The Bolt – Copper

9 04 2014
No part of this is not awesome

No part of this is not awesome

I got an email out of the blue from Dan Bishop, pen designer for Karas Kustoms, offering me one of their sweet pens to try—I had a taste for the copper, and with the Retrakt backordered out the wazoo, Dan offered to let me try the new copper edition of the Bolt.

I can't suggest what pen Theodore Roosevelt might use if he were alive today, but I can heavily imply

I can’t suggest what pen Theodore Roosevelt might use if he were alive today, but I can heavily imply that IT WOULD TOTALLY BE THIS ONE

I wish you could pick up this pen, because I bet you solid money if you picked it up you would be unable to resist uttering a variation of your favorite, possibly expletive-laden exclamation of disbelief. Something like, “BY THE GREAT BEARD OF ODIN WHAT A CUPROUS MASS OF RAW PEN THIS IS!” Grab two fistfuls of pennies while playing the most dramatic rock music known to your person—you still won’t be able to fully appreciate the weight of this pen until you hold it for yourself. They say this pen is machined from solid copper, and they are not lying.

It smells like a fistful of pennies

And it smells like a fistful of pennies

In spite of being weighty enough to quality as a weapon of self-defense, the weight is well balanced. The pen sits firmly in my hand. I may need to do some strength training before I’m able to write out a whole novel with so heavy a pen, but the weight is comfortably distributed. The copper will warm up with your hand (and will gain a patina in time, which I’ll update with once I’ve got it) and naturally possesses antimicrobial properties.

I'm pretty sure I could do a 60mph somersault and that pen would still be attached to that pocket

I’m pretty sure I could do a 60mph somersault and that pen would still be attached to that pocket

The pen has a fantastically simple, industrial look. The clip is bolted down as firmly as possible, but the flared end allows for it to slide onto papers and pockets with ease (and hold onto them with strength one level below rigor mortis).

Made this on my phone with the fantastic GifBoom app. Heckuva lot easier than making the .gif myself in Photoshop

Made this on my phone with the fantastic GifBoom app. Heckuva lot easier than making the .gif myself in Photoshop

The Bolt is named for its bolt-action deployment mechanism—it’s wonderfully smooth, and with a little practice can be engaged single-handed (at which point, you will be tempted to play with it endlessly).

Yes OF COURSE my motorcycle has a pen cup DOESN'T EVERY MOTORCYCLE??

Yes OF COURSE my motorcycle has a pen cup DOESN’T EVERY MOTORCYCLE??

I decided to take The Bolt out for a ride—the clip held firm to my jacket pocket and the pen did well, but when I put it somewhere less insulated from the V-twin vibrations, like inside the bag on my back rack, the pen ended up coming a little loose.

Note how you can see the seam where the two pieces come together? That's because it rattled a bit loose.

Note how you can see the seam where the two pieces come together? That’s the pen basically being unscrewed by the motorcycle. The knock also needed to be tightened back in after the ride

So if you’re carrying The Bolt in a bag rather than directly on your person, I’d recommend pairing it with something like a Nock Co. case.

This refill is a winner

This refill is a winner

The refill it came with—a Schmidt easyFLOW 9000—may be my favorite Parker-style ballpoint refill yet. It’s dark, it’s smooth; looking at my hand, it’s not 100% smudge resistant, but it’s approaching Jetstream-like quality.

Are you thinking of Abraham Lincoln? I'm kind of thinking about Abraham Lincoln

Are you thinking of Abraham Lincoln? I’m kind of thinking about Abraham Lincoln

The only complaint I have is that the top plunger can end up a little loose while still being on tight enough that you can properly deploy the pen without realizing that it needs tightening. When you get into this scenario, rattling can happen. If you’ve got rattling, you need to tighten the plunger all the way.

She insisted on being in the picture

She insisted on being in the picture

All in all, this is a heavy and heavy-duty unique pen, solid made-in-the-USA goodness. Thanks again to Dan and Karas Kustoms for providing this pen!

 

The Bolt – Copper Pen at Karas Kustoms

plus!!! a great roundup by The Clicky Post of all the Karas Kustoms pens

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12 responses

9 04 2014
Bob M

Thanks for the review. I love the V-Twin portion of the testing. I have a copper Retrakt and really marvel at the patina it has acquired over the past couple of months I’ve owned it.

9 04 2014
No Pen Intended

I can’t wait to have a patina! :) And it’s amazing what all the V-twin engine will undo. It completely undid a Space Pen loose in a bag once, I’ve lost a couple of bolts off my windshield that weren’t tightened enough, and when my dad was riding once the highway footpegs rattled up, out, and away. Gone forever!

9 04 2014
Mike Dudek (@ClickyPost)

Excellent review! It’s a beauty, isn’t it?

9 04 2014
Sarah Price

Great review & sweet pen!

10 04 2014
Link Love: Official Mascot and more catch-up | The Well-Appointed Desk

[…] Karas Kustoms Copper Bolt (via No Pen Intended) […]

11 04 2014
Dan Bishop

I’m glad that you like it. GREAT ODIN’S BEARD WHAT A FANTASTIC REVIEW!

11 11 2014
Matt

This is a great pen. The only thing I would recommend is a buffing wheel on the steel clip to make it easier on the pocket. Just a round off the edges. I love this pen, and I know it will outlast me.

7 02 2015
Chris

Does anyone else’s plunger rattle when not extended? It seems like there’s quite a bit of rattle from the plunger/bolt mechanism.

7 02 2015
journeyproudusmc

Chris, Since there is a small bit of tolerance between the plunger assembly and pen body to allow smooth travel. There is minor rattle side-to-side. There is no rattle up and down on mine.

I have both the Copper Bolt and Copper Retrakt. Both solid and hefty.

7 02 2015
Chris

Awesome! That’s what I figured but I just wanted to make sure! Thanks! Other than that I’m loving my Bolt thus far.

7 02 2015
journeyproudusmc

One thing that I did and others may want to consider, is to unscrew the plunger top and put a small amount of blue lock tight, just a spot on the thread, and screw it back in. It will keep the top secure, especially if your an active clicker.

30 07 2017
Axel

I’ve had my Copper Bolt for less than a month now and it has already developed a nice patina. My solution for the pen coming loose was to put teflon tape on both the body and knock threads. You can still unscrew the pen to change the ink, but it doesn’t unscrew accidentally anymore.

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