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Noodler's Flex Pens... Which One Should I Buy First?

noodlers flex ahab konrad nib creeper

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#1 nryh

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Posted 24 November 2016 - 02:39

I have 7 pens right now so I feel like I'm ready to try out a flex pen next. I want something cheap that I can play around with, without worrying too much about cost if something happens to go wrong - so I want to stick to one of the noodler's flex pens. I'm undecided between the nib creeper, ahab and konrad. I think I might be leaning more towards the ahab because it's got a bigger grip and I'm thinking would be more comfortable to hold while applying the needed pressure to flex. 

 

I know there's a lot of variance between all the pens, even within the same nib creeper, ahab and konrad families. But as my first one, any suggestions which is best? 



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#2 Fit_to_Print

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Posted 24 November 2016 - 06:24

As a fellow newbie to flex pens, I went with Noodler's too. I've only had mine for a couple weeks, so my comments will be limited.

I bought a Nib Creaper and an Ahab demonstrator. I haven't noticed a difference in the flexibility of either nib; however, you and I share the same preference for a larger grip, leaving the Ahab as the obvious choice over the Nib Creaper. In general, the larger size suits my hands, beyond having a substantial grip section.

Both have good ink capacity, and both see daily use at work and home. I've already got my eye on another Ahab (can't decide between jade or a yellow demonstrator), but a Konrad Essex will be in the same order.

I've only had a chance to try Noodler's Habanero and Black Swan in Australian Roses in each, but as I'm sure you can guess, the shading was fantastic for both. The only hitch is that I got a little railroading if I wrote too quickly while flexing, but I hear that a couple months of "breaking in"the nib will fix that.

I've got a question though: Is the Konrad grip larger than the Ahab's? According to Goulet Pens' measurements, that would be the case, despite the Ahab having a larger body.

Edited by Fit_to_Print, 24 November 2016 - 06:26.

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#3 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 24 November 2016 - 09:42

I have an Ahab...a Large pen.

First the nib....It is a "superflex" nib. It spreads it's tines 4-5-6X or could be even 7X a light down stroke.

It requires a lot pressure to do so. At the semi-flex level....for semi-flex vs nail, semi-nail or the old 'true' regular flex....that is less.

Nail....no tine spread even if strong.

Semi-nail...if strong, 2X tine spread vs a light line.

Old semi-vintage and Pelikan 200 nibs....'true' regular flex...with a bit of spring to it, 3 X tine spread when well Mashed.

Semi-flex requires half that pressure to get out to it's max of 3 X tine spread.

The maxi-semi-flex, half of that or 1/4th the pressure needed to mash a 'true' regular flex....once regular issue to 3 X.

 

Next comes superflex....pens whose nibs spread their tines 4 or 5&6X or in rare nibs 7X wider than a down stroke.

This is somewhat simplistic if one has a number of superflex pens....if not as someone with only one or two....works as a guide.

I divide superflex into three categories, in that works with my 1/2 system of tine spread and pressure. These spread their tines wider than the three X max of the regular, semi&maxi flex set.

 

Easy Full Flex, half the pressure needed to spread a maxi-semi-flex or 1/8th the pressure needed to mash a semi-vintage regular flex ('true') to 3X.....will be wider in tine spread.

An Ahab nib will become this, with the Ahab Mod. A fun nib. My Ahab stayed in a box, until that was done to it....and it is always out now.

 

Wet Noodle, can not be reached with an Ahab....but needs 1/2 the pressure of a Easy Full Flex or 1/16th of a mashed regular flex....a normal nib flex by most companies until they decided to issue semi-nail instead so they didn't have to repair so many bent nibs, bend by ball point barbarians.

 

Weak Kneed Wet Noodle....a term developed by John Swabota who grinds nibs under the name of Oxnard. I don't have any of these and am not chasing. But they require even less pressure than a Wet Noodle.

There are dip pen nibs that make a Wet Noodle look uncooked.

 

One can learn a lot about feeds in the Ahab or other Noodler pens....how to make them faster, by digging out the channel or chopping off selected combs/rills. (Often superflex nibs needs a faster feed to prevent rail roading.)

Even though mine never had a problem, I did learn a lot about feeds, just by reading how to and why.

 

After a few days spent learning to draw the letters have the 'Ahab Mod' done...or do it your self with a Dremil or a round swiss file. Look up 'Ahab Mod' in the search section. Easy Full Flex....is a fun nib, where the as issued semi-flex Ahab nib is not.


German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 


#4 inkstainedruth

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Posted 24 November 2016 - 17:31

I have several Konrads (including one of the ebonite models) and a few of the FPCs (also at this point, a bunch of the Charlie eyedropper pens, from purchases of ink).

I like the Konrads best size-wise (the Charlie pens are the same size as the FPCs).  I like the feel of the ebonite Konrad better than the resin ones (it's also a bit longer pen), so for me the extra cost was worth it.  I don't have any Ahabs or Neponsets, because they would be too large for my hand.

I've apparently been lucky with all of mine in that they all worked well out of the box (except for one Charlie that hasn't been inked up yet).  I have found that I get a little better flex out of my first FPC because I've owned it -- and used it -- longer than the other Noodler's pens.  The Charlie pens have their uses, though -- I have one inked up with Bay State Blue, because I can see through the barrel to dilute the ink with distilled water slightly (I have found that with my bottle of BSB the ink feathers pretty badly -- something I don't recall with the sample, or with the previous "dedicated BSB" pen, a cheap Guanleming demonstrator with a hooded nib), and another one filled with Blue Ghost.

I did have trouble with one of the Konrads in that it doesn't want to post (there appears to be some sort of obstruction in the inner cap).  I also have had some issues with ink evaporation in all the pens (although less in the ebonite Konrad).  

Hope this helps.

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#5 Tas

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Posted 24 November 2016 - 18:04

I love my Noodlers flex pens. They grow on you. They annoy you but like a cat 🐱 who's scratched the sofa, you can never stay angry at them for too long.

Ahabs and nib creepers play differently but I think now, especially with the new cartridges for them, the Ahabs have the edge in terms of practicality.

I never got on with my Konrad. It kept breaking and now I've had to superglue it. Thing is, it still has a charm and it comes out to play every now and then.

However, by far the best flex Noodlers I own in the Tinker Eyedropper that came free with HOD. Sooo flexible, no moving parts. Simple unadulterated bliss. Not sure if you can buy them separately though.

Best of luck.

#6 ac12

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Posted 24 November 2016 - 21:12

First off, understand that a Noodler's pen can be a gamble, if it will work or even if you can get it to work.

It could work right out of the box, or it could need some tinkering, or it may never work.

I had 2 of 2 failures, complete failures as could NOT get it to work, even after hours of tinkering.

My Konrad has to be replaced by the distributor, and the NC will be replaced also.

 

Having said that, it is one of the few pens that will give you some flex writing experience.

The NC is a thin pen, just right for those of us who like a thinner pen.

The Konrad is a thicker pen, that feels more substantial.

The NC feels better in my hand, but I also like the Konrad.  It just depends on what I am writing and what I feel like that day.

I would say get one and use it.  If you like it, you may end up getting them all.


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