Noodler’s Boston Safety Pen in Black

Today’s review is of a new offering from the Noodler’s pen company. Noodler’s Pen is well known for their extensive variety of inks, offering a vast amount of colors, various water and cold resistance, politically inspired colors and logos, and the list goes on. They are also known for the variety of pens they offer, especially their flex nib pens. Some people love that they get to tinker and adjust their pen to fit their individual writing styles. Other people are not fans, since sometimes the pens need to be adjusted out of the box before they work well. My friend’s at Federalist Pen’s and Paper sent me the new Boston Safety Pen with a flex nib to try out to get my opinion. This pen will be given away after my review to one lucky reader. Please leave a comment with either a pen question or a comment about what you would like to see reviewed next and if you are on Instagram give me a follow @Pengeek13. Entries will close at 11:59 pm est on 4/27/18 and I will announce the winner on 4/28/18. Free shipping to the U.S. if the winner is located outside the U.S. I will pay the first $8.00 for shipping and ask you to help with the rest. Goodluck!!!!!

7/10 Packaging: The pen comes inside of a thin cardboard box with various drawings around the outside. I find this to be really entertaining. On one side there is the “Auspicious Catfish Dragon”, another side has a catfish on top of a whale with the saying “Whale of a catfish & whale of a pen!” The third side has a ying-yang symbol made out of catfish. The last side has the sayings: “Noodler’s Ink Writing instruments of the World”, “Free trade forever”, “Pens for all Noodler’s Inks… are pens with the greatest utility of any writing instruments” and lastly, “They sailed every sea, saw every shore, traded with all nations… from the Indus to the Cape, Amazon to the Arctic… the Yankee whaler was the first global citizen.” On one end there is a sticker with the model number 13001 and “Boston Safety Pen Black”. The pen is tucked away inside with an instruction sheet containing a brief explanation of the pen history, how to fill it and use it, and a link to a Youtube video explaining the maintenance and cleaning process as well as how to adjust the nib and feed.


8/10 First Thoughts: The pen looks like something you would find in an antique store or see in a Charlie Chaplin movie. It is reminiscent of the designs of the Waterman pens of the early 1900’s.8

8/10 Design: The pen is made of ebonite with a unique body shape. It has a wide cap and similar diameter barrel end with a thin middle section and matching bottom finial. The cap and body have “Boston Safety Pen  Noodler’s Ink Company” engraved on them. The clip tapers down to a teardrop shaped end and is engraved with “Noodler’s Ink Co.” The clip on this pen is slightly bent to the left but I figure this may be due to shipping or just a miss when it was made. The barrel has the threads at the end of the grip section which is nice as they are out of the way and act as a finger stop. The nib retracts in and out of the body by holding the bottom wide part of the body and pushing up while rotating clockwise. The cap has a small rod the stops you from capping the pen with the nib extended as well.


8/10 Nib Performance: The nib, when retracted, sits back in the body in the ink so it stays wet and ready for use. I was excited to try out this nib, since it is the first flex nib I have had an extended period to put through its paces. The nib is surprisingly smooth and needed no adjustments out of the box. The feed keeps up well but lets you know when you have flexed too far as it railroads and skips. This is remedied by a simple tap or two of the nib on the page. The nib has “Noodler’s” on one tine and “Ink Co” on the other. I like that the engraving runs from the tip of the nib back towards the body, most nibs are engraved before the tines and this simple feature helps set the nib apart from other nibs.13

6/10 Filling System: The pen is filled via eyedropper and holds about 1.5ml of ink. I initially filled the pen until the nib was covered, about 2ml, but this caused the pen to leak on a regular basis. I spoke to a few friends that have this pen and they all advised that if you only fill 1.5ml or just under the pen should not leak. I cleaned and refilled the pen and put just under 1.5ml and I was still getting a bit of leaking around the barrel threads and burping from carrying the pen in my pen case which was a bit of an inconvenience. This could be due to the ink used, but I think that if a small o-ring was added at the end of the threads at the barrel opening, it would make a better seal and keep the ink from leaking around the threads. The only other drawback is that there is no ink window so it is hard to tell how much ink there is left in the barrel. Cleaning and filling are simple and are both made easier with a pipette.11

7/10 Value: MSRP is $68.00 but if you contact Federalist Pens and Paper they will give you their current sale price.

44/60 Overall: This is a really impressive tribute to an older pen style. It was fun to show it off at work and the flex nib added some nice flair to my daily writing and showed off all the shading and sheening my inks offered. There are a few drawbacks to this design but at the end of the day, this is a pen to enjoy and play with, maybe even get your fingers a bit inky. It might not be perfect for work, but I think it would be great for writing, journaling, or calligraphy practice due to its light weight, large ink supply, and flex nib.



Name: Noodler’s Boston Safety Pen

Design: Retractable Nib Safety Pen

Length: 158.75 mm (6 ¼ in) capped and 133.35mm (5 ¼ in) uncapped nib extended

Posted: 171.45mm (6 ¾ in)

Diameter: 11mm (.43 in) at the thinnest and 13mm (.51 in)  at the widest

Weight: 18 grams filled

Nib: Stainless Steel flex

Filling System: Eyedropper

Pros: Great flexible nib, large ink supply, cool design

Cons: No ink window, potential burping and leaking issues, long body.

In the same price range:

Conklin Duragraph

Lamy Aion

Conklin Duraflex


20 thoughts on “Noodler’s Boston Safety Pen in Black

  1. Very nice review – thank you for doing this. I’ve been curious about this pen and the review answered my questions. I don’t know which pens you already have to review but I would love to see a review on a Pilot Vanishing Point pen. 🙂


  2. Great review of a pen that wasn’t on my radar. I may have to check it out on the quest for functional flex. I’d like to see a comparison of less expensive modern flex pens. I don’t find the Duraflex easy to flex and it skips, so comparing amount of pressure and thinness of upstroke would be helpful. Thanks!


    1. Hey Gini, I am actually planning a review of the Duraflex as well. The next review I have coming is the Karas Kustom Fountain K with a titanium flex nib. It is super nice! I am working to get an Aurora flex and Pineider to review as well. I’m not sure of many modern brands that do flex nibs.


  3. Really informative review. I am one of those, not a fan of tinkering with a Noodler, but this Boston safety pen is nice for those who do. It can only be filled as an eye dropper is what I understand and also you can not post the cap.Two additional aspects which compel me to not be enthused. Yet, enjoyed the review and the historical likeness of a bygone era and the price point for me gives it thumbs up!


    1. Hi Aissatou, you can actually post the cap. It makes the pen about 7 3/4 when you do. I forgot to add that measurement in the review, but I will add it now. Good catch


  4. Nice review. Still on the fence with this one. Concerned about the leaks. Did you actually try to fit an o ring? Can that be done aftermarket !


  5. Interesting review. I actually have two of these (one in black, one in mottled “chestnut brown”), and I found in both cases that the nibs needed a bit of work out of the box – they tended to hard start on downstrokes (and only on downstrokes). A bit of work with some micromesh fixed that. I find also that on the chestnut pen, the feed is routinely unable to keep up with ink demand (and this happened with two different inks so far) – I often have to close and recap the pen and shake it a bit in order to fix this. I’ll take this pen apart and see if a thorough cleaning helps….


    1. Thanks for the feedback. It seems like it may be the luck of the draw as to the amount of work the nibs need. I had a few dry starts with the Diamine Ancient Copper but the Robert Oster inks I used worked great.


    1. So you basically hold the end of the barrel and push up on the wider part of the barrel while turning it clockwise and manually extend the nib. It sounds confusing but it’s pretty simple when it is in front of you.


  6. Love the review. Is the nib the same standard no 6 flex they use in the Ahab and is it interchangeable? Thanks again for a great review.


    1. I believe it is the same nib they use in the Ahab but I am not 100% sure. You can easily pull the nib and feed out so they should be interchangeable, as long as they are the same size lol.


  7. I’ve never minded tinkering with a new pen, though some people are livid about it. Besides, don’t the best brick and mortar retailers offer tuning on site? It’s lovely of you to do the giveaway, by the way!


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