This review features a Lamy Safari in Shiny Black with a Fine nib and a Lamy AL-Star in Rasberry, also with a Fine nib. I decided to review the Lamy Safari and Lamy AL-Star pens together because they are almost the same pen.
Appearance: The black Safari’s plastic is shiny, whereas the AL-Star has a brushed metal look. Both pens are not completely round, but have chiseled edges to give them a rounded-square look. They feature a transparent section that is molded with grooves for finger placement. There is also a rubber seal between the section and body. The clip is a chrome-colored brass wire metal clip, which looks like part of a paper clip.
Nib: I believe the nib is stainless steel and is engraved with the name “Lamy.” They write great (see below), but have more nib creep than any of my other pens. This doesn’t affect the pens’ performance, but can be annoying.
Opening and Closing: These pens have a pull-off cap that removes easily. When capping the pens, the caps seal with a satisfying click and stay on securely.
Size/Weight: The main difference between the pens is the Safari is made out of plastic and the AL-Star is made of lightweight aluminum. The AL-Star is also slightly lighter than the Safari, but the difference is so slight that I don’t notice it while using either pen.
I like to write with the Lamys unposted because I feel they are unbalanced and too top heavy when posted.
Writing: Writing with these pens is almost a dream. The exceptional flow highlights the vibrancy of the ink and makes for an extremely smooth writing experience. The pen also does not skip. My personal problem with these pens is the molded grip. The placement of grooves does not match my finger placement when holding a pen. Trying to conform my finger placement in the grips is uncomfortable and thus decreases my satisfaction when writing with the Lamys. I think the grooves are a great tool for someone that needs to learn how to properly hold a pen. However, even though I do hold my pen in the proper manner, the grooves are still slightly off from my grip.
Ink: This is a cartridge/converter pen and I have been using it with a converter. As stated above, the flow is also quite wet and enhances the features of the ink. I used J. Herbin’s Vert Empire in the black Safari and J. Herbin’s Rose Cyclamen in the Rasberry AL-Star. I especially loved how the wet flow enabled Rose Cyclamen’s brightness to come through on the paper.
The Box: The boxes were nothing special, just vented cardboard. I didn’t think photos would be necessary for them.
Price: The Safari retails for $30 and the AL-Star is at $40.
Overall: The Lamy Safari and Lamy AL-Star are great for someone who is just getting started with fountain pens, someone who doesn’t have a lot of money to spend on a pen, and someone who wants a daily workhorse that will really perform. Aside from the molded grip not matching my personal writing grip, these are great pens for fountain pen lovers at all levels.
The Lamy Safari in Shiny Black with a Fine Nib.
The Lamy AL-Star in Rasberry with a Fine Nib.
(The color is more pink in reality. The photos make it have an orange tint.)