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Faber Castell Ondoro Smoked Oak - Ruthless Review!

faber castell ondoro oak wooden pen steel nib

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8 replies to this topic

#1 TassoBarbasso

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 08:40

Hi All! Here comes a new "ruthless review". My ruthless reviews have a few peculiar features:

  • Concise;
  • Very strict. If a pen costs hundred of euros, no faults are allowed. 
    - A good pen gets a 60/100, 
    - A great pen an 80/100, 
    - An almost perfect one a 90/100. 
    - Only a divine pen can have above 90.
  • Don't care about the box,
  • Add a few peculiar criteria:
    • Nib appearance;
    • Usability in shirt pockets;
    • Out-of-the-boxness, meaning to what extent a nib was perfect right after leaving the seller.

 

Faber Castell Ondoro Smoked Oak with M nib

 

Thanks to user dragon666, I can recycle his great review here and I don't need to upload pictures :P Mine is exactly the same.

 

1. Appearance and design: 10/10
I don't know who designed it, but this pen deserves a spot in the hall of fame of contemporary design. Here, for example. It's awesome.

 

2. Construction: 4/10
Ouch... a proof that "German quality" is often a stereotype: the cap doesn't perfectly fits the body, and moves in its place, leaving space for air to sneak through and dry the ink if unused for a couple of days. The clip is 1/5 of a millimeter off-centred, and the feeder doesn't always keep the ink inside the pen. The result: a big blue ink stain on a wooden pen. Impossible to clean :( Also, the pressure lock is not very secure: it wears out quickly and I already had to strengthen it a couple of times adding a thin layer of cyanoacrylate to make the plastic thicker. 

 

3. Quality of materials: 10/10
The oak is tactile, beautiful, perfectly cut, in one word: amazing. The rhodium-plated metal is shiny and perfect. 

 

4. Weight and dimensions: 8/10

Very good as well. It's 100% perfect for me, but the section might be too thin for some (-1) and it's perhaps a bit short for others (-1)

 

5. Nib performance: 8/10

Reliable, a bit on the dry side with some inks. No flex. A hard starter after a couple of days due to the poor design of the cap lock.

 

6. Nib appearance: 7/10
Minimalistic, indeed. Not bad, but they could have made it a bit larger!

 

7. "Out-of-the-boxness": 10/10 

100% perfect in this field!

 

8. Filling system and maintenance: 5/10

The converter looks a bit cheap and sometimes there are minor leaks; the pen doesn't take all types of converters! 

 

9. Clip and usability with shirts: 6/10 

The length is great for any shirt, but the clip doesn't lock very tightly and can drop out. Too short for safe carrying in suit pockets.

 

10. Cost and value: 9/10

The pen is so breathtakingly beautiful that I'd gladly pay EUR 1.000 have one, Instead, it's around EUR 130. Too bad for the steel nib...  

 

Final mark: 77/100

This is a really great pen. Too bad it's not perfectly built, otherwise it would jump very close to my Visconti Van Gogh Maxi, so far the best pen I've reviewed, at 90/100. 



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#2 amk

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 11:40

I have this pen as well as thevorange and though I've not had leakage issues, would concur that the cap is the pen's weak point. The inner caps on both of minevseem to protrude beyond the metal, an odd lack of attention to detail. But the design is classic.I like FC nibs, too nicely positive writers and great modern design.

Too many pens, too little time!

http://fountainpenlove.blogspot.fr/


#3 TassoBarbasso

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 12:28

I have this pen as well as thevorange and though I've not had leakage issues, would concur that the cap is the pen's weak point. The inner caps on both of minevseem to protrude beyond the metal, an odd lack of attention to detail. But the design is classic.I like FC nibs, too nicely positive writers and great modern design.

 

Ah yes, I forgot to mention the plastic that protrudes. That would detract 1 more point, but it's better not to rub salt into a wound :D



#4 Algester

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 12:54

hmm weird the wood may have shrunk cause mine has zero play with the cap on you may have to request for a pen check but mine is just brand new... :X

Edited by Algester, 30 June 2015 - 12:56.


#5 TassoBarbasso

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 13:44

hmm weird the wood may have shrunk cause mine has zero play with the cap on you may have to request for a pen check but mine is just brand new... :X

 

Definitely not the case, as it's always been this way, since I bought it (and I bought it 1 day after it was officially reseased) 



#6 Algester

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 13:53

I'll give my take after a few weeks after I have "love" my pen more though I do like the Ondoro Smoked oak and for me the nib is a bit wet and since I'm a lefty overwriter it maybe a little issue for me
for an F nib no less

Edited by Algester, 30 June 2015 - 13:54.


#7 The Blue Knight

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 19:09

A good review, I like your style

 

I did consider one of these at the start of the year however I ended up going with a Diplomat Excellence instead. However I did own a broad nibbed white Ondoro a few weeks ago. It was a nice pen however the broad wrote more like a medium. It was a nice pen but the nib was the nib was not bad at the price point but nothing out of the ordinary. I ended up selling it because it didn't really fit with my current group of pens.



#8 TassoBarbasso

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 19:26

A good review, I like your style

 

I did consider one of these at the start of the year however I ended up going with a Diplomat Excellence instead. However I did own a broad nibbed white Ondoro a few weeks ago. It was a nice pen however the broad wrote more like a medium. It was a nice pen but the nib was the nib was not bad at the price point but nothing out of the ordinary. I ended up selling it because it didn't really fit with my current group of pens.

 

Get an Ondoro, then. If you're lucky and you get one without the issues that mine had, you'll have a perfect pen in your hands. If it still has some faults, well... the design is so great that it will make it worth anyway :)



#9 pbhat

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 17:10

I am regularly using my Ondoro for the last one year and I have the following observation and experience

1. The tapering cut at the section end of the barrel is not perfect. I have selected mine from among 3 units shown to me and I have selected mine with the most uniform and symmetrical cut but still not perfect. the other 2 units do not have a perfect symmetrical cut.

2. The clip in mine also is off centre.

3. The issues I had is the pen do not give good performance with certain inks especially saturated ink related to flows. It stops sometimes and I have to wash and change the ink eg. Noodlers, Pelikan inks. This has never happened with inks like Pilot Blue black & Platinum black. I do not know if it is due to cap imperfect air lock or the nib design issue (without a breather hole)

4. I have also experienced that if the ink is filled in the Converter completely without air column of about 3 mm (occassionally happens), the ink flow stops mid way through and I have to refill the converter. Usually when the piston of the converter is used completely, there will be still an air column of 3mm and flow is not affected.

All said it is a great pen and as the reviewer has rightly said great design and also the feel of raw wood in hand is awesome which no other pen can give.

pbhat 







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: faber castell, ondoro, oak, wooden pen, steel nib



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