Karas Kustoms Decograph Fountain Pen Review

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(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter.)

Karas Kustoms, renowned machinist of metal pens that can withstand nearly apocalyptic conditions, has decided to explore their softer side with a line of thermoplastic and acrylic pens called the Decograph. The design fuses the ultramodern aesthetic of Karas with the sleek Art Deco look of vintage pens. It's a perfect blend, a very attractive pen, and the super light thermoplastic makes it a tool I can write with for hours.

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Right now, the pen comes in two standard colors: black and almost-black-but-actually-wait-it's-green. The green pen is shown here. In low light and at first glance, it appears to be shiny black, but once the light hits it, it's a dazzling beetle green. The effect is downright magical. If Voldemort had need of a pen, he couldn't choose better than this one. There are also regular special editions of this model, so keep your eyes peeled for a color that speaks to you.

The pen arrives in a swanky aluminum tube. It feels like a time capsule from outer space. There is no doubt, from the first moment, that there's something special inside. The pen is cushioned securely in the tube with a foam insert, and the whole setup makes for an attractive pen stand.

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The pen is equipped with a standard #6 Bock nib and a Schmidt K5 piston converter. Gold, black, and Titanium nibs are available at additional cost. The nib performed well--standard and as expected for a Bock nib, though with a little more feedback than I personally prefer. It writes with a good flow and starts right up even after sitting for a day. The nib unit screws out and can be switched and swapped as you fancy.

The pen body is beautifully designed, with an elegant taper and well-fitted machined aluminum finials. The top finial is slightly pointed at the center and the bottom shows the Karas logo--all very understated and elegant. The clip is a machined aluminum piece with classic Art Deco chiseled shaping, secured with a piece of spring steel under the top finial. It feels sturdy but flexes enough to perform well.

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The cap screws on with all plastic threads that are tucked high enough inside the cap that they should prevent the thin lip of plastic at the cap edge from cracking. The threads are smooth and secure and don't interfere with the pen's grip. The grip section is hourglass shaped and tapers quite narrowly. It fits perfectly in my hand, which means some may find it to be too narrow.

It's one of the more comfortable pens I've held. The shaped grip, light weight and balance, and the way the plastic warms in my hand all make for a really pleasant writing experience. It's a pen that makes me want to pick it up and write for hours.

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At a start price of $165, it's considerably more expensive than Karas's other models, but is priced in line with similar pens from other companies and seems more than fair. I'll be watching the limited edition releases and hoping for more color choices from this line in the future.

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


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Posted on December 28, 2017 and filed under Karas Kustoms, Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews.