Karas Kustoms Ink Fountain Pen Review and Kickstarter Announcement

Karas Kustoms – “INK” Fountain Pen Review & Kickstarter Launch

Karas Kustoms
“INK” Fountain Pen
Made in the USA

Wow. Fountain pen manufacturers, beware. I can honestly say that there is nothing else like this pen on the market starting at $60. That’s right, $60 for an all metal, machined fountain pen! Pricing goes up incrementally as you add more options. Check out the Kickstarter page for all of the reward options and pricing – they’re all a great deal. The INK by Karas Kustoms could have been called the TANK. It’s a solidly constructed, sleek, and well balanced fountain pen that can also be converted to a rollerball. Karas Kustoms has just opened up the Kickstater for their newest offering, a fountain pen. I was fortunate enough to be contacted by Dan Bishop, the industrial designer for Karas at the beginning of the design phase. It was really awesome to see the pen go from an idea to physical product, I would like to thank him for including me. Read below for official information from the press release, a bunch more pictures, and a video hands-on with the INK.

Keep in mind, this is a prototype. Fit, finish and design are not final, but this is one impressive pen. Head over to their Kickstarter to back the project, you won’t be sorry.

From Karas Kustoms’ Press release:

Karas Kustoms is proud to announce our latest project, a custom machinedfountain/rollerball pen, the INK. We have chosen the name “INK” because this new pen can beconfigured as a fountain or rollerball pen. The fountain pen version of the INK features a German-made stainless nib, a completely redesigned stainless clip, and will be available in a rainbow of colors.

The rollerball version of the INK comes with a Schmidt capless rollerball refill that is very smooth andalready in use by other popular pen manufacturers. The grip sections for both versions will come aseither clear anodized aluminum, raw brass, or raw copper. As always, everything from design to manufacturing is all done by us in our shop.

Karas Kustoms INK on Kickstarter
Karas Kustoms on Instagram
KarasKustoms.com

Specs:

  • Length Capped: 5.425″
  • Length Uncapped: 4.970″
  • Weight Inked with Cap: 50g
  • Weight Inked without Cap: 33g
  • Nib: Medium #5 – nib, feed, sleeve and converter made by Schmidt of Germany
  • Filling System: Cartridge / Converter – international standard with included converter
Karas Kustoms Ink Fountain Pen Review and Kickstarter Announcement
The lines of the INK are somewhere between a Lamy 2000 and a Nakaya Piccolo. Don’t feel like spending $1000 on the titanium Nakaya? Here’s your pen.
Karas Kustoms Ink Fountain Pen Review and Kickstarter Announcement
The INK is available with a clear anodized aluminum, raw brass, or raw copper grip. I opted for the raw brass. The extra weight adds a nice balance slightly towards the front of the pen for effortless writing.
Karas Kustoms Ink Fountain Pen Review and Kickstarter Announcement
The step between the barrel and the grip is surprisingly unobtrusive. The grip itself is a nice width, not too thin and not too thick.
Karas Kustoms Ink Fountain Pen Review and Kickstarter Announcement
The grip is nicely contoured as well. The Schmidt nib unit and converter work quite well too. For a steel nib, the included medium width writes smoothly and effortlessly. It’s also a standard #5, so you could swap other nibs in there if you have them available.
Karas Kustoms Ink Fountain Pen Review and Kickstarter Announcement
The INK does tend to roll around, you can always use that beast of a cap as a stopper to keep it from tumbling to the floor.
Karas Kustoms Ink Fountain Pen Review and Kickstarter Announcement
The cap and clip are super solid. I’ve been carrying the pen around in my pants pocket. I have absolutely zero worries about anything happening to the pen. The clip has a nice amount of spring and it holds tight. The tank-like construction cuts down on all associated worries with damaging the pen by carrying it sans-case in my pocket.
Karas Kustoms Ink Fountain Pen Review and Kickstarter Announcement
The allen screws holding the clip in place are only visible from one side. In my opinion, this gives the pen a bit of character. It’s super sleek from this angle.
Karas Kustoms Ink Fountain Pen Review and Kickstarter Announcement
Here’s the INK next to a Lamy 2000. They’re similar in length and balance, but the INK is a bit heavier and thicker. The cap on the INK is definitely larger than the Lamy’s cap.
Karas Kustoms Ink Fountain Pen Review and Kickstarter Announcement
I overlooked taking a picture of the cap being posted. The INK was not designed to be written with while posted, but the cap WILL sit on the back of the pen. In my opinion, it adds too much weight to the back of the pen, disturbing the overall balance. I can compare it to posting a TWSBI Diamond 540/580 – possible but not necessary. The INK is large enough to be comfortable in hand without posting the cap.
Karas Kustoms Ink Fountain Pen Review and Kickstarter Announcement
1.75 turns removes the cap of the INK. While some may like easier access, I don’t find it cumbersome to open. The extra threading adds some more insurance between an ink leak and the safety (and original color) of whatever you’re carrying the pen in. The threads are smooth, and Dan told me to tighten the cap as hard as I wanted, and that it will not hurt anything. The threads are smooth and precise and do not cut into my hand while writing. When closed tight, the cap and body line up perfectly with no gaps. As I stated before, the fit and finish are awesome, and this is still just a prototype.
Karas Kustoms Ink Fountain Pen Review and Kickstarter Announcement
My medium sized hands are very comfortable holding the INK. It’s long enough to where posting isn’t necessary. It’s just a hair shorter than a TWSBI 540, but the added weight of the INK makes it feel much more substantial in hand.
Karas Kustoms Ink Fountain Pen Review and Kickstarter Announcement
The INK, in it’s natural habitat.

The INK by Karas Kustoms truly is something special. It’s not often that you come by an all metal pen with great weight and balance at such an affordable price point. The cool thing about this pen is that you get a lot for your money. The INK isn’t too expensive for beginners, and it’s cool enough for even the serious collector. It’s a unique offering from an awesome company that’s right here on US soil. It was really awesome to see this pen go from a pencil sketch to a physical product at my door. I hope I could help give you some more insight into this product. I can say I will be backing it myself as well. I absolutely NEED one of those black and brass models. The project goes live December 16th at 12:00pm Arizona time, and will last for 33 days. The INK has a goal of $10,000 that I am sure will be met. If this pen looks like something you’d be into, head over to their Kickstarter page to back the project.

Disclaimer: I was given this prototype free of charge and receive no compensation for my review, but that doesn’t mean I don’t 100% believe what I said. This pen rules.

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24 thoughts on “Karas Kustoms – “INK” Fountain Pen Review & Kickstarter Launch”

  1. Soooo I may have missed it but how does it fill? Converter? Cartridge converter? Eye dropper (would it be possible and what capacity would it take)? International short or proprietary? What kind of feed system?

    I’ll have to wait until it goes into production to get one as I don’t support Kickstarter as a company (not a judgement on those who use it, I just personally have certain standards and dislike supporting a company that violates their own TOS as well as my own values.) so I won’t be clicking through to answer the questions I posed.

    I really like the design and look forward to a production model. I love rugged goods.

    1. Cartridge / converter – all of the fountain pen parts are made by Schmidt. I believe the nib / feed are a #5 which gives some wiggle room for replacements. Converter and cartridges are both international standard.

      I would 100% not make it into an eyedropper. Aluminum should not be in direct contact with ink for extended periods of time, as many inks can be corrosive.

      Thanks for reading!

  2. I don’t see it mentioned anywhere but I could have missed it…what type of converter does the pen use? I’m guessing it would be a standard international…

  3. Great review. I’ve dreamed of doing this for years. But as my wife says, wish in one hand and poop in the other and see which one fills up first? And great pic’s and video’s, made me really want to try one. But one question, what does a “Fresh Shave” scented candle smell like? Just curious. Any one else you know of custom machining fountain pens?

    1. Thank you!

      I’d say go for it, you have nothing to lose! Give it a shot, and if you’re not happy with it, then no one says you have to post it.

      The “Fresh Shave” candle just smells really clean and fresh with a hint of that babershop aftershave. It’s quite pleasant.

      As far as I know, Karas is the only offering like that for now.

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