Noodler’s pens always intrigued me, since there are number of users who really like these fountains pens or simply hate them. Having few Creaper’s and Ahab’s I understand both sides of the spectrum since in the past I had good and bad times with Noodler’s. The thing is, that Noodler’s pens are designed to play with them before you actually start. If you expect that these pens would writhe straight out of box and flex like vintage Waterman’s with soft gold nib, then you may quickly join the league is disappointed players. To many people these pens are too finicky, they tend to railroad and skip. This si all true and understandable, since most customers like to have a pen which actually writes and does this every time with no issues. However, if you are a little bit stubborn and spend some time adjusting things like nib or feed together then with some dose of luck you may end up with very decent writing instrument, which won’t cost you much. There is a number of short videos on Youtube how to do this, as wel as many other great reviews which I recommend to look at.
First of all they are cheap or relatively cheap depending on model and material being used in the production. Secondly, all Noodler’s pens are very easy to disassembly. Putting parts together is equally simple. This means they are easy to clean and actually tweak. Nibs are standard size and can be swapped with something else. There are various mods with Ahab’s or Konrad’s being equipped with very soft dip pen nibs like Zebra G for instance (I own one). I often replace the original Noodler’s semi-flex #6 nib with same size also semi-flex steel F.P.R. nib from Fountain Pen Revolution which works just fine. Noodler’s feeds are ebonite, which may be sometimes beneficial if you think about heat-setting.
As I mentioned above I already own couple of Noodler’s pens. I have Creeper’s and three Ahab’s (all modified slightly). Two of them became great writers (I will review one soon). Because recently I did a review of absolutely gorgeous shimmering gold ink from Diamine (Diamine Golden Sands – please see review) I decided to get a pen which would nicely match up with this ink. Finally, I decided to get one from Noodler’s and my choice was an acrylic Konrad with absolutely stunning Bengal Tiger marbled pattern which gives beautiful shimmering golden effect.
The pen is rather large (long) but not bulky.
Size 14.3 mm capped, 15.7 mm posted and 13.4 mm unposted
Pen itself is lightweight. 17.0 g capped, 11.0 g uncapped, 6.0 g cap itself and total weight when inked is 18.0-19.0 g.
The acrylic is well polished and pleasant to hold in hands. Unlike many other Noodler’s pens it does not smell. The characteristic smell of resin used in production of Noodler’s pens is an issue to many. Normally, I don’t mind…it eventually fades away in time. However this particular one was fine except the cap inside. The ink window is clear and blend fine with the body. The grip section is smooth and carved in gently.The thread is well made (not too sharp under fingers) and fits well with the cap. I have not noticed any cross threading, which is great. I wish the black plastic band just below the knob was blend-in better (I can feel a difference and tiny step under my finger), but overall, this is well made pen. Clip sits securely well and is springy.
Noodler’s Konrad pen is piston-fill type, with large ink capacity. The small cap on top can be removed (screw) to get access to the piston knob.
I would definitely recommend to flush this pen through with soapy water before first use to get rid of any potential oils which may greatly affect pen performance. With steady and slow motion nice range of line variation may be squeezed out from this nib, however from my experience I would use a moderate pressure instead. With moderate speed and pressure writing experience is much better. When pressed too hard nib tends to railroad.I believe this is a mistake many people do with these modern cheap steal semi-flex nibs in general which causes unnecessary frustration at the end. Ink choice may be crucial too. Nice flowing and well lubricating ink may would be preferred. This is a nice looking inexpensive pen which with dose of patience and luck is actually very nice and fun to use. However if you expect vintage gold nib – like soft and super flexy experience, the this pen may not be for you. This pen supposes to introduce the idea of flexible nib, but nothing much beyond that, depending on your expectations and demands.