Thursday, December 14, 2017

Review: @KarasPenCo Decograph Fountain Pen

The new Karas Pen Co. Decograph is creating some buzz. What is it? Is it stellar? Let's take a look... The Decograph is inspired by Art Deco features and utilizes modern machining to execute its design!
The Decograph is our take on a traditionally styled, full size fountain pen. Machined from solid thermoplastic and 6061 aluminum, the Decograph is our lightest pen yet. Weighing .072 ounces (20.4 grams), the Decograph is perfect for every day carry and use. - Karas Pen Co.

Body material: Thermoplastic & aluminum
Trim: Aluminum
Cap: Screw on
Posts: Yes, friction
Nib material: #6 Bock stainless steel (gold and titanium also available)
Filling system: Standard international cartridge/converter
Length (capped): 136.90 mm/5.39"
Length (uncapped): 127.15 mm/5.00"
Length (posted): 166.77 mm/6.56"
Length (section): 21.76 mm/0.85"
Diameter (barrel): 9.68 - 12.70 mm/0.38" - 0.50"
Diameter (section): 9.75 - 10.78 mm/0.38" - 0.42"
Weight (all): 22 g
Weight (cap): 10 g
Weight (body): 12 g
Price: $165.00 USD as mine is configured
Where to buy: Karas Pen Co.


The Decograph is presented in a machined aluminum cylinder featuring the K shield logo. The pen is held securely in place by snug foam inside the tube. The tube looks so cool and not only does it protect the pen, it sleeves as a cool display for the pen. The packaging is also intended to be elegant, reliable, and also pay homage to Karas manufacturing past. Well done! It's definitely unusual and unique.
Review @KarasPenCo Decograph Fountain Pen 1
Review @KarasPenCo Decograph Fountain Pen 2


The Decograph is a full-size pen. The idea behind its design and appearance was to pay homage to classic pens from the 1930s - 1950s. The Decograph is a round pen with blunt, flat ends. The finial is a brushed aluminum top that comes to a low point. The clip is attached just below this through a super snug, very clean cut out in the cap. I am impressed by this detail - it's such a clean and snug cut out. Some pens have giant gaps with a clip shoved through. Not here.
Review @KarasPenCo Decograph Fountain Pen 3
Review @KarasPenCo Decograph Fountain Pen 7
The clip is angular and sits close to the cap. It is brushed aluminum with beveled edges. There are no markings on it. The cap is wider than the barrel and the end tapers to sit more flush with the barrel. The cap looks a little long to me. I think the end would have looked good with a center band instead of a tapered edge.
Review @KarasPenCo Decograph Fountain Pen 12
Review @KarasPenCo Decograph Fountain Pen 13
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The barrel tapers slightly towards the end. The end plug is an aluminum plug with the K shield logo on it. I like it! It's cute and brands the pen subtly. The section tapers towards the nib and flares out before ending in a ridge. It is an interesting shape with a long flare - though not unattractive. What I don't really care for is the many cap threads at the back of the section.

Overall, the pen looks skewed towards the cap with the large clip and wider cap to barrel ratio. Not terribly obvious, but if I'm really scrutinizing, that's what I'm paying attention to. The barrel looks a little slim in comparison. I am just nitpicking.


The nib supplied with my pen is a #6 stainless steel Bock in medium (I think). Titanium and gold nibs are optional upgrades. The nib is unmarked for nib grade. It has a single slit, a round breather hole, and it is engraved with some flourishes, the Bock logo, and 'Bock'. My experiences with Bock nibs have been positive and this one is consistent. It is a smooth, wet writer that does not skip or hard start. It is a reliable, consistent pen and even offers a surprising amount of line variation if you apply some pressure. It is not a flex nib, but it's not a nail of a nib either. I enjoy the writing experience. The great thing about #6 nibs like this is they are easily interchangeable with nibs you may already have at home. It makes the pen more versatile and I appreciate that.
Review @KarasPenCo Decograph Fountain Pen 8
Review @KarasPenCo Decograph Fountain Pen 9
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The pen was supplied with a converter and it works without issue. Easy to use, easy to replace.


The Decograph has a pretty cool clip. It is solid and easy to operate one handed. It can also slide on and off papers, pockets, and pouchets. Note that the edge of the clip is quite sharp.

The section is smooth and comfortable. Although I think it looks a little funny, the long flare before the nib actually keeps my grip in place quite well. It is not slick or slippery and I think this would be comfortable for most users. It's great if you don't care for metal sections.

There are quite a few deep threads at the back of the section. They are not particularly sharp but they're definitely noticeable. It also requires a turn or two too many to cap and uncap the pen.
Review @KarasPenCo Decograph Fountain Pen 4
Review @KarasPenCo Decograph Fountain Pen 5
Review @KarasPenCo Decograph Fountain Pen 6
Unposted, the pen is light but well balanced and it's comfortable for longer writing sessions. The entire pen actually feels quite light so it's great for long use and for those who don't like heavy pens. The cap can be posted by friction but I find it top heavy and unbalanced. I think it's best unposted. The material feels nice and warms up in hand - I like that feeling.
Review @KarasPenCo Decograph Fountain Pen 11
Review @KarasPenCo Decograph Fountain Pen 10
The only other complaint I have is it takes me fifteen turns to open the barrel. I know this is not something I need to do constantly but wow, that is way too many. The upside is the barrel doesn't unscrew on its own. The downside is...well... it's just way too many turns!
Review @KarasPenCo Decograph Fountain Pen 16

The Decograph is quite neat and has a lot going for it. I like the design a lot and I love that there is another fountain pen option out there - the more, the merrier. Awesome packaging, uses a #6  nib that performs well and is interchangeable, the section is very comfortable, and it's a great daily writer. It's well machined with tight, clean lines and it's a neat looking pen. The two major downsides for me are the many threads and the price. $165 feels a bit steep, but I know I must consider the machining quality and packaging. I've seen worse but I'd love to see this around $125 or so. If it remains at $165, I'd like to see the nibs rebranded with the K shield logo because that would be really cool.

I received this item 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.


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