Posts filed under Pen Reviews

Ohto Flash Dry Gel Pen Refill Review

Ohto Flash Dry Gel Pen Refill Review

This is one you are going to want to try.

I have a lot of pens, and, shockingly enough, I have a lot of refills. But I don’t always want to use the refill that came with the pen, or sometimes, the pen that came with the refill. The Ohto Flash Dry Gel Pen Refill solves the first problem in a big way for one of my favorite pens.

Ohto Flash Dry Gel Pen Refill P8127

Like many Pen Addicts, I have a fondness for the Retro 51 Tornado. It’s a great feeling pen that comes in fun styles. I find the stock refill for the Tornado - otherwise known as the Schmidt P8127 - to be quite nice. It provides a bold, black, 0.7 mm rollerball ink line. It works on many paper types, but you will hit one eventually where it doesn’t. Water-based inks - like rollerball ink - will feather and bleed on certain papers. Plus, the P8127 is wider than many writers like.

Ohto Flash Dry Gel Pen Refill Needle Tip

I’ve turned to the slightly smaller P8126 refill (0.6 mm) for most of my Retro 51 needs, and I enjoy it. But, I do prefer a nice, fine, gel ink line the majority of the time. That’s where the Ohto Flash Dry fits into my writing arsenal perfectly.

This is a Parker-style refill - a common type that many pen brands - Parker or not - use in their product lineups. To confuse matters, it is known as the G2 size refill on the international market. What makes this one special is that it offers something almost no other Parker-style refill does: It uses gel ink, with an 0.5 mm tip size. :Head explode: emoji.

Ohto Flash Dry Gel Pen Refill Writing

Ok, maybe head explode is a little too much, but I understand why it is not commonplace in the grand scheme of things. What it is now though, is commonplace in several of my Parker refill compatible pens, because it is great for me.

This is a shockingly smooth refill, almost too smooth if I had to pick one tiny nit. That means it has more of a rounded tip as opposed to the sharper tip I prefer when I use fine gel ink pens. Regardless, it is an outstanding writer.

Ohto Flash Dry Gel Pen Refill Retro 51

Most importantly with the Ohto Flash Dry is that it fits into the Retro 51 Tornado Rollerball with no modifications. Just unscrew the tip of the pen, change out the refill, and screw it back in. It fits like a glove, even in the tip opening where it is flush, with no rattle.

I was recommended this refill by many readers, and I’m glad I finally bit the bullet. I also now have a fantastic refill I can personally recommend to those looking for a fine gel ink line from their Retro 51 pens.

Now, if we can just get Ohto to expand the color lineup. That’s not asking for too much, is it?

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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Ohto Flash Dry Gel Pen Refill Writing Review
Posted on October 14, 2019 and filed under Ohto, Pen Reviews.

Karas Kustoms Vertex (Acrylic): A Review

Karas Kustoms Vertex Fountain Pen Review

(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)

The Karas Kustoms Vertex in acrylic is the second release in the company’s Signature Line. The pen comes in either black or dark green acrylic, and you can choose from nine colors for the grip section.

The pen comes in a rectangular machined box with a black, slip-in lid. The box itself is a work of art.

Karas Kustoms Vertex Fountain Pen Machined Box
Karas Kustoms Vertex Fountain Pen Box

Although my pen didn’t come with a soft pipette or a cartridge, apparently these accessories are normally included with purchase.

The pen has a sleek, streamlined look, with a slip on cap, no clip, and a tapered barrel. It’s a small to medium-sized pen, measuring 5.24 inches/133mm capped, 5.11 inches/130mm uncapped, and 5.9 inches/150mm posted.

Karas Kustoms Vertex Fountain Pen Capped

The cap posts deeply and securely on the barrel. Because the cap doesn’t have a clip and rolls easily, either post it or set it down vertically. The pen is light, weighing 18.73 grams posted and 12.5 grams unposted (filled with ink).

Karas Kustoms Vertex Fountain Pen Posted

Although the cap top looks flat from side, it is actually concave, and this adds a little touch of flair to the design.

Karas Kustoms Vertex Fountain Pen Concave Cap

You have a huge selection when it comes to the grip color. It comes in nine colors: transparent amber, transparent blue, transparent orange, transparent red, transparent smoke, sea glass, Coke bottle, green apple, and UV clear “Italian Ice.” I fitted my pen with the Italian Ice grip. The grip is a nice size, measuring 10.74mm, and it screws onto the barrel seamlessly--no threads, no huge drop from barrel to grip. Another cool thing about the grip is that it acts as an ink window when the pen is capped.

Karas Kustoms Vertex Fountain Pen Grip
Karas Kustoms Vertex Fountain Pen Ink Window

The Vertex is intended to be used as an eyedropper, though you can use a standard international converter if you wish. Three o-rings are in the pen: in the barrel, in the grip, and in the cap, which means you don’t have to use silicone grease to prevent ink leakage. It’s a little hard to see the ink in the black barrel when you’re filling it, so go slowly.

Karas Kustoms Vertex Fountain Pen o-ring

The pen comes standard with a #6 size steel Bock nib. My nib is a medium, and it writes smoothly. The nib sports an etched design with the Karas Kustoms logo and the nib size engraved.

Karas Kustoms Vertex Fountain Pen Nib
Karas Kustoms Vertex Fountain Pen Nib Tip

I’ve experienced no burping, hard starts, or dryness when writing with the Vertex. The pen feels wonderful in the hand because of its seamless construction.

Karas Kustoms Vertex Fountain Pen Writing
Karas Kustoms Vertex Fountain Pen Writing up close

The only negative about the design is the slip cap combined with the eyedropper system. You have to be careful when you pop the cap off to avoid spurts of ink on your hands or clothes. So far, I’ve managed to remember to hold the pen with the nib pointed up, but I suspect one of these days I’ll forget and have a mess. The pen comes with a warning about this issue, but I wonder if a screw cap would have been a wiser decision.

Karas Kustoms Vertex Fountain Pen Warning

The Vertex in acrylic is available from Karas Kustoms at the base price of $130. Steel nibs come in sizes EF, F, M, B, Stub 1.1, and Stub 1.5. You can upgrade to a two-tone steel nib (F, M, or B) for $3.00, a titanium nib (EF, F, M, or B) for $35, and a gold nib (B) for $80. You can also purchase the Vertex in Delrin models (black and white) for the same base price of $130.

(Karas Kustoms provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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Vertex
Posted on October 11, 2019 and filed under Karas Kustoms, Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews.

BIGiDESIGN Ti Click EDC Titanium Pen Review

BIGiDESIGN Ti Click EDC Titanium Pen Review

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

With the recent explosion of custom machined pens in the last few years, the pen community has had such a rich pool of pen bodies to choose from to fit their favorite refills. This is convenient because one pen design can usually fit a couple of more different refills as long as they are similarly sized. Some really popular refill defaults are the Pilot G2 and Parker designs. The ability to buy a pen that can fit any G2 refill has been amazing, and the same goes for pens that are a little shorter to fit the Parker style. But what if you could have one pen that does both, plus more?

BIGiDESIGN Ti Click EDC Titanium Pen

The Ti Click EDC Titanium Pen from BIGiDESIGN promises just that, and it delivers with elegance. This isn't the first time they've produced a pen that fits dozens of different refills (See the Ti Arto EDC). They've been at it for a while, iterating on their design every step of the way. The Ti Click is the most elegant and well-designed implementation of that idea that I've seen yet, and it's been a joy to use with my favorite refills. With the Ti Click, they claim it is compatible with 100+ refills, "with no hacks, mods, or fuss." In my experience, this isn't just shiny marketing.

If you've never played with a BIGiDESIGN pen before, you're probably really curious how they manage to work with so many different refills. With all the different lengths and diameters of the refills out there, that has to be difficult, right? Yep. In previous models, the installation of a refill could be a little fussy, but that's not the case with the Ti Click. Simply unscrew the grip section from the body, insert a compatible refill, and screw the grip section back onto the pen. Now, there's a little more to it than that, so let's take a closer look.

BIGiDESIGN Ti Click EDC Titanium Pen Clip

The threads on the grip section aren't normal threads you've seen on most pens. They're larger and have a higher angle of attack, which makes it easy to adjust the refill to the proper length so that it extends and retracts properly once installed. On the body, there are two small O-rings that provide enough friction on the grip section to keep it from loosening or tightening as you use and transport the pen. It doesn't take a lot of effort to unscrew/screw the grip section from the body, but there's enough friction there to keep it secure unless you want to swap out the refill. I've never had any problem with the pen losing its "calibration" over time.

The other thing you have to do after inserting the refill into the grip section is to ensure the pen is clicked to the extended position. Then, just screw the grip section onto the body, effectively shortening the length of the pen, and stop once the refill tip pokes out enough for comfortable writing. Just make sure it also has enough space to fully retract! It really is a simple process to swap out refills in this pen.

BIGiDESIGN Ti Click EDC Titanium Pen Refill

Once the refill is installed, the pen works just like you'd expect. Click it to extend the refill, and click again to retract. The click mechanism is incredibly smooth and quiet. It's fun to use as a fidget toy on its own.

Aside from the unique system that allows the dozens and dozens of refills to work smoothly with this pen, there's also a well-designed clip. Also made of titanium, it's broad and strong and has not problem hanging on to whatever you clip it to. There's a small Ti logo on the top of the clip, but you really have to look for it. I love the design of the clip, and I've had no problems with it being too weak or getting bent out of shape.

BIGiDESIGN Ti Click EDC Titanium Pen Refills

But, if you do happen to bend the clip and want to fix it, BIGiDESIGN include a keychain tool that allows you to unscrew the top finial so that you can remove the clip and straighten it out. You could also remove the clip entirely if that's your aesthetic, but there will be a small opening under the finial where the clip is meant to rest. The special keychain tool is really a round wrench with a proprietary set of prongs to match the tiny sockets on the finial. It's a nice touch, but one that I don't think I'll ever have to use given the strength of the clip!

Custom designed and machined pens definitely look cool, but looks can be deceiving when it comes to actually writing with these instruments. With the Ti Click, comfort is about as high as it can get when comparing with other metal pens. The light weight makes it comfortable to use and handle for long periods of writing, and the textured grip feels great in the hand. Depending on the length of the refill, the body length will vary, which means the overall balance of the pen will shift slightly. In my experience, it doesn't shift enough to change the writing feel. No matter what kind of refill you put in this pen, it still feels like the same pen when you're writing and holding it. That's important to me, and I feel like BIGiDESIGN did a fantastic job on this.

BIGiDESIGN Ti Click EDC Titanium Pen Clip tool

Aside from the mechanic comfort and feel of the pen, it's only as good as the refill you choose to put inside! My current favorite is a 0.7mm Pentel Energel in Turquoise Blue.

When it comes down to color options, you have three with the Ti Click. The color featured in this review is the raw titanium, but you can also get Stonewashed and Black. I really love the look and feel of plain titanium, but the other two options look really attractive as well. You really can't go wrong with any of the colors, so good luck picking one.

The Ti Click comes at $100 even, which seems like a fair price considering the design and engineering that went into this pen along with the premium materials and finish. It's slightly high compared to other metal machined pens, but those pens can't fit hundreds of different refills. It's a great value that matches a fantastic body and pen mechanism with your favorite refills. There's no better way to dress up a boring plastic pen than by slipping a new metal body around the refill to improve the aesthetic and writing feel.

BIGiDESIGN Ti Click EDC Titanium Pen Comparison

I can't recommend the Ti Click enough. If you have several different refills that you'd like to improve with a custom machined pen body, this is an easy answer that can easily switch between all the most common refill sizes. And, the added convenience of a click style makes this pen even more attractive. Throw all the practical points into a streamlined and attractive little package, and you have a real winner that delivers a lot of value at $100. The hardest part is going to be picking a color!

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, for which I am very grateful.

Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

BIGiDESIGN Ti Click EDC Titanium Pen Writing
Posted on October 9, 2019 and filed under BIGiDESIGN, Pen Reviews.