearby. Does it still feather? Yes, but you have to look closely to notice it.

Unlike some black inks, this one is a rich, dark black. There's a tiny bit of shading if the nib is wide enough, but it's difficult to detect. Honestly, I can't tell a difference between this and Heart of Darkness, so that's a big win.

When writing, the ink is smooth and flows very well. Again, on par for Noodler's. Cleaning the ink out of a pen is simple and doesn't cause any headaches. I'd say this ink is right in the middle of the wet/dry spectrum. It might be a tad wet for some tastes, especially in wider nibbed pens.

As the name implies, this ink does really well in the feathering department. Both feathering and show-through are minimal with this ink, which makes it ideal for use on cheap papers or papers that tend to cause ink tendrils due to the composition. No control over the paper quality you use? This is a good ink to try.

I'm not concerned with water resistance, but I tried it out with this ink since it's one of the bullet points on the description of the ink. Lo and behold, it does really well when water is introduced. A little cloudiness shows up, but the lines are true.

At the end of the day, this is a solid black ink. It's not exciting, but I don't think it was meant to be. If you need a reliable, water-resistant, non-feathering black ink, then this is a strong option for you to consider.

Of course, you can purchase a whole bottle if you want to dive in, or you can try out a sample to make sure it's everything you hope it to be.

Posted on April 15, 2015 and filed under Ink Reviews, Noodler's.

Noodler's Nikita Ink Review

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

There is an endless array of colors out there that you can fill into a fountain pen to bleed out onto the page, but sometimes what you're after is a true, basic color. In the case of a basic, bright red, Noodler's Nikita fits the bill.

I've been using Nikita for quite a while now whenever I want to use a basic red — something you might expect out of a red gel ink pen. It's not fancy, there's hardly any shading, but it's a saturated red that grabs your attention. Sometimes that's just what you want from an ink — the opposite of subdued.

If you're familiar with Noodler's inks, then this one is what I consider an average ink in their line — and that's not a bad thing. Basically, you can expect a nicely saturated, well-behaved ink that just works and cleans out nicely. My main complaint with the ink is the dry time. It takes quite a while to dry in my experience. Other reviews I've found online seem to disagree, so take that with a grain of salt. I'm sure humidity, paper quality, and more factors come into play when drying time is measured. I happen to live in a very humid area (it was 91% earlier today), and that must be part of the cause for slow dry time.

Apart from that, Nikita is a lubricated ink that flows nicely from different pens and nib sizes. I never experienced any skips or hard starts — it's a really low-maintenance ink in all respects.

As far as shading goes, you won't find much of that here. If you use the right nib, you can detect some slight shading in lighter areas of the stroke, but it's subtle. There's a tad bit of feathering on some papers, but I didn't experience this with any of the accepted fountain pen friendly papers.

I'm fairly sure that this ink only comes in a 4.5 oz eye-droppper bottle, so keep that in mind if you want to go for the whole bottle. Those eye dropper bottles are nearly impossible to use for pens that need to be dipped into the ink in order to draw it up into the converter or reservoir. And you also score a free pen with the ink, though I'm pretty sure it's just an unbranded Platinum Preppy that you can use as an eyedropper pen.

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I don't know my Russian history well enough (read: at all), but that's where the name for the ink comes from — Nikita Krushchev. I won't embarrass myself by trying to give a history lesson, but his story is pretty interesting.

All in all, this is my go-to ink if I'm looking for a bright red that gets the job done. If I were a grammar teacher, this would be the perfect ink for bleeding all over my students' papers as it performs OK on cheap paper as well.

Thanks to Joe Lebo for sending me a sample of this ink to try out!

You can find the bottles (or samples) of this ink from Goulet Pens.

На здоровье! (Cheers!)

Posted on March 18, 2015 and filed under Ink Reviews, Noodler's.