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Lamy Safari Fountain Pen/Ballpoint Pen set

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.

Lamy Safari Fountain Pen/Ballpoint Pen set

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.

Lamy Safari Fountain Pen/Ballpoint Pen set

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).

Lamy Safari Fountain Pen/Ballpoint Pen set

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.

Lamy Safari Fountain Pen/Ballpoint Pen set

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.

Lamy Safari Fountain pen cartridge: T10

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.

Lamy Safari Ballpoint refill: M16

To review, the Lamy Safari Fountain pen and ballpoint pen use these refills:

Ballpoint refill: M16
Fountain pen cartridge: T10
Fountain pen converter: Z24

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.

7 comments to Lamy Safari Fountain Pen/Ballpoint Pen set

  • Three cheers for the Safari — it really is a workhorse. One of the great ironies of contemporary fountain pens is that “not expensive” often seems synonymous with “problem-free.”

  • Having used a range of more expensive fountain pens for many years—Waterman, Pelikan—the Lamy was a surprising find. It’s fast becoming my favourite for it’s reliable inkflow and smooth tip. I had to tweak most of my pens when I got them to get everything just ‘right’, but my Lamy Safari was cheap and yet required no tweaking.

    Quite awesome stuff. :)

  • Renard DellaFave

    It’s a good pen, alright, and one of few available in a clear “demonstrator” version, which I think is no more expensive than the other colors.

    The clip is odd, and you might like it, or hate it. Generally takes two hands to put in a shirt pocket. Very sturdy though.

    As for the ink colors, I’d recommend just refilling the cartridges with a syringe, from a bottle. I find this easier than filling converters the usual way, and the cartridges hold more ink.

  • I can vouch for my Lamy Safari. I use it with a converter, and it is my workhorse pen. It is very reliable and can stand up to a lot of abuse. I love the Lamy 2000 pen. It is an amazing, albeit more expensive, pen.

  • Al

    I generally avoid cartridge fountain pens that use adapters. They just don’t hold enough ink. Lately I’ve been using Noodler’s ink which really flows; in an adapter I’d be refilling it all the time.

    My daily writer for the last several years has been a Pelikan 200. All but the cheapest of Pelikan fountain pens are piston fill and their mechanism works very well and holds plenty of ink. Pelikan pens tend to be a little scratchy, especially if you get fine. I would avoid fine nips here. There is a gentleman who fixes Pelikan nibs and even makes a Pelikan compatable fine nib that works but I lost his contact info and haven’t been able to find him online. I like a nice bold nib so it isn’t an issue for me but the steel nibbed 200 took a long time to break in.

    In cartridge foundain pens I found the best deal on the planet. The Pilot Petit1 mini foutnain pen is under $5 and writes better than any pen that cheap has a right to. It takes its own size of refills but they come in lots of colors and are cheap as well. The pen would write much better if it was full size and had more mass and better balance but it writes surprisingly well.

  • Jameel

    I have used a Lamy Safari fountain pen for the past 20 years and it is a beauty. I recently got a Safari ballpoint pen and pencil to match, but while the pencil is also a dream to use, the ballpoint pen refills seem to dry out on me prematurely. Just got a new one a few days ago and it’s already dying on me. Not sure why, I keep the pen in a leather case when it’s not in use and I have only used the new refill for about two weeks. It seems no-one else has experienced this, and I can’t figure out why mine keep dying.

    At least the pen is esthetically perfect :)

  • Jameel

    BTW, I found that a syringe and a bottle of generic fountain pen ink were sufficient to keep my Safari fountain pen working for years (I got the pen while I lived in the Philippines, replacements were very hard to come by)…

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