Monday, April 17, 2017

Fountain Pens for Artists: Noodler's Konrad

Last week we covered the Noodler's Flex and the Noodler's Ahab.  This week, we're talking about the Noodler's Konrad.  There's a lot in common between the Ahab and the Konrad, so if you're torn as to which one is right for you, keep reading!

Noodler's Flex: $16.55 on Amazon
Noodler's Ahab: $21-23 on Amazon
Noodler's Konrad: $21-25 on Amazon

Materials:
Acrylic

Feed:
Ebonite

The Ahab and the Konrad are fairly similar- both hold a lot of ink, both feature a size 6 fountain pen nib, both have an ebonite feed.  The real difference is that the Konrad is like a larger version of the Flex- so if you enjoy the Flex's more streamlined body and piston fill but would like a larger body, the Konrad might be the pen for you.


Unlike the Ahab, the Konrad has a piston fill system- remove the back cap by unscrewing it, then screw the knob on the back to  extend and retract the piston mechanism to draw ink up into your pen.

As with the Ahab and the Flex, the nib and feed are friction fit, meaning they are removable for cleaning your pen out thoroughly.

Noodler's sells replacement nibs and feeds through Anderson Pens and Goulet Pens, so if something should happen to your nib (say you drop it) or to your feed, it's a quick and easy replacement.



Like the Ahab, the Konrad is a generous writer, as they use the same nib and feed system.  The piston fill can hold a fairly generous amount of ink, so it can more than keep up with the nib and feed.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Flexible nib
  • Produced by a very small company in the US
  • Easy to find online
  • Fairly easy to maintain
  • Great way to learn about fountain pens
  • Can hold a lot of ink
  • Produces thicker lines than the Flex
  • Comfortable in the hand

Cons:
  • Strong smell may be repulsive to some
  • May require some tinkering/additional cleaning


Surfaces the Konrad can easily write on:

Cellulose based watercolor papers such as Maruman, Holbein, and Fluid
Tracing paper
Sketchbook paper such as Blick Studio and Strathmore
Japanese notebook papers





The Verdict:

The Mama Bear of the Noodler's family- not too big, not too small.  My Konrad is a bit more finicky of an inker than my Ahab, but still a pleasure to use.  This is the third installment of my Noodler's fountain pen collection, and until I get a Neponset, probably the last, although honestly, I could quite happily own an entire pencase full of Flexes, Ahabs, and Konrads.

So which Noodler's Pen is right for you?

Fine lines, smaller lineart, delicate details: The Flex

Wide range of lines, huge ink capacity, ability to convert to eyedropper: The Ahab

Wide range of lines, easy to clean: The Konrad

More on the Konrad
PenPaperPencils
Gourmet Pens
Fountain Pen Network
Fountain Pen Network
Built from Ink and Tea

For more inky goodness, check out my Fountain Pens playlist!

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