About this project
The Clicky Post- "For this pen, “unique” would be an understatement without question…"
Cool Material- "The pens are both lightweight and durable and worthy of the intelligent musings you’re scribbling down."
Ed Jelley- "The tank-like construction cuts down on all associated worries with damaging the pen by carrying it sans-case in my pocket."
From the Pen Cup- "The design of the pen’s clip is classic Karas— unique and stylish with just a hint of bad-ass."
Gear Hungry- "We haven’t owned a fountain pen since the shoddy one forced upon us in elementary school, but Karas Kustoms' latest might just make us step back and reconsider."
Gourmet Pens- "Karas Kustoms... have come out with the ultimate pen."
Pen Addict- "It's a great pen by great people and would make an excellent addition to any writing arsenal."
Well Appointed Desk- "The clip is an industrial strength, streamlined beauty that’s held on with signature Karas hex bolts that give the pen a nod to its industrial roots."
We are happy to introduce our latest endeavor, a custom machined aluminum pen featuring custom metal grip sections and a completely redesigned clip. We call it "Ink".
We wanted to create an heirloom quality, American designed and manufactured pen to help counteract the current trend of impersonal communication and disposable consumerism. Can a machined pen accomplish this goal? Maybe not, but it looks amazing while it tries.
Life is fast-paced and disposable. We rarely take time to slow down, put thoughts to paper, and share those ideas with others around us. Do we want to be remembered for email, or for a hand written note that has character and a feeling of sincerity?
Communication has become too impersonal. Everything is disposable. We aim to change that.
Ink can be either a fountain or rollerball pen, giving the user their own preferred writing experience. We completely designed Ink from scratch, using high quality parts and materials. The grip section of Ink comes in either aluminum, brass or copper. This gives Ink the look and feel of a high dollar, custom pen, but because we make the pen ourselves, we are able to offer it at a fraction of the price of other custom pens.
The fountain pen version of Ink features a #5,stainless steel, German made nib assembly and converter, Manufactured by Schmidt. The nib assembly works with international standard ink cartridges, or you can purchase bottled ink to use with the provided convertor. The colors available in bottled ink are almost limitless, so you aren't just limited to black, blue and red. And because you can refill your pen over and over, you are creating less waste than if you used regular, disposable pens.
The rollerball version uses an included capless rollerball refill, also manufactured by Schmidt (p8126, black, .6mm), that is guaranteed to not dry out, even if the cap is left off of the pen for a year. This refill offers an incredibly smooth writing experience and is currently used by several other manufacturers for this reason. You can also use a standard Parker ballpoint compatible refill, including the Fisher Space Pen refill, if you so choose.
Why Aluminum, Copper and Brass?
We chose these three different materials to use for the grip section of the Ink for several reasons. First, we wanted to be able to offer a different aesthetic for each pen and allowing the user to choose a color and a material means the pen will be very unique. Second, for the fountain pen version of the Ink, using copper and brass grip section will allow for using more caustic inks that can potentially harm aluminum if submerged for filling (using cartridges shouldn't make any difference). Third, by choosing the copper or brass grip section instead of the aluminum, one can change the weight distribution of the pen slightly for those who like a slightly heavier pen. And finally, we think the different options just look really, really cool and we have the capability to offer all three materials, so we did.
Because Ink is machined from T-6061 aircraft aluminum, then anodized, it is lightweight as well as durable. Traditionally, more expensive pens are made from plastics or hard rubber, and, while very beautiful, can break if handled roughly or accidentally dropped. Ink can be tossed into a bag or pocket without the fear of breakage. Even if accidentally dropped, your Ink may show a little mark or ding, but it will survive and will have a visual story to tell about its life.The clip and screws on Ink are stainless steel and are designed to last a lifetime.The stainless #5 nib (FH241 fine) is manufactured in Germany and is a quality, well made unit. The included converter is also made by Schmidt and it very high quality. Weight and dimensions for each version are listed below:
Why fountain pens?
Fountain pens work and feel differently than other pens. Ink flows onto the paper and lubricates the nib, allowing it to glide across the paper smoothly as you write. Only a light pressure is needed to put ink to paper, no pushing to get it to write like you do with ballpoint. This allows you to write in a clean and fluid manner, especially if you are writing in script (cursive). If you are pushing hard, you may damage the nib and your pen will not perform as it should.
Fountain pens are still a mystery to many folks, something they remember seeing in cartoons as a kid or something only old people used to use. We can assure you, they are very much still around and can be used everyday just like any other pen. The fine folks over at Goulet Pen Company have an excellent primer on fountain pens if you would like to learn more. They are helpful and very knowledgeable about all things fountain pen, so check them out (we are not associated with Goulet in any way, we just think they are awesome).
We realize that fountain pens may not be for everyone, which is why we are also offering a rollerball version of our pen. The .6mm capless rollerball refill included with the pen is extremely smooth and is one of the best that we have used.
Our new clip design requires a new manufacturing process we don't currently use in production. We can machine the parts for the pen bodies here in the shop, but we need to locally outsource some cutting and polishing to get the clips dialed in. By pledging toward our Ink project you can help us reach our financial goal so that we can afford to machine and purchase the parts we need to make the Ink a reality. Plus, by doing so, you get to own a really cool, American made pen.
Risks and challenges
Because we design and manufacture all of our own products here in the USA, we have complete control over the manufacturing process. We have established relationships with our material and hardware vendors and have complete confidence in their abilities to supply us with what we need to get the job done. That being said, if we become massively over-funded, our original estimated delivery dates will become pushed back to accommodate the larger production numbers. Anyone who pledges to our project can do so in confidence, as we have a history of delivering quality rewards to our backers.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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