What’s the Best Lamy Fountain Pen?
Lamy is a great brand to get you started in the world of fountain pens. They make a variety of different shapes, sizes, and styles of pen with easily interchangeable nibs. Lamy pens were hugely helpful to me when determining what my preferred nib size is. Prices start at a reasonable ~$25 and go up from there. The question is, which Lamy fountain pen is the best for you? Read on to find out!
My first “legit” fountain pen was the Lamy Safari in Charcoal. The modern aesthetic is appealing to me and the triangular grip ensured proper hand positioning. What makes the Safari great is that it can take both cartridges and a converter, allowing you to get writing right away or use bottled ink. The nib on the Safari can easily be swapped. Replacements are around $12. The ability to buy several nibs from the same manufacturer makes the Safari more versatile. I suggest starting out with a fine nib and working your way out from there. Fine nib too wide? Get an Extra Fine. Want to put more ink down on the page? Grab a medium or broad. Is the Safari the best Lamy pen? I don’t think so, but it’s very close for me. BUY
The Al-Star is essentially the metal version of the Safari. It takes the same nibs (they’re interchangeable with the Safari and Studio). The metal version isn’t any heavier, as it’s made from aluminum. The main difference is the way the pen looks. They’re shiny and feature translucent smoke grey grips. I’m a fan of the Al-Star line, but that extra $10 isn’t getting you much more for your money. BUY
The Studio is in an awkward place in the Lamy lineup. At $80, it’s rather expensive for a steel-nibbed pen. There’s a version with a gold nib, but it’s even more expensive at $160. There’s some more heft to the pen, but the slick metal grips are a huge turnoff for me. A heavier pen that’s harder to control? No thanks! The price also puts it into the same range as the Lamy 2000, which offers unique materials, a classic aesthetic, a gold nib, and a piston filling mechanism. The Studio is one of my least favorite Lamy pens. BUY
Lamy’s 2000 fountain pen was designed in the 1960s and has been mostly unchanged since then. It’s modern, ergonomic, and writes great. The body is made of makrolon (a special resin) and stainless steel and features an integrated piston mechanism to fill it with ink. It’s a great everyday fountain pen thanks to the large ink capacity and reliability of the nib. The Lamy 2000 is often the first “expensive” pen purchase after beginner pens. The price is right, at around $120, especially given the features. There’s also a stainless steel version, but it’s really heavy and more than twice the price. BUY
My Pick: The Lamy 2000
For me, the Safari is a great start in the world of fountain pens. They’re reliable, durable, and have a uniquely modern look. I still think the Lamy 2000 is the best pen that Lamy makes. The cost:value ratio is just right. It feels premium, has a great gold nib, and fills with a ton of ink via the piston mechanism. I have two regular makrolon versions and a stainless version in my collection, and I’m not against adding more. The Al-Star is just okay, and I think the Studio can be skipped altogether.
What’s your favorite Lamy fountain pen? Let me know in the comments below!
23 thoughts on “What’s the Best Lamy Fountain Pen?”
I cannot disagree with the choice of the 2000. It is utterly timeless. I do however, disagree on the Studio. Admittedly, it’s a stepchild, but it’s metal and does write well. I like to think of it as an upgraded Safari. Lamy’s metal nibs are particularly good, certainly on party Kaweco’s metals nibs and others in the Schmidt range, too. I like the heft of the Studio, the clip is definitely unique and the smooth metal bothers me not one bit on the grip.
That said, the 2000 is singularly unique. It’s on par with the truly great fountain pens of the past; Parker 51, Pelicans, Watermans and others. The Makrolon is warm to the touch, it’s just the right size, has copious ink capacity, is infinitely easy to disassemble yourself should you want to do so and writes luxuriously.
You cannot go wrong with a Lamy 2000.
Please add Lamy Logo in steel, brushed steel and dark finishes.
Great review and fabulous question. On first thoughts I agree with your conclusion: the Lamy 2000 has a lot of things going for it. Its a great design, a piston filler, made of a great material, good size, good nibs, etc. But you know what? While I use my Lamy 2000 here and there, it’s my Safaris that I keep going back to – so I would end there. (PS. if only Lamy would make an Alstar with a matching metal grip…)
Where have you ever found a Lamy 2000 for $120? Usually they’re around $200, and some places sell them for even more.
$119.03 right now on Amazon! In the US I’ve never seen them go for more than $160
I love my Lamy Scala in titanium. It is slim and sleek and beautiful without ostentation. I don’t like to post my pens, and this one is long and substantial enough that I don’t need to post. I have small hands, so I like the slim grip. It has the same nib as a safari or allstar and I love the flexibility of that. Why didn’t you include it in your review?
They’re hard to come by, believe it or not. The only one’s I’ve seen recently are special editions that are around $220.
Really? I didn’t realize that. I am in the Netherlands, and here they are readily available. The pricerange is € 85 to € 115.
That must be it!
It’s great to hear that Scala with it’s shiny grip is not causing you any issues. I thought it is a great looking pen but I have held back precisely because of the grip.
I have a Safari, which I like a lot. But, yeah, ‘le I’m itching for a 2000. It definitely looks cool.
I have both a makrolon 2000, and a palladium colored Studio 14k. They are both incredible. Obviously the 2000 is an all-time classic, but the studio in this particular finish is also excellent. The finish extends to the grip section, so it’s not raw slippery metal. I also love the design of the studio. It’s a flush fit from cap to barrel, but the metal of the cap is extremely thin which means the step from the barrel to the grip section is tiny. It’s the smallest step from barrel to section on any pen I’ve seen (that has one, of course). And the gold nib on the studio? Soft and springy, with character. In short, if you have the cash for just one pen from Lamy… make it the 2000. But if you have cash for two? The Palladium-Finished Studio couldn’t be a better compliment to the 2000.
I don’t think it’s just a coincidence that we both have the same first name and that we both chose to own Lamy 2000 in Makrolon and Studio in palladium. 🙂
I agree with you on all the fronts regarding the benefit of having both and that the Studio in the palladium finish is not just a unique, great looking, and well constructed pen, but also an awesome writer. Because of the nib being much larger than that of the 2000, it really feels so much softer and writes with great character.
I have the 2000 in fine and wanted a Lamy medium nib. Initially I thought I was going to get the 2000 with that nib size, but instead I opted for the Studio, and I’m so glad I did. It was well worth the extra few dollars.
I just bought myself a Lamy Al-Star for Xmas a couple weeks ago (8 more days until I can try it!). The price difference on JetPens was only $6, and I was OK paying that for metal construction. And I also think the Al-Star’s grip section is more interesting visually.
i would agree. in terms of weight, ergonomic design, and style, the 2000 fits the bill.
The Lamy 2000 has without doubt the best, most capable feed of all of them.
This feature alone…
Let me register a vote for the CP1, a pen I’ve enjoyed very much when in the mood for its very slim profile. The build quality is excellent, it’s nicely balanced (posted or unposted), the snap closure is satisfying, and the clip is sprung. It has the same minimalist Bauhaus aesthetic as the 2000 (though I’m not comparing their quite different personalities). It’s the first pen I purchased on returning to fountain pens after a 30-yr hiatus, so it holds a positively charged place in my modest lineup of 20 or so pens. It’s a pen that only reveals itself in the handling and has a surprising appeal if it works for you. Thanks for an enjoyable look at the Lamy lineup and a chance to express a preference.
It’s great to hear some feedback on this pen. I have never seen one in real life and they seem rather slim. I can see that size being perfect for the pen loop attached to my journal, which has often issues accepting the girthier pens.
They are definitely slim, Robert, and will not appeal to everyone, but to my own surprise they feel great in the hand and are very accommodating to any grip style. They’re worth a look.
Thank you very much for the further details! I’ll check into it some more!
I do not see Lamy Persona, it is one of the best from my experience.