Noodler’s Ink Reusable Fountain Pen

Julia just wrote a post on Ramshackle Solid about our newest solution to the frustration of disposable pens: Noodler’s Ink and fountain pens.
From the Noodler’s website:
Why Noodler’s?
“Noodler’s Ink” has the lowest cost per volume in stores that carry it and it’s 100% made in the USA from cap to glass to ink. The ink with the catfish on the label symbolizes a southern sport that attempts to equalize the struggle between man and animal in the quest for a sense of fair play — and thus a fair price.
Besides being made in the USA “from cap to glass to ink” Noodler’s appears to be especially focused on delivering value (all ink bottles are filled right to the brim) and something I had never previously thought about: ink security.
EVERY bottle has slightly different ink component proportions. This is done by hand (one of the major reasons for Noodler’s constantly being in short supply). This production method security feature enables most of our inks to be unique in a forensics lab on a per bottle basis.
Our experience is that the roller ball pen performs as well as much more expensive fountain pens, holds a lot of ink and doesn’t leak (at least ours haven’t even over multiple flights on our recent vacation). Best of all they aren’t disposable.
If you need more convincing, Lyanda Haupt has a nice post about fountain pens and Noodler’s on her blog “The Tangled Nest”: Fountain Pens for Everyday

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  1. That Tangled Nest post also got me to buy a nice fountain pen–and I like it–but this Noodler’s deal is really intriguing. Not so precious, if you know what I mean. I might have to go to Vromann’s and see if the deal is still on. Did you buy it recently?

  2. Great idea! I hadn’t thought about a fountain pen, but for a woman who uses every item in her handkerchief collection, this sounds right up my alley!

  3. Thanks for linking to my Tangled Nest post. I do LOVE Noodler’s ink, but I have to say I really don’t think the pens with the Noodler’s name stamped on them perform as well as a better pen. The nib is very stiff, and given the materials, they are still ultimately disposable. One of mine does leak. I think they ARE decent, affordable, and a great improvement over truly disposable pens, but if we can swing it, a “better” pen will outlive us, and can be used by our grandchildren–real or metaphorical! Preciousness? Hmm…why not embrace it!

  4. @Lyanda: Point taken. I guess I need to adjust to my fancy pen. It’s not that I don’t like it’s writing action, or don’t appreciate its aesthetic qualities, or don’t love the fact that it’s a lasting tool. It’s just that I haven’t made it mine yet.

    Basically, when I use it, I feel like I’m trying to be someone else–someone who lives in clean house and writes well organized thoughts in lovely bound books whilst contemplating the elegantly yet casually arranged cut flowers on her escritoire. Or I feel like I’m borrowing someone else’s pen. Or I feel like doing something really important, like signing a bill of state. And I’m scared to carry it in my bag–my genetics (generations of cheapskates) won’t allow me to take anything “good” outside.

    Obviously I have to work on my entitlement issues! 🙂

    • I’m coming back here to state that I’ve overcome my issues and now use my fancy Parker all the time, and with pleasure. I feel very smug every time I refill it and we have fewer plastic pens around the house. It does have a rather heavy line, though. I’m happy enough, but would consider buying a second pen with a lighter touch.

  5. Mrs. Homegrown — Maybe a pen somewhere between this Noodler’s one (which really is next-to-disposable) and your fancy one might feel more comfortable. I have a Waterman Phileas pen that I got as a graduation gift years ago and am pretty happy with it. It’s a very nice pen (as the linked review describes), but not so expensive that I’ll feel terrible if something happens to it. And it’s just a little weightier in the hand than something like the Noodler’s pen or Pilot disposable fountain pen, which I find feels nicer while writing.

    Hope you find one that works for you. A nice pen is a pleasure to write with. Cheers!

    • I’m sorry I didn’t reply to you sooner–I don’t know how that happened–but for what it’s worth: thanks! You’ve opened my eyes to the world of not-so-expensive pens. There’s your Phileas and also I’ve read much good about the Pelikan m200.

  6. We’ve been using the B2P pens which are made with recycled plastic bottles. I wonder how they compare with Noodler’s?

  7. Hey thanks for your post Mrs. Homegirl. I was at Vromans today and saw the ink and pen and picked one up. The insert that comes with the product is worth it for the read.

    I used to have to do math in fountain pen when I was a wee little school boy in England, this brings back fond memories of Empire and school uniforms. I think the soundtrack to The Wall is playing in the back of my head.


  8. Not all Noodler’s pens are the same. The “Ahab” is much bigger, easy to refill, and made of biodegradable plastic and ebonite (which is really tree sap). Best of all it has made my writing distinctive with a vintage look to it because all of these are flex tip pens. There is a “private” video on this affordable alternative here:

  9. This is a pen I was really excited about, but I have been patiently waiting for the clear one to be released. I already have a gold replacement nib ready to go. I just need the actual pen to test it on…

  10. This is the post that got me into fountain pens. I now own three and use them every day. I’ve had the same two bottles of Noodler’s ink (Heart of Darkness and Concord Breem) for years now and I’ll have them for years more before I have to buy anything else. I love everything about fountain pens; the ritual of refilling the ink, the way they write, the beautiful nibs, and perhaps best of all, I don’t have unwieldy masses of disposables floating around my house anymore. I only use disposable pens at work now, since I work at a public library and our pens disappear almost as fast as we can set them down.

    • I’m glad this worked for you! What are your favorite pens? I’m in the market for a lightweight, not so fancy sort of pen to rattle around in my bag, but one which still writes nicely.

    • I have a Parker Frontier in stainless steel that I like but the nib is billed as fine and it is more of a medium – too thick a line for me. The Noodler’s pen that came free with a bottle of ink is my favorite to write with but I wish it was prettier.

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