Quick and Dirty Pen Review – Noodler’s Flex

Oof, apologies for the lack of posts this week! I’m leaving my job and preparing for yet another big move. So there’s lots of reflection and a long to-do list on my part, but not a lot of blog-productivity.

Luckily, when my brain needs a break from job searching, I have the new Noodler’s flex nib fountain pen to play with. I bought this from Goulet Pens, and you can read Brian Goulet’s own review here. The unique thing about this pen isn’t a spectacular flex nib or beautiful design, but that’s it’s priced at $14.

Flex nibs for $14 just doesn’t happen, frankly. This is mainly because it’s incredibly difficult to mass-produce a flexible nib– it usually involves some hands-on work. Thanks, Capitalism, for leaving us with only vintage pens and expensive customizations as options for a flexible nib! And as far as I know, nobody’s quite sure how Noodler’s is producing these so cheaply. Brian’s hypothesis involves Oompa Loompas, and I’m just hoping that the secret is something like “patience and devotion to the craft” rather than, say, any exploitation here or overseas.

Although the flex factor isn’t drastic, this cute little nib definitely qualifies as a flex nib– as opposed to the nib on my Aurora Ipsilon, which most pen geeks would say “has some spring to it.” The difference is that when you’re writing regularly, the Noodler’s nib still responds to the slightest pressure change– whereas with the Ipsilon, you have to think about pressing down for flex.

Well heyyyy there. Hopefully you can see from my mediocre calligraphy skills that this flex is legit. In fact this is probably a great first pen for somebody wanting to get into calligraphy without the mess and supplies of a dip pen.

I tried to include three different writing styles so that you can see how this nib will work for varying handwriting. I saw the most shading on this third part, probably because I was writing faster and therefore the nib put down less ink on each letter. Compare this to the calligraphy, above, where I was writing more slowly and the ink color is fairly dark throughout. If you happen to write in all caps, a la The Pen Addict, you’ll get a bit of shading but will probably be annoyed by the responsive nib making lines widths inconsistent.

P.S. Credit goes to Rhodia No. 14 for the writing surface 😉

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4 Responses to “Quick and Dirty Pen Review – Noodler’s Flex”


  1. 1 Naomi December 18, 2010 at 12:05 am

    Hi Cole – thanks for the post about the pen! How fun to find one in this day and age. I have a few vintage pens, and they are really great to use. In the meantime, post us about your travels and new jobs – in the meantime, enjoy the holiday season! –N

  2. 2 Gerzaín Noguez December 22, 2010 at 7:04 am

    Hi, I’ve just read different posts that you wrote. 😀 I’ve like them a lot. I came here while searching some watercolor images and I think your artwork and your handwriting are awesome!!

    I like interdisciplinary people and all of those “renaissance-type-o-being”. Thanks for sharing your gifts. Greetings from Mexico City. 😀

    By the way, mi handwriting looks like a doctors handwriting 😥

  3. 3 Brian Goulet December 23, 2010 at 3:43 am

    Your flex pen writing looks nicer than mine! I’m a total hack when it comes to flexing, it’s something I think I’m going to need to practice. A LOT. I appreciate your quoting me and sharing the link!

  4. 4 Cole December 25, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    @Naomi – thank you! Hope your holidays are peaceful and joyful!

    @Gerzain – Thanks for the compliments. A good pen is always a good excuse to try a different style of handwriting 🙂

    @Brian – Thanks! Look forward to seeing the flex practice 😉 Merry Christmas!


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