I, of course, am fanatical about the product offerings from my friends over at Karas Kustoms. High quality, machined goods by a small business right in my backyard (literally). I have the pleasure to visit the fellas at the shop on a regular basis due to living close which is always fun.
One unique thing that I'm sure from time to time has given the guys a bit of flak is the fact that they ship their pens without a refill. WHAT!?!?! The ideology around this is that their pens can take a variety of refills and everyone has their preferences so, instead of sending refills that people might throw away (which would be wasteful, right?) they leave the pens to fill with your favorites.
Although it may seem odd to some, Karas is not completely alone in this. A recent pen I received from JetPens, the Sharbo X by Zebra, has the same mentality that a pen that takes multiple refills should be a custom experience for the owner.
Well, what many people may not know is that Karas does make some of the customization process a bit easier by carrying a few options to choose from at checkout. These options consist of Schmidt brand refills in a variety of types (of which I'm a fan) at reasonable prices for a quality writing experience.
The purpose of this post is to go through the arsenal of options and which pens you could use for each. As it is outlining refills specifically, the photos will be a bit more "clinical" than normal as to outline the writing samples more than the pens. Each refill will be reviewed briefly, primarily to provide awareness of the options available.
In a nutshell, the EasyFlow is not your average ballpoint, but is a ballpoint/rollerball hybrid which makes the ink slightly more wet (but still sticky like a ballpoint) which creates a darker line and a smoother writing experience. Anytime I have a Parker style pen refill needed, this is what I go for.
Only downside to the EasyFlow 9000 M is that the line is pretty broad. For ballpoint pens, a really crisp, fine line is a tough nut to crack when trying to jam a refill into a specialized pen. If you are open to a slightly wider line width, give these ones a shot.
The EasyFlow 9000 M is compatible with the standard Render K, The Bolt, and The Retrakt with it's included Delrin spacer and tighter spring.
The Fineliner is one that many people may not have heard of. It is a longer refill in size which is around the dimensions of the Pilot G2 refill for reference.
What makes the Fineliner refill unique is that it is a porous point or "felt" tip style which warrants a more expressive line on the page. If you are a fan of the Sharpie Pen, Sakura Pigma Micron, or PaperMate Flair, this may be a good option for you to try.
In my experience, the Fineliner refills put down a good amount of ink and may bleed a bit on thinner paper, but the writing experience is great. Who knew you could squeeze a porous point in a Karas Kustoms pen?... Liberating, right?
The Fineliner refill is compatible with the G2 Render K, G2 Bolt (which has an extended front barrel), and the Retrakt.
If you are a fan of the Retro 51 Tornado rollerball, then you know exactly which refill this is...
From a true, liquid ink roller I would put the Cap-less roller on the top of my list. Super dark lines, great flow, minimal skipping (if any), and super smooth. With as great as this refill is, there is a super limited supply of pen models that actually take it.
Not compatible with any available Karas Kustoms pens at the moment, but the newest offering on it's way to full production is The Ink, a full sized fountain pen and rollerball. The guys are well on their way in production fulfilling on the Kickstarter pledges of The Ink, but I'd anticipate they'll be available for purchase in the coming months or sooner. Stay tuned to what Karas Kustoms is up to on their site, social media, or newsletter to find out when Ink is up for purchase. Or, you could be put on the waiting list...
More along the lines of your traditional rollerball refill, the 5888 Ceramic is the same size as the Fineliner (again, like Pilot G2) and provides the liquid ink, dark lines you will come to expect from a rollerball.
The line width of the Ceramic is pretty narrow when comparing to other rollerball pens. I'm not sure if I would consider the Ceramic to be anything overly special per se, but for a standard rollerball option it is quite good.
The 5888 is compatible with the G2 Render K, G2 Bolt, and Retrakt.
If you currently own or are in the market for a new Karas Kustoms pen, make sure to check out the inventory of refill options that the guys have to offer so you can be writing the minute it shows up on your doorstep. Also, don't forget to use the promo code CLICKYPOST to save 10% off your purchase!