In our little community the Karas Kustoms brand has definitely become a household name. Concurrently, the online group buying platform Massdrop has also become a bit of a hub for our community to get their hands on pens we enjoy for great prices. So, when these two companies combine to put out a special pen it is a pretty exciting deal.
Living literally a drive down the road to the Karas Kustoms shop allows me to stop in almost weekly to visit and see what they guys have been working on. There was talk of a smaller, shorter pen for quite some time, but it wasn't until recently that they put together the EDK.
The EDK is the smallest pen in the Karas lineup to date coming in at just around 5" from tip to tail. This makes it pretty easy to toss in your pocket, or to clip to your jeans or bag with their very industrial and strong clip. Overall, the EDK seems to take a lot of design elements from some of Karas' existing pens the click section of The Retrakt and the grip of The Bolt, but put into a more compact size.
Playing a bit on the "EDC" (Every Day Carry) trend and phenomenon, the EDK is meant to be a portable pen that is functional and durable. It seems to fare well on both accounts.
The refill the EDK was designed around is the Schmidt Cap-less P8126 rollerball which is a great writer. This is the same refill shared with pens like the Retro 51 Tornado and is also found in the Karas Kustoms Ink, a full-sized rollerball pen.
Now, from a true EDC type of scenario, the P8126 may not be the most ideal if I'm completely honest. As a rollerball it contains liquid ink that is super smooth in most writing situations, but if you're using this out in the woods, on a job site, or in a more "extreme" type of environment, it may not be the best. If you're spending most days in pretty conservative environments, it is a refill that is excellent.
Luckily, the P8126 is nearly identical in size to most Parker style refills (and are generally interchangeable in many pens), so I was able to fit both the Schmidt EasyFlow 9000M as well as the Fisher Space Pen (with Parker spacer) and both worked well. I thought with the Fisher specifically that I would get some rattle in the tip, but haven't found that to be the case.
I did find that the Fisher did bind up a bit with clicks occasionally, but not enough to where I'd be overly annoyed by it. When changing in these other refills, the clearance of the tip was still good and there wasn't any poking out which would stain your pocket or ink up your bag.
A noticeable design feature of the EDK that is different from the rest of the Karas line is an inclusion of six rings machined out of the grip section of the pen. They aren't deep, but are just deep enough to add some texture for added control while writing. I haven't written with the pen while in a rainstorm or anything like that, but I'm sure it would come in handy.
The EDK is going to be available in a mix of materials like tumbled aluminum, copper, brass, or a black anodized aluminum. The folks at Massdrop were kind enough to send me a full brass version of the pen and I was also able to get my hands on the black anodized aluminum for the review.
Actually, if you are considering buying the EDK when they release on the 26th, you'll want to go vote for which version:
The aluminum version comes in at just shy of 1 oz which is an excellent weight for a metal pen. The brass, a bit heftier, at 2.1 oz with refill. I love the added heft of the brass, but personally, the aluminum is more my preferred weight.
Although, with the parts being interchangeable, I can put the heavier brass grip on the lighter aluminum body and I then have a pen that is now around the 1.5 oz range instead which makes a big difference. This combo is actually really comfortable as it presses the pen a bit more to the page on its own, but isn't overly heavy.
Definitely keep an eye on the EDK this coming week and make sure to go vote if interested!
Thanks to Massdrop and Karas Kustoms for sending these over for review.