Karas Kustoms Ink Fountain Pen - Violet Aluminum is rated
Rated 4 out of 5
Tough, functional, and pretty, with a few flaws
I got this pen so that I'd have a purple pen to use with purple (Waterman) ink. The anodized purple finish on the pen is beautiful, and the pen itself is an impressive machine-age artifact. It's quite heavy and could probably take a bullet without being functionally compromised. I got the medium nib - which is very smooth and just the right amount of wet - and the copper section. The unvarnished copper adds to the weight of the pen and makes it a bit more front-balanced, which I like. The copper also develops a patina very quickly; I've had the pen for only two weeks and already the section is a brownish color, which actually complements the purple of the barrel very nicely. The cap attaches via a pretty leisurely screw fitting - almost two full rotations to fully seat the cap. I don't mind this, but I do have a related complaint - the cap doesn't "click in" when it's fully screwed onto the barrel, and if you put the pen in a pocket it can come unscrewed. Since the Kustoms Ink is modular and comes in many different colors and metal choices, it arrives disassembled and you have to assemble it yourself. This means attaching the section to the barrel, the nib and feed to the section, and the cap to the barrel. My second complaint is related to this assembly process: the instructions that come with the pen don't make it completely clear that the feed is also screw-fit rather than friction-fit. I pushed the feed into the section assuming that it was a friction-fit unit, and it didn't fall out, but it rattled a bit. After inking (using the converter, which is supplied with the pen), the pen wrote fine, so it wasn't until about two days later that I noticed the loose feed fit and tried twisting it - at which point it became clear that the feed is indeed a screw-fit. I admit this mildly embarrassing mistake in the hope that it will save other owners from repeating it :-) The pen is comfortable to hold; the section is nicely shaped and tapered, and is large but not uncomfortably so. The cap threads are quite fine, so even if you grip the pen by the threads it's not unpleasant. I prefer heavy pens, and I don't find this one tiring to write with. the Bock nib is very smooth, and the sensation of the nib on the paper is very pleasant. I've had no hard starts, and the nib isn't overly sensitive to writing angle or barrel rotation. All in all it's a very good performer and exceptionally tough. I wouldn't say it's a great pocket-carry pen, though, given the tendency of the cap to unscrew itself. From a style perspective, it's a VERY stylish pen, if your preferred style is industrial, tactical, or steampunk; it might not be the perfect choice to put in your tuxedo pocket for a game of baccarat with Mr. Bond.
Date published: 2016-08-13