Last week I posted a review of the Karas Kustoms RETRAKT pen. I really liked the pen but wished it had a better clicky mechanism. The RETRAKT isn’t the only pen made by Karas Kustoms though. They were kind enough to send me the Bolt pen to try. Is this one clicky enough for me? Let’s find out.
Note: Images can be clicked to view a larger size.
The Bolt is made in the USA and is machined from 6061-T6 aluminum, brass or copper. I was sent the raw aluminum version which weighs 1.1 ounces and is 5.625″ in length. The aluminum version of the Bolt is available in nine colors and Karas Kustoms also offers Pilot G2 versions of the pen that are 6.125″ in length.
I love industrial look of the Bolt and the clean smooth lines.
The barrel of the pen is made up of two pieces. It’s been machined perfectly with a very smooth surface that feels great in your hand.
The aluminum version of the Bolt has a nice weight and balance that makes it comfortable to write with even for extended sessions.
The Bolt features a stainless steel pocket clip that is very strong. There’s little worry that you’ll bend it by accident. The clip is attached to the body of the pen with two hex screws.
The clicky mechanism is different than other bolt action style pens that I’ve tried. This one has a wide button with a slight dome on top. It’s easy to press the button, but you also have to rotate it in order to slide the bolt in place. The bolt is flush with the body of the pen, so you can’t use your thumb tip to engage and disengage it. This disappointed me slightly because the bolt is really only there for looks. But after a few days using the pen, I got used to quickly extending and retracting the pen with one hand, but it’s still not as fast as other pens.
Dissembling the pen is easy. There’s really no need to remove the clicker, but I unscrewed it to show you the parts. The bolt assembly can also be removed, but couldn’t find an allen wrench small enough to allow me to unscrew the hex screws.
The Bolt pen that was sent to me came with a Schmidt EasyFlow 9000 refill installed in it. I’m not a fan of that refill. The ink takes a little longer to dry than other inks I’ve used and as a lefty, the side of my hand gets black from sliding it through wet ink. The pen is also compatible with Parker refills and Fisher Space Pen refills but I didn’t have either to try. If neither of those refills are your favorite, consider getting the Pilot G2 version of the Bolt. The bottom barrel is longer to accommodate the length of the Pilot G2 refill (one of my favorite refills). Both versions of the Bolt and Bolt Pilot G2 are priced the same and you can buy a separate Pilot G2 barrel if you want to retrofit your non-Pilot G2 pen. The extra barrel is available in raw aluminum, brass or copper and is priced from $20 – $35 depending on the material.
The Karas Kustoms Bolt pen is a very well made pen that looks terrific and feels great in hand. The weight is just right for me and I didn’t have any problems with hand fatigue after writing with the pen for an extended period of time. The only problem with this pen is that now I want the longer Pilot G2 barrel and a bunch of other colors. Thanks Karas Kustoms! 🙂
Source: The sample for this review was provided by Karas Kustoms. Please visit their site for more info.