I reviewed the previous generation of the Karas Ink a little over a year ago. I really wanted to like it, and I could see the heart of a good pen in it, but it had a few annoyances that I simply couldn’t get over.
Karas has reengineered the Ink, releasing this edition, the v2, hot on the heels of the special edition bronze Pony Express. If you’ve read my review of that edition, there will be few surprises in this one. This is, at last, the aluminium version of the Ink that I was waiting for.
Gone are the sharp, squeaky cap threads. Instead, there’s a block of flat-top threads that are some of the most comfortable I’ve ever held.
There is a barrel step, but it’s far back so it’s not bothersome.
Gone is the cap that came loose in your pocket or bag. Instead, an internal o-ring provides just enough resistance for a solid-feeling capping action, and perfect cap retention. It also unscrews in 1.5 turns on triple-start threads. Just right.
Gone is the partly-hooded nib, tucked inside the bulbous end of the section. Karas has reengineered the section to be a little shorter, differently shaped, but it functions just as well.
This is purely down to aesthetic preference, but I like being able to see the whole Karas-branded Bock nib — which, incidentally, writes nicely, with good flow and some tooth. Seen here with Graf Electric Pink.
Karas includes a writing sample in the very simple branded cardboard box, along with both cartridges and a converter. “Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow”: It’s a little gesture of quality that I really appreciate seeing.
And everything else is the same. You still have the tapered, flat-ended barrel and flush-fitting cap in any colour you please: I went for this gorgeous orange.
The anodising is of decent quality, the colour matches across the parts, and there are no major blemishes, although I’ve always thought of Karas as tough working pens, so don’t expect a mirror finish to the machining.
You still have a choice of section metals and finishes, including copper, brass and aluminium. Mine is black aluminium, which goes OK with the orange in a halloween kinda way.
And the trademark Ink feature, that tumbled machined clip, is still an architectural triumph and a functional piece of engineering.
Alas one of the screws mounting mine to the cap is chewed up.
The Ink is not a huge pen in the hand. The section is a little narrow, and it doesn’t post.
And in this aluminium construction, it is not noticeably heavy. But as a no-nonsense everyday writer, it’s just great.
With the new comfortable threads and reassuring capping action, my main gripes about the Ink have been completely addressed. And at $95 retail, the Ink remains great value. Two thumbs up.
I received my Ink v2 from Karas for review. You can get yours here.