I went to New England Pen Show today, and got much anticipated Noodler's first fountain pen.
Noodler's debuted several new fountain pens today, and the one I've got is the $12 piston-filler with vegetal resin body .
At the first sight, the pen isn't that gorgeous. Essentially no packaging comes with it, and the finish of the pen is not anywhere near the top-notch. Machining burrs and ridges still remain on the edges and threads. I even had to wipe off some gunky machining oil from the piston-filler knob (no, not lubricant for the piston, but black machining oil). I looked at tens of pens on the table, but all were similar in terms of the finish. If you expected a shiny, glossy, and luxury-looking fountain pen, sorry, you'll be disappointed.
The design of the pen is pretty nice. It's a mid-sized slim design.
The pen measures 0.4oz empty, 5 3/16in capped, 4 5/8in uncapped, and 5 1/2in posted.
It comes in 5 colors: black, dark brown, teal, dark blue, and red. All colors are not so vivid or brilliant. But they all look quite subdued and kind of dull. As I already stated, the finish looks rather cheap. I don't know about vegetal resin, but the pen isn't shiny or glossy. It seems like they omitted final buffing/polishing process to cut the cost. It isn't sleek to touch, either.
(size comparison: Visconti Van Gogh Midi, Pelikan M205, Noodler's, and Lamy Safari)
The metal trims are quite nice, though, and the clip is firm and functional.
The cap is screw-on type, requiring about one and a half turn to put on or take off.
Piston-filler knob isn't as smooth as those on Pelikans.
But everything works.
I inked it with Noodler's black (what else would I put?), and tested.
The nib is actually very nice to use. The stainless steel nib comes in one width which is very close to Pelikan's fine.
It certainly writes very smooth, but not buttery smooth. It doesn't write silently as those Visconti gold nibs, but makes quite loud writing sound from resistance on the paper. But the sound is rather low-pitched and pleasant to hear.
The nib doesn't have any flex or springiness. It's rigid.
You'll get a $12 dollar pen with a functional piston-filler, a screw-on cap, and decent stainless steel nib. The pen has a "vintage" feel even though it's brand-new. Pretty good job for the first try from Noodler's.
Edited by jpeck, 17 May 2010 - 11:15.