Kickstarter #1: KarasKustoms Render K + Pilot Hi-Tec-C refills


Render K by KarasKustoms

The Render K was the first project I ever backed on Kickstarter, and the experience was a great one. KarasKustoms, a machine shop in Arizona and the maker of the Render K, posted frequent updates throughout the process, including a number of videos that showed our pens being “born.” I bonded with my pen, even before I held it in my hands. But I worried (as I am prone to do) that there might be a letdown when the Render K actually arrived and fantasy met reality. As it turns out, there was no need to fret- the real live pen blew me away.


Why was I worried?

My pen was machined from aluminum (there’s also a brass version available) and feels like a precision tool. Mated with the Pilot Hi-Tec-C (0.4 mm, black ink, is my choice), it’s one of the pens that I reach for every single day.


Built to last, then last some more

The stainless steel clip is ultra-reliable, and keeps the pen secure whether clipped to pocket or purse or messenger bag. NO worries about clip failure. I really love the look of the knurled cap. Mmmmm…knurled. Cool word.


The ultimate clip


Awesome knurling

Technically, the cap can be (loosely) posted, but I never use it that way as the added weight of cap makes the pen top heavy. The weight is perfectly balanced sans cap.

The cap threads onto the pen body and I love this feature, too. As with the Kaweco Liliput, I enjoy the tiny ritual of unscrewing the cap before sitting down to write. This action forces me to slow down for just a moment. And sometimes, a moment is all you need to get a grip. And who couldn’t use a little more grip? (Me! Me!)

Before using the Render K, I liked the Pilot Hi-Tec-C pens, but honestly, I didn’t LOVE them. Turns out that it must’ve been the pen BODY that wasn’t my favorite because the the Hi-Tec-C refill in the Render K body is an absolutely stellar combination.

This was my first venture into the world of Kickstarter projects, but it’s not my last. KarasKustoms, though, set the bar very high with their frequent updates, and ultimately, with the execution of the Render K. It’s a fine, fine pen.

Missed the Render K as a Kickstarter project? No worries…the pen body (and its brass counterpart) are available here. Note that a refill DOES NOT ship with the pen so that you can select what works for you. In addition to the Hi-Tec-C refills, KarasKustoms includes a spacer that makes it possible to use Fisher Space Pen refills as well.

Pilot Hi-Tec-C refills are available via JetPens, and so are the Fisher Space Pen refills. One stop refill shopping!

For another take on the same pen, check out this wonderfully detailed review at Gourmet Pens.

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12 thoughts on “Kickstarter #1: KarasKustoms Render K + Pilot Hi-Tec-C refills

  1. Awesome!! I got one of these too! In fact, my review is scheduled to post tomorrow morning hehe so I’ve added your review here to mine under the “more Render K reviews to read”. I think it’s a really nice pen as well, I’m very pleased with (also) my very first Kickstarter!

    • Cool, thanks! Can’t wait to read your review! I can’t stop showing this pen to people, and even the non-pen addicts are impressed.

    • I love the Signo DX refills (especially dark brown), too, so will surely try one out in the Render K. I think I read that a bit of a trim is needed, but that’s easy. I use this pen very day, which is saying something as I tend to flit around to a bunch of “favorites”!

  2. Unfortunately, I am missed the Render-K campaign on KickStarter, so I can not get lower price anymore :-( . But I saw an interesting and unique pen just launched on KickStarter. It has small screw inside to lock the refill to makes the pen compatible with both Pilot Hi-Tec C catridge and Pilot G2 catridge (although these both refill has different in length) and looks like it will be able to accomodate another refill. Here is below is the campaign link

    • Thanks for the heads up! I just backed the project you linked to (mostly because they’re also central NYers). I DID send them a note as they have misspelled the word “cartridge” throughout their video. EEK.

  3. Pingback: The Bolt: A Machined Bolt Action Pen | From the Pen Cup

  4. Pingback: It’s Quality: RETRAKT by Karas Kustoms | From the Pen Cup

  5. Pingback: Wish Granted: Ink by Karas Kustoms | From the Pen Cup

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