Karas Kustoms Decograph Fountain Pen Review

10 January 2018 By ian

Karas Kustoms are best known for their machined metal pens, several of which I’ve reviewed. These pens are consistently excellent. The Decograph is different in that it’s made from thermoplastic rather than metal. It’s part of Karas Kustom’s signature pen line of limited edition pens.

Price: $165
Filling method: standard international cartridge/converter
Nib options: stainless steel #6 in extra-fine, fine, medium, broad, 1.1mm stub, 1.5mm stub; two-tone, black, titanium and 14k gold options also available at extra cost

The 1801 (it’s being released in January 2018) is called ‘Sleeping Beauty’, named not after me having a nap, as you may have assumed, but after a turquoise mine in Arizona (home of Karas Kustoms). This famous turquoise has inspired the colour of the pen, which is beautiful. It’s a lovely colour set off by the ribbons of black running through it.

Thermoplastic, according to Wikipedia, which is never wrong, is a group of plastics that can be shaped when heated up. Nylon and acrylic are both thermoplastics. I don’t know for sure but the Decograph looks to be made from a variety of acrylic. It’s a good quality plastic.

The aluminium used for the finials and clip is also good quality. As you would expect from Karas Kustoms, these details have been machined to a high quality. The clip is simple yet stylish. The finial has the Karas Kustoms logo – the only branding on the pen.

Just above the threads on the section is etched the edition and pen number. On mine, this reads 1801-000 because this is a review sample. Sleeping Beauty will be limited to 100 pens, released first to Karas Pen Club Members on 15th January and to the general public four days later.

The Decograph uses a standard international cartridge or converter. It takes a lot of turns to unscrew the section from the barrel. Fortunately it isn’t something you need to do too often unless you lean towards obsessively checking how much ink you have left (as I do).

The nib is a stainless steel Bock. Bock don’t mark their nibs so I’m not completely sure if mine is a fine or a medium. I usually find Bock nibs a little too dry for my taste but the one of this pen is great. It’s smooth with excellent flow. There are a wide range of sizes (extra-fine up to 1.5mm stub) in stainless steel and many of the sizes are also available with black or two-tone finishes, or in titanium or 14k gold.

The Decograph is a good length and width and also quite light, making it very comfortable in the hand. It’s great for long writing sessions.

The cap, which screws on to close, pushes on to post securely. Being so light, the balance is good whether posted or not.

The Decograph is a lovely pen. It looks fantastic (and distinctive), is manufactured to an extremely high quality, is comfortable to hold and writes beautifully. Highly recommended.


I don’t keep review samples and usually that’s okay but on this occasion it’s hard! This is a gorgeous pen.

However, giving it away I am. If you would like a chance to win this very limited pen, with a ‘000’ serial number no less, you will need to check the site in couple of weeks.


Lovely colours
Distinctive design
High quality manufacture
Lovely to write with


A little expensive for a steel nibbed pen