Noodler Ahab fountain pen review

Noodler Ahab fountain pen

I do not entirely know what I think of this pen, despite having had it for a while.

The Noodler Ahab is a flex pen. It is very reasonably priced. It is a plunger filler and holds approximately 5 gallons of ink. My model is the Carnilan Honey Demonstator. It looks groovy. (I’m growing increasingly fond of demonstrators.) It shows the interesting mechanics of a plunger filler and it makes it feel like a pen that means business. It is a fountain pen enthusiasts’ pen. You feel very connected to the machine that is this pen.

Noodler Ahab piston

The flex is great. If I can get it to flex and look slightly okay, then it must be doing something right. No doubt a vintage flex connoisseur (by which I really mean a connoisseur of vintage flex pens, nothing else) would hate it. But, increasingly vintage as I am, I am no connoisseur of such things and so I like it.

Noodler Ahab nib

All good stuff. But… the vegetal resin of which this pen is made, in common with many other Noodler pens, is horrible. It feels warm and lovely to the touch but it looks worn and tatty, straight out of the box. Not a good look for a demonstrator, in my opinion. I know others love it. It’s different and that’s no bad thing, I suppose. And the smell… every review I’ve read mentions the smell and then dismisses it. Maybe it’s just me but I don’t get how a company can sell a product that stinks like these pens do. It makes my pen case smell, it makes my fingers smell, it does fade, but slowly, far too slowly, and in the meantime taints everything it comes close to.

Noodler Ahab section

It’s also an incredibly wet pen which means (a) few problems when flexing with menaces and (b) only the very best paper will do. So it’s a pen I only tend to use on special occasions.

Noodler Ahab posh writing

So I do not entirely know what I think of this pen. It is fun to write with, no doubt about that. But it’s smelly and not something I would feel comfortable using in a meeting, even if I had expensive paper to use it on.

Noodler Ahab fountain pen handwritten review

Thanks to Informal Scribble for the sample of Diamine Meadow. Another one I need to add to my shopping list…


  1. Good review. I, like you think a demonstrator should be bright and clear. Keep up the good work across the pond.

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