Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Karas Kustoms "Ink" Fountain Pen Review

by Tony Thomas

I have been an admirer of Karas Kustoms pens for a while now. 

In fact, I purchased a few of their rollerball pens previously (the Render K and Bolt in aluminum) to house the ultra-fine Japanese gel refills from Pilot and Uni that I love to use. Of course, I prefer to use fountain pens whenever I can, but as you probably know, ultra-fine fountain pen nibs are not a joy to write with. Plus, there are times when rollerballs are preferable.

If you don't know anything about Karas Kustoms, they are a CNC machine shop located in Arizona that decided to get into the pen business. They achieved their initial visibility through successful Kickstarter campaigns targeted at the burgeoning EDC (everyday carry) crowd. 

What the company does is machine the pens they sell out of metals such as aluminum, brass, and copper. They do this on a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) lathe and then finish the pens by hand. If you would like to see how this is done, check out this You Tube video:

When I reached out to them and they agreed to send me an “Ink” fountain pen for review, I was jazzed. And when I received the pen, I certainly was not disappointed. To put it simply, their pens are a work of art. The level of craftsmanship and detail that goes into these pens is amazing. The one I received was made out of silver-colored polished aluminum with a Bock 250 medium nib.

Although I understand that the pens made out of copper and brass are very heavy, the aluminum pen that I received is comparatively light and well-balanced. The size of the pen appeals to me since I have large hands. The threads are perfectly cut and not sharp and the tapered section is comfortable. This pen also has the most “industrial strength” clip that I have ever seen and it works well (though a clipless version of this pen is also available).

An international converter is provided as well as five-pack of Monteverde ink cartridges. To fill the pen, you need to insert the converter into the bottle, wipe it off, and then put it back into the pen because the nib is slightly recessed into the section. You can also use a syringe with a blunt needle to fill the converter.

The Bock 250 #6 nib is very impressive. It is a very smooth writer and perfectly adjusted. I ordered a spare extra-fine nib unit and ground the medium nib into a custom stub to for letter writing and signatures. The fact that you can easily change nibs makes this pen very versatile, especially if you can’t afford multiple pens.

All in all, I am very pleased with the Karas Kustoms “Ink”. It is an impressive, high-quality fountain pen that is made in the USA. And it is certainly a conversation starter! 


Weight: 1.3 oz
Length capped: 5-3/8"
Length uncapped: 5"
Pen Does Not Post
Width: 9/16"
Section Width at Narrowest Point: 6/16"

For more information:

"Ink" Hanging Out With My Other KK Pens
Custom Ground Bock Stub Sample

"Ink" Capped

"Ink" Uncapped with Bock 250 Nib
EF Nib Sample

Full Disclosure: In compliance with FTC 16 CFR Part 255, I hereby disclose that the manufacturer or retailer mentioned in this article provided the product for review purposes with the knowledge that I would provide a full, unbiased and impartial review.

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