Karas Kustoms Render K Pen Review14 December 2015
Karas Kustoms now make a comprehensive range of machined metal pens but it all started with the Render K, launched on Kickstarter four years ago.
I can’t count how many times I almost bought a Render K but the price of shipping one from the USA to the UK and then paying customs charges made it a very expensive proposition. So as soon as I saw that Cult Pens had begun to stock most of the Karas Kustoms range I pressed the buy button immediately.
I was able to purchase this pen at a discount thanks to the support Cult Pens are giving to me for this site. They wanted an honest review in return and here it is. These are my own opinions.
Price: £42.50 (aluminium versions), $55 (aluminum versions), £60/$80 (brass), £86/$105 (copper)
Tip size options: Various, dependent on refill
Barrel options: brass or copper, or aluminium in these colours: silver, red, orange, pink, grey, green, blue, black, pink, violet, tumbled raw aluminium
Ink type: takes standard Parker G2 refills so there’s a huge range, including the Pilot Hi-Tec-C, Pilot Juice and the Schmidt 9000M Easyflow. There’s a different version that takes the Pilot G2 refill
Size: 13cm (5″) capped
Weight: 31g (1.1oz) aluminium version; 94g (3.3oz) brass and copper versions
I like pens that are proud of the materials they’re made from so I went with the tumbled raw aluminium version. I must confess I wasn’t sure I’d made the right choice when it arrived but it’s grown on me. There are very many options so I’m certain you can find one to your taste.
Cult Pens are selling their Render Ks with Schmidt 9000M Easyflow refills. This is a hybrid ink ballpoint and my first instinct was to remove it immediately and put in a Hi-Tec-C or Juice refill instead. I needed to keep the supplied refill in until I finished the review, though, and in fact I’m glad I did. It’s the closest a ballpoint gets to being a pleasure to use. Personally, I currently prefer this refill to the Uniball Jetstream. As the Render K will take a standard Parker G2 refill, with a different version that will take a Pilot G2 refill (not confusing at all, those names), there are approximately one gazillion refill options.
The Schmidt refill is a snug fit, held tight with an internal spring. There is a little play in the tip but nothing drastic.
The cap screws closed and doesn’t post. It has what are the now signature Karas Kustoms features of knurling (beautifully done) and firm clip secured with two screws. The cap is what gives this pen its distinctive character and it’s fantastic. The clip is firm and very strong but not so stiff as to be unusable. It performs its clipping functions effectively.
The threads on the barrel is quite high up meaning they’re well out of the way of your fingers. This is a comfortable pen to hold, being a reasonable weight and a good length. It’s well balanced too, resting nicely in the hand. (This is the aluminium version I’m talking about. I’ve not tried the brass or copper versions but they’re three times as heavy.)
The Render K is a beautifully engineered pen that effectively combines form with function. The supplied refill is great and there are plenty of alternatives. Despite only being four years old, this is already an iconic pen. That’s not an accident. It deserves its status as a modern classic.
Comfortable to hold
Lots of refill options
You can find several thousand more reviews of the Render K on Pennaquod.
I need to get mine back into regular rotation. I initially tried mine with a Hi-Tec C4 refill (I’d bought an empty pen direct from Karas Kustoms using a Pen Addict sponsor code). But I have a love/hate relationship with that nib so I also swapped for a Schmidt Easyflow. Great review!