A Comprehensive Lamy Safari Fountain Pen Review
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Trying to figure out fountain pens? It can be tough! Check out this comprehensive Lamy Safari fountain pen review to see if this pen is right for you!
Fountain Pen Fancy
If you are a part of the bullet journal community, then you have probably seen fountain pens pop onto your radar from time to time. People seem to be using fountain pens much more nowadays, and it can make you wonder whether it’s worth getting one for yourself. I’ve been using fountain pens for the past three years, and I can say that they create a fun and unique experience as a writing utensil. But fountain pens can certainly be overwhelming, especially when you have never used one before in your life. How do you know which pen brands or types of fountain pens are right for you? In this Lamy Safari fountain pen review, I’m going to break down all the benefits and setbacks of this affordable and attractive pen for you.
My Lamy Safari Fountain Pen Review
When I first tried fountain pens, it was love at first write. I began using it every single day to write my Morning Pages because the pen feels perfect for such a purpose. There is no other pen that quite matches the feel and flow of a fountain pen. The liquid ink comes out so silky smooth, and you can’t help but feel like a character in a historical romance writing a letter to your long-lost love. To put it simply, fountain pens are old-fashioned romantic. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be modern, either! You can strike a perfect balance of both modern style and old-world attitude in a single pen.
Where to Find Lamy Safari Fountain Pens
I bought my Lamy Safari fountain pen at my local art co-op. It was lovely to get to see it with my own eyes and hold it in my hands before I spent my hard-earned cash. However, it’s a total gamble whether your local store will have these pens in stock or how varied that stock might be! You can always find the exact model that you want on Amazon, of course. If you’re willing to wait a few days, I would always suggest shopping with Amazon since they have everything you might be looking for — including ink!
- Made of ABS white coloured plastic body
- Steel nib, polished. Medium Point
- Accepts Z24 cartridge converter, sold separately.
Filling Your Lamy Safari Fountain Pen
You might be wondering what the deal is when it comes to your pen’s ink. Well, there are a few options. You can use ink cartridges from Lamy to refill your pen with some standard colors like black ink or blue ink Lamy cartridges. If you want to use more attractive colors, you can choose from a pretty unlimited number of different bottled inks! The Lamy Safari has a refillable reservoir that you can dip into a bottle of ink to fill up using suction. That is actually one of my favorite features of fountain pens — the ability to change the color of my ink to any hue my heart desires. The inks that I use the most are Diamine Ancient Copper, Noodler’s 54th Massachusetts, and Noodler’s Apache Sunset.
What are some of the benefits of getting a Lamy Safari fountain pen over another brand? There are a few things that really stand out.
When it comes to fountain pens, there really aren’t a lot of cheap options and there are only a few inexpensive options. Lamy Safari is one of the more inexpensive fountain pens you can buy, making it an excellent way to sample a fountain pen without investing a lot of money.
A Piston Converter
A converter is a mechanism that you use to fill the reservoir with ink, and the Lamy Safari has a piston converter. When you have the nib of the pen dipped into a bottle of ink, you twist a part of the pen (the piston converter) to pull the ink into the reservoir. It works much like a syringe, but instead of pulling straight back, you create a vacuum by twisting the piston. I’ve used other types of converters, and the piston converter is by far one of the easiest and most user-friendly ways to refill your fountain pen. Of course, if you’d rather not fuss with all of that, you can simply use premade ink cartridges. But if you’re interested in collecting a few bottles of different colored ink, the piston converter is a big plus for the Lamy Safari.
The body of the Lamy Safari is not perfectly round, which is a bit unusual for pens. It actually has two flat sides and two curved sides, giving an ergonomic grip to the pen. Because the shape makes holding the Lamy Safari so comfortable, it makes it one of the best pens for note taking. It’s not necessarily a huge selling point, but I rather like the way it feels and looks in my hand.
Modern and Elegant
Fountain pens, being a bit old-fashioned in their construction, can look a bit like they belong in the wooden drawer of a dusty old lawyer in a powdered wig. With its matte case and metal clip, the Lamy Safari fountain pen is designed to look sleek, modern, and sexy — with excellent results, I might add.
One thing I absolutely love about the Lamy Safari fountain pen is that it gives you a window to the ink reservoir. Not only does this look very cool, but it allows you to know how much ink remains before you need to refill it.
Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how well the Lamy Safari writes. I’m happy to report that the writing of this fountain pen is smooth as butter! I have no complaints whatsoever. I never have to press down to get ink flow, and the black chromium-plated steel nib glides on the page without a hint of scratchiness. With some fountain pens, you need to fiddle with the nib to get it to flow ink just the way you like, but there is no fiddling necessary with the Safari.
The Pen Clip
Something that is worth noting about the Lamy Safari fountain pen is the metal clip on the cap. I like the way it looks — sleek and simple — and it serves its function role wonderfully without getting in the way.
The Lamy Safari fountain pen is made from sturdy ABS plastic, giving this pen a ruggedness not found in other plastic fountain pens. The spring-loaded clip and stainless steel nib are also built to last, making it one of the best pens for journaling.
Fountain pens can be a little finicky with all their parts and pieces, and it can lead to some drawbacks. Here are my least favorite features of the Lamy Safari.
When you’re dropping $20-30 minimum on a single pen, you want it to feel fancier than any old ballpoint pen or mechanical pencil. While the Lamy Safari’s timeless design certainly looks the part, the plastic material of the barrel leaves one wanting. When you purchase one of the most inexpensive pens on the market, the material of the pen itself can often be a tradeoff. I would much prefer a metal body of some kind with a little more weight. Thankfully, this pen does exist, though it’s more expensive. It’s called the Lamy Al-Star fountain pen, and it is nearly identical to the Safari but made of nicer materials. So if you did decide that you loved the design of the Lamy Safari but you wanted to upgrade, you have an option readily available.
One thing that is less than ideal with the Lamy Safari fountain pen is the size of the ink reservoir. I write three pages longhand every day, and my Safari needs to be refilled about every five days or so. If you plan on writing less, then your ink will certainly last much longer and this might not be as much of an issue. I want to note, however, that most fountain pens on the cheaper end of the price spectrum will share this same problem, so it’s not a strike against this particular brand.
If you want to refill your Lamy Safari with bottled fountain pen ink, then you should be aware that the process is often messy. The piston converter makes it easier to keep your hands clean, but it is still common to end up with ink on your hands. Again, this isn’t a problem that is restricted to the Lamy Safari but is a common inconvenience of fountain pens. As you become more experienced with fountain pens, messy refills are less and less of an issue.
Not a Flex Nib
The nib on the Lamy Safari fountain pen is perfect for standard writing. However, if you’re interested in nib calligraphy, then you might be hoping to find a fountain pen with a flex nib. Unfortunately, the Lamy Safari doesn’t come with that kind of nib. If you pressed down and tried to get the nib to flex, it would be bent out of shape and permanently damaged. Interested in writing only with no calligraphy at all? Then you’re all set with the Lamy Safari!
Fountain Pen Paradise
Shopping around for fountain pens can be tough. But I can tell you that if you decide to purchase a Lamy Safari for your first fountain pen, you won’t be disappointed. This stylish pen is the perfect way to dip your toes into the fountain pen community and see for yourself how awesome it can be. You will be blown away by how they feel as you write. Be warned, though — you may find yourself collecting fountain pens like crazy!
I hope you have found this Lamy Safari fountain pen review helpful as you search for your dream journal! Let me know in the comments section what product you want me to review next, and head to the My Supplies page to see some of my other favorite materials!
- Made of ABS white coloured plastic body
- Steel nib, polished. Medium Point
- Accepts Z24 cartridge converter, sold separately.
I did not notice any mention of the Lamy italic nibs that I have on two of my pens that give you varied widths on the various parts of your letters without the varied pressure for some other pen nibs.
Hm, I’ve never tried one of those nibs before! I’ll have to grab one sometime!
Hello little coffee Shelby, I’m sure its being long time since you wrote this article. Just found that as recently joined the morning pages club 🙂 meaning its being 4 days that I am doing my 3 pages. I found a video of you in YouTube and I found the tips you shared very valuable. Then I got this review and again, very useful so I didn’t want to miss the opportunity for saying thank you!!! 🙂
Thank you so much, Rocio! I truly hope you continue to write your morning pages and see all the subtle ways it can improve your well-being. Keep going and good luck to you!
Maybe a little out of date – maybe it’s time to take another look at pens.
I just picked up a bunch of pens from China – and I must say the quality is pretty high.
I do have one Lamy pen, as well as a pencil, but now want some inexpensive options for my son, and also to keep a few different colours and styles at hand…
So starting off, take a look at Jinhao (the Swan Clip writes well) and Wing Sung – I have two piston fillers costing $1.50 each and they have Lamy style nibs that write very nicely.
Wing Sung 3013 looks very nice, but cost more – 3 times more (that’s about $4)
And my favourite ‘luxury’ pen is now the Bobby Launch Jinhao 51A which came in at almost $5 but has an absolutely gorgeous blend of blue/green resin colour that has to be seen to be appreciated.
These pens all write just as well as my Lamy – reliable and not likely to dry up, also smooth and consistent.
So look at Lamy as a budget western brand – but certainly not ‘cheap’. The extra quality control improves matters by 10% and pushes the price up to 1000%. I’m happy to say that spending 1/5 of the price of one Lamy, I got THREE swan clip pens that all work just as well.
Lamy Safari is cheap! In europe, especially in Germany and Netherlands, Lamy Safari is used by school kids!
The Pilot Metro… Great entry pen also, that has metal (brass?) body and some elegance with variety of options. That said, just bought the Lamy Safari from Munich airport and very excited.
I’m a huge fan of both the Lamy Safari and Pilot Metropolitan! They are both great entry level pens. I hope you enjoy your Lamy!
Oooh! LAMY fountain pens!
They got me addicted to fountain pens again after an almost 40-year absence. I first started using fountain pens in high school in 1980, back when Sheaffer still made their fat-bodied No Nonsense fountain pens with the italic nibs. I also collected and used the smaller “school” grade fountain pens made by Sheaffer, too, and collected all the ink colors in cartridges.
Then I set them aside when I went to college and only just now picked them up again, upgrading to LAMY.
I have several of them and I’ve converters for most of them so as to take advantage of all the bottles of ink out there. In the past year, I’ve learned a few tricks:
If you run out of ink in your cartridge, double check the cartridge interior for drops of ink or dried ink residue. If either are present, you can reconstitute it with plain water to make a diluted version of the ink.
I reconstituted half a dozen cartridges this way when I took my pens on vacation with me and they spent the daylight hours baking in my luggage in the trunk of my car. I was dismayed on finding my pens “dry”. I had a syringe with me–the kind people use to refill printer cartridges or to apply henna in teeny amounts–and on a hunch, I added half a cartridge’s worth of water, carefully reinserted the cartridge into my pens, and voila! The dried residue (the actual dye that makes the ink) reconstituted and flowed nicely out of my pen. The color of the ink was only a little lighter than the original.
Since then, I’ve saved all my “empty” ink cartridges, thinking to get the last bit of dye out of the corners by adding a little water and writing some more with them.
You can use this syringe trick to reconstitute ink that has “evaporated” out of your converters, too. Several of my pens on that vacation were fitted with converters and they too had suffered the same fate as the cartridges.
In one pen, the ink evaporated much more slowly, turning the ink color darker as the water content was reduced … but a drop or two of water from my syringe brought it back to the original hue.
Also–that syringe made filling my pens WAY EASIER. I was always bumping my fingertips against the lip of the ink bottle when filling my pens via converter. It wasn’t a lot of ink but it only takes a drop going astray on your kitchen counter or onto your shirt or pants to make a mess you’d rather not deal with.
My syringe has a dull needle tip and fractions of mililiters marked on the barrel. Much like with a clear glass measuring cup, it’s easy to be accurate on amounts needed and the needle tip keeps everything clean and tidy. ^_^
Needless to say, I have a LOT MORE FUN with my fountain pens because of the usefulness of the syringe. If you get only one extra accessory for your pens, investing in a syringe is worth it. They’re rather inexpensive, less than a package of cartridges, actually, and most can be taken apart for easy cleaning.
You will need to flush the ink out your pens, ideally whenever you run out of ink or at least whenever you change colors.
The thing that makes it easy is a squeeze bulb syringe, just like the kind you get for babies to get goop out of their noses.
Unscrew the nibholder from the barrel of your pen, fill the bulb syringe with water, put the nibholder (or section, as it’s called) over the tip of the bulb syringe, and squeeze. The water shoots out of the bulb, swooshes through your pen, and out the nib. Hold it over the sink when you do this, or you’ll get inky water everywhere. One or two bulb’s worth of water does the trick.
I’ve been using fountain pens regularly now for nearly a year and it didn’t take me long to incorporate the two types of syringe into my maintenance kit. Other than a small bottle of pen flush (a cleaning solution made just for fountainpens) to handle the glitter/shimmer inks that are a little trickier to get out of your pen, these two syringes do 95% of the work.
Hope this helps! ^_^
Thank you for all the helpful information Mary!! Glad to hear your love for fountain pens has been revived.
Does the Lamy have other size niba. I prefer something smaller than medium. And if so, have you used them and what do you think?
PA love the reviews!
I’m so glad to hear your are enjoying the reviews Eli! There are smaller nibs that you may like using better if the medium isn’t quite what you’re looking for. They have both an Extra Fine and Fine.
My two favorite inexpensive pens are the Pilot Metropolitan and the TWSBI Eco. Fountain pens are a more expensive investment at first, but when used with bottled ink they are actually cheaper than ball point pens.
This is true, they definitely can end up being cheaper Mary.
@Janine- Ink does make a difference! Try a different ink. I was at a Lamy shop (where they sell Lamy pens exclusively) and the owner did not like Noodler’s ink in his personal Lamy pens.
I have two of these pens. I have had them for probably 6 or 7 years. Love them! I have a white one and a yellow one. The yellow one I put florescent yellow “highlighter” ink in it. The white one I have several inks I rotate through. I love grey, sepia and aqua colored inks.
What a fun way to use the yellow Debi!
@Debi, thank you for the reply, I will try a few different inks soon ?
I always usee the standard cartridges in my old school pens, so this is a step up in the experimenting ? So many beautiful ink colors..
What a coincidence! I just gifted myself two Lamy AL-stars, and I absolutely love them!
I have one in a purplish color, and use it with Noodler’s Burgundy ink, which is almost the same color as the barrel. Such smooth writing!
I have another Lamy pen, a lamy logo, but it doesn’t write as smooth. I have different ink in it, I don’t know how much difference that makes? How often should you clean pens like tgese?
As usual, a very comprehensive blog post ❤️
Hi Shelby, thank you for your post! I felt so identified because really LOVE my Lamy Safari! It’s white like yours and I bought it a year ago in a trip to Berlin.
I live in Argentina, and here you can get it in some “high level” stationery shops, but they are so much expensive!
I continue reading you, bye, bye!
Thanks so much Laura! Glad to have you here 🙂
This was a nice review. I was given one of these for my birthday in the Limited Matte Black color along with a bottle of Noodler ink and the converter add on. I think this pen is fantastic as the design always puts your fingers in the default position to write with. It is functional, stylish, and very smooth on the multiple types of paper I have used it with including normal tablet paper, printer paper, and my dot journal. I would recommend this Lamy for anyone interested in fountain pens as an inexpensive daily driver for regular writing. Calligraphy writing deserves it’s own pen due to the nature of it and you would definitely want to look into other options more suited for that task.
Thanks for sharing your experience with your Lamy, JC!