Karas Kustoms Galaxie Pen Review

I reviewed the two fountain pens from Karas Kustoms’ new Reaktor range a little while ago. The Galaxie and Galaxie XL make up the other half of the range. The Galaxie is a ballpoint and the Galaxie XL a gel ink pen.

These pens were sent to me by Karas Kustoms for the purposes of this review. These are my own opinions.

Price: $40 (Galaxie), $45 (XL)
Ink type: ballpoint (Galaxie), gel (XL)
Barrel options: tumbled aluminium; anodised black; anodised silver with either red or blue section
Refill options: Galaxie uses Parker-style refills and ships with a pressurised Schmidt Megaline P 950M; XL uses the Pilot G2

Stylistically the Galaxie pens have much in common with the Starliners. They come in the same four finishes and they feature little touches that hark back to the space-race era of the 1960s as well as the cars of the time. (In fact, the Starliner and Galaxie were both Ford cars.) However, whereas the Starliner caps suggest engine pistons, the Galaxie caps suggest taillights.

The Galaxie is a pocket-sized pen with a push-on cap. An o-ring inside the cap holds it securely in place. There’s some movement when the cap is on which will irritate some. There’s no clip.

The cap pushes on to post. It adds about a centimetre to the length of the pen when it’s posted. For me, that makes the pen just long enough to rest comfortable against my hand.

I’m not keen on the included refill. It always hard-starts. I personally have no need of a pressurised refill and have yet to find one that writes nicely. It’s a standard sized refill so it will be possible to put something else in but I think it would make more sense for the included refill to be a more usable non-pressurised one. However, I do recall Ian Schön’s reasoning for using this kind of refill: reliability, when it comes to a pocket pen, is usually more important than writing pleasure.

The XL uses a Pilot G2 refill. It’s quite a nice writer giving a good consistent black line.

Refill flexibility has been sacrificed to keep the price point down. That’s fine: if you’re happy to pay more in order to have more flexibility with the refills you can use, then there are plenty of options including several from Karas.

The Galaxie XL is still quite a short pen although it’s just about long enough to use comfortably unposted. The cap works in the same way as the small one and so provides just a little extra length to the pen when posted.

The XL does have a clip, which is very stiff and hard to use, but looks good.

I like Galaxie XL a lot and enjoy writing and sketching with it. I like how the Galaxie looks and I use it quite often because its small size makes it convenient to carry around. However I’m keen to stick a different refill into it.

Pros

Robust pens for day-to-day (mis)use
Nice little stylistic touches
XL version is nice to write with

Cons

Refill on pocket pen isn’t great
Clip on XL is hard to use

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