Aluminium pen

Karas Pen Co: Reaktor Galaxie Review

The four different Galaxie designs

The four different Galaxie designs

Karas Pen Company sent me their latest pen releases to review here on the blog. Today we will be looking at their Galaxie range of pens, all thoughts of which are my own.

Karas Pen Co will be launching a new line of machined pens this summer called the Reaktor line which includes the Starliner fountain pen and the Galaxie ballpoint/rollerball pen. There is a lot to say about both so I am splitting out my reviews, with today’s focusing on the Galaxie range of pens.

What is the Reaktor Galaxie?

The concept, design and naming of the Reaktor line is influenced by Mid-century America, specifically space, and the themes that influenced almost all aspects of their culture. As with other Karas pens the design behind the pens are well considered and really add to the identity of the pen you’re using. It’s also interesting that there are quite a few stationery brands that have launched products with a space theme in recent months, so there is something of a trend here too.

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The Reaktor Galaxie pen comes in two sizes, a small pocket pen and an XL full length pen. They take two different refills, the pocket shipping with the Schmidt MegaLine P950 in medium, or the Parker style refill, and the XL with the Pilot G2. The difference in the refill compatibility needs to be considered when choosing the right pen for you, although its worth mentioning that Anna’s Epic Refill Guide should also be referenced to investigate what refill hacks can be performed. For the purposes of this review I am judging these pens based on how they arrive, straight out of the box.

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Galaxie Design.

The pens arrive in a small plastic container which I have been told is very close to the final packaging design. The colour of the packaging corresponds to the colour choice of your pen. I really like the packaging, it’s slim and lightweight, good for international customers, but it also keeps the pen secure.

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The pen design is typical of what you may know and expect from Karas Pen Co. There are four different options to choose from, full black, a tumbled aluminium finish and then two polished aluminium pens, one with a red anodised grip section, the second with a blue anodised grip section.

There are a few subtle differences between the two different sizes. The pocket Galaxie is clipless and the XL has the traditional Karas bolted on clip which regardless of the colour choice you go for is consistent across all pens.

Both sizes of the Galaxie have a distinctive cap design which looks like a cog, but actually takes inspiration from the hose fixtures found on space suits. This is also where the inspiration of the colour scheme comes from. The Galaxie pen is a click rather than screw cap meaning its very simple to flick off the cap.

The cog, or more rightly hose, design on the pen cap

The cog, or more rightly hose, design on the pen cap

Using the Galaxie.

I have been using these pens for some time now. I have a number of them on my desk which I have been using to write work notes, jot down quick additions to my planner. Initially I was drawn to the smaller version of the pen because of the size and it worked well with my pocket notebook use. Unposted the pen is too short and not particularly comfortable to use. When posted the length is much better and the weighting works well too. Usually I don’t post my pens, but this one needs it. The one issue I’ve found is that the cap did come lose I guess from the movement when I was writing and I had to nudge it back in place quite a lot.

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The Schmidt refill is not my favourite. It’s quite gloopy and I had quite a few false starts. As I mentioned the refills can be swapped out and I would definitely recommend this on the pocket Galaxie. With the XL the popular Pilot G2 works as you would expect.

In terms of colour choices I think the black anodised finish on these pens looks great. The colour options feel very American with the blue and red grip sections. I was surprised by the tumbled aluminium finish Galaxie, it looks a lot better in the flesh than I expected.

Overall thoughts.

I like the Galaxie pen and it’s nice to have another machined pen option for your refills. Personally I like the XL version a lot more, the size is more comfortable to use and there is a little more flexibility with the refill options. The smaller pocket Galaxie however is a great pocket pen choice. The bonus to all of this is the price point. The smaller version is $40 and the XL is $45. That’s great value for a machined pen and I am not sure there are many options in the market at these prices. There is a nice notebook which is available now with a really nice Reaktor logo on the cover.

Everything that makes up the Reaktor line of pens: Galaxie pen, packaging, notebooks and stickers 

Everything that makes up the Reaktor line of pens: Galaxie pen, packaging, notebooks and stickers 

I’d like to thank Karas Pen Company for sending me their latest pens to review here on the blog.

Baron Fig Squire: The Insightful Spectre Pen Review

Baron Fig sent me their latest limited edition Squire pen, The Insightful Spectre to review on the blog. I have been using this pen since its launch and have thoughts to share with you, however to be clear, all opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Lovely, simple packaging. A nice way to be introduced to your new pen

Lovely, simple packaging. A nice way to be introduced to your new pen

The Insightful Spectre is the latest limited edition release in the Baron Fig Squire line-up. It’s actually my first experience with a Squire pen. The Squire is a very simple aluminium pen design that tapers out slightly towards the pen tip fattening up so that the pen stays in your hand when writing and stops slipping. There is no cap or knock on this pen, the refill is exposed through a twist mechanism. All of this helps keep the Squire aesthetic very simple.

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The limited edition features of The Insightful Spectres are the dark, foggy barrel colour. In person The Insightful Spectre appears a deep purple / grey colour. I was expecting it to be darker, almost black because of how it appears on Baron Figs website but it’s nothing like that, the real colour was a nice surprise. It adds a bit of interest.

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Baron Figs branding appears on the barrel in a contrasting white. On the other side of the barrel is the very cute ghost that makes up part of The Insightful Spectre story. The ghost has white eyes that really pop on the pen, almost like he's watching you.

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I have been using my Squire for NaNoWriMo to the point where I have used the entire refill. I have found when using this for long periods of time that the weight of the pen becomes a little heavy. I don’t think this is perhaps an issue with the pens design, it’s the aluminium that makes it uncomfortable. Because of this I don’t recommend using the Squire for writing for long stretches of continuous writing. It is however great for short note taking, journaling and everyday use.

The ideal pen for note taking?

The ideal pen for note taking?

The refill that comes with The Insightful Spectre is very good. It takes the Schmidt P8127 which is a popular pen refill. This limited edition release came with a fine black refill which is perfect. The line width is not too thin and scratchy but not obnoxiously wide either. The black ink is deep and dark, not a wussy black ink. The refill doesn’t let this pen down.

A comparison against something black, plus I like this photo. 

A comparison against something black, plus I like this photo. 

Overall thoughts

I have really enjoyed using The Insightful Spectre over the past month. It’s a well designed pen made from materials that make this a durable pen. There is no fear when using it on the move, or when small people try and steal your writing tools.

I would like to thank Baron Fig for sending me The Insightful Spectre to review on the blog.