Wish Granted: Ink by Karas Kustoms

Designer Dan Bishop surprised me with a prototype of Karas Kustoms newly launched fountain pen, Ink. This review reflects my personal experiences and observations.

A fountain pen from my favorite machine shop has been on my wish list for months— maybe even before it was a glimmer in Dan Bishop’s eye. I’ve periodically politely pestered the Karas Kustoms designer, and I’m sure that other fans of their Render K, Bolt, and Retrakt pens have done the same. Maybe our prodding did the trick, or maybe Dan’s had this project up his sleeve all along.

Ink by Karas Kustoms

Whatever the case may be— Ink is here! It’s here! It’s here! I’m as excited as Will Farrell’s Buddy the Elf (in case you couldn’t tell).

This is not a dainty pen, and I mean that in a very good way. It’s beefy, polished, and oozes quality as well as a large dose of Karas cool.

Brass section...cool AND warm

The tapered grip section— brass on my pen— is very comfortable. I like how the metal starts out feeling chilly, then warms with the heat of my hand. So it’s cool— but also warm.

#5 Schmidt nib (Medium)

Fitted with a medium #5 Schmidt nib, I’m finding this to be a stiff but smooth writer. I’m not able to coax any line variation from the nib, but that’s not my strong suit. I’m reading that Schmidt nibs are swappable so you should be able to customize your pen in the future, should you desire a larger size nib or a finer or broader line. For me, this medium is perfectly fine— very nice for a daily writer.

Converter with kon-peki

Loaded with Iroshizuku kon-peki, the flow is smack dab in the middle of dry and juicy. Again, just how I like it for daily use.

Ink's cool clip

The design of the pen’s clip is classic Karas— unique and stylish with just a hint of bad-ass. Recessed into the top of the pen’s cap, the clip is anchored with a couple of set screws so it’s not going anywhere. It’s not an exceptionally springy clip, but slides easily into my pocket or pen case.

Top of cap

What I REALLY like about this project is that the anodized color options (and, oh, what colors!) are available right out of the Kickstarter gate. No need to wait until the Kickstarter project is over to snap up some of those richly colored pens.

I’m a backer. An excited backer. In fact, I’m pretty sure that I was backer #1 (ONE benefit of being home sick on launch day).

Aluminum/brass Ink

Here’s what I’m excited for— an aluminum/anodized orange fountain pen that I’ll fill with Iroshizuku fuyu-gaki. Orange bliss.

Not into fountain pens? Now’s the time to change that. But if you’re REALLY resistant, Ink is also available as a rollerball. Same great construction, same superb color choices, coupled with the ever-popular Schmidt P8126 refill.

Mesa, Arizona— where pen wishes DO come true.

Pen eyes
This pen has eyes, don’t you think?!


Check out all of the backer levels, weight and dimension schematics, material/color options, as well as THE best launch video HERE. As Prescott says, “It’s the bee’s knees!” That’s the same as bad-ass, right?


14 thoughts on “Wish Granted: Ink by Karas Kustoms

  1. Very cool! One thing I’m sure a lot of people will be concerned about is the lack of nib options. Think you could try a nib swap with you Edison Mina? It’s listed as using a #5 nib, and Edison nibs are readily available from most pen sites.

    • Good thought! I can give it a whirl. I guess the lack of nib options doesn’t bother me because I pick up a different pen if I want something finer/broader, but I understand the concern.

      • Awesome! I may stick with the medium, but such a technical looking pen feels like it demands an EF nib. On the other hand, imagine a brass/aluminum Ink with a two-tone 1.1mm stub. Mmm….

  2. Brad Dowdy has been experimenting with nib swaps and found that an Edison nib didn’t fit. Sort of looking like you’ll have to swap with another Schmidt. (Subject to change, of course!)

    • I caved and upped my backing level to one FP and one RB. Planning to go aluminum/orange and aluminum/blue so that I can mix it up to make Syracuse colored pens!

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