1. Please update your bookmarks to use https://www.edcforums.com/
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Are you a current member with account or password issues?

    Please visit following page for more information

    Dismiss Notice

Karas Kustoms pens review

Discussion in 'Pens, Pencils, Notebooks, and Notebook Covers' started by usk15, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. usk15

    usk15 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2015
    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    1,212
    My short review of Karas Kustoms pens. Retrakt, EDK and The Bolt are pens with simple, industrial looking, sturdy clip and indestructible made by these guys from Arizona, USA.


    My first pen I bought it was the Retrakt from a FPN member. The Retrakt is a full size pen, made of aluminium, with acceptable weight and can use a lot of different refills, making this one of the most versatile user. I have tried Pilot G2, Schneider Topball 850, Pentel Energel, Uni-ball Jetstream, Signo and Parker style refills. All of them will fit by adjusting and cutting with a plastic tube supplied by the manufacturer. In my case I have add a small tube over the Schmidt SKM 88 Push Button to give more grip using refills like Pentel Energel. These refills are larger than push button and the mechanism cannot work as designed.


    Two years later I decide to get the EDK. This pen is smaller and with added grip on the bottom section, making a perfect chooses for a pocket friendly daily pen. You can fit Parker Style refills, Fisher Space with spacer and Schmidt Refills Capless Rollerballs P series. I bought this pen directly from Karas Kustoms, as wasn’t available in black in UK.


    Last week I set my mind to get a bolt action pen, and after reading through different review I decided to get The Bolt in black, this time from Cult Pens in UK. It arrived after couple of days. This pen is different by other two; every part of the pen is made in house by Karas Kustoms. It has a gimmick action to action the refill. It is a full size pen, but a bit smaller than Retrakt. The bolt can use only Parker style refills or Fisher Space with the spacer.


    If I have to choose only one I will stick with the Retarkt, but in black. Is a full size pen that can get a lot of refills of my choice, today Energel, tomorrow Jetsetream and somewhere in the future easyflow 9000.


    From my personal experience rollerballs and gel refills should stay well back into the pen, otherwise even retracted will touch the lint from bottom of your shirt or trousers and will leak. I have ruined 3 working shirts before realising what causing the leak...



    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    chaosmagnet and Gary Gross like this.
  2. RMinNJ

    RMinNJ Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Messages:
    517
    Likes Received:
    180
    I have the Retrakt and the Easyflow refill and even a Pilot G2 are pretty well back in the pen when retracted as to not pick up lint.

    The EDC though...is was not designed for the Parker or Easyflow refill but the P8126.. As such the Easyflow does not retract much.
    I returned my EDC ..the rings were digging into my hand..
     
  3. Mark_Trail

    Mark_Trail Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2017
    Messages:
    162
    Likes Received:
    456
    Thank you for this good review!
    Solid, clean looking pens, all of them




    Sent from my NSA monitored iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  4. TiBoy

    TiBoy Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2014
    Messages:
    279
    Likes Received:
    706
    [​IMG]



    For KK, you have to go with brass or copper. Render K in brass is simply the best.
     
    Last edited by TiBoy, Jan 11, 2017
    #4 TiBoy, Jan 10, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  5. lostaggie

    lostaggie Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2010
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    10
    I love their pens... I have all three of those too!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  6. usk15

    usk15 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2015
    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    1,212
    Thank you everybody for reply!
    I love the pens and trade-mark clip.

    @RMinNJ
    Indeed, EDK was designed for Schmidt capless rollerbal P series. But my personal choose is easyFlow 9000 ballpoint refill, as is waterproof and sun-fading proof as well. I have made a review about ballpoint refills test here : http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/316088-ballpoint-refills-test/
    Also EDK is perfect to carry around when you need a writing instrument compact. Another good alternative for EDC is Zebra F701 mod.


    @TiBoy
    I thought about bras or copper version, but they are double the weight, not suitable to carry in a shirt pocket at my working environment.
     
  7. RMinNJ

    RMinNJ Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Messages:
    517
    Likes Received:
    180


    Right but the EDK even though its the same diameter as the Retrakt...it feels fatter...maybe because of the more blunt taper to the nose. And
    my Easyflow refill was too near the nose when retracted.. Its really odd...same diameter as the Retrakt but felt so different.
     
  8. usk15

    usk15 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2015
    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    1,212
    That and also being shorter it make the pen looks fatter as well!

    I have no problem with that, being a ballpoint refill is not prone to leak like a rollerball or gel only by touching the lint in the pocket. I'm guessing if you can find an slim o-ring to distance the barrels a bit or to cut a millimetre from the easyFlow plastic end. But you already send back you EDK, no need to worry anymore. Hope that will help others in the future.
     
  9. glazer1972

    glazer1972 Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    5
    I had trouble with my Retrakt. I sent them a message and never got a response. Ordered a brand new clicker mechanism. Installed it and it still hangs up. If I bought another it would not be a Retrakt.
     
    CANNIBALdinner. and usk15 like this.
  10. usk15

    usk15 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2015
    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    1,212
    What kind of problem you had with your Retrakt? What refill have you used? It look like sometimes the click mechanism got jammed for a second, I'm guessing it is related with refill type (Eneregel, Jetstream) , but never had a serious trouble with that. Also I have post this picture where I have add a small tube to give more option on refills type:

    [​IMG]
     
  11. glazer1972

    glazer1972 Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    5
    The G2 I think.
     
  12. usk15

    usk15 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2015
    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    1,212
    You shouldn't have any problem with Pilot G2 refill...maybe faulty click mechanism.
     
  13. glazer1972

    glazer1972 Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    5
    I had put a brand new click mechanism in it and still had trouble.
     
  14. lostaggie

    lostaggie Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2010
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    10
    I have all three and love them!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
     
  15. PBJS II

    PBJS II Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Messages:
    6,227
    Likes Received:
    15,912
    I had the Aluminum Retrakt for a while. I've since acquired an Everyman retract and an unknown Bolt Action in aluminum and all use my Preferred G2 refill. .7mm writes BLACK. Uniball more grey.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk
     
  16. Nusm

    Nusm Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2015
    Messages:
    224
    Likes Received:
    240
    Man, be careful with that Everyman, I've heard some negative things about the durability of that pen. There are reports that the with only one drop the clicker (which is proprietary and isn't designed to be replaced) breaks, and others report that the aluminum is so soft that a drop near the tip dents it to the point that the refill won't extend anymore. Apparently it's not durable enough for some to be an EDC.
     
  17. Chadtheguru
    • +1 Supporter

    Chadtheguru Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    102
    I had durability problems with my Everyman. It was ruined the first time I dropped it. The tip closed up just like you said. I was able to bend it back to usable but the clip screws eventually stripped out of the barrel. Definitely not a rugged pen. :(



    Sent from my SM-G360V using Tapatalk
     
  18. CANNIBALdinner.

    CANNIBALdinner. Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    445
    Likes Received:
    425

    Same thing here.... I love the design and feel of the Retrakt but the clicker went out on mine too. Also, having to cut and manipulate tubing to get a pen to work? It should work correctly out of the box IMO. Especially at that price. Disappointed.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  19. Nusm

    Nusm Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2015
    Messages:
    224
    Likes Received:
    240
    Karas uses the Schmidt off-the-shelf clicker for the Retrakt that a lot of pens use, and those are prone to fail (I've seen lots of reports of it on forums). If you really like the Retrakt, you can invest another $15 and get the Tuff Writer stainless steel clicker. It has a slightly different look, but it's the same size and should screw right on to the top of the Retrakt. It's supposedly tougher since it's stainless steel and not aluminum, and it isn't prone to the same failure. I bought one for my Tactile Turn Shaker (that previously used the same Schmidt clicker), and it works really well, although I don't use that pen much anymore. This very problem is what prompted Will, the owner of Tactile Turn, to develop his bolt pens - the Sliders & Gliders - because he didn't want to sell any more pens that used off-the-shelf parts that he didn't make himself, since he was having to replace so many of the Schmidt clickers.

    As far as the spacer/tubing issue in the Retrakt, to be fair, the pen does work right out of the box with Pilot G2 refills - no tubing or spacers needed. The spacer just allows the pen to take the shorter Parker-style refills, and the tubing is so you can mod it to work with various other brand's refills. I think it's good that the Retrakt is versatile in that way, so you're not locked in to one refill.
     
    CANNIBALdinner. likes this.
  20. CANNIBALdinner.

    CANNIBALdinner. Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    445
    Likes Received:
    425

    Thank you for the info and yes I forgot that about the Pilot G2 being the default refill. Thank you for the correction. I do really like the pen but I'm unsure of investing any more money into it. Are you familiar with any good click pens similar to the retrakt?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk