The OHTO Dude
The OHTO Dude is a six sided aluminum pen that looks a bit understated and industrial. The clip looks to be high polished steel that is tight but still springy. The barrel end is rounded compared to the hexagonal main portion. The finials are highly polished and reflective on both ends.
This is in stark contrast to the matte cap and barrel. Your center band is highly polished but indents slightly giving the pen a squarish hourglass look that is pleasing. The section departs from aluminum and is black plastic with a steel thread insert where the barrel meets the section. The cap snaps shut with a satisfying click but can be a bit tight when removing it. This makes two handed cap removal almost mandatory. I can remove the cap with one hand but only after breaking it in. Even now, after a few months of use, it is still tight.
There is a screen print on the cap that reads “OHTO Made in Japan Dude” with emphasis on Dude. So far it has not rubbed off but I believe it will eventually come off with use. It is not as pronounced on the raw aluminum version but other colors show it prominently.
The pen feels solid without being heavy and is well balanced in use. Posting the cap does not upset the balance much but for extended writing sessions, I prefer to use it un-posted.
The nib. I have seen this “Iridium Point Germany” nib before. It seems to be the same nib on the previously reviewed OHTO Rook. It is nothing special. It writes neither dry nor wet. It just gets the job done. I have noticed that after the pen sits for say a week, it will need to be primed to get it writing again. If I use it every day, it does not need priming until it needs to be filled again. I did have to adjust the nib slightly to get a smooth writing experience on Rhodia paper. There is still some feedback even on Rhodia. The feed keeps up with regular writing demands. I don’t like to flex it because the nib seems malleable enough that after flexing, I have to readjust the tines to get proper nib geometry and smoothness back. I feel it would be fairly easy to spring this nib if your were not careful so flexing is probably not a good idea anyway.
This is a cartridge converter pen. I received the pen sans converter but quickly found that Schmidt standard converters work well with it and hold a good amount of ink. Using a cartridge with the pen had me priming the feed a bit more often. I was also able to use a cheap Chinese squeeze converter with the pen with no problems.
The Dude is available in 4 colors, silver, black, purple and blue anodized aluminum. At $24.50 it begs comparison to the gold standard budget pen, the Pilot Metropolitan. It is hard to compete with the Metropolitan. The Metropolitan offers a lower price point and more nib choices. The Metropolitan nib seems like a higher quality also.. The OHTO Dude as a “must have” pen becomes a bit more difficult to justify when compared to the Pilot. Be prepared to do a little minor nib adjusting. If you don’t have the Metropolitan, get that one first then come back to the Dude.
Thank you for reading.
The Fountain Pen Sith Lord
Inktronics, where the pen is mightier than the sword, but a light saber?