Lamy Safari Fountain Pen/Ballpoint Pen set
There may be hundreds of reviews of the Lamy Safari out on the net. I agree with their general sentiment: the Lamy Safari is an excellent pen in and of itself, and one of the best overall values in fountain pens today.
I have a Pelikano Junior that’s also doing extremely well, but it’s new so I won’t place it in the Lamy’s category just yet. (Nor is the Pelikano even close to the same design level.) I also have other fountain pens that require a regime of rinsing, cleaning, and choosing the right ink. That’s okay, but convenience has some merits. The Safari, though abuse would be unwise, doesn’t require any of that sort of pampering. For me, it always just works. It is a great pen for someone who may be curious about fountain pens, but doesn’t want to spend too much.
The Safari comes in many colours, and Lamy released a white version last year. The set in the picture also includes a matching ballpoint pen.
The aesthetics of the Lamy are current and modern. I think it’s a great looking pen. The plastic box housing the pens is itself a great piece of design.
Now let me mention a couple things that you might have to learn the hard way if you buy a pen like this somewhere other than in person at a specialty fountain pen shop (where they typically know their stuff).
It will come with a handy ink cartridge. That’s nice, but be aware that this is a proprietary Lamy-only size. If you want to use these cartridges in non-Lamy pens, or use “standard” cartridges, such as from famous ink manufacturer Herbin, you are out of luck. Lamy makes a few colours, and that’s where your choice ends.
The ballpoint, which is also quite stylish and usable, takes a proprietary Lamy M16 refill. For someone like myself in a small city – the problem is that the local big box office supply store doesn’t carry this item.
For the fountain pen – there is a path to more choices which I recommend – the (again proprietary format) Lamy Z24 format converter allows the use of bottled ink. This is to me a defining merit of the fountain pen – there are hundreds if not thousands of ink varieties available, ranging not just in shade, but density, wetness, drying times, and many other factors. The converter sets you free to try whatever ink you choose.
To review, the Lamy Safari Fountain pen and ballpoint pen use these refills:
Ballpoint refill: M16
Overall, I think they are great writing implements, but I have just a bit of concern about the non-standard formats – the ballpoint in particular.
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