Review: Karas Kustoms Ink

The Numbers:
Weight: 43g
Length (capped): 138mm
Length (uncapped): 120.5mm
Length of cap: 56.6mm
Price: USD$85 to USD$105 from Karas Kustoms
Material: Aluminum
Filling Mechanism: Cartridge / Converter
Colours: Gold, Green, Grey, Red, Silver, Black

Intro:
I've backed Karas Kustoms' Kickstarter project for the Ink when it launched way back in January 2014. I have opted for the aluminum version and I kind of regreted not going for the anodized version now that I've seen the photos of everyone else's. The colours look really good though the silver aluminium is pretty sweet too.

Appearence:
I got mine with the aluminum grip but brass and copper grip sections are available as well for an additional fee. The Ink is a machined fountain pen that has an industrial almost steam punk like design. The clip is one of the most interesting part of the design. It is a solid piece of aluminum that's attached to the cap via two hexagonal screws. Though it looks good I found the clip too stiff, which makes it hard to use with just one hand. I am quite sure I would break a finger nail if I attempted to lift it with my nail.

The Ink takes a standard international converter and cartridge, a plus point in my eyes. It comes fitted with a #5 Schmidt nib. Karas Kustoms are selling seperate nib units for the Ink. They come in fine, medium and board.

The Ink is sort of post-able. By doing so, the balance of the pen is totally destroyed. The fountain pen turns into a back heavy and over long one. The cap doesn't quite post securely on the back of the barrell. I am not willing to force the cap in. I would hate it if the barrell is scratched by the threads on the inside of the cap.

Performance:

The fine nib that came stock with my Kickstarter unit is a wet and juicy one. I would definitely love it more if it came in extra fine version, lefty problems again I'll not elborate. The nib writes smoothly on both Rhodia paper and Field Notes memobook. Though it suffers from nib creep when I filled it with Sailor Jentle Yama Dori. Cleaning the nib and the convertor is a breeze with a bulb syringe and blunt tip syringe. The #5 Schmidt nib looks a little mismatched and small on a pen that's as solid and hefty as the Ink is. I would prefer the nib to be larger but otherwise the nib is perfectly useable.

The threads on the grip section tend to bite my thumb. I suspect it is because I don't hold my pens in the standard tripod grip. My thumb is pressed against the threads thus causing my discomfort. I found if I didn't tighten the cap and the barrell with deliberate force, it tends to come loose in my pen case.

Conclusion:

Karas Kustoms' Ink is a well made aluminum fountain pen. It's nib is a solid performer. Plus it comes in a variety of different colours. I would recommend the Ink to anyone who enjoys the industrial design. It is a strong contender in the arena of hefty fountain pens.

Pros:
- Robust and durable
- Interesting industrial design
- Well made
- Hefty
- Takes standard international converter and cartridge

Cons:
- Small-ish nib
- Stiff clip

Additional reading:
Modern Stationer's review of Karas Kustoms Ink
The Writing Arsenal's review of Karas Kustoms Ink
Ed Jelley's review of Karas Kustoms Ink

Posted on January 9, 2015 and filed under Fountain Pen, review.