Posts filed under Kickstarter

The CUBE By Karas Kustoms

Dan Bishop sent me a pre-relase version of The CUBE, the latest Kickstarter collaboration from Karas Kustoms and Mike Dudek, and I am taken aback by how much I like it. I had already backed the project before receiving this from Dan, and while I didn't need to have the product in hand to be happy about backing it, I am ecstatic that I have a second one heading my way.

This is a pen holder I don't want just sitting around the desk. It is so well done and feels so incredible that I want to hold it, play around with it, take it with me in my backpack, all just so I can be around it. I may even ask it to marry me, which I'm sure my wife would not approve of.

I made the point with Dan on this week's podcast that this is not a six-walled hollow center pen holder. This is a solid block of aluminum with 9 holes drilled and filled with Delrin sleeves to keep your pens protected. The CUBE weighs in at 1 lb., 14 oz. An almost two pound block of goodness to sit on your desk and look beautiful.

The Kickstarter project has already met its goal, so you have 20 days to get in on the action and take a CUBE of your own home. And maybe marry it.

My thanks to Dan, Mike, and Karas Kustoms for sending me this CUBE for review.

Posted on November 20, 2014 and filed under Kickstarter, Karas Kustoms.

Airfoil Click Pen Review

The Airfoil Click Pen is not Grant Takara's first Kickstarter rodeo. He has lived the ups and downs of funding with his previous project, the original Airfoil, and is back with a pen design that has already proven to be a winner.

This model differs from its predecessor in two major ways. The first is obvious: This is a click pen instead of a twist pen. It uses the popular Schmidt mechanism that many Kickstarter projects before it have used. It is a solid, simple, attractive, and an excellent choice for any machined pen.

The second major change, and the most important, is the reshaping of the barrel. The original Airfoil had a fin-based barrel, which, while extremely beautiful, was not functional for longer writing sessions. Early reviewers of the original model (I was not one of them) repeatedly made note of how uncomfortable it became and Grant took that feedback to heart when designing the Airfoil Click.

To steal directly from the product page, the barrel has been streamlined. The fins are gone, replaced by a smooth barrel with cutouts on each side that fulfills Grants vision of aircraft geometry as part of the pen, and also serves to reduce the overall weight. My first reaction when I saw this pen was to think of the Uni-ball Jetstream barrel cutout and now I wonder with if that is an aviation based pen too. It is named Jetstream after all.

I'm really impressed with the prototype Grant sent me. If I was forced to pick nits I would like to see the barrel seam connect more flush between the two halves, and the edges on the grip ridges could be softened just a bit, but overall this is a solid product.

The Airfoil Click is available in aluminum (natural or anodized in several striking colors) and titanium. There is even the ability to pick the finish on your clip bolts and push mechanism, which I don't think I have seen anyone offer before.

Thanks again to Grant Takara for sending me this prototype for review and be sure to check out the Airfoil Click Kickstarter project.

Posted on September 25, 2014 and filed under Kickstarter, Pen Reviews, Airfoil.

ATELEIA Craft + Design Brass Pen Review And Giveaway

I first noticed Chris Williams’ work when Mike Dudek got his hands on a very early prototype of what has become the ATELEIA Craft + Design Brass Pen and Leather Journal Kickstarter project. Chris reached out to me a few months back and sent a couple of prototypes my way to check out and I’m excited to see his project finally launch because this is a great pen.

The ATELEIA Brass Pen is an excercise in minimal design and quality craftmanship. The brass cylindrical barrel is a sight to behold. The clean lines are striking and the weight and feel of the pen are spot on. I use a Pilot Hi-Tec-C 0.25 mm blue black refill in mine, with other refill options possible such as the Pilot G2, Fisher Space Pen, and Schmidt 5888. More refill options are part of a stretch goal to add a new threaded insert which will fit the Uni-ball Signo lineup and more.

The shape of the pen makes it perfect for pocket carry, sliding in and out of your tightest hipster jeans with ease. Seeing the age and wear on mine after repeated use gives it a real sense of ownership and beauty too. This pen is an experience.

The only downside I can find with this pen is you will need a wrench or pliers to change the refill. And be careful too because the brass is soft and you don’t want to leave teeth marks. I recommend using a soft cloth between the pleirs and the nib. Luckily, this isn’t a dance you need to do very often.

Chris was nice enough to send me an extra pen and leather sleeve to give away to a reader of The Pen Addict. Here is how to get your own ATELEIA Brass Pen prototype before the Kickstarter wraps.

  1. Leave one comment on this post anytime between now, and Monday night at 11:59 PM Eastern Time. You are limited to one entry. This contest is open to US and International readers.

  2. For this contest, I will pick one winner at random from the comments section of this post. The comments will be numbered in the order they are received, i.e. the first comment is #1, the second #2, and so on. The Random Integer Generator at random.org will be used to pick the number of the winner.

  3. The contest winner will be posted on Tuesday, September 23rd. The winner will have one week to email me via the Contact link at the top of the page.

Thank you to Chris for doing this and be sure to check his project out. Only 27 shopping days left!

Posted on September 19, 2014 and filed under Giveaways, Kickstarter, Pen Reviews, ATELEIA.

Tactile Turn Mover and Shaker New Materials

I am a big fan of what Will Hodges did with the original Tactile Turn Mover in aluminum, and now with his latest Kickstarter he upped his materials game by adding brass, copper, and titanium into the mix.

In talking to Will about what changes he made (besides materials) from the previous project one interesting item came up. A new machine is in place to manufacture the brass and copper parts, giving those pen bodies a smooth to the touch finish. I can easily tell the difference between these and my aluminum Movers. It's not something I would have ever known, noticed, or cared about before because the original pens are so nice, but now that I have all these pens side by side I can say how good this change really is.

An ancillary result of the machine upgrade is the seam in the barrel is almost invisible. It already was barely noticeable in the first place but these are really hidden. In the prototypes I got you can see the seam in the titanium model but Will assures me that is not how the final version will appear. The brass and copper look flawless, even in this early stage of manufacturing.

The new materials Kickstarter project has already eclipsed the original aluminum barrel project, and having these pens in hand I can certainly see why. There are five days left to get in on the action - don't miss out!

Posted on August 15, 2014 and filed under Kickstarter, Tactile Turn.