Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Review: Noodler's Nib Creaper Fountain Pen - Flex @_wonderpens @GouletPens @CarolLuxury

My very first working Nib Creaper was gifted to me by the very lovely Yvonne (@woosang) - she actually parted with this so I could finally use my first working Noodler's - before I got my Konrad! Thank you Yvonne. This thing gets major use. XOXO.
Review: Noodler's Nib Creaper Fountain Pen - Flex @_wonderpens @GouletPens @CarolLuxury
ABOUT

Body Material: Resin
Trim: Metal
Length (capped): 5.18"
Length (uncapped nib-end): 4.64"
Length (posted): 5.48"
Barrel Diameter: 0.42"
Section Diameter: 0.33" - 0.35"
Nib material: Steel
Weight: 10 g
Fill type: Piston-filler
Price: $15.25CAD
         $14.00USD
Where to buy: Wonder Pens
                       Goulet Pens

PACKAGING

This was a gift, but as you know, Noodler's pens come in a cardboard box with artwork on it,wrapped in the Noodler's informational paper, inside a plastic sleeve. I think it's perfectly acceptable packaging. I like getting information on the pen (that's useful), and I like that it's all recyclable, and doesn't take up much space. Also, interchangeable between other Noodler's pens.

APPEARANCE
Review: Noodler's Nib Creaper Fountain Pen - Flex @_wonderpens @GouletPens @CarolLuxury
The Nib Creaper fountain pen is a fairly small pen, with a tapered body and slightly rounded off ends. The whole body is clear, including the section, so you can see the ebonite feed inside. The clip is wider at the top and tapers at the bottom, and says Noodler's Ink on it. It is chrome coloured, along with the center band and the ring around the bottom of the section.The piston is also clear and fully visible through the barrel. The threads are also clear plastic and the section is smooth resin to match the rest of the pen. It's a pretty straight forward appearance with little to complain about!
Review: Noodler's Nib Creaper Fountain Pen - Flex @_wonderpens @GouletPens @CarolLuxury
NIB & PERFORMANCE

The nib is a small steel nib that is very simple - it has a slit up the middle, no breather hole, and it says Noodler's Ink Co. on it.
Review: Noodler's Nib Creaper Fountain Pen - Flex @_wonderpens @GouletPens @CarolLuxury
My pen writes like a medium and it is nice and wet, which I really like. The feed is unadjusted (i.e no modifications), and with moderate pressure, the nib tines will spread to a nice double broad line. I think the line variation is really nice and the ink flow keeps up pretty well, which really impresses me. It does eventually railroad, but that isn't unexpected, and it picks up pretty quickly after that.
Review: Noodler's Nib Creaper Fountain Pen - Flex @_wonderpens @GouletPens @CarolLuxury
I have used this pen extensively for my ink reviews and have been very satisfied with its performance. I also really like how easy it is to clean - easy to disassemble, wash out the inside, the nib, and the feed, and put it back together. Even a relatively new fountain pen user could figure it out!

My own Nib Creaper was a pain in the butt. I flushed the pen and feed with water and dish soap, I ultra sonicated it, I scrubbed the feed, I deepened/opened up channels to increase the ink flow... nothing got it to work. I sent it to a friend for him to try and get it to work and he got it writing but it couldn't flex at all; it would just railroad as soon as pressure was applied. So, having used two of these pens - one worked, one didn't. I love this one though, not mine.

IN HAND

The Nib Creaper is a nice, light, comfortable fountain pen. It's easy to use unposted, and because the cap posts snugly and securely, it's great to use posted. The issue with the pen is that it has a slender body, so if you have large hands or grip your pens really tightly, this may be an issue for you.
Review: Noodler's Nib Creaper Fountain Pen - Flex @_wonderpens @GouletPens @CarolLuxury
Review: Noodler's Nib Creaper Fountain Pen - Flex @_wonderpens @GouletPens @CarolLuxury
It is much smaller than the Noodler's Ahab, and the nib is smaller as well. The pen is also smaller than the common Lamy Safari.
Review: Noodler's Nib Creaper Fountain Pen - Flex @_wonderpens @GouletPens @CarolLuxury
Review: Noodler's Nib Creaper Fountain Pen - Flex @_wonderpens @GouletPens @CarolLuxury
Review: Noodler's Nib Creaper Fountain Pen - Flex @_wonderpens @GouletPens @CarolLuxury
Review: Noodler's Nib Creaper Fountain Pen - Flex @_wonderpens @GouletPens @CarolLuxury
PROS & CONS
Review: Noodler's Nib Creaper Fountain Pen - Flex @_wonderpens @GouletPens @CarolLuxury
OVERALL
Review: Noodler's Nib Creaper Fountain Pen - Flex @_wonderpens @GouletPens @CarolLuxury
At  ~$15 per pen, if it's within your budget, I think this pen is worth the risk. I really learned a lot about fountain pens while I struggled in frustration trying to get it to work. I took it apart, I analyzed every piece of it, I did plenty of online research, watched videos, trying to figure it out. In a way, I had bought myself a course in learning about fountain pens. I also learned a lot about flex nibs. It got even better when I was gifted the opportunity to use one that worked! If you can spare the cash, I say give it a shot. If you have all your hopes hinged on this ONE PEN being the ONE PEN and the ONLY PEN that ever works for you, well, maybe dispel that dream. If you're willing to learn about fountain pens by tinkering with this pen, it's not too shabby an idea. It's really satisfying getting a pen that doesn't work that well, tinkering with it, then ending up with a pen that does work. Plus, it's a decent flex nib!

8 comments:

SheilaM said...

And here is illustrated the heart of my issue with Noodler's products: inconsistency. I had two of these and they were such pieces OS that they ended up in the garbage. Nothing I did made them usable. Really soured me on the brand, between that and some rather - um, interesting experiences with their inks. I am glad you got your hands on one that works, but I should've saved myself some time and pain and just set my money on fire rather than buy these and try to make them work.

Azizah Asgarali said...

Yeah, I hear you. I've been okay with inks so far, but two duds of pens that didn't work no matter what sucked. $40 down the drain. Everyone else seems to have good Noodler's pen luck but me... so it's nice to hear from others that had negative experiences as well so I know it wasn't just me!

Richard B. said...

I've had bad luck with Noodlers as well and while I haven't thrown them away, I don't use them. Frankly, I like the El Cheapo Varsity and Preppy pens. I don't worry about losing one and I don't feel as if I need to treat the pen as if it were a holy relic. Additionally, being in college, I don't have the ability to spend a lot for a pen that honestly, for me, writes just as well as my cheap ones.

Ted said...

My Creaper was the second fountain pen (my Sheaffer lasted me 25 years) I ever bought. I still have it cuz it works great, but it is a bit too slender for my likes.

Kenneth said...

Sheila I feel your pain, I bought a Nib creaper just last week. I have used an Ahab for a few months now and it is one of my normally carried pens. My nib-creaper is terrible in comparison to the Ahab. I have tweaked the nib to the best of my meager abilities but it still scratches across the paper (but a lot less than it did out of the box) and flexing - it railroads every time I apply pressure.
I am giving it this week at work to see if it settles down - if not I will be pulling the nib and replacing it with a standard nib from my spare nib box.

Azizah Asgarali said...

This nib is really broken in, but you're right, it does smell funny and the nib starts out quite stiff. :(

Azizah Asgarali said...

Well, I may as well have shoved my foot in my mouth. Bought a Neponset (seriously...$75.. what was I thinking?) and I (nor SBREBrown) can get it to work properly. It writes a few words then goes insanely dry. We've done everything feasible to get it to write. Le sigh.

Sashineb said...

Thank you for such an interesting and informative review. And the comments are all very helpful and useful, too. Wow. I have two Ahabs and one Neponset, and I've had no issue with any of them, although my first Ahab has a bit of an issue when I twist the piston onto the body (it seems as though the threads may be a bit worn, but so far, there are no leaks.) I do get a bit of dryness with that pen, but not with the other two. And I like their inks very much. I'm glad I've seen this review because it was a Creaper that I was thinking of getting. But after this, I think I'll pass. Thanks very much.

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