Karas Kustoms Render K Pilot G2 Pen Review

Karas Kustoms Render K G2 Pen

In the last few years a lot of interesting pens have come to the market via Kickstarter and one of the most appealing pens launched is the Render K by Karas Kustoms.  I am a bit late to the game on this one but nonetheless it remains a simple and beautiful pen that is worthy of your attention.

The Render K is an American-made pen crafted out of solid aluminum.  The original (Kickstarter launched) Render K utilizes Parker-style refills that provides customers with an enormous range of refill options.  The Render K G2 is designed to take the ultra popular Pilot G2 refill.  Without modification I have been able to use Montblanc rollerball and fineliner refills in the the Render K G2.

Karas Kustoms Render K G2 Pen

The pen is sold without a refill because the manufacturer want’s you to choose the refill that suits you best.  The pen comes with a piece of plastic tubing that is designed to be cut to accommodate other refills that maybe a bit too short for the Render K G2 unmodified.

The Render K’s metal body and knurling on the top of the cap reminds me of the Retro 51 Tornado Lincoln Copper fountain pen I reviewed earlier this year.  The Render K’s minimalistic design is very attractive; there is no ugly branding or unnecessary fluff to clutter the design…it’s pure function.

Karas Kustoms Render K G2 Pen

Capped the pen measures just over 5″ long and weighs 34.4 grams with a Pilot G2 refill installed.

Karas Kustoms Render K G2 Pen

On many pens I find the clip to be a weak point; I have bent dozens of them by clipping them to my pants pocket or notebook.  The stiff stainless steel clip on the Render K is ultra strong and because it is secured by two exposed screws it can be easily replaced if you happen to damage it.

Karas Kustoms Render K G2 Pen

I have been using the Render K for a couple of days now and it’s a strangely satisfying pen. Screwing the cap onto the body reminds me of screwing a nut on to a bolt; the feel is very similar and I love it.

Karas Kustoms Render K G2 Pen

I am also quite fond of how tight the cap fits on to the body when fully screwed on…it’s lovely.

Karas Kustoms Render K G2 Pen

The standard aluminum Render K G2 sells for $45 and comes in various colors.  The Render K G2 is also made in solid brass for $65 and solid copper for $95.  Overall I am impressed by this pen, it’s enjoyable to use and built to last.  It’s not cheap but for a high quality piece of American craftsmanship, it’s not hard to justify the price.

Karas Kustoms Render K G2 Pen

Please note: this pen was provided to me at no charge by Karas Kustoms for purposes of review. 

Here are some great reviews of the Render K (original and G2):

(I have no affiliation with the sites linked below)

Clicky Post – Karas Kustoms G2 Render K – Pen Review

The Well-Appointed Desk – Render K, I think I love you.

Gourmet Pens – Review: Render K Aluminum Custom Machined Pen

Advertisements

Sailor Shu-Katsu Multi-pen Review

Sailor Shu-Katsu

The Sailor Shu-Katsu is an unusual multi-pen that I purchased on my recent trip to Japan.  Most multi-pens that I have come across offer multiple colors and/or a mechanic pencil.  The Shu-Katsu has three black ballpoints in 0.5mm, 0.7mm and 1.0mm widths as well as a 0.7mm red ballpoint.

Sailor Shu-Katsu

When you unscrew the barrel you will notice that there are five, not four ballpoints.  There is an extra 0.7mm black ballpoint refill for when one of the other three black ballpoints runs low.

Sailor Shu-Katsu

The 0.5mm ballpoint is marked with one dot and a white button, the 0.7mm is marked with two dots and a grey button, and the 1.0mm is marked with 3 dots and a black button.

Sailor Shu-Katsu

Sailor Shu-Katsu

Sailor Shu-Katsu

There is a three ballpoint (four with the auxiliary) version that is all black (no red).  The Shu-Katsu comes in four different body colors: black, blue, light pink and light blue.  It’s a pretty unexciting looking pen if I am honest.  It’s very plain.  Sailor refers to the clip as an “axis” clip.  It is a quite large spring operated clip that you push the top of to open.  The clip feels strong and the pen overall feels very solid.

The Shu-Katsu measures 5.5″ long and just over half an inch wide.  It weighs approximately 16 grams It’s a fat pen, not something I would want to write for a long time with.

Sailor Shu-Katsu

The ink is smooth and the lines are pretty crisp for a ballpoint but I found the 0.7mm and 1.0mm to be a bit blobby on paper.

 

The Shu-Katsu costs 400 Yen which is just under $4 USD and at that price I think it is a pretty good value.  You get 5 smooth ballpoints for a little bit more than a Bic 4-Color.  The real question though, is do you need or want 3 different black ballpoints?  I don’t.  I would rather have 4 colors to chose from than 2.

Uni Jetstream 3 Multi Pen 0.7mm Review

Uni Jetstream 3

The Uni Jetstream 3 is a refillable three color (black, blue and red) ballpoint multi pen.  The Jetstream 3, like all pens in Uni’s Jetstream line, writes very smoothly.  The ink is fast drying and the pen always starts without a hitch.  Being a ballpoint, the pen lays down lines that are not particularly clean and there is more resistance on the paper than you get from the equivalent roller ball or gel pen.

Uni Jetstream 3

The translucent black body and rubber grip give the Jetstream 3 a simple and clean look.

Uni Jetstream 3

Overall, the Jetstream 3 is a good ballpoint pen and I have found myself using it more than I thought I would.

Please note: this product was provided to me at no charge by JetPens for review purposes.

Lamy Dialog 1 Ballpoint Pen Review

Lamy Dialog 1

Lamy’s Dialog line features high end pens designed by prominent industrial designers.  The Dialog 1 was designed by Richard Sapper, most famous for the Tizio Lamp by Artemide and the original IBM Thinkpad.  The Dialog 1 features a metal triangular shaped body with a matte titanium finish.  The pen weighs about 24 grams, which is pretty lightweight for a metal pen.  The triangular shape of the body is comfortable to use.  The bottom side of the pen is lightly rounded and has two little plastic feet to steady the pen on a flat surface. The Dialog 1 uses a push click mechanism and has a spring-loaded metal clip.  Underneath the clip is the Lamy logo etched into the body.

Lamy Dialog 1

Lamy Dialog 1

Lamy Dialog 1

The Dialog 1 only takes propriety Lamy M16 refills that come in black, blue, red with a fine, medium, or broad tip.  They write well for a standard ballpoint and last a very long time.  The ink is archival and states “for documents ISO 12757-2 HM DOC” on the body of the refill.  The sample above is written with a red fine tip M16 refill.  To change a refill you have to use the non-writing end of an M16 refill to poke the small dot on the black plastic portion near the tip of the pen; this releases the front section of the pen so that you may load the new refill.  It is an interesting way to change a refill but necessary to keep the lines of the pen ultra clean.  Also worth noting is that the matte titanium finish does attract fingerprints; I usually don’t like metal pens for this reason but the matte finish makes it more bearable.

Lamy Dialog 1

Lamy Dialog 1

The Dialog 1 retails for $130, that is a pretty big investment for a pen that uses a $5 refill.  I bought the Dialog 1 because I love the beautiful utilitarian design and wanted a nice pen to travel with.  The Dialog 1 is a real conversation starter without being flashy or over the top; I highly recommend it.

S.T. Dupont Liberte Ballpoint Pen Review

I have never been a fan of non-gel ballpoints; the ink is generally inconsistent and not particularly vivid.  I have received ballpoints as gifts on a number of occasions and on a pen blog it would be wrong to ignore them.

IMG_1401

The S.T. Dupont Liberté ballpoint is made from a brass barrel finished in black lacquer (not the more expensive Chinese lacquer S.T. Dupont is famous for) with palladium accents.  The tapered design is elegant and the top of the cap its faceted with “D” in metal.  Even though this is a lower end model for S.T. Dupont it still costs a whopping $480 retail.  The Liberté is a fingerprint magnet and that drives me nuts but the fit and finish is exceptional.

IMG_1405

The Liberté weighs in at 1.16oz which makes it a heavier pen but in my hand it is incredibly well balanced.  The body of the pen attaches to the cap with threading on the INSIDE of the barrel (see below).  To deploy and retract the ballpoint you simply twist the pen.  The twist mechanism is both very smooth and very crisp.

IMG_1396

The ballpoint is an S.T. Dupont branded EasyFLOW Schmidt refill that is unusually smooth.  It is so smooth in fact that I felt inclined to write in my normal cursive-esque hand.  Unfortunately the look of the ink is unusually hideous.  The easyFLOW refill always starts up without delay which is nice but when the ink looks this washed out and faint who really cares?

IMG_1398
With a better refill The S.T. Dupont Liberté would be a great ballpoint pen that quality-wise is superior to many pens in the same price-range (the modern version of the Montblanc Meisterstück and the Cartier Diabolo come to mind).