This post is sponsored by the folks from MassDrop. The MassDrop website is an online community of enthusiasts where people with similar interests (from pens and notebooks to electronics, watches and fashion) connect to identify the best products in those spaces and then coordinate to buy those products together to leverage bulk discounts. Take a moment to register on MassDrop so you can check out the current deals and vote on upcoming opportunities for your favorite products.
The folks from MassDrop provided this Karas Kustoms INK fountain pen for review today. Its a pretty substantial pen that is composed almost completely of metal, sans the converter and feed of the nib. In terms of its size, it measures up pretty closely to the Lamy Safari although slightly thinner in the body.
The cap of the Karas Kustoms INK fountain pen en is one solid hunk of aluminum with the clip bolted on in just about the most solid way I could imagine possible. The word solid can probably be used to describe the entire build of this impressive pen. The ridge that you see just below where the clip is attached is just etched into the cap and is not an individual segment of the cap. Inside the cap, as well as on the body of the pen (you will see further on) the threads that pull everything together are also cut directly into the aluminum.
As you can see in this photo above, the copper grip section against the black anodized body and cap make for a very nice and drastic contrast. I feel that this metal and color combination also add to the very industrial look and feel of the pen. You can also see the cap threading here that I mentioned before. It’s cut directly into the aluminum body just above the grip section and makes for a very secure and tight closure of your pen. When the cap is twisted on and closed, the seam between the cap and body is almost unnoticeable which speaks to the precision engineering that went into the pen which was designed and manufactured here in the US.
In this close up photo of the section on the Karas Kustoms INK fountain pen, you can see that it indeed one solid piece of copper which is again threaded very precisely and directly into the metal. The section has a nice taper towards the center that then flares out a bit towards the nib which gives the writer a very nice hold and leverage on the pen when writing with it.
The Karas Kustomes INK fountain pen uses a Schmidt standard international converter to go along with the smooth flowing and writing Schmidt nib on the pen. In this picture you will also notice that the threads on the body of the pen remain solid black with no visible flaking or removing of the color. I’ve opened and closed this part of the pen a few dozen times to see if there would be any fading or damage to the finish since its metal on metal and I’m happy to report that it appears to be 100% un-phased from this attempt to wear it down.
As I mentioned earlier, the Karas Kustoms INK fountain pen measures up closely with the Lamy Safari in terms of size. The photo above shows the Safari hidin gbeing the Karas Kustoms INK and the Safari cap is on the right back there. The biggest difference can be seen in the height of the caps for each pen. Whether capped or uncapped, the Karas Kustoms comes in just a hair shorter in both situations.
Karas Kustoms INK fountain pen writing experience:
After a lengthy enough writing session with the pen, I definitely started to notice a slight copper smell on my finger tips as if I had been handling some pennies. If given my choice I’d probably go with the aluminum grip to avoid this, although I do like the look of patina that the copper will develop so its a trade off as you wouldn’t get that with aluminum. Keeping in mind that the grip section can be ordered in either copper, brass, or aluminum, I’d have to say that this is the one minor drawback of the pen to me. Because the clip is made of solid aluminum and doesn’t actually touch the cap at the bottom point, there isn’t much give. If you want to actually clip it onto something its going to be on something thats fairly thick in order to create enough pressure to hold it in place.
Regardless of the hefty look and feel of the Karas Kustoms INK fountain pen, the pen is very nicely balanced and provides for an effortless and smooth writing experience. Although the cap can technically be posted, I probably wouldn’t recommend doing so because doing so definitely gives it a bit of a top heavy feel. The body of the pen is definitely long enough to provide a great writing experience without posting the cap. I did some diligent note taking with the pen while doing some research for another totally unrelated side project and the experience was fantastic. The Schmidt nib had a consistent ink flow that was neither too wet or too dry, it was perfect for my taste and for the the standard Levenger Circa paper and Rhodia Webbie 90g paper. In all of my writing there were no skips or false starts and the ink flow was consistent from the second I filled up the converter with one of my favorite inks.
Overall I think the Karas Kustoms INK fountain pen is a very solidly manufactured pen that provides an excellent writing experience for what I’d consider a mid-price fountain pen. Speaking of price, this is a great time to wrap things up with a little more about the MassDrop price model. If you were to order this directly from Karas Kustoms on your own, you would pay $85 for the base pen before making your choice on the section material (brass, copper, or aluminum) or the writing method (fountain pen vs. rollerball) but you still have time to get in over at MassDrop where you can start out at $69.99 before selecting your options. This clocks in at a about a 17.6% for purchasing through MassDrop. The only drawback I see is that you are limited to either the black or aluminum body, but for many folks the cost savings will outweigh the limited color options.
Besides the Karas Kustoms INK fountain pen, the MassDrop site has a ton of other pens, notebooks and other great items that you can get in on for similar discounts. Head on over and get yourself a new pen or just register so you can check it all out and help influence what products (office supply related and others) will be next on their radar.