Faber-Castell Ondoro Fountain Pen Review


As a brand, Faber-Castell has become more and more interesting to me. I know, I’m a little slow, seeing how they have been in existence for over 200 years. I always considered them a pencil company, and a great one at that, but could they make a quality fountain pen? I had my doubts, based on no facts whatsoever. And I’m glad to be proven totally and completely wrong.

The Faber-Castell Ambition set me down this path, and the Faber-Castell Ondoro Smoked Oak solidified my thoughts.


Fun fact: This isn’t my first Ondoro. I bought the Orange resin model a couple of years ago from one Stephen Brown. It had a broad nib, which I promptly had converted into a cursive italic. Despite this being a perfectly styled Brad pen, the nib and I never clicked, even after modification, so I sold it. I think my mistake was the modification, because what I have discovered in retrospect is that Faber-Castell nibs are perfect right out of the box.

The Ambition in EF solidified that thought, so I chose another EF in the Ondoro since I love the design of the pen and missed having one after selling my first. I think it may be my favorite steel German nib too, better than both Lamy and Pelikan in this size. It is finer and firmer, allowing for a clean and defined lined. It looks great too, especially inked with something like Faber-Castell’s own Deep Sea Green.


The Ondoro is described as a chunky pen, and that is accurate. The barrel is wide, and the cap is wider. It’s not a heavy pen though, and I find it comfortable to use. The Smoked Oak feels and looks great, and it comes in various resin models too, like the aforementioned Orange.


If there is one thing to consider with the Ondoro, it is the grip section. It’s short in length as well as concave. For my grip, which is very standard, it’s not an issue. If you have larger hands or a non-standard grip I could see it being an issue. The Ambition had similar questions with it’s lack of a grip section. Faber-Castell definitely does things differently in this area. Additionaly, the metal cap does make this pen heavy when posted as well as when clipped to something thin like a shirt pocket.


Price-wise, Faber-Castell pens aren’t cheap compared to the competition, but I think they are fairly priced. They are very similar to Pelikan in that regard. High quality German design and performance is generally worth the cost. If I enjoy a pen I never think twice about the price, and I certainly enjoy the Ondoro.

I’ve been mentioning how impressed I am with Faber-Castell as a brand for a while now. I think it is time to continue this exploration and see what else they have to offer.

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

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Posted on October 2, 2017 and filed under Faber-Castell, Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews.