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Yet another Lamy Safari Al-Star review


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1 reply to this topic

#1 bhtooefr

bhtooefr

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 23:46

Thought I might jump on the bandwagon, and review mine.

I'll note that my only other experience with fountain pens is with a Pilot Varsity, and even then, only for a few days before I got the Safari. I might review that one, too. I figure this might actually be an interesting perspective - a total newbie's perspective.

FWIW, my pen is medium nib.

I'll try to follow The Noble Savage's format.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

This pen had been recommended as a good entry-level pen with a triangular grip (which I suspected would help me not have a death-grip on the pen.) I decided to go to Paradise Pen in Dublin, OH. I dipped one, and REALLY liked how it wrote. Smooth enough, no skipping, not too wet. I liked the balance while posted, too. And, I liked the styling in person. (Photos, not so much.) So, I got one. Cardboard packaging was very compact, simple, and looked nice. Lifetime warranty is a plus.

APPEARANCE AND FINISH

Matte finish, green (I forget the color name.) Attention to detail is superb on this pen. Not that there's much detail to pay attention to. My expectations were definitely exceeded.

DESIGN/SIZE/WEIGHT

Being the Al-Star, this pen's made out of aluminum. Most people here know what a Safari/Al-Star looks like, but... I'll go ahead and go through this whole section... Flat top, flat bottom. The design is minimalist - function over form. It definitely exceeds my expectations. I find that the pen's rather large, but is rather lightweight. And, large is good - I can find the thing easily. tongue.gif The balance is slightly better when not posted, but I find that I like it slightly UNbalanced, so posted it is.

NIB DESIGN AND PERFORMANCE

Steel nib, medium. I find that the nib's rigid, but that's A-OK with me. I find that it performs excellently for me. Flow seems to be medium or dry to me, but I don't have many reference points - a Waterman Phileas I used for a day that had torrential flow (and a horribly thick line,) and wet Pilot Varsities. It's smoother than the Varsity, and has a wider sweet spot than the Phileas or the Varsity, IMO. I'm impressed by this pen.

THE FILLING SYSTEM

Cartridges. I got a Lamy Z24 converter for it, though, so I'll tell you how that works in another post in this thread, once I run the included blue cartridge out.

COST/VALUE

I paid $40 for this pen, new - MSRP. I got it at Paradise Pen, in Dublin, OH - I wanted to try it out before I bought it. I feel that it's worth what I paid, although I know I could've gotten it for much less elsewhere. Value compared to the Varsities? Tough to say, considering you CAN refill a Varsity, and it's only $3. Value compared to the Phileas? Definitely, considering I disliked that pen. (I didn't have it long enough to do a fair review of it, though.) I found that the buying experience was satisfactory.

OVERALL OPINION/CONCLUSION

I. Love. This. Pen. It definitely lives up to the hype on here. I'd definitely buy this pen again if I had to go back in time and decide again. And, if someone wanted a good, no-frills pen, I'd recommend it in a heartbeat.

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#2 Ondina

Ondina

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 07:08

Thanks for the detailed review. (I always want pics, but the detail of your review makes up for them).






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