Noodler’s Nib Creaper Rollerball review

Noodlers Rollerball end

Noodler’s Nib Creaper Rollerball is a piston filling rollerball. It holds a lot of ink – any ink you like, too.

Noodlers Rollerball

In terms of look and feel it is very Noodlerish. By which I mean rather retro, well-made, good value and basic but thoughtful. As far as I know it’s only available in this demonstrator version but that’s not such a bad thing (especially if you like demonstrators). The filling mechanism is lovely to look at and, of course, ink swirling around is always good.

Noodlers Rollerball review capped

I’ve seen several reports of this pen skipping or stopping altogether. I have had a few times when it’s got stuck and has needed a good shake to get going again. I also had some issues with ink leaking out but apparently if you actually read the leaflet that comes with the pen, it tells you this can be avoided by expelling the air from the piston after filling.

Noodlers Rollerball tip

It’s easy to clean unless you are a complete numpty and fill it with some kind of waterproof or permanent black ink. As if anyone would every do anything so silly! But just suppose you did, here is a handy video from Brian Goulet telling you how to take it apart to give it a good deep clean. Now it’s as good as new. (This is always going to be something you should consider with archive quality inks, of course. Silly me.)

This pen isn’t quite as scratchy to write with as the J Herbin Rollerball but it’s still far from smooth. Now… I don’t have a problem, really I don’t, because I’m sure you would all agree that if you have two similar pens that have a similar problem, the only thing to do is to buy a third similar pen to see if this is an issue with that one too. This is what led me to finally buy a Retro 51 Tornado. This is what I do for you, dear readers, in the pursuit of knowledge. My conclusion: the Retro 51 is just as good as everyone says it is and it is possible for a rollerball to be super smooth after all.

Noodlers Rollerball cap

This leads me to an interesting conclusion. The Noodler’s Nib Creaper Rollerball costs about the same as the Retro 51 (in the UK at least). The Retro 51 is a much better pen in every respect but the Noodler’s is the one I could well end up using more, simply because I can use any ink I like in it.

Noodlers Rollerball handwritten review

This pen was provided to me free of charge from the wonderful Pure Pens. These views are entirely my own and were not influenced by their generosity in any way.


  1. Ian, thanks for the review and with all due respect, it leaks, it’s scratchy and you have to shake it occasionally to get it back going. I think I’ll pass on this one.

    1. Thanks for the comment. You are absolutely correct, it’s not the greatest pen on the planet! But it’s fun and I use it fairly regularly with (to be honest) inks that I wouldn’t want to risk in a good fountain pen.

  2. Hi Ian,
    Merry Christmas.
    Thank you for your review. I just got my pen on boxing day. And today I am trying it. Unfortunately, It don’t feel smooth. In fact, it feels scratchy and the ink does not flow as smooth as any disposable Pilot Gel pen I have been using. Any idea on how to have a smooth flow of ink on this pen?

  3. Thank you for your review. I am waiting for mine to arrive. Yes, there are other pens out there, but this one has a great price and ability to use whatever color ink I want. I can’t use fountain pens at work due to multi-part forms so I have to go with a rollerball.

    I’ve heard people say that sometimes these rollerball pens take some use before they start writing smoother. Have you noticed this with yours?

    1. I have to say it’s remained fairly scratchy but I don’t use it as much any more. I’ve become much more fond of wide juicy nibs of the kind you can only find on a fountain pen.

      1. Thanks for the update. I’m used to the not so smooth rollerball type pens so I guess I’ll see how it goes LOL. I’m just tired of the dull and boring dollar store ballpoint pens at work. Figured that since I fill out all the daily work tickets that it would be nice to change up the ink color maybe different color each week, also probably would help a bit with the organization as well using a different color each week. Really limited in colors with regular pens and want something different LOL.

    1. I can’t remember if this one specifically did but in general I found Noodler’s pens to be very whiffy indeed. It’s the material they use. It does disappear eventually.

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