Tag Archives: fountain pens

Montblanc Defoe Writers Edition Palm Green Fountain Pen Ink

Montblanc Daniel Defoe Palm Green Ink Review

 Montblanc Palm Green
2014 Writer’s Edition
Fountain Pen Ink

- Handwritten Review -

PenMontblanc 149, Medium Nib
Ink: Montblanc Daniel Defoe Palm Green
Paper: Kyokuto FOB COOP B5 Dot Grid

Montblanc Defoe Writers Edition Palm Green Fountain Pen Ink

Notes:

Huge thanks to Pen Boutique for sending the ink over for review! This is the Montblanc 2014 Writer’s Edition, Palm Green. The ink honors writer Daniel Defoe. I like the nicely shading green ink quite a bit. It’s a grassy green with a yellowy base that comes through quite nicely when the ink shades. The 149’s medium nib has a generous flow and does an excellent job of putting the ink down on paper. The ink is a limited edition, like the other Writer’s Series inks so if you like what you see, act fast! The packaging is different from Montblanc’s standard ink packaging (which I prefer), but I still like the presentation of the Palm Green. The ink reminds me of Rohrer & Klingner’s Alt-Goldgrun, but with more green and less gross. Thanks again to Pen Boutique for sending the ink over for review! You can pick up a bottle of your own right here.

PBBanner

Pen Boutique is a retailer of fine writing instruments, inks, refills, and accessories. I had the pleasure of meeting them at the DC Pen Show and checking out their retail locations. They’re a great store, thanks again for the ink!

Pros:

- Nice Shading
– Great Color
– Limited Editions are always fun

Cons:

- None!

Montblanc Defoe Writers Edition Palm Green Fountain Pen Ink Montblanc Defoe Writers Edition Palm Green Fountain Pen Ink Montblanc Defoe Writers Edition Palm Green Fountain Pen Ink Montblanc Defoe Writers Edition Palm Green Fountain Pen Ink Montblanc Defoe Writers Edition Palm Green Fountain Pen Ink Montblanc Defoe Writers Edition Palm Green Fountain Pen Ink Montblanc Defoe Writers Edition Palm Green Fountain Pen Ink Montblanc Defoe Writers Edition Palm Green Fountain Pen Ink Montblanc Defoe Writers Edition Palm Green Fountain Pen Ink Montblanc Defoe Writers Edition Palm Green Fountain Pen Ink

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[Guest Post] Sailor 1911 Matte Black Full Size with a Naginata Togi MF Nib

[Guest Post] The Sailor 1911 Matte Black Full Size with a Naginata Togi MF Nib

Another awesome guest post by Susan Pigott! You may know her from her own blog, Scribalishess! Her photography, handwriting, and reviewing skills are top notch. If you like what you see here, make sure to go check out more on her site! Here’s Susan’s review of the The Sailor 1911 Large Matte Black Fountain Pen with an incredible Naginata Togi MF nib. Enjoy!

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Review Ink: Diamine Ancient Copper

Specs:

Description:  A Sailor 1911 Full Size in Matte Black with rhodium accents fitted with a Naginata Togi MF Nib

Nib:  21K Gold Naginata Togi MF

Filling Mechanism:  Cartridge/Converter

Weight: 23.7 grams

Measurements:  5.5 inches in length, capped; 4 and 3/4 inches uncapped; and 6 inches posted

Color Options: Black with gold trim; Black with rhodium trim, Burgundy with gold trim, Black luster, Matte Black with gold trim, Matte Black with rhodium trim and metal section, Naginata-Togi Gin-sensuji with Rhodium Trim, Naginata-Togi Ribbed Black with Gold Trim,Naginata-Togi Ribbed Black with Rhodium Trim, Naginata-Togi Ribbed Burgundy with Rhodium Trim, Black Realo with gold trim, Burgundy Realo with gold trim.

Handwritten Review Scans:

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Intro/About: 

I’ve been eyeing Naginata Togi nibs for quite some time now. I’ve always been fascinated with Sailor specialty nibs, and the Togi is the most basic (and least expensive) of the specialty nibs. I bought this pen from a seller on FPN for about $100 off the price listed at Classic Pens ($416). The seller had bought it from Classic Pens, so the nib was tuned by John Mottishaw. I was thrilled because I almost bought this very pen at the full price.

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Ed already reviewed a Sailor Professional Gear 1911, so I’m not going to focus much on the pen itself, though my model is a bit different. This review is all about the nib.

Appearance and Packaging: 

My Sailor 1911 came in a blue, rectangular clamshell box with literature about the pen and Sailor’s specialty nibs. Included were one ink cartridge and a converter.

The matte black version with rhodium trim is subtle and beautiful. I usually like gold-trimmed pens, but the rhodium matches the matte black perfectly. I honestly have too many black, cigar-shaped pens in my collection, but the matte black makes this pen stand out from the crowd. It’s classy, like Bond, James Bond.

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Nib Performance and Filling System:

The nib is what truly makes this pen something special.

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The Naginata Togi nib allows for a great deal of line variation depending on the angle of the pen to the paper. It is an unusually-shaped nib (see photos), and it has a longer than usual tip. It’s a 21K nib and is pretty rigid. You’re not going to get any flex while writing with this nib. The line variation comes from how you hold the pen. In the written review, I held the nib in my normal writing position, which is about 45 degrees, and I found the nib wrote beautifully. You can see differences in line width when I held the pen at a 90 degree angle, a 45 degree angle, and a super low angle (as close to the paper as I could hold it).

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Most of the Sailor specialty nibs are made for Japanese-styles of writing and calligraphy. But I wanted one for writing Hebrew since the horizontal strokes need to be thicker than the vertical strokes. (In real life I’m a professor of Old Testament and Hebrew). Even though I have a Hebrew nib from Richard Binder, it’s got a very narrow width and, unless I write tiny, I can’t see much variation between the horizontal and vertical strokes. The Naginata Togi does quite well, though I still need to practice making the Hebrew look good. I sure wish I could do Hebrew calligraphy.

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I admit I was nervous about buying a Sailor specialty nib. When you go the page on Classic Pens, the specialty nibs are almost overwhelming. They are amazingly intricate, and I was afraid I would find the Naginata Togi to be ridiculously broad. I even called and asked about the nibs and was told they are not for everyone. But I am a believer in this nib. I’m amazed at how smoothly it writes. I love the versatility it has depending on the angle you’re writing.

One concern I had is that the Naginata Togi nib puts down lots of ink when you’re writing broad. I was afraid the feed and the converter wouldn’t be able to keep up. So far, everything has been perfect, though I expect to refill this pen more often than most.

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Feel:

The Sailor 1911 full size feels great in the hand. It’s not a heavy pen. It is smooth as silk but not slippery. I don’t post my pens, but I tried writing with it posted and, for me at least, posting ruins the balance. If you want line variation, you have to hold the pen at different angles. Some angles are quite uncomfortable (such as trying to write super fine at 90 degrees). Other angles are easier on the wrist, but the lower you go, the slower you have to write.

 

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Pros:

  • The 1911 in Matte Black is a gorgeous pen. It is sleek and elegant and the rhodium trim complements it perfectly.
  • The pen feels good in the hand and is neither too heavy nor too light.
  • The Naginata Togi nib is a useful departure from a typical nib. I can see artists using this nib for sketching since you can get such wonderful line variation. For me, it works great as a general writer and it enhances my Hebrew printing.

Cons:

  • I prefer piston filler pens. The Sailor converter only holds .5ml of ink. You can get the Sailor Realo instead, but it only holds .9ml. Currently the Realo only comes in Black and Burgundy with gold trim. So, if you want the matte black, you have to go with the 1911 or Pro Gear.
  • The pen looks rather ordinary and plain. I like colorful pens. But the matte black makes it stand out from other black, cigar-shaped pens and the rhodium trim is different from my other pens, all of which have gold accents.
  • The Naginata Togi nib may not suit everyone’s tastes. If you can try one before you buy, that’s the best thing to do. I definitely wouldn’t go larger than the MF Togi. I’ve read that the medium and broad versions are like writing with Magic Markers.

 

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Conclusion:

All in all, I am very pleased with my Sailor 1911 Naginata Togi. My fears about the nib were unwarranted and, in fact, I am crazy about it. I love how it looks, how it writes, and that it is versatile enough that I can write in my journal or write Hebrew or both (because I totally write in Hebrew in my journal . . . not).

Gallery:

 

 

[Guest Post] The Platinum 3776 Century Nice Limited Edition Fountain Pen Review

Today we have another guest post by Susan Pigott. You may know her from her own blog, Scribalishess! Her photography, handwriting, and reviewing skills are top notch. If you like what you see here, make sure to go check out more on her site! Here’s Susan’s review of the The Platinum 3776 Century Nice Limited Edition Fountain Pen. Enjoy!

Review Ink: Caran d’Ache Delicate Green and Pilot Iroshizuku Asa-Gao

 

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Specs:

Description:  The Platinum 3776 Century Nice Limited Edition fountain pen is a frosted, translucent, faceted demonstrator pen with a rose gold plated nib and accents.

Nib:  Fine,14K, rose gold plated

Filling Mechanism:  Cartridge/Converter

Weight: .7 oz. (19.9 grams)

Measurements:  5.5 inches in length, capped; 4 and 3/4 inches uncapped; and 6 inches posted

Color Options: None

 

Handwritten Review Photos:

 

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Intro/About:

 

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I am not usually one who is interested in clear demonstrator pens. I’ve always felt they were plasticky-looking and sort of silly. Why get a clear pen (and even pay more for it) when you can get a pretty color? But when I saw pictures of the Platinum 3776 Century Nice, I loved it. Somehow the rose gold plated nib and accents on the pen won me over. So, I ordered one from Classic Pens and it arrived yesterday. My Platinum Nice is one of the first 2,000 produced, so it comes with a limited edition number etched on the cap. Mine is 121 out of 2,000.

Appearance & Packaging:

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The packaging is nothing spectacular, but it suits the pen. It comes in a cream-colored oval box with a satin-like interior. It’s understated, like the pen. One cartridge of ink and a Platinum converter are included with the pen, along with a registration form, instruction booklet, and information about the Nice.

I was surprised to discover that the pen isn’t clear. It is faceted and has a frosted appearance. I really love this look. The facets give the pen more character than a smooth-bodied pen has, and they add a wonderful elegant shimmer to what might otherwise be a dull finish. The rose gold is simply gorgeous on the pen. I’ve seen it on other pens, such as the 90th anniversary MB. Personally, I don’t like rose gold with a black pen. It just doesn’t work for me. But because the Nice is a neutral color, the rose gold really stands out.

 

Nib Performance & Filling Mechanism:

 

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Initially, I was disappointed with my new Platinum fine nib–and that’s a first for a pen bought from Classic Pens. I filled the pen with Caran d’ Ache Delicate Green ink because I knew the green color of the ink would look outstanding with the rose gold (and it did). But when I started writing with the pen, I immediately thought, “I’m going to have to return this and get it tuned again or exchange the fine nib for a medium.” The ink flow was poor, the nib felt dry, and I could barely see the green on the paper. I know Classic Pens tunes their nibs before they ship them, but I thought maybe the nib had some factory oil or something that was making it write poorly. So, I dumped the ink, rinsed the nib, used some pen wash to flush the nib, and rinsed some more. I refilled: same thing–dry, scratchy, stuttering across the paper. I was not happy. This was not at all the experience I’ve had with my other Platinum Century pen. So, I decided to change the ink. I cleaned the pen again and put Iroshizuku Asa-Gao in the Nice. What a difference this made in the performance of the nib! I know that some inks work well with certain nibs and others don’t. Apparently Caran d’ Ache Delicate Green is not good for my Platinum Nice. With Asa-Gao, it writes like a dream. Of course, since a Japanese fine is like a Western extra-fine, the nib has some scratchiness to it. But this is to be expected, and for such a fine line, it writes beautifully. Plus, one thing I love about Platinum nibs is their springiness. They aren’t nails; they don’t flex; but they offer a nice, bouncy feedback as you write.

 

The filling mechanism on Platinum pens is a cartridge/converter system. I never use cartridges (except on my Kaweco), so I knew I would be using the converter. The converter is tiny, holding only .55 ml. But it has a solid feel to it. I find it easiest to fill the converter directly with ink (rather than trying to fill it through the nib). I get my fingers pretty inky this way, but I always get a better fill. I much prefer piston fillers, but Nakaya and Platinum nibs are so wonderful that I’m willing to put up with the dinky amount of ink the converter holds. One advantage to cartridge/converter pens: they are easy to clean.

 

Feel:

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The Platinum Nice is a light pen, weighing in at only .7 ounces (19.9 grams) unfilled. I enjoy writing with both light and heavy pens, but I’ve found that my hand tends to last longer with a lighter pen. The Nice writes well unposted, which is how I use my fountain pens. Posting gives it a little more heft, but the weight is on the back of the pen, so it might feel a bit unbalanced. It’s a good length unposted and fits comfortably in my hand. I wrote four pages in my handwritten review without any fatigue at all using this pen. Plus, I have a Platinum 3776 Century in Chartres blue that I’ve been using for a couple of years as my main grading pen (I’m a professor). It’s my main grading pen for a reason: excellent nib and comfortable writing. The Nice will make a nice companion grading pen with a different color of ink. Unfortunately, I won’t be using the Caran d’ Ache as I planned. Guess I’ll just have to get another bottle of Iroshizuku in green!

Pros:

 

  • Beautiful, understated, elegant pen. The rose gold complements the frosted body of the pen perfectly.
  • Excellent nib; bouncy, fairly smooth (with the right ink), and gorgeous.
  • Light and comfortable to write with.
  • Special cap with “slip and seal” technology allows you to keep the pen inked for long periods of time.
  • This is a wonderful daily carry pen. It’s pocketable with a clip; the cap is secure and air-tight; it writes beautifully.

 

Cons:

  • The converter does not hold much ink, so if you use this pen often, as I do, plan on refilling often. In fact, I now store bottle of inks at work so I always have refills available.
  • Fairly expensive for what amounts to a frosted plastic pen (with 14K accents and nib) ($250 retail; $200 at Classic Pens). Still, this is an affordable limited edition pen, especially if you get one of the first 2,000 that are numbered.
  • Plan on getting a medium or broad if you don’t like super narrow nibs. The Platinum fine nib is pretty smooth for what amounts to a Western EF, but you do get a little scratchiness simply because that’s the nature of EF nibs.

 

Conclusion:

 

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I am thrilled with my Platinum 3776 Century Nice fountain pen. It is more beautiful in person than I expected. I love the facets and frosted look of the pen body. And the rose gold is simply lovely. The pen feels solid in my hand, not plasticky. And, once I got the ink problem figured out, it writes like a charm. I realize some might think me crazy for using expensive fountain pens as grading pens. But fountain pens make me happy, and that makes the horrible chore of grading a little less loathsome. A little.

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Pilot Vanishing Point Metallic Orange Fountain Pen Review

Pilot Vanishing Point Fountain Pen Followup Review / Photo Post

Pilot Vanishing Point in Metallic Orange
Fountain Pen

Pilot Vanishing Point Metallic Orange Fountain Pen Review

- Followup Review -

For the original review, see here!

Notes:

I’m going to be doing a new series of follow up reviews here on the site that you will continue to see more and more of down the line. I think it’s really important to follow up on reviews, especially the popular ones. Often there’s a “Honeymoon Phase” where there’s excitement for a new pen, and it soon wears off. Please let me know in the comments if there is anything else you would like to know about how the pen is holding up, how much usage it gets, or anything else you may want to know! I have had two Vanishing Points before, and they’re a great versatile pen.

Pilot Vanishing Point Metallic Orange Fountain Pen Review

To promote the new range of metallic colors, Deborah over at Pilot graciously sent over a new Vanishing Point in Desert Orange. Thank you Deborah! Instead of simply reviewing the pen again and showing some pictures of the color, I’ve decided to also let you know how my old Vanishing Point is holding up, if any initial praise has worn off, and how much real use mine has gotten. Once again, huge thanks to my friends over at Pilot, and enjoy the update!

How It’s Holding Up:

Pilot Vanishing Point Metallic Orange Fountain Pen Review

The VP is definitely a durable pen that is meant to be carried and used. I’ve owned the matte black version since June of 2012. The nib (ordered “Binderized” from Richard’s Pens) is still great and buttery smooth. I haven’t used the original fine nib that I purchased the pen with because I wasn’t thrilled with its performance. It was dry and scratchy and just not that pleasant to write with. I’m happy to report that the medium nib that Pilot sent with the orange VP is great. No scratchiness, great flow, and it starts up every time. The finish on the matte black version of the pen has started to show some wear.

Pilot Vanishing Point Metallic Orange Fountain Pen Review

There were complaints about the pens finish chipping away, exposing the brass underneath. Mine’s not thrashed, but I quite like the character that the pen has developed from being carried over time. The new Metallic VP has a clear coat that appears to be much more durable than the matte finish. I had a gun metal grey version of the pen (that I sold to fund my Nakaya) that I had carried for a bit with no issues at all. Overall, the VP is holding up very well, especially when considering the amount of usage it has gotten and the numerous amount of times I’ve carried it in-pocket, sans-case.

Honeymoon Phase?:

Pilot Vanishing Point Metallic Orange Fountain Pen Review

Getting a new pen is always fun. It’s hard to not love a new pen, and you may be more inclined to use it, take pictures of it, show it off, and love it to pieces – all because it’s new. I’m happy to report that my love for the Pilot Vanishing Point has not worn off. After my initial purchase two years ago, I had bought another one a year later at the LI Pen Show. I recently sold the gun metal version to fund my Nakaya, but it wasn’t easy to part with it. I’m glad that there are two Vanishing Points back in my collection with the addition of the Orange Metallic. I absolutely love the design and utility of the pen, coupled with the excellent performance of the black-plated 18k gold nib. Also, a retractable clicky fountain pen? Can’t really get much cooler or convenient than that…

Usage:

Pilot Vanishing Point Metallic Orange Fountain Pen Review

Have you ever gotten a nice new pen, inked it up, used it for a week straight, the shelved it for the foreseeable future? I have.  Several times. Once again, this isn’t the case with the Vanishing Point. The VP is a great pen for both quick notes and longer writing sessions. The pen was absolutely perfect for college lecture notes. Not having to worry about keeping track of a pen cap is more convenient than you may think. Especially so when moving between classes – there’s nothing to leave behind or drop on the floor. There’s a very good chance that I have a VP inked at all times, and when I don’t, I wish that I did. The pen definitely gets enough usage to justify the ~$140 price tag!

Conclusion:

Pilot Vanishing Point Metallic Orange Fountain Pen Review

The Vanishing Point is a solid addition to any pen collection that I will continue to use and love. I have no doubts that my 2.5 year old VP will continue to serve me well for many more years to come. I’m also happy to report that the new stock medium nib is a much better performer than my old fine nib too. I’ve had 3 VPs in my collection, but only two remain. Like I said before, the only reason I parted with one was to fund a larger pen purchase, and it wasn’t easy parting ways. I would love to hear your feedback on these new follow up reviews as well! Thanks again to Deborah over at Pilot Pens for sending me over this awesome new VP!

Recommendation: Yes! The Vanishing Point has held up to years of heavy use, and continues to be one of my most reached for pens.

 

Disclaimer: I received this pen free of charge from Pilot for review purposes. However, it does not have any effect on my feelings and thoughts about the pen.

Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen Review

Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen Review

Lamy AL-Star
Fountain Pen

- Handwritten Review -

  • Review Ink: Sailor Kiwa Guro Nano Black
  • Review Paper: Doane Writing Pad

Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen Review

Specs:

  • Description:  The aluminum cousin of the Lamy Safari
  • Nib: Steel nib, Fine, interchangeable
  • Material: Aluminum body with plastic triangular grip
  • Filling Mechanism: Proprietary cartridge/converter system
  • Weight: ~22 grams filled (Cap – 10g, Body – 12g)
  • Measurements: 6.1″ closed, 6.7″ posted, 5.2″ unposted, 0.5″ diameter
  • Ink Capactiy: ~1ml
  • Price: $50.00 US on Amazon (affiliate link)

Handwritten Review Scans:

Intro/About:

Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen Review

The Lamy AL-Star (not this matte black one I’m writing the review with) was the second fountain pen I had ever purchased. It’s surprising that it’s taken me this one to review one. The AL-Star is nearly identical to the Lamy Safari, except it’s made from aluminum. I’m definitely a huge fan of the pen (I have three of them…) so enjoy the review!

Appearance & Packaging:

Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen Review

If you’re familiar with the looks and packaging of the Safari, you’re not going to be very surprised here. The AL-Star looks the same, but is ever so slightly wider in diameter than its plastic counterpart. It also has the love-it-or-hate-it signature Lamy triangular grip. Being right handed with a normal tripod grip, I find the pen to be very comfortable.

Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen Review

The difference between the Safari grip and the AL-Star grip is that instead of matching the body, all of the AL-Stars have a smoky transparent grey plastic grip, regardless of the color of the pen. I think the dark plastic looks great in pretty much every body combination (the sandy metallic tan doesn’t look so great in my opinion). I absolutely love the modern design that Lamy employs throughout their entire product line, and the AL-Star is no exception.

 

Nib Performance & Filling System:

Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen Review

The AL-Star takes Lamy’s proprietary cartridge/converter system. For the price range ($37.00), it makes sense for the pen to have a C/C system. I’ve said it in other pen reviews, I really don’t mind the C/C system because it allows me to change inks more frequently. The AL-Star has an oval-shaped window in the body that allows you to see how much ink is left in the pen as well.

Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen Review

The AL-Star takes the interchangeable steel nibs that are seen across most of Lamy’s product line. They can be hit or miss, but they’re really easy to swap out. The steel nibs aren’t bad writers at all, and are definitely in the middle of the road in terms of smoothness and flow. I like the interchangeable system, because it allows you to try new nib widths with a relatively low barrier to entry, and makes the pen very versatile as well. I found Lamy’s nib system to be hugely helpful in the beginning of my fountain pen journey. It really helped me to dial in my nib preferences without spending big money on a pen with a nib I may not be crazy about.

Feel:

Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen Review

The Lamy AL-Star definitely has a more premium feel than the Safari. It’s slightly heavier too. The aluminum has a nice tactile feel, and it’s nice to pick up something that’s cool to the touch (at least in the winter it is…) that warms up in your hand. The fit and finish of the AL-Star is also top notch. I used to write with my Safaris and AL-Stars posted, but lately I’ve been doing so with the cap off. The pen is definitely a bit long at 6.7″ posted, but it’s not horribly off balance should you decide to post while writing.

Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen Review

The AL-Star also has the triangular grip section as seen on the Safari. I personally find it to be comfortable, but others with non-standard grips may find it to be unbearable. The grip does enforce proper grip, and the nib is always going to be lined up properly with the page when you’re using the grip. Again, this helped me out quite a bit in the beginning of my fountain pen days. The feel of the body is nice, but the aluminum is not quite as durable as the Safari. The finish is definitely prone to showing wear, and I’ve heard stories of people denting the body of their AL-Star with abuse. I don’t mind when pens show wear, but if you baby the pen, I’m sure it will hold up just fine.

Pros:

  • Great design
  • Swappable nibs
  • Affordable price range
  • Premium feel over the Safari

Cons:

  • The grip isn’t for everyone
  • Aluminum construction doesn’t mean better durability

Conclusion:

Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen Review

I love my Lamys quite a bit, so I may be slightly biased. The AL-Star is a winner in my book. Swappable nibs make the pen very versatile. The minimalistic design and clean aesthetics really resonate with me as well. The triangular grip may not be for everyone, but it can really help out beginners develop a proper fountain pen grip. I have around 6 Safaris and 3 AL-Stars, and I’m definitely going to continue to add them to my collection. I would definitely recommend this pen to anyone.

Gallery: