Ohto rook

Inktronics Examines the OHTO Rook

A thank you goes out to the good folks at Jetpens.com for providing this pen for review.

 

The OHTO Rook is a pen I have watched for some time. I became obsessed with small form factor pens sometime around 2012 when I reviewed the Kaweco Liliput. That being said, there were a couple of things that bothered me about the Liliput. One was it did not have a clip and the other, was it had an annoyingly long amount of threads on the cap that made posting and taking the cap off somewhat of a chore. The OHTO Rook addresses both of my concerns with the Liliput. It has a slip cap and a clip. Oh my.

Ohto rook

OHTO Rook is lightweight!

 

The Rook is a mini pen, and like a lot of mini pens, it uses the length of the cap to leverage its size. Normally you cannot use mini pens without posting the cap. This is true of the Rook. You might be able to jot a quick note without posting the cap, anything more than a name and phone number might be a bit difficult. Luckily, once the cap is posted, the pen becomes much more user friendly.

Ohto rook

OHTO Rook Capped

 

The section is very thin. According to my caliper it measures only 7.9 mm in diameter. Normally this would have been too thin for me to use comfortably before I learned how to properly hold and write with a fountain pen. Because the diameter is so small, it requires a light touch and a relaxed grip so as not to tire my hand out in long writing sessions. This is a skill that will greatly increase your writing gratification, once mastered.

Ohto rook

OHTO Rook Nib

 

The nib is about average for a sub $20 pen. My example had a slight scratch on the down stroke that was quickly solved with a downward push on the left tine. The nib is very small and reminds me a bit of the nib on my Stipula Passaporto, but only in looks. The exception being that the the Stipula does not say “Iridium Point Germany” :) The flow is good and I do not find it particularly wet or dry. Just enough to right at a normal pace without drying out. The cartridge ink I am using dries in about 5 seconds on Clairfontaine paper. If I pause and keep the pen uncapped, it writes immediately even after 30 seconds. The cap seals tightly and keeps the ink from drying out even after a few days of non use.

Ohto rook

OHTO Rook Ready For Ink

Ohto rook

OHTO Rook Looking Good

 

This is where things start to get a little “iffy”. I have read comments that the cap can become loose while posted. I have not experienced this yet but I can see it becoming a problem in the future. The cap holds fine now but it may not be the case after some use. One other thing I have noticed is that every time I slip the cap back on, it catches on something and that is not a good feeling. It may also be the source of some nib alignment issues some experience.

Rook

Top: TWSBI Mini, Middle: OHTO Rook, Bottom: TWSBI 540

 

The pen itself is very lightweight. I barely notice it in my hand or in a shirt pocket. The clip is tight but springy. The cap is made of what I believe is plastic but I am not positive. The barrel seems to be aluminum. These are only guesses as both parts are equally light in weight. Overall, if the cap grip holds up, I think this could be a good portable fountain pen option. The issues I have read about could be a problem but are non-issues in my example. Nib scratchiness was solved with a very minor adjustment but the uninitiated may not feel comfortable performing the adjustment. You will be stuck buying cartridges or refilling cartridges, none of my mini converters fit the Rook.

 

At this price point, you are in Pilot Metropolitan territory and it is a formidable foe. It is a much better quality pen at a smaller price. If portability is what you are after, the Rook wins. Sort of.

My Amazon links:

Also Available: Ohto Rook Ballpoint Pen – 0.7 mm – Black Green Body – Black Ink

OHTO Rook Fountain Pen, Silver/Orange (FF-10RO-Silver-Orange)

Link  —  Posted: December 13, 2014 in Fountain Pen Review
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Okay, since the winner drawn did not respond in the allotted amount of time, a new name has been drawn.

Congrastulations Robert (rgillam2) You have 24 hours to contact me or another name will be drawn. Please use the contact link up above and reply to me from your registered email address.
Screenshot from 2014-11-09 18:03:44

I am embarrassed to say I forgot to check the original winner against the list of followers of my blog. I have to be fair to those who followed the rules of the giveaway as some went through some confusion to follow. The original winner was not a follower and thus not qualified to be entered in the contest. Once again I apologize for the confusion. Mia culpa.

I had to draw a few more names to get a winner that had fulfilled the contest requirements.

The winner is Derek Hubbard! Congratulations and you have 24 hours to contact me from your registered email address using the contact form link above!

 
Winner Kaweco Art Sport

Winner Kaweco Art Sport

Contest is now closed! Look for the winner announcement tomorrow. Thank you to all who commented and followed the blog!

Inktronics is participating in Fountain Pen Day with the giveaway of a Kaweco Art Sport. This elegant cousin of the Kaweco Sport is now discontinued pen. You can still find them for sale if you look around but it is getting more difficult. It is a lot more pricey than the Classic Sport too.

HOW TO ENTER

All you need to do is:
1. Follow this blog and
2. Comment on this entry, answer the question, “What are you doing to celebrate Fountain Pen Day?”.

Look towards the bottom of the screen, there is a small box that scrolls with you that says Follow. Click it and the rest should be self-explanatory. Lots of people are commenting but not following. That will disqualify your entry.

WHEN WILL THE WINNER BE CHOSEN?

A winner will be chosen at random from the pool of commenters/followers ( you must follow the blog and comment), on November 7th, 2014.

Best of luck to all!

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Diamine Ancient Copper

Diamine Ancient Copper

Diamine Ancient Copper

 

A big thank you goes out to The Goulet Pen Company for providing this ink for review.

 

Ancient Copper has been on my “Want to Try” list for a long time. This one never seemed to make it to my shopping cart for one reason or another. This, as opposed to Red Dragon, I did know why. When I first heard of Ancient Copper, there was talk on the FPGeeks forum of possible ink issues because nibs were showing up with a “crusty” substance forming all over them. Some cases were slight others seemed to be a serious case of mold. As it turns out, this was not a case of contaminated ink, but a kind of oxidation when you used the ink in pens that did not have good cap sealing properties. The pen I have been using for the last two weeks has a fairly good seal but no inner cap. The crust just started to form on the nib slit. It is a very minor case and was quickly solved with a wipe with a paper towel. I have seen some extreme cases in pictures that look downright scary. Lesson to be learned is use this ink in a pen that is fairly air tight when capped.

Diamine Ancient Copper

Writing Samples with Diamine Ancient Copper

Diamine Ancient Copper

Ancient Copper Dry Times Are Not Bad Even on Coated Paper

 

 

As for the ink, it is a fiery red-brown that is very pleasing to the eye. I noticed that I can make the ink shade more if I print. Cursive seems to make the ink shade less and I have no idea why. HP laser paper mutes the fiery color and all shading is lost to a flat brown. The ink flows nicely but can take a bit to dry on coated papers. I noticed a dry time on Rhodia of about 15 – 20 seconds on this humid 90 F afternoon with 52% relative humidity. The color ranges from an old penny copper color to a slightly reddish yellow-brown hue that gives it the fiery look.

Diamine Ancient Copper

Lord Vader and Mini-Me Vader Approve Diamine Ancient Copper

 

Overall Diamine Ancient Copper is another very pleasing ink. I know that I will be buying a bottle when this one runs out!

 

Diamine Red Dragon

I have you now!

 

Thank you to the Goulet Pen Company for providing the bottle of Diamine Red Dragon for review.

 

Before I started sampling inks, I resisted trying red inks. I stuck mostly with different shades of blues. That led to green ink, then brown. I do not know why I skipped over the red end of the spectrum. Maybe it was some deep psychological fear of seeing red ink on the page. My mind drifts back to high school algebra class at this point

Diamine Red Dragon Goulet Pens

Not Algebra but it works.

Diamine Red Dragon does not have that same bright red ink that disgraced my old algebra homework. It is a deep, rich color, like what a nice accent wall should have. I love the richness it has, and if used in the right pen/nib combination you can get shading too. Best, is a slightly dry italic nib as the ink is somewhat wet and can take some time to dry on coated papers  like Rhodia or Clairefontaine. Some people have received letters from me and said that the ink was still wet. Absorbent paper will suck the life out of the ink and leave a flat red on the page that is still a pleasing shade.

Diamine Red Dragon Goulet Pens

HP Laser Paper Works Great With This Ink


Even with what some people would consider as faults, I enjoy the ink a great deal purely based on its color. Because of this, I recommend at least trying a sample of Diamine Red Dragon if you have not already.

Inktronics Kaweco Al-SportKaweco Al-Sport Germany fountain pen nib aluminum anodized clip steel metal cartridge ink Vader Fountain Pen Sith Lord

Kaweco AL-Sport and Lord Vader

Kaweco AL Sport Black Fine Point Fountain Pen

1.1 mm italic nib, Conklin Black Cartridge

 

My AL-Sport originally came with a fine nib. I purchased a 1.1 mm italic nib through Goulet Pens some time ago and for my Classic Sport when the Goulet’s used to carry the nib units. It lived in my Classic Sport for all that time until I purchased this Al-Sport. The decision to transfer the nib to the Al-Sport was not a hard one to make. The 1.1 nib is silver-colored and the finials on the Al-Sport are silver-colored, on the Classic Sport they are gold. Something that irked me in a small way but I just tolerated it.

Kaweco Al-Sport Kaweco Al-Sport Germany fountain pen nib aluminum anodized clip steel metal cartridge ink

The Force is Strong With This One

 

The Kaweco Sport line is one that I feel you either like or dislike. There is no middle ground. Part of this is due to the somewhat odd-looking shape. Some people like that it is a very pocketable pen, that is meant to be used with the cap posted. The faceted cap bothers some as the pen rests in the crook of their hand. I do not find any of these points to be a negative and welcome them. Besides materials used in either pen, the Al-Sport is practically identical to its plastic brother. The length capped is 106.4 mm, un-capped 99.8 mm. The barrel diameter at the thinnest point is 9.4 mm. The cap diameter from flat face to flat face is 16.4 mm. The cap length is 70.1 mm. The section is a bit small so my fingers rest on the threads. I can feel the step but it is not sharp or uncomfortable.

Kaweco Al-Sport Kaweco Al-Sport Germany fountain pen nib aluminum anodized clip steel metal cartridge ink

The Shiny Boots Shot

Kaweco Al-Sport Germany fountain pen nib aluminum anodized clip steel metal cartridge ink

AL-Sport Finial

Kaweco Al-Sport Germany fountain pen nib aluminum anodized clip steel metal cartridge ink

It Is Made In Germany, In Case You Did Not Notice

The pen is made of anodized aluminum and while the finish is durable, it is not totally impervious to showing wear. Mine has started to show some wear just above the threads and appears to come from uncapping/capping the pen. The nib itself is a bit dry but has enough flow to write smooth with cartridge ink. While using the pen on longer writing sessions, I noticed that black ink starts to get a bit light. The feed recovers quickly to a very dark black after a couple of minutes capped and nib down. I have not had the nib totally dry out on me or skip. If you like Lamy italic nibs, I feel this nib is comparable in performance to the 1.1 mm italic nib.

Kaweco Al-Sport Germany fountain pen nib aluminum anodized clip steel metal cartridge ink

Kaweco AL-Sport Cap Finial

Kaweco Al-Sport Germany fountain pen nib aluminum anodized clip steel metal cartridge ink

Did I mention it is Made in Germany?

 

The solid feel of the aluminum barrel is a nice upgrade from the cheaper feel of the Classic Sport. This sturdier feel of the aluminum does not sacrifice a balanced feel in the hand.

Kaweco Al-Sport Germany fountain pen nib aluminum anodized clip steel metal cartridge ink

Kaweco AL-Sport Fountain Pen

Kaweco Al-Sport Germany fountain pen nib aluminum anodized clip steel metal cartridge ink

Kaweco AL-Sport Fountain Pen Cross Your Fingers Edition

 

When I swapped my nib, I had to experiment with different feed positions as it leaked quite a bit initially. The Kaweco squeeze converter works with the pen, but I have read some comments saying that it fit a bit loose in some pens.

Kaweco Al-Sport nib 1.1 mm italic Germany

Kaweco 1.1 mm Italic Nib

Kaweco Al-Sport Germany fountain pen nib clip aluminum anodized

Kaweco AL-Sport, Cap Posted

 

I was able to purchase my pen for much less than the going price at isellpens.com when Todd was clearing them out. I have not seen them on the site since. :( I’m not sure if I would pay the full street price of between $75 and $80. If you can find it for under $60 I would say that is an excellent price.

 

Thank you,

 

Ivan

The Fountain Pen Sith Lord

 

Inktronics Blog, where the pen is mightier than the sword but a light saber?

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