Posts filed under Ohto

Ohto Horizon EU Ballpoint Pen Review

Ohto Horizon EU Ballpoint Pen

Do you ever dream about making your own pen? If you are reading this blog, you have probably at least considered the thought. I think about it too. And I’m not even talking about this from the perfect pen standpoint, but rather something fun and functional that I would like to use every day. The Ohto Horizon EU Ballpoint is nearly that pen.

From the moment I unboxed it I loved it. The design, in particular, stood out to me. The yellow barrel pops, and the hex design gives it that added bit of coolness. When I held it to write with, I noticed the hex barrel morphs down into an almost-round grip section. There are a few light ridges you can see and barely feel when writing, but they don’t get in the way. They don’t necessarily help with grippiness though, as it could get slick if your fingers are wet.

Ohto Horizon EU Ballpoint Pen Grip

The refill is engaged by pushing down the knock on the back of pen, then retracted by pressing the button on the side of the barrel. It is snappy and fun. Like, too much fun. Click. Snap. Click. Snap. Click … you get the picture! And the clip is as nice as the rest of the pen. It’s strong, and keeps a low profile.

Ohto Horizon EU Ballpoint Pen Knock

With all of my raving about it, why is it only nearly perfect? You guessed it - the refill. It’s merely good, and if I wasn’t spoiled by better refills, I might even think it is excellent. My immediate thought was “I hope I can swap this out for something better,” then I unscrewed the tip of the barrel, pulled out the refill to see what it was, and let out an “Ugh!”

Ohto Horizon EU Ballpoint Pen Refill

This is a weird refill shape and size. Heck, I don’t even know what you would call it. It’s small and skinny, close to multi pen size, and has tiny wings on the side of the barrel. I didn’t think there was any way I could find a better refill to put into it.

And I was wrong!

Turns out, there are other Japanese pens that take this style of refill, and both Pilot and Uni make ones that match. There is even a Hi-Tec-C model, which I have subsequently ordered two of (black and blue 0.4 mm) for my Ohto Horizon. Maybe it can be my perfect pen after all.

I must not be the only one who thinks that, because at the time of writing they are sold out at JetPens. And they should be. The barrel colors look fantastic, the pen feels great, and it’s only $8.50. I think you are going to be seeing a lot of this pen, especially in my pocket.


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Ohto Horizon EU Ballpoint Pen Review
Posted on July 30, 2018 and filed under Ohto, Ballpoint, Pen Reviews.

Ohto Rays Flash Dry Gel Pen Review

Ohto Ray Flash Gel Pen

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

When it comes to products that skirt really closely to the knock-off line, it can tend to push some people away or make them uncomfortable with the product. Other times, it’s easy to forgive the likeness if the product offers its own unique take on the original. With the Ohto Rays Flash Dry gel pen (“Ohto Rays" from now on), I’m on the fence. On one hand, it looks very similar to the classic Parker Jotter, but, on the other hand, it includes a stellar gel refill that conveniently fits in any other pen that takes Parker-style refills.

Ohto Ray Flash Gel Pen vs Parker Jotter

Despite the obvious inspiration for the design of this pen, let’s take a look at how it all comes together as a writing instrument. The pen comes in at 5.5 inches long, which is a bit long for the Parker-style retractable genre. Still, it’s quite comfortable and balanced. The barrel can feel a bit skinny, but I don’t mind it. I’ve grown accustomed to this slim feel after using a Parker Jotter in the past. Unlike the Jotter, the grip section of this pen is mostly plastic, save the small tip. The upper body, clip, and nock are all metal.

Ohto Ray Flash Gel Pen Knock

The click mechanism has a nice feel and sound, and it’s been very reliable in my experience. I’ve noticed that with some cheap model retractable pens that the click mechanism can have issues. That’s not the case here. The metal clip is also the perfect level of strong — not too stiff to make it difficult to use, but not too soft to cause issues with falling off things.

In general, the pen feels really good in the hand, and the plastic grip warms up to your hand with use. The extra length overall adds a sense of balance to the pen that I welcome.

Ohto Ray Flash Gel Pen Refill

Now, on to the aspect of this pen that I’m excited about. Like the inspiration for the outside of the pen, Ohto also took that inspiration inside the pen with the refill they chose. The refill is an Ohto-branded gel refill that performs wonderfully. I was really surprised that it performed as well as it does when I first started using it. The ink is dark, smooth, and precise, and the line width is incredibly precise and clean. The fact that the refill tip is a "needle-point" style also makes it feel a tad more premium. I’m sure this style tip is helpful when using it with a straight-edge, but I can’t attest to that. I’ve really enjoyed using this refill and have had zero problems or complaints. It’s a fantastic refill that I’ll probably use in other pens due to the ubiquitous size and compatibility with other pens.

Ohto Ray Flash Gel Pen Open

The only downside to this refill (and it’s a doozy) is that you only have one option: 5mm in black. In the gel refill world, this is almost a death sentence compared to the wide, wide array of tip sizes and colors available from other manufacturers. I’m holding out a little hope that Ohto has plans to expand their offerings, but I won’t hold out long. Still, as far as 0.5mm black refills go, this is at the top of my list right now.

The Ohto Rays pen comes in a variety of colors, like yellow (shown here), blue (looks like turquoise, though), black, white, pink, and red. At just under $4, these pens are a really good deal. If you’re only interested in the refill, those are just under $2. Good luck finding the pens or the refills in stock! They’ve been incredibly popular on JetPens since their initial release earlier this year.

If you can get past the design decisions, this is a solid pen with a fantastic refill.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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Ohto Ray Flash Gel Pen Review
Posted on March 21, 2018 and filed under Ohto, Gel, Pen Reviews.

Ohto Conception Mechanical Pencil Review

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

The genre of mechanical drafting pencils has always been fascinating to me. They tend to look like industrial tools meant for a precise purpose compared to the grade school pencils I was accustomed to when growing up. It's a great genre, and there's a lot of interesting nuances between the different designs. Some of these pencils have special features that set them apart from the rest, but are those features always welcome? Well, it's likely a matter of preference.

The Ohto Conception Mechanical Pencil is one of these drafting pencils that has a couple of tricks up its sleeve. At $23, it doesn't break the bank compared to other higher-end drafting pencils. It's roughly the same size as a Rotring 600, although the Rotring has more heft due to the materials and better build quality. But, the Rotring 600 doesn't cost $23, either.

Straight from the JetPens product description, here's what the Ohto Conception sets out to do:

This ingenious mechanical pencil features two modes: drafting pencil mode and lead guard mode.

What this really comes down to is the ability to use or retract a guide pipe. In "drafting" mode, the pencil utilizes a 4mm lead guard for use with straightedges and other tools that the drafting trade requires. This is something we're all used to, and something that most drafting pencils have built in.

However, you can also retract the guide pipe, which allows the pipe to protect the lead as it wears down. As you write, the lead becomes shorter and the sleeve continues to retract as needed so you can continue writing. In practice, this means that there is a smaller chance of breaking the lead when writing because it never sticks out far enough to be brittle. The metal guide pipe keeps it stable and protected, but doesn't require you to advance the lead as often.

So, how do you switch between these two modes? Easy: just twist the pencil grip section to enable/disable drafting mode. There's a red section under the grip that is exposed when in "lead guard" mode, and that red section is barely visible in drafting mode.

Pretty neat trick, right? In practice, it works great. And, another great benefit of being able to retract the lead pipe is that the pencil can't poke holes in fabric or get caught on bags. This has happened to me a few times. The tiny lead pipe will either poke a hole in a shirt, or jab my leg through a pants pocket. Needless to say, that's not pleasant. Simple twist the grip section to retract the lead pipe, push the lead back in, and you're ready to go. The tip of the pen is now a round tip that won't cause any problems with clothing or bags.

But wait, there's more! The Conception has another trick. You can dial in the amount of lead is advanced when you click the cap. It ranges from 0.2mm to 2.0mm. Crazy, right? I didn't find myself adjusting this very often, but it was nice to dial it in and find my "sweet spot" for lead advancement so that it only took one click to get my ideal amount of lead out for writing. Very nifty feature.

My main complaint with this feature is that the click mechanism feels cheap and weak. The pencil works great, and I've never had any problems with it. This is purely a complaint about the way it feels. Also, if the lead guard is retracted, there is more distance in the click mechanism, and it makes a little more noise than when the pencil is in drafting mode. Again, this doesn't affect the performance of the pencil, but does detract from the experience.

Apart from that, the pencil works exactly as you'd expect. There's a tiny eraser hidden under the click mechanism, and that's also where you refill the lead.

This model uses 0.3mm lead, which is my favorite mechanical pencil lead size. You can also find the Conception with 0.5mm lead size, though.

The pencil is made up of aluminum, and the grip section is made of brass. This combination of metals give the pencil a great balance and feel.

The grip section is another area of major contention for me. It's way too smooth for me. There's a small amount of texture on the grip, but it's microscopic and offers no real texture for gripping and writing. Practically, it's smooth metal. If there is any moisture on your fingers at all, this pencil starts slipping. This was frustrating, and something to consider if you're looking at this pencil. If you'll be using it outside in the heat, you might want to look for another option that has a better grip!

Apart from those couple of gripes, this is a really cool pencil. It's a hard sell for me because I lean heavily toward the Rotring drafting pencils. At $23, the Conception doesn't make sense when compared to the Rotring 600 or Rapid Pro because they are only 10 or 17 dollars more, respectively. If the ability to retract the lead guard is important, then the Conception is a good choice. The added option to control the amount of lead that advances with each click is also nifty, but I think the Rotring is still a better pencil.

If black isn't your game, then the Ohto Conception also comes in a few other colors.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, which I am very grateful for.

Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

Posted on December 7, 2016 and filed under Ohto, Mechanical Pencil, Pencil Reviews.