Karas Kustoms has been innovative in new pen designs, materials, and colors. At the end of 2017, they analyzed their entire product line to find any gaps they needed to fill and found they did not have any products in the “Pocket Pen” market. Taking inspiration from the Space Race as well as mid-century Americana, which has always played a big role in Karas Kustoms, they developed the new Reaktor series. This new affordable product series consists of two lines – the Galaxie and the Starliner. The Galaxie line includes a clipless, smaller ballpoint pen and an XL rollerball pen with a clip. The Starliner line includes a clipless, smaller fountain pen and a XL fountain pen with a clip. This review will be of the Galaxie line. Paul from Karas Kustom graciously sent me several of the new pens to review, and I will be running two giveaways – one here on my blog and the other on my review on Onfountainpens.com. This giveaway is for a Galaxie ballpoint with a blue grip section as well as a Starliner with a blue grip section and medium nib, both in the silver anodized aluminum finish. The giveaway will run from 7/4/18 until 11:59pm EST on 7/19/18 and a winner will be announced on the 20th. It will include free shipping within the U.S.; if outside the U.S., I will cover the first $8 in shipping. All you need to do to enter is leave a comment with what your favorite pocket pen is. Be sure to subscribe for follow-up emails in case you are chosen as the winner.
Packaging: The packaging for these samples is not the final version, so I did not include a review of the packing.
First Thoughts: The new line really captures the spirit of the Space Race. The pens look like something NASA could have given to their astronauts going on missions.
Design: The Galaxie series are made from 6061 Aluminum. There are three different finish options: tumbled aluminum, silver anodized aluminum, and black anodized aluminum. The grip sections can also be customized in either blue, red, black, or tumbled aluminum. Karas developed a new snap-cap closure for the Reaktor line. The closure holds the cap tightly in place and after keeping it clipped to my pocket during the testing period, I have no concerns of the pen coming uncapped in my pocket. The cap finial has a raised 5-pointed star and is inspired by the car taillights in the U.S. during the 50’s and 60’s. The body is smooth with two engraved rings at the end of the barrel which allows the cap to be posted. Its widest point is in the middle of the body and tapers toward the grip section and the bottom finial. The bottom finial is a simple, engraved circle. The grip section has a slight taper to a flared-out finger stop, which doubles as the snap closure. In front of the finger stop, there is a gradual taper to the writing point. The XL model’s clip is similar to the clips used on the Ink models; it is made from aluminum and held in place via two screws. The clip is extremely tight and it takes some effort to clip the pen onto material.
Filling System: The Galaxie comes with a Schmidt Megaline P950 ballpoint refill in medium which is held in place by a spring in the grip section. This refill appears to be a standard Parker style refill, so you should be able to swap other colors and point sizes, which is an added bonus in my opinion. The XL comes with a Pilot G2 rollerball refill. This also gives you the option to affordably change the point size and colors to suit your preference.
Value: The smaller Galaxie ballpoint will retail for $40 USD and the Galaxie XL rollerball will retail for $45 USD.
Overall: I think that Karas really nailed it with this new line. The size of the pens makes them perfect to throw in your pocket and the material allows it to stand up to anything you throw at it. I feel that using standard refills, instead of proprietary, was a great choice that allows customers to customize their pen’s point size and color preference.
Name: Galaxie / Galaxie XL
Design: 6061 Aluminum Snap-cap ballpoint and Snap-cap rollerball
Length: 107.95mm (4.25in) / 122mm (4.8in)
Posted: 120.65mm (4.75in) / 128mm (5.03in)
Diameter: 9mm at grip (.35in)
Weight: 24g (.84oz) / 27g (.95oz)
Filling System: Ballpoint / Rollerball
Pros: Great size for both models, convenient refills with multiple options, strong cap
Cons: Tight clip
In the same price range:
Retro 51 Tornado
Conklin Duragraph ballpoint
Cross X rollerball