(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.
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.
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.
This particular Konrad has a brown ebonite finish that looks like wood. The colors range from tan to dark brown, almost black.
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.
The Konrad is a piston filler with a blind cap.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.)
Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, which I am very grateful for.
Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!