More Twins // OHTO Pocket Fountain Pen [REVIEW]

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capped pocket fountain pens

OHTO Pocket Fountain Pen
Poche (Diamond) and Tasche (Silver) ver.
F, german SS nib, Iridium point
x2 pens for $19.99USD (through massdrop)
The Tache is available on jetpens for $13.50USD
Ohto Tasche Ceramic Rollerball Pen 0.5mm on jetpens – currently only pink and orange colour options
Current ink: included Ohto black ink mini cartridge $3.30USD for pack of 6 – jetpens

Here’s a quick look at some pocket fountain pens I picked up from a deal I found on massdrop — The Ohto Poche and Tasche pocket fountain pens. I couldn’t pass up a twin deal could I? (Fraternal this time though) Both pens aren’t in production anymore, with new models to replace them (hence the sale?), but they work just the same and look great. I didn’t foresee myself using these pens too often, but liked the idea of having a pocket fountain pen for when I’m on the go and don’t want to carry my entire load of a pencil case with me. This isn’t my first Ohto purchase — I have an Ohto needle point pocket pen as well as a Tasche rollerball pocket pen — but it is my first fountain pen from their line! Let’s see how they hold up.

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comparison of the fountain pens to my 0.5mm roller ball pen

Look
Do these pens look super awesome? Pretty nice!

The pens look quite lovely, the Poche being a little fancier with the patterned exterior and little rhinestone on the cap; and the Tache is elegant and streamlined in a sleek rectangular prism shape. I like the slenderness of both, and they fit my hand pretty well. They are both super compact when capped, the Poche measuring 10.5cm and the Tache just under 10cm. Posted, they actually measure the same, approximately 14.5cm long. The Poche caps through friction on a slightly enlarged barrel at the end, while the Tasche caps with a small rubber band at the end of the pen. Both hold up quite well, but the Tasche has a more satisfying feeling when sliding the metal cap against the rubber. I am a little weary of the rubber band though, because I actually snapped the rubber somehow on my previous roller ball Tasche. I hope it doesn’t happen here!

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Not only are the bodies of each pen slightly varied, so are the nibs. Both come with a fixed iridium point F nib (they are quite M-esque if you ask me, more on this later). However, the Poche nib does not have a visible breather hole, which is pretty interesting, as well as a few extra carvings on the nib. All in all they both look like quite standard nibs to me, nothing special but nothing too basic either. I should note that one of the pens definitely came with misaligned nib to feeder, that was an easy fix of just rotating the nib centred back in place. Not a huge deal, but perhaps somewhat of a quality control issue with these so-called ‘cheap’ pens.

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Feel
The pens write quite smoothly right away, the ink flow being quite consistent and writes with ease even after leaving the pen for a while. The nibs are solid and stiff, and do have the slightest bit of toothy resistance depending on what paper I am using, which sometimes ends up affecting my writing or drawing quality. They don’t feel incredibly comfortable to hold, but they are also designed to be slim compact pens, so I am okay with it. I did not buy them with grand plans to replace my penmanship twins after all. What feels the best when using these, is the fact that the ink flow is really steady and consistent. I’ve heard so many stories of relatively cheap pens having inconsistent flow and skipping, and I’m happy to say that these pens have not done so since I started  using them!

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click to enlarge!

One of the current downsides I have to say though, is the ink itself that comes with the pen. It’s a great black ink, but it’s really watery, which makes it bleed or seep through thinner paper more often than not (obviously not through clairefontaine paper). And since I have such a heavy hand and press hard when I write and draw, the ink gushes out even more. So for now, I am just using the pens for quick notes or daily to-do lists until I use up the ink, and then I will probably try kaweco mini cartridges in the pen to see how they fare. With such voluptuous ink, which isn’t always a bad thing (!), I find it hard to sketch because I’m constantly worried the longer I leave the pen in one place, it’s bound to ink blot onto my paper and ‘ruin’ my sketch. Essentially the ink flow that I have greatly applauded has ended up being something that hinders my doodling with these particular pens.

The Poche nib actually writes thinner than the Tasche nib, so while both were advertised to have F nibs, the Poche is closer to F and the Tasche feels more like an M. Is this intentional per pen type, or just a quality control issue? I don’t know. Upon closer inspection and usage, I also found that the Poche is also a lot more consistent and smooth, while the Tasche has a little less control with consistency of the nib as well as having a little more resistance and scratchiness — even on clairefontaine paper!

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doodle on clairefontaine paper

Value
Sniping these pens for $10 each through massdrop is definitely a deal not to pass. They aren’t super glamorous or super smooth writers, but they are decent quality pens for what I paid. While I like the quality, build and feel of the Poche nib better, I’m still happy that I had the chance to pick up both and try them out. Also since they are so small when capped, they’re easy to take on the go, throw in my bag or carry in my pocket!

Conclusion
Pros/
– Pocket size, easy to carry around
– Consistent ink flow
– Decent quality metal barrel pen

Cons/
– Ink cartridge that comes with is really watery
– The nibs may have some quality control issues
– Sometimes scratchy on paper (mostly the Tasche)

This was a relatively short review, and also no custom ink pairing to muse about, but I am looking to taking a little more time between reviews to work on the presentation and doodles portion since that’s where I wanted to focus on anyway! Stay tuned, probably some twizbee coming up soon. Happy doodling!

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