Saturday, February 22, 2014

Faber-Castell Ondoro Smoked Oak fountain Pen

Up until now, I thought the Ondoro pens from Faber-Castell weren't nearly as pretty as my beloved E-motion pens. But when Faber-Castell announced this smoked oak wood version, my opinion quickly changed!

And I must say, it's even more gorgeous in person! The hexagonal Oak wood barrel has a very coarse grain, which gives it a very natural appeal. The wood is a gorgeous, deep dark brown colour, with a lot of colour variation. It's definitely a real piece of wood, not a cheap wood-like wrap. It even has a nice, though subtle smell! 

The chrome-plated parts contrast nicely with the wooden barrel, and the give the pen a very sophisticated, high-end look. It has very subtle branding, with the only logo being the one on top of the cap.

When it comes to dimensions, I expected the pen to be much larger. It's a mere 13cm (5.1 Inches) long when capped, so it appears quite small at first. Though when you remove the cap (snap-on cap), it remains a decent 12.5cm (5 Inches) long, so it is still a rather comfortable size unposted. The cap can be posted, and it does so quite securely. However, because the cap is reasonably heavy, it does throw the balance off a little bit. The pen has a very solid weight: 45g in total, and still a solid 26g without the cap.

Even though the pen itself isn't huge, it is very comfortable to hold. The reason I found for this, was the small grip section. It's quite short, and it has a very pronounced concave shape, this forces your fingers to hold it quite close to the nib. It needs some getting used to, especially if you’re like me, and you like holding your pens higher up. But I didn't think this is a bad grip section, I found it to be very pleasant to hold, and I didn’t experience a cramped feeling when writing. But keep in mind that this is just my opinion, I really like concave-shaped grip sections (As some of you might now from my kaweco reviews!), so it might not be as great for everyone as it is for me.

Something I really don't like about the design of the pen, is the fact that the plastic insert from the cap sticks out a bit. It makes the cap appear a bit cheap. I really couldn't figure out why they chose to do this, but in my opinion, making the plastic insert a bit shorter, would significantly increase the value and looks of this pen.

I also noticed that the section would unscrew from time to time, it really rarely happened, but when it did, it felt like the cap came loose, and it took me a while to realise the problem. But I guess I’m not too picky when it comes to this kind of small problems, so it didn’t really bother me that much after all. I guess you could also solve it quite easily, if you really want to, by adding a thin rubber O-ring behind the threads of the section.

The nib: ... Well, the only thing I can possibly say about it is: Faber-Castell undeniably nailed it,... again! Just like the other nib sizes (Medium and Fine), this Broad steel nib is incredibly smooth, very responsive, and not hard as a nail (Not flex, but it has a bit of 'give' to it). I can honestly say that this is by far the most consistent broad nib I've used so far (In my experience, consistency tends to be a problem with broader nibs) 

And the nib doesn't only write good, it also looks good! The dotted pattern and faber castell logo make for a very untraditional nib ornamentation, it's much more modern looking than the traditional designs.

Another great feature about this pen is it's price! With a modest premium of 25 USDollars over the original resin model, it comes in at a very reasonable 165 USDollars (around 130 Euros). Which is a great price for a solid performing, good looking pen like this!

Note: this pen was sent to me by Procura KTC (the belgium supplier of Faber-Castell pens), free of charge, so I could write this review.  I was in no way influenced in the making of this review, the opinions shared in this review are completely my own!.


  1. This is an attractive pen, good review. This pen does not look like most hand turned wooden pens.

    1. Thanks! It is indeed very different, but in a good way!

  2. Great review! I just ordered one, and I am looking forward to receiving it even more so after reading this, thanks!

  3. The moment you hold the pen you can figure out that it is a high quality product. Holding the wood part with all its natural rawness (it is not polished) is really special. I am using this pen for the last one month absolutely love it.

  4. I love the design of this pen. I am thinking about getting one and this review actually brought me to your blog (and I am glad it did). And after reading the review, well, I am one step closer to purchasing it. Thanks for the review.

    1. Hey Daniel, I'm glad you found my blog too ;) ! I'm actually planning on selling some of my pens, including this one. I'll add a page with pens for sale later this week. If you're interested, you could also send me a mail through the contact form below!

      Thanks again for visiting!

  5. Like the materials used in this FP. I've noticed that a new black model has been released , Graphite. This model is superb, hope one day I have this in my collection.
    Nice review, clear pictures.Thanks for sharing