Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Review: @KarasKustoms Ink Fountain Pen - Black/Copper & Gold/Brass

Thanks to KarasKustoms for sending these Inks over!
Review: @KarasKustoms Ink Fountain Pen - Black/Copper & Gold/Brass

Body Material: Aluminum + brass/copper section
Trim: Aluminum
Length (capped): 5.42"
Length (uncapped nib-end): 4.96"
Length (posted): 6.65"
Barrel Diameter: 0.58""
Section Diameter: 0.38" - 0.42"
Nib material: Steel
Weight: 50 g
Fill type: Converter
Price: $85.00 - $105.00USD
Where to buy: KarasKustoms (also available as a rollerball)
Review: @KarasKustoms Ink Fountain Pen - Black/Copper & Gold/Brass
Review here

The Ink fountain pen came in my favourite packaging - pretty much none. It was safe and sound in a sealed, thick plastic envelope, along with the capped section in an attached but separate envelope. It also came with a short instruction sheet about the pen and how to care for it.

As I said, I like this packaging; little cost and little for me to dispose of.

Review: @KarasKustoms Ink Fountain Pen - Black/Copper & Gold/Brass
The Ink has always appealed to me. Of course, that could be because I've loved every KarasKustoms pen that's come my way (Render K aluminum, Retrakt copper, Bolt aluminum...). The Ink is a machined pen made of aluminum with a section of your choice -aluminum, brass, or copper. These inks are: gold aluminum + brass section, and black aluminum + copper section. Both have broad nibs, of course.
Review: @KarasKustoms Ink Fountain Pen - Black/Copper & Gold/Brass
The pen is widest at the top and smoothly tapers towards the end. Both ends are flat and blunt, with a small amount of angled edging from the cap and barrel. This makes the flat ends look less harsh and abrupt.

The finial shows the clip's attachment - it cuts through the top of the cap and extends down the side of the cap. The cap is a smooth polished aluminum, thin, straight, and set in place with two screws. I love how that looks. There is a grooved ring just below the screws that stands out more on the gold than the black, but it's another simple detail I like. Otherwise, the body is smooth, round, and seamless.

The sections have a great shape and ideal length with a mild hourglass shape that flares before the nib.

The gold pen is beautiful - the gold is rich and warm, and the brass section complements it beautifully. The black pen is clean and perfect for everyday, especially with the warm copper section. Both pens are simple in their appearance, have that 'machined' look, and are very well put together and finished.

Review: @KarasKustoms Ink Fountain Pen - Black/Copper & Gold/Brass
Review: @KarasKustoms Ink Fountain Pen - Black/Copper & Gold/Brass
The broad steel nib is a #5 Schmidt nib. The nib is marked with Schmidt, Iridium Point, and some flourishes. it has a single slit and no breather hole.

Neither pen was flushed before inking (living on the edge). The gold Ink was filled with Platinum Mix Free Sunny Yellow, the black with Diamine Burnt Sienna.
Review: @KarasKustoms Ink Fountain Pen - Black/Copper & Gold/Brass
The nibs performed very well - writing smoothly and with little feedback, consistently, and with decent ink flow. They are not gushers, but have ideal flow for every day writing. The nibs are rather firm so don't expect much if you apply pressure - this will also dry out the feed. I found the nibs dried out after sitting for more than a day but pick up with some feed priming (which is easy to do with the supplied converter), or by gently tapping the nib on the page.


The clip seems pretty much indestructible to me, but it's also snug. There is enough space to attach it to your papers or shirt, but it's hard to open. Loosening the screws does not make it more springy either. Putting this in your shirt pocket might not be the best situation either - it's quite heavy and will likely lean in your pocket.
Review: @KarasKustoms Ink Fountain Pen - Black/Copper & Gold/Brass
Review: @KarasKustoms Ink Fountain Pen - Black/Copper & Gold/Brass
Review: @KarasKustoms Ink Fountain Pen - Black/Copper & Gold/Brass
I love the design and shape of the section - they're very comfortable. Both the brass and copper warm up in hand and offer that "connected with your words" sensation that I love about metal pens. The threads are pretty far back but are a little sharp. Alas, it is metal. It's not that they are poorly done, they're just metal and quite hard to the touch.

Unposted, the pen feels great. It's warm, balanced, a good length, and a good weight. The cap can post if you really stick it on but this makes it quite long and top heavy.
Review: @KarasKustoms Ink Fountain Pen - Black/Copper & Gold/Brass
Review: @KarasKustoms Ink Fountain Pen - Black/Copper & Gold/Brass
Review: @KarasKustoms Ink Fountain Pen - Black/Copper & Gold/Brass
Review: @KarasKustoms Ink Fountain Pen - Black/Copper & Gold/Brass

Priced between $85USD and $105USD, I think the KarasKustoms Ink is well worth its price. A custom handmade pen is often more than this (and it may be a kit...). The Ink is robust, solid, dependable, reliable, and easily suits the role of every day writer. It comes in a variety of colours (alas, I still want hot pink...), and you also support a great company. The only thing for me is the nib is not super exciting - but that's why it makes it a good everyday writer. It's not a gusher, nor is it too wide or wet. It's just right. Definitely recommended.

I received this pen free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion. Do a gal a solid and if you fancy any of these and want any item of your own, use my affiliate links :)


Jay Pulli said...

But is it too heavy for a man's shirt pocket? That is the issue I have with their Retrakt copper. Too heavy for the pocket, drags down that side of my shirt. Also the clip on the Retrakt is too difficult to open.

SL said...

Observation, not criticism: uncapped, the blak one reminds me of a Duracell battery.

Anna G said...

I've got an Ink (in the red color) and I love it! I had some issues with the fine nib it came with (it was really scratchy and nothing I did helped), but I ordered a medium nib that turned out to be fantastic. I don't find that my pen dries out at all. I was a bit worried about that, because some of my other pens have that issue, but I've left this pen unused for over a week and it started right up perfectly! Maybe I got lucky in that regard, but I'm super happy about it, because it means I can keep it in my rotation! I love the look of it and the weight, and it's very comfortable to write with.

Dan Bishop said...

Thanks for the review! We realize our pens aren't perfect for anyone, but we try to reach a happy medium. Love the test pages with those inks!

Azizah Asgarali said...

I think they're rather great. You've designed and produced a fountain pen that can take a beating, whereas a lot of fountain pens have to be treated with a lot of care, making them only useful for "careful" settings. I like that the Ink is tough. Also, pretty. Also available in pink.

Jimmy said...

I would say it weighs half as much as the Copper Retrakt. Its going to be more noticeable in a shirt pocket than a plastic or resin pen but nowhere near as bad as your copper Retrakt. The clip on the INK almost varies pen to pen as far as how tight it is. I've got one that has a large gap between the clip and the cap and I've got one that has no gap and another that has a small gap. I know that really doesn't answer your question about the clip but it varies from pen to pen (at least with the 5 INKs I own). Most have small to no gap which I would equate to being similar to the clip on their other pens (like your Retrakt)

Jay Pulli said...

Thanks Jimmy, very informative. It looked like the clip tightness varied from pen to pen in the photos. Again, I applaud the effort for an American made pen, but they need a few tweaks to take it from a machine shop project to a pen line that has traction.

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