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Less than glowing Lamy Al-Star review


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#1 bphollin

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 19:11

Like so many before me, this is a first review of a first fountain pen. Looks like JFT beat me to the punch for todayís Al-Star review, but I have a somewhat different perspective. Mine is the silver (not lilac) Lamy Al-Star with extra-fine nib. After three weeks of use, I canít say that Iím completely sold on the Al-Star. The pros certainly outweigh the cons, but Iím not convinced I can use this pen as my daily workhorse.

I purchased the Al-Star from Floribunda Stationery in Salt Lake City, Utah. I probably could have found a better deal online, but the folks at the shop threw in a converter and let me trade in the ďlilacĒ I originally bought for the true aluminum color (which looks great next to my PowerBook, Doug). I didnít notice the difference in color under fluorescent light, but sure did in natural light.

The Al-Star is certainly nicer than the Parker Reflex I was using before. It has shown me that I DO like writing with fountain pens and am willing to pony up for something nicer that will last me for years to come. As others have noted, it is a capable inexpensive pen rather than a "cheap" pen.

Design
I bought the Al-Star over a Safari because I like the color, which may have been a mistake. The aluminum body is far too soft to put up with my abuse. The pen has a number of noticeable dings, scratches, and abrasions, especially on the cap and on the bottom of the barrel by the ďYĒ of the LAMY logo. The plastic coating of the clip is already chipping away. This is the most disappointing part of the pen! I like the way it writes but hate the way it has held up so poorly in only three weeks of use. I canít imagine this pen lasting for years as my daily writer...

I do like the weight of the pen when I write with it posted. I donít seem to notice the finger grips that others have found to be so uncomfortable. I like the big ugly clip, especially since pens have a way of falling out of my pockets.

Nib and Filling System
This is an extra-fine steel nib. I must have purchased a good one, as the nib wrote fine right off the bat. I didnít need to break it in with a brown bag or flush it with soapy water as others have recommended doing. I understand that ďfineĒ and ďextra-fineĒ are relative terms from pen brand to pen brand. I would compare my writing output with the extra-fine to that of a Pilot G-2 07mm gel pen.

I like the way the Lamy writes over the Parker Reflex and the Waterman Phileas (my only other fountain pen points of reference). Now that Iím used to writing with the Al-Star, the Reflex feels too scratchy (toothy?) to use! The Phileas that I borrowed was too wet and too smooth for my tastes, perhaps because it was a medium and I prefer a fine or extra-fine nib. I like that the Al-Star nib is stiff. Itís gone through receipts and multi-page forms just fine. Iíve written with it for hours and havenít noticed any fatigue.

As others have noted, the nib tends to collect ink between the tines.

Ink
Iíve used three different inks with this pen. First was the Lamy cartridge of blue ink that came in the box. It must have been fairly unremarkable because I canít remember too much about it other than it lasted me around four days. I next loaded it with Private Reserve Avacado [sic], which wrote very dry and yet was quite prone to smearing, in my opinion. I probably wonít be using this ink with this pen on a regular basis. Iím now using blue Sheaffer Skrip which has gone through three fill-ups and seems to be doing fine.

The converter doesnít seem to last too long in my experience, but Iíve been doing an awful lot of writing lately.

Paper
I canít say that Iím a paper snob (yet). My complaints seem to have more to do with the ink and paper rather than with the Lamy and paper. The Moleskine journal I used for a writing class has been notoriously bad about smearing with the Pilot G-2 and now with the Lamy. The PR Avacado was especially bad in it. I have an extra-large Cahier which holds the ink better and dries faster than the standard black notebooks.

I havenít noticed any feathering on the Moleskine paper or on many of the other papers I use. The Al-Star writes well on an Ampad Gold Fibre Planning Pad, a Mead Five-Star composition book, and various qualities of nondescript laser printer paper. Iíve only noticed feathering on the cheapo filler paper I got on sale for thirty cents, and thereís not too much fuss doing the sudoku and crossword puzzle in the newspaper.

Conclusion and Overall Impressions
In general I like the way my Lamy Al-Star extra-fine writes. My biggest complaint is that the aluminum body is too soft and has picked up far too many nicks and dings in three weeks of use. I will probably keep this pen around and use it to grade student papers in the Fall, perhaps with the PR Avacado ink. If I knew three weeks ago what I know now, I would have opted for a less expensive plastic Lamy Safari that would have delivered the same writing experience and been less susceptible to my abuse.

--- End of review and shameless plug for advice ---

Iíd appreciate any advice or recommendations for a next pen from you more seasoned FPN members. Iíve been eyeing the Lamy Studio because I prefer a nice, hefty pen and have come to enjoy the way the Al-Star writes. On the other hand, if the Studio is fundamentally the same as a Safari/Al-Star/Vista only in a fancier body, why not branch out? Iím starting to write my masters thesis, which means Iím willing to treat myself (on a grad student budget; $250 at the absolute maximum) to a pen that will get me through hours of writing at a time. Ideally it would have some heft to it and would have a large ink capacity. Iím often in the field, so it would need to play nice with Noodlerís Bulletproof ink. It would need to be able to handle abuse. Iím much more interested in function over form and I do prefer a minimalist style. And, of course, Iím looking for this to be the last pen I buy for a long time... Am I looking for the Lamy 2000? A Pelikan? A vintage pen (although I donít like the look of the Parker 51)? Any and all feedback is welcome and appreciated!

Brandon

Edit: Added pictures

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DSCN0790.jpg

Edited by bphollin, 08 July 2008 - 19:37.


#2 KCat

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 19:24

If you can deal with the little nubs (some folks call them "ears") on the 2000, it may be your pen. I looked at one last week and loved everything but those little nubs which happen to hit exactly where my thumb and forefinger grip. They're very small and I might have adjusted eventually. Or I might have been highly annoyed at spending B&M price for a pen that I can't possibly sell on-line for the same.

I may try one if I ever notice a used one up for sale. The capacity looks good and it certainly seems like a sturdy pen. It's heavier than the Al-Star but not particularly heavy. I prefer that. Were it not for the nubs, it would have been ideal because the barrel design allows for virtually any grip otherwise.

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#3 penguinmaster

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 19:40

If your looking for a modern pen that holds a bunch of ink (relatively speaking), is comfortable, and will write nicely (in my experience) with the Noodlers Bulletproof line I'd suggest going for a Pelikan M600. It's a nice size to hold onto, holds a decent amount of ink. If you get it in a fine or extra-fine you'll be writing lots of pages no problem. That would be on the high side of your budget though. I believe martiniauctions has them going for between 200-250 right now.

On the middle end I'd say a Lamy 2000 would be nice. You can get them from Pam Braun @oscarbraunpens.com Good service, happy customer, no affiliation needed.

I wouldn't knock the studio either though. If you go with a 14k nibbed version there is a definite difference in the nibs.

Vintage has it's perks too though. A nice restored plunger filling sheaffer balance would suite you well, as well as Parker Vacumatic. I purchased my Vac from Isaacson (no affiliation) for a little over 200 and it was well worth it. The pen is gorgeous, writes like a dream and holds a ton of ink. Right now it has Noodlers Zhivago in it and has no flow problems.

I'd suggest if your looking at vintage at least e-mail David Isaacson and look through his site (www.(bleep).com) He has more than just Parker Vacs and can probably help you in the right direction.

IF and only IF your asking for what I'd do, I'd go vintage. Light pens that have been proven to work and come from the golden age of writing are extremely nice. Some of my best pens are vintage ones. Heck I even have a third tier University pen that puts some of my moderns to shame in the writing experience side of things.
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#4 Stevopedia

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 20:04

If the only fault you can find with the Al-Star is its material, then by all means go with a Safari or Vista; they're the same in plastic. Unfortunately that's all the advice I can give you; I'm still really green as far as fountain pens go...

On another note, am I the only one here who has and uses an Al-Star that still doesn't have a single scratch or dent on it? unsure.gif blink.gif Granted, I've only had it for a month, and haven't been using it as much as I'd like, but still...

#5 Breck

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 22:22

I can only speak to the 2000, which I love. Since you have a local shop carrying Lamy, do try before you buy to see if the 'ears' bother you, though. The capacity is quite substantial, the material won't show wear much, and the nib is very very nice. Mine is an extra fine, and others here will tell you that the 2000 nibs are listed about a size to a size and a half smaller than how they seem to actually write. My experience with FPs is limited to this one, so I can neither independently confirm nor deny that. Seems about right in comparison to rollerball widths, though.

As far as heft goes, however, the 2000 is pretty light. Solid, but light. I like that, you might not. I've tried posting the cap a couple of times and the balance felt thrown way off to me, so I don't do it. I've also read that others have posted for a while only to have the cap eventually refuse to post any longer after a few weeks. If you find you do want more heft and posting works for you, this might be an issue. To me, the 2000 feels so natural unposted that posting was really just an experiment.

If you're looking for minimalist styling and being able to handle abuse, I'd say look no further. I don't hesitate to take my 2000 to the beach or throw it in my pocket with cell phone, keys and coins. It probably has some surface scratches here and there, but the finish hides them well enough that I don't notice them. [Takes a close look at the surface under desk lamp] Yeah, I can see a few little nicks if I squint. Some on the clip are a little more visible, but you'd still have to be looking for them. Another thing to consider is that if what you're studying is at all dirty, it seems to me that screw-on caps are just asking for trouble - too many little crevices in the threads where grit can get lodged.

Pelikans look like nice pens and I don't doubt their reputation of quality a bit, but to me they look too delicate for field work, even without knowing what you're studying. Caveat: That impression is based on absolutely nothing but Internet photos. No reviews I've read of any M-series Pelikan has mentioned anything either way about durability. I'd be happy to hear different.

That's my $0.02. Good luck, and nice review of the Al-Star. It's great to hear different points of view.


#6 MYU

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 22:55

Your findings are precisely why I steered clear of the Al-Star and went with a Vista. I really like the Vista, and find it a good workhorse pen. Plus, if you're into greater capacity, you can take a Vista and convert it to an eyedropper filler (replace the body with a Vista rollerball body and you're all set!).

The Lamy 2000 (L2K) is a great pen, but quality control at Lamy has been lacking a bit with the L2K, as some people have reported problems. When it works, it's great. The only notable drawback I can see, IMHO, is that the nib sizes run large. If you're into small lines, you definitely want an XF--it'll write more like an MF (Medium Fine).

If you want some thing more rugged but still minimalist, why not go with a Rotring 600?

Btw, I wrote a shootout comparison review of the 600 vs. Vista, if you're interested.
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#7 bphollin

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 23:07

This is great feedback! Thanks for that, all. I'd feel terrible if I ruined a vintage Shaeffer or Parker--maybe that will be the pen that writes a dissertation headsmack.gif?! Right now I'm leaning toward the L2K based on recommendations here and in other reviews and threads. I'm certainly still open to other suggestions and I'll gladly check out the Rotring shoot-out. Unfortunately the local shop doesn't carry the 2000 (and if they did, I'd imagine it would sell at full MSRP) so I can't test drive the "ears" that have caused so much concern...

#8 KCat

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 00:03

QUOTE(Stevopedia @ Jul 8 2008, 03:04 PM) View Post
If the only fault you can find with the Al-Star is its material, then by all means go with a Safari or Vista; they're the same in plastic. Unfortunately that's all the advice I can give you; I'm still really green as far as fountain pens go...

On another note, am I the only one here who has and uses an Al-Star that still doesn't have a single scratch or dent on it? unsure.gif blink.gif Granted, I've only had it for a month, and haven't been using it as much as I'd like, but still...


I have only had mine a week or so - so I really shouldn't respond. But I'm pretty abusive with certain pens (my VPs must hate me but they still look great) and so far no dings, scratches, etc. However, I'm housebound for the most so I'm not exactly tossing this in a briefcase and banging it around every day.

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#9 JFT

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 01:41

QUOTE(bphollin @ Jul 8 2008, 03:11 PM) View Post
Conclusion and Overall Impressions
In general I like the way my Lamy Al-Star extra-fine writes. My biggest complaint is that the aluminum body is too soft and has picked up far too many nicks and dings in three weeks of use. I will probably keep this pen around and use it to grade student papers in the Fall, perhaps with the PR Avacado ink. If I knew three weeks ago what I know now, I would have opted for a less expensive plastic Lamy Safari that would have delivered the same writing experience and been less susceptible to my abuse.


Hello,

I'm sorry to hear you have problem with yours. Small question what do you do to yours? I had mine for close to 3 months now and except for a small ding on the cap, caused by a 4 feet high fall on ceramic, the finish is still spendid with no scratches.

QUOTE(penguinmaster @ Jul 8 2008, 03:40 PM) View Post
If your looking for a modern pen that holds a bunch of ink (relatively speaking), is comfortable, and will write nicely (in my experience) with the Noodlers Bulletproof line I'd suggest going for a Pelikan M600. It's a nice size to hold onto, holds a decent amount of ink. If you get it in a fine or extra-fine you'll be writing lots of pages no problem. That would be on the high side of your budget though. I believe martiniauctions has them going for between 200-250 right now.

On the middle end I'd say a Lamy 2000 would be nice. You can get them from Pam Braun @oscarbraunpens.com Good service, happy customer, no affiliation needed.


I second the Lamy 2000 suggestion but if you scratches and ding your AL-start that easily I'm not sure getting a Pelikan would be a good idea...


QUOTE(Stevopedia @ Jul 8 2008, 04:04 PM) View Post
If the only fault you can find with the Al-Star is its material, then by all means go with a Safari or Vista; they're the same in plastic. Unfortunately that's all the advice I can give you; I'm still really green as far as fountain pens go...

On another note, am I the only one here who has and uses an Al-Star that still doesn't have a single scratch or dent on it? unsure.gif blink.gif Granted, I've only had it for a month, and haven't been using it as much as I'd like, but still...


But aren't both the Safari and the Vista much lighter than the AL-star?

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#10 Seville

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 01:57

Ok I am going to add a bit of a curve ball here but I would suggest that you look at the Cleo Skribent Chiffre 2000. The one I was given for my birthday has quickly become one of my workhorse pens. It has a very good ink capacity a brushed silver finish that shows only one mark after kicking around for over a month. The mark cam as the clip was obviously pushed back and forth at some point and it left a small mark. The pen writes with a nice medium flow, no skipping, no starting problems and I daresay would look good next to a Mac.

It is not that expensive so you might want to consider it as well

Philip

#11 bphollin

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 04:10

QUOTE(JFT @ Jul 8 2008, 07:41 PM) View Post
I'm sorry to hear you have problem with yours. Small question what do you do to yours? I had mine for close to 3 months now and except for a small ding on the cap, caused by a 4 feet high fall on ceramic, the finish is still spendid with no scratches.


It did go on a backcountry trip in the rugged redrock country of southern Utah and down the San Juan River on a river trip, but was mostly tucked inside my field journal or backpack for most of the duration. I actually noticed the dinging and scratching picking up more once I started hitting the library after I got back. Full contact research, I suppose... It is a pocket pen, so I guess the culprit is my keys...?

QUOTE(JFT @ Jul 8 2008, 07:41 PM) View Post
I second the Lamy 2000 suggestion but if you scratches and ding your AL-start that easily I'm not sure getting a Pelikan would be a good idea...


Good to know. Thanks for the heads-up!

QUOTE(Stevopedia @ Jul 8 2008, 04:04 PM) View Post
But aren't both the Safari and the Vista much lighter than the AL-star?

My thoughts, too. I'm afraid the Vista would get scratched up pretty badly, too... maybe even cracked. I know clear plastic can tend to be brittle or prone to show cracking/stress lines.

QUOTE(Seville @ Jul 8 2008, 07:57 PM)
...I would suggest that you look at the Cleo Skribent Chiffre 2000. The one I was given for my birthday has quickly become one of my workhorse pens. It has a very good ink capacity a brushed silver finish that shows only one mark after kicking around for over a month...


ooooh....shiiiiny... Looks like it might be a fingerprint magnet, at least for me. I guess based on what I wrote above to JFT, I'm pretty rough on my pens, or at least am looking for an active-bodied pen to keep up with my less than careful treatment. Isn't a pen a tool, after all? When you say "kicking around, how kicking is kicking? I'd hate to see a big ol' scratch on one of those suckers...



#12 HDoug

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 05:07

QUOTE(Stevopedia @ Jul 8 2008, 10:04 AM) View Post
On another note, am I the only one here who has and uses an Al-Star that still doesn't have a single scratch or dent on it? unsure.gif blink.gif Granted, I've only had it for a month, and haven't been using it as much as I'd like, but still...


I have three, and they're all completely unscathed. When I read about people with scratched and dented AL-stars I think, wow, some people must be really rough with their pens. My pens get much use but no abuse.

Doug

P.S. I have a Vista also, but don't think of it as more hardy than the AL-star. I'm thinking clear plastic would show scratches pretty quickly. I think a Safari in charcoal (or whatever the name of the rough textured black plastic) would be best.

#13 MYU

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 05:23

Keys! That's got to be it. Yeah, definitely never put a prized pen in a pocket with other metal objects, unless you like a dimpled patina. laugh.gif

I'm glad to hear a few testimonies of people having unscratched and undented Al-Stars that they use. I'm thinking that those who have reported having noticeable signs of use were probably just expecting the aluminum bodies to hold up better and exposed them to rough conditions.
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#14 MJSchuelke

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 05:38

QUOTE(HDoug @ Jul 9 2008, 07:07 AM) View Post
When I read about people with scratched and dented AL-stars I think, wow, some people must be really rough with their pens.


One of my AL-Stars has its fair share of scratches and abrasions, and a major dent in the cap -- but then again, it's been my main (and only) pen for 5 years at university, and beyond; and the dent was made when my bag was caught in a closing subway door, so I guess that's alright...

I prefer to think of these as marks of a long and productive pen-life, rather than as faults.

QUOTE
It is a pocket pen, so I guess the culprit is my keys...?


Very probably, yes. Keys will scratch just about anything...

#15 Ondina

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 12:35

I have the same pen, the same color, and I agree it scratches and dings pretty fast. No abuse, here, but hey, a small fall happens sometimes. ABS many be better after all.

#16 bphollin

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 17:51

After taking up your advice and scanning the boards, I think I'm going to order a Pelikan 215 (blue/black) with an XF nib from Richard Binder. It doesn't appear to be much different than the 600 other than the nib and a slight size difference (and price!). A few months ago I was eyeing the 2000, but the looks just aren't doing anything for me now. Of COURSE I'll be getting a pen case for the Pel and NOT let it play with my keys and spare change... I think you all have infected me, because I'm already lusting after an 800 and 625...

#17 JFT

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 23:41

These birds really are social so make sure you get a pen case for more than one wink.gif
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#18 hank scorpio

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Posted 13 July 2008 - 04:08

QUOTE (HDoug @ Jul 9 2008, 01:07 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have a Vista also, but don't think of it as more hardy than the AL-star. I'm thinking clear plastic would show scratches pretty quickly. I think a Safari in charcoal (or whatever the name of the rough textured black plastic) would be best.


I agree w/ HDoug. Don't get me wrong, I love the Vista, but it seems like the Safari is made w/ sturdier plastic. The clear plastic probably wouldn't break considering the light to moderate abuse I put mine though, but if looks are what you want, go with the darker matte finished Safari.

#19 jlmount

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Posted 13 July 2008 - 13:19

Brandon, reading your comments through the thread, it seems as though you are conflicted about wanting something tough that you can throw in your pocket, and something a bit more refined, hence the reference to the Pel 200. It may be that you hang on to your L-allstar and just let it become more and more beat up....since you already like the functionality, and then have what amounts to a "desk pen" to use at home.

OR, you could look at the Japanese stainless short/long pens. Pilot, Platinum and Sailor all made various models through the 70's, most with very fine lines, smooth nibs and adequate ink capacity. You could stick one of these into your pocket with keys and all you'd ever get was some minor scratching [which you could buff out with an eraser if you were overcome by OCD] These are quite reasonable, well within your budget and very tough/reliable. I've got one that was closed in a door and bashed about quite dreadfully, but it still writes a smooth fine line. MYU did reviews on these recently, and he might add an suggestion to two. I'd look at Kamakura pens and Tokyo Russ as sellers on the Bay. There are others, but these two are the best.

Just a thought.

Jim

#20 duna

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Posted 20 July 2008 - 12:14

QUOTE (bphollin @ Jul 10 2008, 07:51 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
After taking up your advice and scanning the boards, I think I'm going to order a Pelikan 215 (blue/black) with an XF nib from Richard Binder. It doesn't appear to be much different than the 600 other than the nib and a slight size difference (and price!). A few months ago I was eyeing the 2000, but the looks just aren't doing anything for me now. Of COURSE I'll be getting a pen case for the Pel and NOT let it play with my keys and spare change... I think you all have infected me, because I'm already lusting after an 800 and 625...


late reply... anyway, I ended up ordering an M215 myself after trying a friend's one. You'll really need a pen case, that's mandatory, Pelikans are dependable writers (I still write with my unrestored M140, 60 years old) but the finish is magnific and glossy but prone to damage if abused. Ink capacity is good and the piston filler a dream. Nib is smooth and consistent, a true writer. If properly cased when not writing, judging from the M140 I'm looking at now, I suppose those Pelikan pens will easily outlast me.

#21 bphollin

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 04:29

Thanks all for the replies and suggestions. I ended up ordering a custom Pelikan M215 from Richard Binder--XF nib. It is an absolute dream to write with (loaded with Waterman Blue-Black ink). I'm very pleased with the piston; it has a great ink capacity. To my hand the Pelikan feels heavier than the Al-Star, which is one quality I was looking for. It is well balanced and feels great writing for hours at a time. I haven't found a paper it doesn't like--cheap filler paper, Mead composition books, cheap 3x5 cards, a bevy of Moleskines, computer paper, and on and on. Best of all, it is a very handsome pen. The pictures below don't do it justice.

The pen is smaller than I anticipated, especially after writing with the posted Al-Star. Here are two comparison shots.

Closed:
DSCN0793.jpg

Posted:
DSCN0795.jpg

This isn't as big of a deal as I initially thought it would be when I pulled it our of the box. I write posted; otherwise it would be too small. I'll eventually upgrade to the M600 or M805, but for now I'm quite satisfied with my purchase! By the way, the Al-Star will stick around as a knockabout, loaded with a different colored ink. I may even give an italic nib the ol' college go since they are cheap enough to get.

The Pelikan was purchased with every intention of it being a working pen, so I sewed up a case for it using some "duck cloth" (cotton-y canvas) and an old pair of fuzzy PJ pants for the liner. It has a secure hook and loop closure. It isn't anything fancy, but the price was right and fits very comfortably in jeans and pants. Best part, no animal parts were directly used in its creation.



Now, off to write that thesis...

b


#22 duna

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 21:58

Really nice pen and nice DIY 2 pens case, reminds me of the case I made in blue leather to host my Parker 25 .. worked fine for many many years (college, university) until the pen went lost ... I made last batches of handwriting with Bic Crystal disposable ballpoints. Couldn't find a replacement for some 10 years... Looking forward to the delivery of my M215 from pengallery. I'm not in a hurry.

#23 ralfstc

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 17:35

This is really wierd. After reading the initial post I thought I'd write and suggest a 215, and you've got one! It's a great choice, a really under-rated workhorse that's pretty handsome too! I almost sold mine a couple of weeks back, but luckily didn't, and I'm glad. For some reason mine especially likes Waterman Florida Blue ink, and it goes with the blue barrel on mine . . . Anyway, glad you got a happy ending.

Ralf

#24 Silvermink

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Posted 25 July 2008 - 00:21

QUOTE (Stevopedia @ Jul 8 2008, 01:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
On another note, am I the only one here who has and uses an Al-Star that still doesn't have a single scratch or dent on it? unsure.gif blink.gif Granted, I've only had it for a month, and haven't been using it as much as I'd like, but still...


My silverblue AL-star is still scratch-and-dent-free. However, I've noticed my silvergreen one's developing scratches under the clip, but this is almost certainly because I've been clipping it to my spiral-bound notebook at work (I'm going to stop doing this...).
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#25 jdboucher

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Posted 25 July 2008 - 00:53

Sorry if this was already answered, but I didn't see it. What ink was used in the written sample?

#26 bphollin

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Posted 25 July 2008 - 03:26

QUOTE (jdboucher @ Jul 24 2008, 06:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What ink was used in the written sample?


That's Sheaffer Skrip blue, as I recall.

#27 jdboucher

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Posted 25 July 2008 - 03:28

QUOTE (bphollin @ Jul 24 2008, 11:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (jdboucher @ Jul 24 2008, 06:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What ink was used in the written sample?


That's Sheaffer Skrip blue, as I recall.


Thank you.

#28 schizosoph

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Posted 25 July 2008 - 14:31


If you want some thing more rugged but still minimalist, why not go with a Rotring 600?

Btw, I wrote a shootout comparison review of the 600 vs. Vista, if you're interested.
[/quote]



I've had an Al-Star for a couple of months and love it. It is my workhorse pen and has held up quite well. I'm not sure what you do to put your pen to such abuse - geological research among the rugged rocks and terrain of Utah? - but I've not had those problems yet. I do agree that the Rotring might be the right pen for you but it's somewhat challenging to find since it has been discontinued. And if anyone on this thread knows where to find one, let me know.



#29 Metro Boy

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Posted 02 August 2008 - 14:03

QUOTE (Stevopedia @ Jul 8 2008, 09:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If the only fault you can find with the Al-Star is its material, then by all means go with a Safari or Vista; they're the same in plastic. Unfortunately that's all the advice I can give you; I'm still really green as far as fountain pens go...

On another note, am I the only one here who has and uses an Al-Star that still doesn't have a single scratch or dent on it? unsure.gif blink.gif Granted, I've only had it for a month, and haven't been using it as much as I'd like, but still...



No! I've had mine for over six years and it's still pristine! - mb

#30 DrPJM1

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Posted 03 August 2008 - 01:37

All my Lamy's are doing great and looking good too. The aluminium material is prone to scratching as are other metals.
Pedro

Now looking for a Sheaffer OS Balance with a Stub nib or a Music nib