Noodler’s Demo Rollerball Piston Fill

15 06 2013
The first time I've been too frustrated to finish the top illustration (though I did try again at the bottom)

The first time I’ve been too frustrated to finish the top illustration (though I did try again at the bottom)

Having so many bottles of ink, I decided to pick up a bottled ink rollerball pen at the Raleigh Pen Show. I was recommended to get the J. Herbin roller, but Anderson Pens was out so I picked up the Noodler’s instead.

See-through is like instant pen magic for "cool looking I should buy this"

See-through is like instant pen magic for “cool looking I should buy this”

It certainly looks cool, but the pen itself does feel its cheapness. I can foresee this plastic cracking, perhaps. Hope it doesn’t. But this plastic isn’t the supple sort of resin as the other Noodler’s pens I’ve had. The upshot of this though is that it doesn’t have that peculiar Noodler’s pen smell.

No gas mask or hazmat suit required

No gas mask or hazmat suit required

The piston fill works well. Looks like a good ink capacity. The grip is small but smooth, and rests nicely on my finger.

"Roll" is a deceptive term here. "Squeakerball" is more fitting

“Roll” is a deceptive term here. “Squeakerball” is more fitting

I’m not a rollerball connoisseur, but this thing is all over the place. First of all it’s squeaky; most of the time when I write it sounds like a mouse scarfing down a huge hunk of cheese. Second, the amount of ink that comes out is highly variable. I’m getting scarcity and I’m getting ink rush crazytime. I don’t know how to get it under control. Maybe the heat from my hand on the plastic is heating the ink enough to force it thru. It’s not consistent blobbery. No rhyme or reason to it.

Do I like the Noodler's ink sticker on the cap? I'm not sure.

Do I like the Noodler’s ink sticker on the cap? I’m not sure.

Reading online reviews, this seems to be a pretty consistent problem, and apparently the use and care instructions (which, I confess, I didn’t read) advise adjusting the piston so that there is as little room for air as possible…I haven’t done that yet, but in handwriting this review the ink flow just randomly cut out to nearly a trickle. WHAT IS GOING ON HERE.

WHEN WILL THIS WRITEMARE END?

WHEN WILL THIS WRITEMARE END?

I want to like this pen, but it’s more of a novelty that a pen of practical use. If the ink flow can get its act together, maybe we can reevaluate this penlationship. But for casual pen collectors, take a pass on this one. It’s too mercurial to be worth it.

Noodler’s Demo Rollerball Piston Fill at Anderson Pens

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5 responses

18 06 2013
penemuel

Just in my own experience, rollerball pens + lefties rarely mix. I got a nice expensive rollerball that takes fountain pen ink, and it barely writes for me. The cheap prefilled ones available in stores also skip like crazy. The only rollerball style pens I’ve ever had good luck with are certain Japanese brands, and even then some skip or squeak hopelessly. It’s something to do with the fact that lefties push the pen more than pull it, and they’re just not made to work that way. With fountain pens we can fiddle with the angle until we find a “sweet spot” that actually writes well, but with rollerballs we’re just stuck.

27 08 2013
No Pen Intended

I knew there was a good reason I don’t like rollerballs!

22 06 2013
amurderofcows

I have a cartridge-fill rollerball somewhere that I gave up on because of poor flow. It was like writing with a thumbtack. I believe it was a Visconti, with a translucent red body. I was very disappointed.

27 08 2013
No Pen Intended

Oof, I thought Visconti was a magic word from which only good things could flow. I believe I’ve heard good things about a Monteverde rollerball that works with fountain pen ink.

7 01 2014
benny

typical Noodler’s rubbish quality hyped up as the Godsend of pen and ink aficionados. If Nathan actually released quality Noodler’s branded pens I’d pay twice or three times heck whatever price he commands but until then I like many others will be gullible enough to throw good money after bad on RUBBISH low quality pens. A crappy disposable rollerball which can be refilled (to counter Nathan’s usual argument save it not being a piston filler) from the news stand costs half that of a crummy cheap plastic easily cracked, squeaky scratchy leaking Noodler’s rollerball pen.

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