Karas Kustoms Fountain K - Steel nib (F - Bock)
Length Capped: 134mm
Length Posted: Not meant to be posted.
Length Uncapped: 124.5mm
Section at Thinnest Point: 9mm
Section at Widest Point: 10mm
Weight w/Ink & Cap: 28.2g
Weight w/Ink & No Cap: 18.9g
Fast Writing: Keeps up very well.
Line Variation: Very little line variation, which is to be expected with a steel nib
Upside Down Writing: Very very scratchy, I wouldn't recommend it.
Wetness: I find this to be a pretty wet writer, even with some drier inks.
Pros: Amazingly durable, great grip section, unique and modern design, USA made, lots of color, nib, material and section combinations.
Cons: I'm not the hugest fan of Bock nibs, though I was able to get this one to write very well (of course after a tine adjustment), which was a pleasant surprise. I really have no complaints at all about this pen - it's officially in my top 2 pens and is the pen I now use most often!
Ever since I bought my Karas Kustoms INK, I have been a huge fan of the Karas Kustoms brand. That pen was one of my most used pens for a long time. One thing about it that didn't *quite* fit me, was the pen was a bit on the large side. The grip section itself wasn't, but the pen itself was just a bit large and a tad heavy. When I saw they were producing a fountain pen version of their Render K, I was so excited to get my hands on one. My boyfriend was nice enough to get me one in my favorite tumbled aluminum finish for my birthday, and I was certainly not disappointed.
The Fountain K comes in 3 different metal options - aluminum, copper and brass. The copper and brass are raw materials, so they will develop a patina over time from the oils on your hands. The aluminum versions come in just standard polished aluminum, raw tumbled aluminum (pictured), and in a variety of anodized colors (the new turquoise looks amazing! (though it's painted and not anodized)). In addition to the many color options for the body of your pen, you can choose from a copper, brass, silver, tumbled aluminum (pictured), or black grip section. With so many options, you can definitely make this pen your own, which is what sets Karas Kustoms apart from almost any other pen manufacturer.
After opening up my Fountain K and holding it in my hand, my first impression was the weight difference between this pen and the INK. The pen is also quite a bit skinnier all around. The widest part is at the top of the pen at the knurling, and it continuously tapers to the bottom. The tumbled aluminum finish is smooth but with a tiny bit of texture, so you have a nice tactile feel when using it. The grip section is a traditional taper and flare and is a very comfortable width for my hand size. The knurling at the top of the cap gives it a nice industrial look, which I love.
Being a metal pen, you'd think the threads would make a lot of noise and would be tight and hard to open, but that is certainly not the case with this pen. The threads are silky smooth, and after about a day of use they don't squeak at all. The pen and cap have a very positive close, and has a really satisfying sound to it.
The original Fountain K pens were shipped with the Schmidt nib on them. Not too long ago, they made the switch to Bock for their nib production. I was a little concerned with this change as I've had some pretty rough experiences with inconsistency on the Bock Kaweco nibs in the past. I also have the Schmidt nib on my INK and I really love it. The Bock on the Fountain K shipped with the tines misaligned, so the initial writing experience was less than stellar. However, after adjusting the tines the nib was very smooth and laid down ink well with no skips or hard starts. I do love that the Bock nibs offer a black option as well as a titanium option, though the titanium is only available on the INK due to some inconsistencies on the smaller nib size - so that was a bit of a disappointment. I would love to see Bock get that issue corrected because I think this pen would look beautiful with a titanium nib on it. Nib options for the Fountain K go from EF-B and in steel or 14k gold.
This pen has been a complete pleasure to use, and has found it's place in my main daily carry. Karas Kustoms has taken the pen world and turned it on it's head by adding some rugged and unique designs. I am excited to see what they choose to do next. If you're interested in a Fountain K for yourself you can grab one straight from Karas Kustoms' website, or from a retailer such as Goulet Pens. Prices range depending on the materials you choose from $75 - $215.
Thanks so much for reading!