Karas Kustoms Fountain K
This pen arrived yesterday, so this can't be a full review. But I love this pen so much, I wanted to give my first impressions.
I've been considering buying a Karas Kustoms pen for some time now. I remember when Goulet Pens first picked them up - can anyone forget Brian Goulet throwing one of their pens across the parking lot and then running it over with his car?! Unfortunately, at that time, $70-$75 seemed well beyond my price point. Since then, I've been tempted every now and then, especially by some of their limited edition releases. I once ordered a Vertex and then immediately canceled the order. Then I ordered a Bolt as a present for a family member and fell in love with the craftsmanship. Still, I hesitated. I have so many spare #6 nibs that it seemed to make the most sense to order an Ink, but unlike most bloggers, I don't really love the look of the ink. Whereas I adore the knurling and the smaller size of the Fountain K. Once I came to terms with the titanium nib not fitting in my Kaco Edge, I knew that soon I would spring for the Fountain K.
But the Karas Kustoms's website doesn't have many color options available anymore - which is really odd considering how many they used to offer. Perhaps an orange pen? But by now, I know that I prefer more subtle colors. So when I saw that JetPens still had a few gray pens left, I jumped on it, even paying more for the tumbled grip because I don't like shiny metal grips. It's a really great grip; my fingers never slip. And the more matte finish goes really well with the titanium nib. The whole pen is now monotone, and I love it.
The cap opens in 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 turns, and the threads in the last bit are so tight and smooth, that it's simply magical. You know when this pen is closed all the way, and it takes just that little bit extra pressure to open it.
The knurling at the top of the cap is lovely - one of my favorite parts of the pen. The whole pen is so well-made and finished. The clip is a bit stiff, but it will hold on even to my leather pen loops. It bugs me slightly that the screws holding the clip on aren't pointed in the same direction. I'd prefer them both to be vertical, the way the bottom one is. But that's really nitpicky.
The size is great. Lengthwise, it's as long as the Parker Jotter, shorter than the Kaco Edge, Franklin-Christoph Model 20, and Edison Menlo, and just a touch longer than the Pelikan M205. Open though, it's bigger than the Jotter - mainly due to the bigger nib - and just about the same size as the Pelikan M205. It's wider and heavier than both of those pens. I was surprised to see it so close in size to the M205. Even with my tiny hands, that Pelikan has always seemed just a bit too small. But now I can see that it's because of the weight. The Fountain K isn't all that heavy, but it definitely feels far more substantial and, frankly, better made. Even though the Pelikan comes from such a renowned German brand, it's always seemed flimsy to me. The cap finial is sharp; the piston knob isn't flush with the body. The section and threads are sharp, and the injection mold lines stick out. The Karas Kustoms is made of metal and half the price, and it's much smoother and refined. I love this pen.
The titanium nib is nice and juicy. Fitted in the proper feed, it's not quite as bouncy. Instead, it feels like I have more control. It still has quite a bit of flex, but it's not wobbling all over the page. Now, the pen feels more versatile - for practical, quick notes and for fun longer writing sessions.