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Two years ago I have bought a Karas Kustoms Bolt pen in black form Cult Pens. I do have some other pens form Karas, but this pen is using a bolt action to forward and retract the refill. I like the pen very much because all parts are made in house and made from metal, hard to fail in my opinion. The pen is using ONLY Parker style refills, including Fisher-Space with their spacer. One characteristic of the pen is their own clip design, attached with two little hex screws, a very sturdy heavy-duty clip! Recently Karas Pens release a new version called V2 with some improvements. I have bought a green Karas Pen the Bolt V2 with Parker set-up. The initial Bolt and Bolt V2 looks the same, but there are some changes. First the guys form Karas pen redesigned the internal body to accommodate more refills, from Parker to Pilot G2. Also they have moved the bolt action mechanism on the far back of the pen to allow different style refills to fit into their pen; for that job now the pen is using a screwed spacer (to avoid any moving parts). Another major improvement is the O-ring between the upper and lower body parts to stay together when are screwed. At the last is the J-slot redesigned for easier movement. When I purchase the pen I should opt for the conversion kit for a fiver, but I didn't. Anyway because of the distance between Karas pens and me, it didn't worth to reorder just the conversion kit, so I have emailed the company and they replied that a mini hex/Allen key of 3/46" or 1.3mm will work. So far I have tried Schimdt EF9000, Pentel Energel, Uniball Jetstream and Fisher Space refills, all working fine. The Bolt V2 become my favorite pens form all Karas pens I have now.
First of some context to this review. I am fairly new to the whole fountain pen thing, about 6 months in and a ton of reading on this site. Apart from the Micarta i have the following pens: Lamy safari, Lamy next M88, Jinhao x750, Jinhao x189, Parker 45, Twsbi 580, FPR Dilli. This is my first review. I don’t like the standard black snoozefest pens. So, to the review! The looks: I knew as soon as i saw this pen that i had to have it. It is a stunning pen. Really, whoever designed this pen new what they were doing. From the color, to the small black TWSBI-logo, model number and TSBI logo on top of the cap it all fits with the overall design. It is, in lack of a better word, a manly pen. When it is capped i feel like taking it with me to woods to chop some wood, or live with the wolves. When you uncap it, you want to write. The rough looking pen gives a stark contrast to the delicate gold colored nib and puts it firmly at the center of your attention. I have the clip less version, this contrast is not as great with the clip i think. I really wished i had the ability to take photos to really show of this effect, and i tried, but no. Anyway it would not be the same as when you hold the pen your hand and can really admire it like it should be admired. My particular pen has an even color. That is, the barrel, section and cap is the same earthly brown tone. I have read reviews were some have, particularly the v1, slightly different coloration on the barrel compared to the cap. Not on mine. There is however some darker lines in it. There is a photo of it further down in this post. Those add to the charms of the pen and gives some…well i guess structure is the wrong word since you can’t really feel them, but maybe layered effect is more fitting? People i have shown the pen often think it is wooden. Ravantra wrote a review of the Micarta and wrote the following about it: «…After all the reviews I have read I was expecting a very rough and ragged pen. Well the pen appears slightly rustic but feels pretty smooth to the touch and warms quickly once in hand. To me it feels like a lightly urethane finished wood. Tapping on the pen with my fingernail it feels and sounds like wood…» https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/218911-another-micarta-review/ I would have to agree. It is really comfortable and fits my hand perfectly. http://bildr.no/thumb/cVIzeCts.jpeg This photo does not do the pen justice, but at least it shows the darker lines i was talking bout. Threads: For me it takes 3-4 turns to remove the cap. This is something i like. My very first FP, the safari, dropped to the ground the very first day i had it due to the loose fitting cap. This makes me secure in the knowledge that the cap is on tight. Also, it has a certain zen-feeling to me. Writing should not be rushed. I can see how some might find it annoying and would prefer it to come off easier, but to me its just another layer that fits in to the overall theme of the pen. At first uncapping it was a sort of rough feeling, like there were some fine gravel there. This is due to the «fuss» on the threads. I have owned the pen for a little over a month now and capping/uncapping is really smooth. The fussing has mostly been worn away. There will be a photo a little later to show this. The writing: Ah yes, the writing. As you probably can tell i really like this pen. So when it came to buying it i discovered there was a nibmeister who sells these. Which is really convenient for me since sending a pen to a nibmeister from were i am is not really an option. I had never tried a nib from such a person before, so i decided to just go for it. This pen then, comes from Pendleton Brown himself. It has a Butter line stub F nib and writes like nothing else i own. So what we have here is a perfect storm of a pen. The pen itself is of an astounding beauty, and with a nib from Pendleton Brown the writing is perfect. I have my perfect pen! In fact i liked it so much that i wanted another one in due time. That time came a whole lot quicker once i learned that the Micarta is discontinued. So i went ahead and ordered another one from PB. The second Micarta: I got it yesterday. This pen as slightly lighter brown color, just slightly, and some different structures in it. But still as beautiful as the first one. The nib is also different. This one is a medium nib with the flex option. First of PB made the nib crisper. It is just one the edge of not being suitable for regular writing, but writing with really light pressure works well. Line variation without pressure is on the other hand much better than on my F BLS. This makes it fun to play around with and i have done quite a bit of writing already. The semi-flex works as shown in the writing sample. Though the pressure needed to flex it makes me uncomfortable. I have a FPR Dilli with a flexible nib that works better for flexing, but on that one i really have to prime the feed to keep it from railroading. On the PB semi-flex nib i have not managed to make it railroad. http://bildr.no/thumb/N3NNUFdr.jpeg Comparison of the threads. Final thoughts: Get the Micarta while you can. It is a stunning pen and if you are at all interested in it you will regret it if you don't once it disappeares. If you can, get it from Pendleton Brown while he has it in stock. He does some incredible work and is a really nice guy. I can fully recommend his nibs! I will certainly order from him again, and when i do i going to get a smooth BLS from him which was the nib option i liked the most. Disclaimer: I am just a regular fountain pen user and does not have any connection with TWSBI or Pendleton Brown, just a happy customer. Oh yeah, here is the writing sample: http://bildr.no/thumb/NUZxM0ZB.jpeg Yes i know. My writing does not do the nibs justice. But i will not apologize for my horrible handwriting. I´m working on it, leave me alone EDIT: Fixed a small error.