Kuretake Karappo Empty Brush & Felt Tip Pens (Set of 5)

When the Kuretake Karappo Empty Brush Pens (Set of 5 for $17.50) and Felt Tip Pens (set of 5 for $15)  first arrived on JetPens, Jesi, Jaclyn and I pretty much hoarded the entire inventory and then argued about who was going to write the review about them. I believe Jesi and Jaclyn got the Kuretake Ink-Cafe Set that included the empty pens and a set of inks that will allow you to mix your own ink colors. Because we need more ink colors like we need a whole in our heads, right? So, look forward to either Jaclyn or Jesi writing up a review of their ink mixing experiments in the near future.

I purchased the pens because I wanted a chance to find new and different ways to use my fountain pen inks. Would these Karappo pens work with sheening inks? Would they work with shimmer inks? I needed answers to these questions!

I also wanted to experiment with the difference between the brush pen and the 0.4mm fine pen.

First, I wanted to know how long it took to fill the pen? Answer? About one minute with regular fountain pen ink.  I did not use any special tools. I just dropped the cotton-y looking inserts into a bottle on ink and watched as they wicked up the ink.

I filled two of the “fine” 0.4mm on the left and three of the “fine” brush pens on the right.

I tested a sheening ink — Diamine Skull & Roses in one of the 0.4mm fine tipped pens and the sheening qualities of the ink are still visible. The advantage, for me, of theses pens over other pens which accept fountain pen ink is that they are fiber-tipped rather than rollerball. As a lefty, I tend to choke rollerball pens or I don’t hold them at quite the right angle to get them to write. With the fine 0.4mm and brush tip Karappo pens, I had no issues with ink flow!

The other fine tipped pen was filled with a delicate grey ink: Colorverse Matter. All the shading properties remained! I like how the 0.4mm pens write. They are very similar to the width of a Sharpie Pen, IMHO.

The brush pens were not super flexible or brushy but just gave a nice bit of line variation and would be perfectly acceptable for embellishing the titles or headers in a notebook or addressing an envelope. Since I tend to buy a lot of very light inks and very fine nibbed fountain pens that do not show the inks to their best  result, these pens are a great opportunity to give some of the paler inks a second life.

My last experiment was to put Pen BBS #111 (a shimmer ink) into one of the Karappo brush pens. While the color looks amazing, none of the shimmer is evident. I don’t think the material was able to absorb any of the shimmer particles. So… that answers that question.

Each package of pens comes with a set of stickers to mark with the color of ink in your pens and attach to the cap.  (Please ignore my winter parched hands.)

Of all the fountain pen ink-fillable pens available, the Kuretake Karappo Brush and Fine Pens are by far my favorites even if shimmer inks don’t shimmer. Now to decide what inks to put in the other empty pens…


DISCLAIMER: Some items included in this review were provided free of charge by JetPens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

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