By now, you've probably all heard about Karaskustoms' latest creation: the cube, a machined, solid aluminum pen block, inspired by the handmade wooden penholders from fellow blogger, Mike dudek! I knew right away that this would be a great succes (If you combine two awesome products into one, things can only get better, right?), so I was eager to get my hands on one of the pre-production models...
Unfortunately, I live at the other side of the planet, and the mail gods (AKA: the postal service) weren't doing me a favour, result: the cube only just arrived. So here I am: the very last blogger to write a review about, what could possibly be the most rad two pounds of solid aluminum on the planet!
I've said it twice already: this thing is solid as hell! It's a single piece of aluminum, machined into a three by three cube (in Inches, that is). The corners are nicely rounded, and the top and bottom edge have a bevel, providing that little extra detail we have come to expect from Karaskustoms. At the botom, you'll find four soft rubber feet, that prevent you from breaking your desk when you put it down (seriously, put it down gently!). It also gives the cube an interesting look, making it appear to float!
At the bottom of the cube, you'll find the logo that says CU13E. As a chemistry student, it's noteworthy that the number 13 isn't just there because it looks cooler than a B, it's also the element number of aluminum! A nice hidden detail! You'll also find the logos of both brands that have worked together in the making of this Cube: Karaskustoms and Dudek modern goods. The fact that all branding is on the bottom, where you'll never see it, does improve on the overall sleekness of the finished product.
At the business end, you'll find nine holes. "But, wouldn't the aluminum scratch our precious pens?" I hear you think. Not at all! Because karaskustoms thought about that too! What they came up with was a custom machined delrin sleeve, designed to fit snugly into each hole. As delrin is a very soft material, you'll end up scratching the delrin with your pens, instead of the other way around! Well done Karas, well done...
That said, I don't think I wouldn't store my most valuable pens in this, but that's just a personal opinion.
I was quite anxious to see which pens would fit, and which pens wouldn't. It turned out to be pretty positive, with only really fat leadholders like the David Hayward Hexagonal being too fat to join. My Pilot capless ('vanishing point' if you will) also left the rotation because it wouldn't fit nib down due to the clip ( it easily fits nib up ) With a quick test, I came to the conclusion that the Kaweco Sport is about as wide as you can go.
As you can also tell from the pictures, the Cube has a very nice semi-glossy annodized finish, available in blue, red, orange and black. On top of that, you can also get a raw aluminum, tumbled aluminum and even a solid raw brass (5 pounds!!!) version. Also noteworthy: even though it looks like a shiny fingerprint magnet, it really isn't.
At 75 USD (325 for the Solid brass one), it's certainly not cheap, but having tried it out, I can honestly say that it's 100% worth it! If you haven't backed yet, I'd really encourage you to give their project another look! There's still ONE DAY LEFT to back the Kickstarter project! (Pretty good timing huh!)
For the wood loving people out there, you might also be interested in the Pen holders Mike Dudek makes!
Disclaimer: This product was sent to me by KarasKustoms, free of charge, so I could write this review. I was in no way influenced in the making of this review, nor was I monetarily compensated. The opinions shared in this review are completely my own!