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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Noodler's Flex Pens



These were done with a Noodler's Creaper flex pen, the smallest one they make; I love the varied lines, and the fact that you can tweak the pens--literally take them apart to clean and service them yourself if you wish.  (LOTS of good videos on that at http://gouletpens.com!)

I own 6 Creapers now, for use with different inks (and two I've played with replacing the factory nib with different nibs--one a Hero M-86 bent nib for calligraphy and one an antique gold Waterman--they just fit the small pen.)

At $14, I find these a fantastic bargain for a flexible-nib fountain pen!

I also own 2 Konrads and a big old Ahab--it's lovely but a bit large for my small hands.  Holds a LOT of ink, though.

Here's my review on that pen: http://artistsjournalworkshop.blogspot.com/2011/12/noodlers-new-ahab-pen.html


These are nice writing pens, too--I use them almost exclusively to write letters and to work in my written journal/daybook, though I do own other pens.  The nibs on mine are exceptionally smooth for a steel nib pen.

On the minus side, for some unknown reason ink DOES evaporate in the pens--something to do with the type of plastic-like material they're made from.  Sometimes they need a kickstart, either spraying the nib with water or giving it a quick dip. Sometimes I need to tap them on the paper to get them started.  And sometimes I just need to adjust the nib.

Of course any pen is sensitive to both the type of ink you're using and the paper you're working on. Some are a better "fit" than others.

What's been your experience?

30 comments:

  1. Are these regular old fashioned fountain pens? Have not heard of these in Australia

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    1. I'll bet you have by now! I just updated this post...

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  2. Kate, I got this: Noodler's Ahab Flex Nib Fountain Pen - Lapis Medieval Blue and Black, Fine Nib 15027 and it came with a broken ring and leaked all over! Costs more to replace the ring than I feel the pen is worth! I haven't had any trouble with my Lamy or Heroes. So ya think the Creaper would work better? (Funny response to chris above!) ;)

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    1. Each of the pens has a different filling mechanism, but I'd definitely contact whoever you bought it from and SAY that. you shouldn't have to pay anything to replace it or the ring if it was broken when you got it. I haven't had a problem of that sort with my Creaper, but ya never know! I did have a problem with one of the Konrads I got, and they replaced it!

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  3. I have three of those skinny Noodler's pens and I never use them because they evaporate so fast I feel like I am pouring ink down the drain. They wrote okay but I never use only one fountain pen and always have several inked up. These will dry up and be empty in a matter of days to a week. I really wanted to like them. They are the reason I never bought any of the other Noodler's pens.

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    1. Yes, it's weird! Some of mine hold ink for ages--as long as any other pen, but one of them just went WHOOSH lately. It's a fairly new transparent yellow one...my opaque ones don't seem to do that, and not ALL my transparent ones do. My Konrads or Ahabs don't seem to do that. It's a mystery!

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  4. I will buy a Noodler's Creaper flex pen when goulet gets in their back-ordered ink. So far I have mixed reviews myself on the Safari, and have no problem with the Preppie (except it is one note -- not a lot of play in it to make fat or skinny lines.) I want try your flex before I try Liz's safari recommendations -- especially based upon price! I could have had two flex pens for the price of the Safari.

    Danny was going on about how people always want to know what brands their "teachers" use and it is not something he feels should be answered. My experience is that sharing on websites and finding out what people who are doing what you are trying to do use saves me precious $$$. I don't think everyone who asks is thinking that the pen is the one who is talented!

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    1. I enjoy mine, a lot, and wouldn't be without them...but I don't mind fussing with them. (A lot of fountain pens require a little fussing!) I have a Prera, which is a slightly fancier Preppy, and yes, I DO like how dependable it is--it's only failed on me twice, once spitting a big gob of ink on my drawing and once refusing to work at all till I really cleaned it.

      And hey, you're a grownup, you know there's no magic tool, but I LOVE sharing and learning about what other people enjoy. I would never have heard about bent nib pens if someone hadn't talked about them! Come to think of it, same thing on the Noodler's--I think Nina Johansson first brought them to my attention (maybe?), and I've been playing with them ever since! 4 years now...

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    2. I wonder what a magic tool would cost. . . ?

      I don't know about the Prera, and want to get a bent nib pen eventually.

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    3. Prera is very fine, very smooth, and very dependable, but no flex. It's a lovely pen! SOMEday I'll find the perfect pen...

      And ironically, THREE of my Noodlers are on strike today. I have no idea why...

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    4. Probably because I wrote this post!!! :D

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  5. I just got my first flex nib, a Noodler's Creaper, about 2 weeks ago and I'm having fun with it. I have small hands, too, and my other 2 pens are TWSBI Minis. I went for a year and half with just one fountain pen. Then wanted to have more ink colors available so got another Mini and a bottle of Brown #41 thanks to you and Wendy Shortland. Santa is bringing me a third Mini and some ink samples. I hope I can stop at 3 Minis and a Creaper!

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    1. I now see the problem with disappearing ink in my Creaper. I haven't used it that much and the level is way down. Weird.

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  6. I really like the Ahab, but agree with other commenters that it seems to evaporate ink fairly rapidly. I feel I need to keep it in use, and be careful not to use inks that are on the dry side.

    An amazing product at the price though.

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    1. My problem is that I also want water-resistant inks, and they are often iffy in ANY pen! And yes, AMAZING for the price. I kept my Noodlers' and got rid of several pens that cost many times what they do.

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    2. What ink do you use? I have tried two different inks that were advertised as waterproof. I wanted to use them for ink and watercolor, but both inks smeared badly when I laid on a wash.

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    3. I'm mostly using DeAtramentis Document inks right now...seem to work well!

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  7. I just got an Ahab Flex pen — I like it so much I ordered 2 more. This is the first time I heard of the evaporation trouble. Do you suppose the Konrad pens with the acrylic bodies would avoid problem? They look nice, but they cost twice as much ($40).

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    1. I didn't even know they HAD new ones...I wonder if that's to fix the evaporation!

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    2. Well, the acrylic may or may not solve the evaporation problem — I think their main feature is they look nice. Goulet Pens has videos of the Konrad acrylics pens that show off their nice, marbly finish (the still photos don't do them justice).

      While I like how they look, a pen is more a tool for me than a piece of jewelry. I have a bad habit of misplacing pens and I'll be less upset losing one that's $20 over one that's $40.

      I'd like to try out the new, monster-sized Neponset (with the 3-tined music nib), but you can get almost 4 Ahabs for that price.

      By the way, thanks for all your great books.

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    3. Thanks, Cuyler...they ARE pretty, but I'm fine with the $20 ones too...interestingly the opaque one doesn't seem to evaporate as much as the clear.

      And you're welcome

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  8. I don't use ink pens all that much lately, but I do have a few. I wonder if one stores the pen(s) in the snack-size baggie, whether that would help prevent the ink from evaporating so quickly?

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    1. It would be worth a try! Mine get used so much I don't know if that would help, I DO go through a lot of ink.

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  9. I am trying that but the ink still seems to be disappearing faster than I would expect. I gave up on the Creaper and sprang for a Pilot Falcon Soft Extra Fine nib which has a very satisfactory ink flow, unlike my Creaper which was finicky.

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    1. Yep, that's why I mentioned it in the review! I love the nibs, though, so it's worth it to me. I hope you like your Falcon! I was disappointed that the nib wasn't as fine as I hoped, and it's not as flexible as I thought it would be, either.

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  10. I got the Falcon after reading Larry Marshall's review and I love it. The fineness is about like the new Preppy extra fines and much finer than my TWSBI EFs which have German nibs. My flexibility experience is limited to the Creaper so I don't know what a really flexible nib is like.

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    1. Creaper's no wet noodle, as they say, but it's nice. My most flexible pens are antiques, from the 1920s or 30s. But boy do they take some babying!

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  11. Kate, I just went back and reread Larry's review. He said that until recently you couldn't get an extra fine nib on the Pilot Falcon (formerly Namiki Falcon) so maybe you haven't tried this new one. Larry likes them extra fine and he was satisfied.

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    1. I did, Arlene--in fact I tried TWO of the extra fine ones...they didn't seem any finer than my original F, and no more flex. Of course we all have our preferences! I love the degree of flex with the Creapers combined with low enough price I can have several. Their nibs are also REALLY smooth...so I put up with their shortcomings!

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