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Monami Olika

monami olika

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11 replies to this topic

#1 Ezo312

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Posted 01 September 2016 - 15:10

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Monami is a Korean stationary company most famously known for making low end ballpoint pen and markers and the Olika which released this year is their first attempt at a fountain pen. It's low end, costing 3000 Korean Won which is roughly slightly under 3 dollars, and baiscally feels like it shares the same market that the Platinum Preppy or the Pilot Varsity occupy. 

 

It was released in 10 colors, I got the black one

 

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Size-wise, it's basically the same size as the Platinum Preppy, whether you do a size comparison capped, uncapped, or posted. The only real differences I'd say in overall shape or size is that while the body of the Preppy is straight, the Olika is more curvy. I'd call it almost coke bottle shaped in a way?

 

Another point where the Olika and the Preppy split is the cap and the clip. The cap of the Olika, from my experience, is much more firmly held than the Preppy. It's not at the level where I'm struggling to get the cap open or it's a bother, but it's just enough to where it feels almost safer than the Preppy I guess? As for the clip, the Olika clip is plastic like the Preppy but it's much more springier and has more leeway. That being said it does feel like the clip doesn't grasp as strongly as the Preppy

 

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The Olika is a cartridge pen, using proprietary cartridges and there have been no released converter for the Olika yet. That being said, the whole pen is plastic so if you don't want to use cartridges I'd say the most efficient thing to do with this pen is convert it into an eyedropper. 

 

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The Olika also doesn't really offer any nib choices, as you're currently only limited to a standard F nib. The nibs are stainless steel and I'm not sure if I got lucky or if the nibs are good quality but I've yet to experience any scratchiness from about 2 weeks or so of writing with this pen a fair amount. 

 

That being said one of the strongest points of the Olika is the grip. For a 3 dollar pen, the rubber grip is gives you a more than adequate bang for your buck. It's not the high end of comfort like the Japanese gel gripped mechanical pencils, but it's not a grip that's so thin or cheap that it has you asking what purpose does this even serve. It's soft enough to where there's a noticable effect on how comfortable it is to write long term but it also offers enough friction, for lack of a better term, so that the pen doesn't slip from your grip. I honestly wouldn't mind if a similar grip was implemented in some of my pens which like on a lower-mid price point like the Lamy Safari or the Platinum Plaisir (I learned how to write in a tripod grip so the Safari grip doesn't bother me but still)

 

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Overall the pen writes nicely. It's a cheap workhorse pen that's great for beginners or someone just looking for a pen they can abuse to a certain point. The only problem I really have about the Olika even considering the purpose it has among my pen collection is that when posted the balance feels way off to me. My go-to pens like the Safari or the PTL-5000A or the Platinum Plaisir all feel well balanced when writing posted but the Olika has a tendency to feel like a Fat Joe song in how it feels like the weight when posted just kind of leans back. It's a lightweight pen to begin with, only being slightly heavier than a Preppy (I'd say maybe 3g heavier?) so it's not a huge difference, but it does feel awkward sometimes for me when I've been using better balanced pens and go back to the Olika sometimes. 

 

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Overall, to be totally honest, I'd say it's a cheap pen and for a cheap pen it's great. It serves me just as well as my Preppy does but the appearance is much more lowkey and the grip is better making it a much better match for an office setting than a Preppy I feel like. While it's not anything revolutionary, I feel like it's a good addition to the low end Preppy/Varsity type of pen where it's low investment, low risk, work horse pens. 

 

While it's definitely not a pen everybody needs nor wants, if you're ever in Korea and have like 5 dollars to spend it's not that bad of an investment. 

 

I'd say FOR A CHEAP PEN, so based on the standards of say a Preppy or a Varsity or a Kakuno to some extent, I'd give it a 8/10. Deductions mainly for being an only cartridge pen with no available converter, and also being a proprietary cartridge pen meaning that if you can't find a place that sells Monami ink near you you'll probably have to do the refilling a cartridge with a syringe trick which is a hassle. I only deducted 2 points, however, because the pen can be converted into an eyedropper without any problem. Just a simple o-ring and silicon grease like the Preppy.  


Edited by Ezo312, 01 September 2016 - 15:14.


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#2 visvamitra

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Posted 01 September 2016 - 15:52

Well, I think you made great job at describing the pen but the pen itself doesn't impress me at all :)



#3 estie1948

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Posted 02 September 2016 - 07:01

Well, I think you made great job at describing the pen but the pen itself doesn't impress me at all :)

+1   I agree completely. Excellent pen review. I want a pen review to make it clear to me that I do want this pen or that I do not want this pen. You did a great job. 

 

-David (Estie).


No matter how much you push the envelope, it will still be stationery. -Anon.
A backward poet writes inverse. -Anon.

#4 Ezo312

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Posted 02 September 2016 - 11:10

Well, I think you made great job at describing the pen but the pen itself doesn't impress me at all :)

 

Yeah, considering the general mentality in Korea where you don't want to stick out I feel like the best way to describe it is a cheap fountain pen that actively avoids drawing attention to itself in any way or form. 

 

The person who introduced me to the Olika I feel like explained it the best when they told me it's a pen for office workers or students that they can leave at work or school without worrying that somebody will take it. 



#5 Gloucesterman

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Posted 02 September 2016 - 13:11

 

Yeah, considering the general mentality in Korea where you don't want to stick out I feel like the best way to describe it is a cheap fountain pen that actively avoids drawing attention to itself in any way or form. 

 

The person who introduced me to the Olika I feel like explained it the best when they told me it's a pen for office workers or students that they can leave at work or school without worrying that somebody will take it. 

Different cultures have different ways of viewing things. It would be difficult to make judgments about other cultures strictly based on the "norms" of one's own culture.

 

Interestingly enough, I think that South Korea has the fastest "Internet" speeds of any country in the World.


“Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today, because if you do it today and like it, you can do again tomorrow!”


#6 Drone

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 12:03

I just picked up one of these in Jakarta, Indonesia (at Gunung Agung in Senayan City Mall) for Rp 40,000 (around $2.75 USD before 10% tax). I got a black one. They all have F nibs and come with three proprietary cartridges.

 

I stuck one of the black cartridges in, didn't even rinse the pen out first, and it wrote OK after a little priming. The nib was scratchy. Upon close examination under magnification, the times needed to be aligned. Once that was done, the F nib was pretty smooth. I'm sure if I spend time working on the nib I can improve it more.

 

The tipping is good and the slit is cut smack in the middle. The feed is clear plastic (now it's black of-course). I'm writing on standard virgin 80g/sqm office bond. Flow is good, no hard starts. The nibs is a nail. The snap-on cap seals well. The O.P. is right, the rubbery section is nice to use IMO.

 

I would take this pen over the likes of a Preppy - especially considering the price. Same goes for the Tradio. You can buy these through the Internet almost anywhere now. These pens would make nice give-aways to new FP users. The pens are made in S. Korea.

 

Enjoy, David



#7 need4news

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 12:59

I received a Olika green for Christmas. Ditto to everything the OP said. Love writing with it unposted, but posted writing seems a bit out of sync somehow due to the weight. Still, a good pen to carry on trips or in the field.



#8 FountainPenGuru

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 14:02

The Olika fountain pen can take the Lamy Z-27 converter. I have a bunch of these particular Olika fountain pens and I bought a Z-27 converter for each one of them. JetPens sells this pen for $5.50 and the Lamy Z-27 converter for $5.00. So you can buy them both together for no more than $10.50 on www.jetpens.com.

#9 minddance

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 21:15

If you could show us the packaging, and tell us if it is made in China. The last time I saw this pen, it was made in China.

#10 Aquaria

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 05:59

Deductions mainly for being an only cartridge pen with no available converter, and also being a proprietary cartridge pen meaning that if you can't find a place that sells Monami ink near you you'll probably have to do the refilling a cartridge with a syringe trick which is a hassle.

 

As has been pointed out, Lamy converters and cartridges work with this pen. If an international converter doesn't work with a cheap Asian pen, I always reach for my Lamy converter first to see if it works. It usually does. Parker converters tend to work if a Lamy doesn't.



#11 letterByOwl

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 02:10

Really like the color options for the Monami Olika and great review. I moved on very quickly from the Olika though and prefer the Platinum Preppy, which happens to be $1 to $2 cheaper.

#12 tamiya

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 11:24

Bought a Monami Olika :)

The first batch shown about were coloured tinted plastic but there seems to be a later/another series in clear plastic with only colour showing on the clip & silicone grip on the section.

First lot had proprietary cartridges (which they still sell refills for) but the later ones appear yo use a standard international cartridge. And they can now carry a 2nd Spare std int cart in the body (although it rattles); the older proprietary cart is longer & unable to fit a spare.

Have not seen spare Monami carts in the std int cartridge size yet.





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