A couple of weeks ago I received a package from an Arizona-based metal machinist called Karas Kustoms. Amongst all of the metal was the Render K, a machined aluminum pen – or ink holder as it was named on the customs form. Why an ink holder? It doesn’t ship with refills.
Okay, so why by a pen if it doesn’t have any ink? The Render K can accept pretty much any refill. I tried a bunch of them and with a little modification, most of them worked perfectly. The pen fits a Pilot Hi-Tec C refill perfectly, and comes with a spacer and spring if you want to use a Parker – that is what I ended up doing and have not looked back. Also included is a piece of polytube that you can use to make your own spacers, should you wish to use other types of ink. As noted before I did not run into too many troubles when doing this – the only refills that would not fit were for gel inks that had particularly thick tubes – certainly not a deal breaker.
The first thing that you notice when holding the Render K in your hand is that it has a very pleasing weight. This thing feels like it would survive a zombie apocalypse, but it Karas Kustoms seems to have found that sweet spot between the weighty feel of quality and something that tires out your hand. It is comfortable to write with – as a matter of fact, I penned this review with it. The other benefit to the construction is that it makes a mighty fine gavel. This might not be useful to everyone, but as a teacher, who quite often needs to gain the attention of a crowded, noisy classroom, it has become indispensable.
Appearance-wise, this pen is a pleasure to behold. It looks great, the detail is subtle and understated but as you observe it more closely the craftsmanship really becomes apparent. The cap is threaded, which means there is no sticking it on the end of the pen for safe keeping, but it suits the look and feel of the Render K. I’m guessing that this would also help it survive a trip through the wash without leaking ink all over one’s clothes, but I am not game to try.
In the two weeks that I have owned it, I have become seriously, seriously attached to this pen, so much so that I feel pangs of disappointment if I forget to take it to work – and yes, I realize how strange that seems. Nobody needs a machined metal pen, but once you have had one disposable plastic just doesn’t cut it anymore.
To cut a long story short, the $45 price tag is very reasonable for a pen of this quality, even if it doesn’t come with any ink.