As some of you already know, I recently sold some pens (lots still for sale). I have a lot coming up in my life, such as a wedding and buying a house (we move at the end of the month!!!!), so obviously we have pretty large financial commitments coming up. It would have been easy to just put that money towards the house, but I made a promise to myself that I would use those proceeds on pens so I wouldn’t go crazy during my self imposed pen buying ban(okay I had some help). Seeing some space credits in my pen account sure got me excited to start shopping again!
I have been looking at a whole bunch of different pens that I have been lusting over, but at the time, I had a burning desire to get my first Karas Kustoms (KK) pen. I began browsing the website to build the perfect one and then let it sit in my cart for weeks. At the same time, I was also browsing the used pens for sale on the Pen Addict Slack group (you should join if you haven’t already) and Reddit. I ended up coming across a particularly interesting one for sale from a well respected user in the pen community (Hi Dave). It was a red KK Ink V1 with a brass section, which has been dubbed the “Iron Man” pen by the community.
It was listed at a good price with expensive shipping (the joys of living in Canada), so it was still cheaper than buying new and I was really wanting to pull the trigger. The problem was that I already wanted the stonewashed olive green KK Ink that I had sitting in my cart. Two KK pens at once? That is crazy talk! “Which one should I choose” was what I should have been asking myself. Well I am now the proud owner of two gorgeous Karas Kustoms pens and two of their cool little notebooks. I didn’t say that I wasn’t crazy.
“Iron Man” Ink
This was the first beauty to show up at my front door. I opened in immediately when I got inside and was floored with just one look at the pen. It was soooo good looking and felt great in my hand. The brass section is not slippery at all and adds the perfect amount of balance to the aluminum barrel. It is built like a tank and I feel like I can take it anywhere safely.
I reached out on Instagram for help choosing which ink to put in my Ink (hehe) and got many great suggestions, but I got impatient and put Noodler’s Zhivago in it within minutes of my post. I had a sample lying around that I was dying to try out again, and I can’t say I am disappointed in my choice. In hindsight, I should have used this ink in my Olive Green Ink that was on it’s way, but I am still happy with the combo.
Once I started writing with it, I couldn’t put it down. It came with a medium nib and writes a perfectly wet medium line. Since inking it up, it has become the only pen I’ve been using at work and home (that was before the other Ink came in the mail). It is safe to say I like the pen.
This is the KK Ink V1, which was originally released, so it came with a Schmidt nib, which is just fantastic. There are a few other differences between V1 & V2, such as the caps not being swap-able, but that is fine since I would never want to mix and match these 2 pens. More comments on the differences to follow.
Stonewashed Olive Green Ink
My second Ink finally arrived a few days ago!! Unfortunately I was dinged with $22 of customs charges to pick it up, but I would still say that this pen is well worth it. Let me just tell you this quick before you read on. Buying a used Karas Kustoms pen is waaay easier because you just have to decide if you like that particular pen enough to buy it. Buying a new one is way more difficult because you have so many options to choose from and you just end up fighting yourself. In the end it works out though because you end up with a killer pen that is customized to your tastes.
The first thing that I did when I opened up the box was admire the gorgeous finish of the pen. I was debating between the olive green and the brown, but after seeing this in person, I know I made the right choice. The colour is everything that I dreamed of and the stonewashed finish adds that touch of rigidity that I am really digging. I was also kind of wanting the clipless model, but they didn’t have any in the colour I wanted, so this model won out instead.
The grip section was another unknown that I had to work out with myself. I feel like the brass would have looked good with the olive green, but I was also liking the look of just aluminum. Since I ordered the Iron Man Ink first, I already had a brass section on the way, so I figured I would go with the tumbled aluminum section with this one. My thoughts on it being tumbled was that it would help give me more grip on the pen, and I would say it’s doing a pretty good job.
Am I happy that I bought 2 Inks rather than 2 completely different kinds of pens? Absolutely! They look great, write great, are built like a tank, and feel great in my hand. I foresee some pretty heavy use from both of these pens and I would gladly welcome more into my collection.
As for the differences between V1 & V2, I tried to do some research and failed miserably. I knew I read about it at one point, probably in an email from Karas Kustoms, but I will just leave you with my observations. Please add any others that I missed.
- V1 uses Schmidt nibs. V2 used Bock nibs, which are a bit bigger and offers more selection in nib sizes.
- The threads are different for the caps and sections, so they are not interchangeable between versions. Doesn’t upset me much, but if they were colours that went well together, I would have wanted two from the same version. I managed to get the red cap on the green body, but not vice-versa.
- The clip on V2 is more rounded and matte. It is also closer to the actual cap of the pen compared to V1, so it doesn’t ping when you move it. I am assuming that it is supposed to be like this since Brad and Mike always talk about that sound on The Pen Addict.
I also tossed in a few KK pocket notebooks in my order because who can’t use more pocket notebooks…. right? They are branded Scout notebooks, which are the same as my Ink Journal pocket notebooks that I have, so I have an idea of what the paper is like. They aren’t the best for fountain pens, but the paper is still thick enough to hold up to them and be useable. Since converting to Field Notes back in October, I have used a few editions that aren’t the best with fountain pens (Two Rivers), but I have gotten over it as the dry time is super fast, they are super cool, and they still hold the information that I write down. The KK ones even have dot grip, which is one of my favourite formats!
All and all, I am super happy with my purchases and would buy another one of these in a heart beat. I will eventually write a full review on these, but I have been lagging behind a little with my planned posts with the busy summer schedule, so it would be months away before I even entertained the idea. I hope your summer is going great! Be sure to check out Karas Kustoms to get one of these awesome pens!
If you have an exciting pen haul that you would like to share, please contact me and the stage can be yours.