OHTO Rook uncapped

OHTO Rook Fountain Pen Review

27 June 2016 By ian

OHTO Rook uncapped

OHTO make the pen that got me into all this in the first place and some decent mechanical pencils, too. Their fountain pens, though, have a mixed reputation.

I was able to get this pen at a discount thanks to Cult Pens’ support of the site. These are my own honest opinions.

Price: £9 (UK) $16.50 (USA)
Nib options: steel, fine only
Barrel options: silver and orange, silver and black, black and green
Filling system: standard international short cartridges
Size: 10.3cm diameter; 9.3cm capped, 14.2cm posted, 8.5cm unposted
Weight: 11g

Even by pocket pen standards, the OHTO Rook is a tiny pen. Posting the long cap makes it a comfortable length, though. The best pocket pens are small when capped but usable when posted and thanks to the long cap, the Rook gets this right. You won’t be writing the next War and Peace with it but it’s absolutely fine for taking notes.

OHTO Rook in hand

I’m not overly keen on clips on pocket pens but the small clip on this seems strong and clippy.

OHTO Rook capped

The metal barrel looks a little different to your average pen and so you will either love it or hate it. This is a good thing: I’d like to see more manufacturers taking risks with designs, particularly at this end of the price spectrum. There are a range of colours available if orange, somehow, isn’t your thing. The overall effect is of a modern youthful pen. (This is about the opposite of the overall effect of me.)

You can fit a short international cartridge in here so you have a good range of inks available even though it’s too small for a converter.

OHTO Rook undone

OHTO only provide this pen with a medium nib. I always think it shows a lack of confidence in a pen if you can only get it with a medium nib. The manufacturer isn’t expecting it to be popular enough to justify a wider range. That’s how it feels, anyway. You’d think, though, that if OHTO were only going for one nib they’d make sure it was a good one. Sadly the nib on this is quite rough. It has good flow and I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s scratchy but it’s definitely not smooth. There are plenty of pens at this price that get the nib right but this isn’t one of them and it lets the whole pen down.

OHTO Rook nib

The OHTO is a fun looking pen that has a very functional pocket-sized barrel. It’s small but lengthens to a decent size to write with. Unfortunately the nib is quite unpleasant to use, taking all the fun away.

OHTO Rook posted


Fun design
Small when capped, reasonable length when posted


Very poor nib

OHTO Rook handwritten review