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Noodler's Konrad


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#1 Jimmy James

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 05:10

This review is also kept at my infant pen blog, The Inked Nib.

I’m a fan of the idea of the Noodler’s pen. I own more than a dozen between the three fountain pen models (Nib Creeper, Ahab, and Konrad). I have the artwork from each taped to the wall in my office. They’re not always easy to work with, and they’re not my best pens. They are a lot of fun to mess with in my book.
Page 1: Staples Sustainable Earth Legal Pad

Page 2: Staples Signa Legal Pad

Page 3: Norcom (USA) Single Subject Notebook Paper

Ink (Jade Ebonite): Noodler’s Henry Hudson Blue (FPH exclusive)

Ink (Roaring 20s): Noodler’s Rome Is Burning

Ink (Red Mesa Tortoise): Platinum Mixfree Leaf Green

I bought three Noodler’s Konrad pens from three retailers. The first is a Jade Ebonite from Fountain Pen Hospital. The second is a Roaring 20’s Brown from Goulet Pen Company. The final Konrad is a Red Mesa Tortoise from iSellPens.

The most interesting thing about the Konrads to me is that the ebonite pen is about 1/2 inch of length longer than the others. The styling of the pens is quite similar. Each one is a piston filler with a blind cap covering the piston. I have not taken any of the pens apart, but I hear that the pens are completely user serviceable like all Noodler’s pens.

Each one of these pens came to me in 100% perfect shape and were ready to write. I know not everyone has had that experience, but I hope most people get good ones.

The non-ebonite pen is about 5 inches capped and about the same length unposted. It is about 5 1/2 inches posted. The ebonite pen is maybe 5 1/4 inches unposted, 5 1/2 inches capped, and about 6 1/4 inches posted. The ebonite pen is maybe 7/16 inch while the non-ebonite pen is about 3/8 inch.

I’m a fan of Noodler’s Pens. I own about 20 total pens, and none of mine have been terrible. The Konrad is the best pen yet. The flex nib is #6 size just like the Ahab. The Knox nibs available at xfountainpens.com should fit the pens. I really like the flexibility though it should be clear that I do not possess the skill necessary to make the most of the nib.

Handwritten review:
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Review by Erechtheus, on Flickr

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Review by Erechtheus, on Flickr

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Review by Erechtheus, on Flickr

Photos:
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Konrad by Erechtheus, on Flickr

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Konrad by Erechtheus, on Flickr

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Konrad by Erechtheus, on Flickr

Ahab and Konrad:
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Konrad by Erechtheus, on Flickr

Ahab, Konrad, and Nib Creeper:
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Konrad by Erechtheus, on Flickr

#2 lovemy51

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 07:56

wow, JJ! that ebonite Konrad looks very nice! great review!

PS. the FPH doesn't have the ebonite Korad listed on their site!!! :crybaby:

Edited by lovemy51, 21 May 2012 - 07:58.

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#3 Scribblesoften

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 12:13

Thanks for the great review. I am on the fence about a roaring twenties.

Sorry, Lovemy51 the ebonite pens were a limited edition that was never listed on their site. Their is a rumor that they will be put into production. The price for the ebonite was twice the price of the resin version.


Edited for spelling.

Edited by Scribblesoften, 21 May 2012 - 12:14.


#4 Chi Town

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 13:36

Interesting Review. I have an Ebonite Noodlers myself. I bought it from FPH @ 40.00 and yes I could not find it anywhere on there website so I called them and asked if they had it which of course they did.

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#5 lovemy51

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 04:37

rumor has it another vendor might get the ebonite from Noodlers in different pattern/color????. maybe JJ kows something.........
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#6 Jimmy James

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 05:16

What I know is what Brian Goulet responded to me about on his blog. It sounds as though yes indeed when the ebonite pens come back it will be in different pattern(s). That's all I know at this point.

#7 tenney

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 05:23

I like the size, look, and feel of the ebonite Konrad (that I got from FPH). I do like it much better than the non-ebonite Konrad... about a half inch longer and a bit thicker, and flat ends.
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#8 user01

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 12:39

Thanks for this review.
The green ebonite pen looks great.

#9 Steve01

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 15:31

Noodler's Konrad pens do need adjusting. I have one and after 2 lines of writing the ink stops. I am about to throw this "#$%$^$" pen into the waste paper bin unless I can workout how to fix the stop/start ink flow issues. Any suggestions would be appreciated? I have cleaned the pen with warm soapy water and changed the ink to a sepia Mont Blanc.
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#10 paolino_paperino

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 16:23

Mine (roaring '20s) was a hassle free experience. It wrote very well right out of the box. Quality seems high, as every part fits seamlessly together.

The awful smell completely ruins the experience for me, though.
When the ebonite ones will again be available I might consider buying one. I'd like to know beforehand, though, whether every part is made of ebonite, including section and blind cap.

#11 Scribblesoften

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 17:02

Mine (roaring '20s) was a hassle free experience. It wrote very well right out of the box. Quality seems high, as every part fits seamlessly together.

The awful smell completely ruins the experience for me, though.
When the ebonite ones will again be available I might consider buying one. I'd like to know beforehand, though, whether every part is made of ebonite, including section and blind cap.


On the ebonite pens, the cap, blind cap and section are made of ebonite matching the body. The feed is also, of course, ebonite. The ink viewing window and the piston mechanism are probably plastic. Nice pens.

#12 Lloyd

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 18:09

Noodler's Konrad pens do need adjusting. I have one and after 2 lines of writing the ink stops. I am about to throw this "#$%$^{:content:}quot; pen into the waste paper bin unless I can workout how to fix the stop/start ink flow issues. Any suggestions would be appreciated? I have cleaned the pen with warm soapy water and changed the ink to a sepia Mont Blanc.



A word of warning: MB Sepia is an incredibly dry/poorly flowing (yet beautiful and water resistant) ink. If you are having insufficient flow issues, it will only aggrevate the problem.
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#13 paolino_paperino

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 19:19

...
On the ebonite pens, the cap, blind cap and section are made of ebonite matching the body. The feed is also, of course, ebonite. The ink viewing window and the piston mechanism are probably plastic. Nice pens.


Thanks. Knowing this I'll buy an ebonite one.

#14 Steve01

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 09:38


Noodler's Konrad pens do need adjusting. I have one and after 2 lines of writing the ink stops. I am about to throw this "#$%$^{:content:}quot; pen into the waste paper bin unless I can workout how to fix the stop/start ink flow issues. Any suggestions would be appreciated? I have cleaned the pen with warm soapy water and changed the ink to a sepia Mont Blanc.



A word of warning: MB Sepia is an incredibly dry/poorly flowing (yet beautiful and water resistant) ink. If you are having insufficient flow issues, it will only aggrevate the problem.


Thankyou for the advice Lloyd, I will try a Noodler Ink and see if there is any improvement.
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#15 Lloyd

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 18:04

Not all Noodlers ink will flow nicely. You might want to read the ink reviews or ask to ensure that the ink you test with is adequately free flowing.
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#16 quinden

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 18:14

Beautiful pens, and a great review! I have a couple of other Noodler's pens, and one of these will probably find its way into my pen case (especially now that the gray and blue demonstrators are available).
Currently using:Too many pens inked to list, I must cut back! :) I can guarantee there are flighters, urushi, and/or Sheaffer Vac-fillers in the mix!!!

#17 leod

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 20:52

great review! the limited model looks bigger and nicer IMO :thumbup:
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing

#18 AndyLa

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 21:11

Noodler's Konrad pens do need adjusting. I have one and after 2 lines of writing the ink stops. I am about to throw this "#$%$^$" pen into the waste paper bin unless I can workout how to fix the stop/start ink flow issues. Any suggestions would be appreciated? I have cleaned the pen with warm soapy water and changed the ink to a sepia Mont Blanc.


Same happened to me. You might want to try scrubbing the feed with a toothbrush. I find that there is usually gunk/stuff stuck in places. It helped, but I haven't used my kronrad in a while so not sure if it completely solved it.

#19 Steve01

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 22:52

New test with Diamine emerald ink and Konrad, not much improvement in ink flow. I have also slightly adjusted the feed by pulling it out a tiny bit further (before the ink "drips" out). Works a bit better with normal writing but does become dry after a few lines of writing and can take some time before the ink flows again.
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#20 amberleadavis

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 07:36

My recent Noodler's purchases came with notes to flush before using. I've found that the Noodler's pens are quick to dry out (and I'm likely to have it uncapped while I type on the keyboard so the pens dry out).

Thank you for the review.

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#21 Belles-lettres

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 11:37

I, too, have a Konrad, several Ahabs and the small first model.

The little guys all worked out of the box although two of four performed better with a little adjusting.

The Ahabs really vexed me. I bought four; one was perfect, two eventually worked with flushing and nib adjustment and one never, ever worked right - same complaint as others, writes fine then goes dry. I did everything anyone suggested on this board.

So it was either a leap of faith or masochism that I ordered a Konrad.... and I have been quite content with it. Ran some JB flush through it immediately then inked it and off it went just as it should. I find it fits my hand very well, the balance is excellent and the ink volume is what a pen should be (I empty a small bladder of ink in 90 minutes of writing - very inconvenient esp if on the road). I worry about messing with success but the nib is not as smooth as the Ahab I kept - am thinking about swapping nibs but the degree of fear and trepidation has postponed the action.

Would buy a ebonite Konrad in the blink of an eye.
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#22 jjyoung

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 15:13

I just purchases the Konrad because I wanted a flexible nib pen that I could carry around with me (actually, it's my first flex nib pen). I watched a couple of YouTube videos on the Konrad and it mentioned cleaning the nib first with a comination of ammonia and grease cutting dish detergent. I did that before inking the pen, and it writes very nicely. When flexing the nib to achieve a wide line I tend to get hollows, but for mild line increases it works fine. I don't have anything currently to compare it with, but it takes more pressure than I expected to get a wider line. I also have a Waterman's 52 1/2V on the way that I purchased off of eBay. It'll be interesting to see how they compare. I'm currenly using Watermans Brilliant Black in it. I may try other inks to see how they compare.

#23 Scrawler

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 12:57

I am playing with a Konrad right now. It is a very nice pen, suitable for everyday usage. The nib is far too stiff to be considered flexible. It takes a large, and unnatural amount of pressure to open the tines just a little bit. However, I like the nib because it draws a sharp edged line. Not as sharp as a Pendleton point, but sharp enough. The nib is strong and will take the pressure so you can have fun with it. My real problem with this pen is the filler. If you do not grasp the top of the pen where the filler meets the barrel, it unscrews from the body as you try to fill it.

#24 mazzas

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 18:48

I just got shipment of my Konrad and inked it with Apache Sunset. As others, I have noticed the low flow in the nib and would be very grateful to anyone who could point me toward directions on "adjusting" the nib. Assuming I can get the flow problem corrected (maybe lubricating ink???), I feel the pen is worth every bit of its purchase price (odor aside). If I had any other complaint it would be that the nib is not at all smooth on the page... quite scratchy feeling.

#25 Scribblesoften

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 12:15

There are a number of threads here on FPN on adjusting the Ahab pen. As the nibs and feeds are the same as the Konrad's, most of the flow adjustment techniques will work. Do a search for "Ahab" in the forums and you should get a few good hits. Good luck with your pen. I hope you get a lot of enjoyment out of it.

#26 J.R.

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 21:21

I bought the Red Mesa Konrad about a year ago, and it worked perfectly for me - for 11 months. Then I managed to booger up the nib, screwing the cap on. I've heard this is an infrequent problem others have had...watched a youtube video, complaining about that situation. I managed to "field-engineer" a solution, to get it writing again, but it sure is ugly, and ink gushes out of it now.

What irks me about the situation is: I can't seem to find a source for replacement Noodler's nibs ? I emailed Noodler's, but haven't heard anything from them. I'm aware that there are Knox nibs available, but I really didn't want to go that route. Does anyone know a source for replacement nibs, or parts of any kind, except O-rings ? That's like Chevrolet selling cars, but no parts ?

Overall, I'm a Noodler's fan, also. Got 11 of 'em, total. (10 if you exclude the dysfunctional Konrad).

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#27 J.R.

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 21:23

Dbl Post

Edited by J.R., 05 February 2013 - 21:26.


#28 Scribblesoften

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:25

I believe that Dick Egolf, the Noodler's distributer, is here on FPN. His alias here is Regolf. You might send him a pm describing your situation.

#29 RickH9

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 00:44

Thinking about purchasing one for myself. Anybody have any problems with the piston coming off the barrel?

#30 Scribblesoften

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 12:23

Thinking about purchasing one for myself. Anybody have any problems with the piston coming off the barrel?


There would be two ways for this to happen. If the internal threads where the piston mechanism attaches were to srip, which I have not heard of. The other way would be if one were to overtighten the blind cap. This would cause the blind cap to grip the piston mechanism tightly. In this scenario, when one unscrews the blind cap, one would also unscrew the piston mechanism. I have done this myself and have heard of others doing it.