Reaktor Series by Karas Pen Co Giveaway - Winners!

We had a pretty solid turnout with the recent Reaktor series giveaway! I was really excited to do this one as I got to pick a bunch of winners. And, it was great to hear all of the different products people are using!

Special thanks again to Karas Pen Co for sending the pens over for review and also so I had some cool stuff to pass along to readers. Also, the Reaktor pens are now live at the Karas site, so definitely take a look.


Thanks to everyone that entered and I wish I had a prize for everyone (more giveaway soon of course...) but the random number generator has chosen the winners as follows:

Starliner XL in Tumbled Finish with XF Nib goes to Chris!

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Starliner in All Black Finish with Fine Nib goes to Kenneth!

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Galaxie XL in Clear Finish with Red Grip and Pilot G2 goes to James!

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Galaxie in Clear Finish with Blue Grip and Schmidt Megaline goes to Ryan!

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The winners will need to provide me with their details within one week via the Contact page to claim their prizes!


Pilot Kakuno Demonstrator Fountain Pen - Medium Nib

The Pilot Kakuno is an interesting pen. Rather, the fact that it exists is interesting to me. The reason is that Pilot has somewhat already cornered the true "entry-level" fountain pen market with their popular Metropolitan line, so why expand into the Kakuno lineup? I don't have a clear answer, but something I've been thinking about while heading into this review.

The Kakuno is Pilot's cheapest refillable fountain pen that I know of and, let's be honest, is way more fun than the Metropolitan. Where the Metro seems more business like (although with some vibrant colors too), the Kakuno is made from plastic, has a more interesting/odd shape, and has a smiley face on the nib for goodness' sake. WAY more fun.

Pen Chalet was kind enough to send me one of the more recent "clear" or demonstrator models to try out so special thanks to them as I've been meaning to take a look at one for awhile.

Coming in at around $13, the Kakuno is definitely created with beginners and kids in mind. Being a Pilot made product that instills a bit of confidence in me that the product won't be cheaply made despite the low price point.

From a packaging standpoint the pen comes in a nicely branded blister pack (should've saved it for the review...) and comes paired with a Pilot black cartridge. The clear version of the pen can be bought in a variety of nib sizes (EF, F, and M) and I opted for the medium.

The barrel of the pen is hexagonal, but with very rounded corners which makes it comfortable to hold, and being all plastic makes it feel extremely light. The grip section transitions from the hex to a more traditional triangle grip, but again with very round edges.

From a color standpoint the Kakuno is usually made from opaque plastics that ate a tan/grey color with brightly colored caps. The addition of the clear, "demo" model is a nice choice and appeals more to me aesthetically than the others.

The overall design of the pen is interesting (part of the fun?) and there are a few features that I'm sure are intentional, but somewhat puzzling. For example, both the end of the barrel and the cap have holes in them (this means using as an eyedropper is out). I can't imagine that the inside of a cap or barrel need to "breathe", but maybe they are there as safety features for young kids that might swallow a pen component?...

Another is a small little nub that comes off the cap (more like a short little fin) that I assume is there as a bit of a roll stop. Although, the pen is hex shaped meaning it has actual flat sides which might make the roll stop obsolete? Maybe on certain school desks there is a greater slope which may allow it to serve more of a function. But, still a mystery to me.

The nib on the Kakuno is steel and is fairly stiff with some slight give while writing. I'd consider the writing to be more on the smooth side, almost a bit glassy at points, but with certain strokes there is definitely some grab and feedback. The flow has been great and I've yet to have any slow starts or thin spots. 

Again, coming from Pilot, not the hugest of surprises that the nib performs well.

The cap does post quite comfortably, but makes the pen a bit long. The lack of weight makes this an almost non-issue though as the whole pen is about 0.5 oz.

So, is the Kakuno the right entry-level choice for you? Well, there are only a few on the market that I feel are in this range to choose from like the Pilot Metropolitan, Kaweco Perkeo, and Monteverde Monza, but I feel it is a solid contender. Performance wise I don't think there is much comparison, but in the looks department it really just depends on what you're looking for. 

Thanks again to Pen Chalet for sending it over. 

Reaktor Series by Karas Pen Co - Giveaway!

I wasn't kidding around in my previous review of the upcoming Reaktor series by Karas Pen Co when I said I would be doing a giveaway...

Instead of just one pen I'm going to be giving away FOUR, one from each model and size, to four winners. Pretty sweet right?

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The models I've chosen to giveaway are as follows:

Starliner XL - Tumbled finish with extra fine nib
Starliner - All Black with fine nib

Galaxie XL - Clear anodize and red with Pilot G2 0.5mm
Galaxie - Clear anodize and blue with Schmidt Megaline

CONTEST RULES (the "fine print"):

- Contest will run through Thursday, July 26th and will end at 11:59pm Arizona Time, USA

- To enter, leave a comment below about one of the pens (or pencils) you've been using this week and why you like or don't like it. (limited to one entry per person; no cheating!)

- I will arrange the entries in numerical order and randomly select a winners. The winners will be announced on the blog on Friday, July 27th and will need to connect with me within a week to claim their prize.

- Open to both US and International readers!