Fountain pens are a staple among the writing community, but as most of us know, they can come with a pretty hefty price tag.
This often deters writers from choosing to write with fountain pens and opt for a cheap and disposable gel or ballpoint pen instead. If you’re just looking to try your hand at writing with fountain pens for the first time it can be daunting to invest money in a more expensive model.
Well, there may be a solution to all of these problems.
Our LAMY Safari fountain pen review breaks down its best and worst features to help you decide whether it really is the pen of your dreams – or whether you’ll end up with buyer’s regret.
The Safari is an inexpensive fountain pen that’s perfect for beginner writers and fountain pen lovers alike. But just what makes this pen so special?
Detailed LAMY Safari Fountain Pen Review
The LAMY Safari is one of the most affordable fountain pens on the market and is often advertised as a great way to introduce beginners to the experience of using one for the first time.
We couldn’t agree more, and we’re happy to report that this inexpensive writing tool gives you more bang for your buck than other mid-market pens. The LAMY Safari writes beautifully. New writers will enjoy the smooth feel of the nib on paper. The feeling is comparable to that of a gel pen with smooth lines and a fast, free motion.
LAMY pens are well-known among fountain pen enthusiasts, and for good reason. Their wide variety of pens caters to everyone, from beginner writers all the way to seasoned professionals that use their pens for everyday journaling.
Although the Safari is made of plastic, it has a sleek and interesting design, with a uniquely shaped clip fixed to the cap. The plastic is also durable enough to endure endless hours of writing and doubles as a fantastic traveling pen.
This can be helpful if you tend to travel a lot and don’t want to take your more expensive pens along.
The nib is perfect for general use and can serve most writers just as well as a regular ballpoint pen – with the elegant flair of a fountain pen, of course.
LAMY Safari fountain pens also come in a variety of fashionable colorways, making it easy to express your personal sense of style. To add to their exciting collection, LAMY also releases a limited edition color every year, encouraging their satisfied customers to keep coming back for more.
- Multiple color options
- Sleek design
- Good for beginners
- Inflexible nib
- Converter sold separately
The body of the pen is made from hard, durable plastic. While this may seem like a drawback, the pen is still surprisingly robust and can endure a couple of knocks if you carry it in your pocket or briefcase.
Anyone used to more expensive fountain pens will probably turn their nose up at the plastic body, as high-end, luxury pens tend to be made from steel, resin, or ivory.
For the inexpensive price, the plastic is more than satisfactory, although if you’re looking for an alternative, the LAMY Safari has an identical sister pen. The LAMY Al-Star fountain pen is almost exactly the same as the Safari, but is made up of an aluminum body. It looks a little nicer, but you should also expect to pay more for it.
The pen has a unique shape, with two rounded and two flat-edged sides to it. It also has a triangular grip, which can become uncomfortable after long periods of writing depending on the kind of grip you use to write.
The Safari is available in an array of different colors so that your pen can easily reflect your style. The colorways include dark blue, fuchsia pink, pastel pink, powder blue, mint, dark green, red, white, and a matte black – talk about being spoiled for choice.
The LAMY Safari Fountain Pen comes with a standard medium nib, although you should note that it’s slightly thicker than a true Japanese medium nib size. It can also be swapped out with most LAMY compatible nibs, including the 1.1 or 1.5 mm Italic tips or the 0.36mm fine nib.
The fine and extra-fine nibs have a rough feel and can feel a little scratchy, so we would recommend sticking to a medium option. This shouldn’t be a problem, however, because the LAMY Safari is more rigid than other fine, medium, and extra-fine nibs.
Calligraphy pens rely on flexible nibs, so you shouldn’t bet on any artistic writing styles when using the Safari. If you apply too much pressure, the stainless steel nib can warp which could interfere with the ink flow.
The pen has a window built into its side, making it quick and easy to check your ink storage. This is a fantastic feature that we wish would be incorporated into some of the more expensive fountain pen brands and models.
The Safari comes with a standard blue cartridge but is compatible with the LAMY Z28 piston convertor and LAMY inks. With that being said, it’s probably a good idea to invest in a converter as the cartridges contain only a small amount of ink.
It’s great for practicing, but extended periods of use will mean you have to stop and manage refills from time to time.
Overall, the bladder of the converter is quite small and needs to be replenished every week or so if you are fond of longhand journaling. If you’re planning to use the pen occasionally, the number of times you will need to replenish your ink will be significantly lower.
Although the bladder is small in comparison to higher-quality models, it’s an understandable trade-off for the price of the Safari.
Overall Writing Experience
The LAMY Safari writes well and easily glides over the page in bold, broad strokes. With the right amount of pressure and practice, you can get a good amount of line variation to give your handwriting that typical ‘fountain pen’ look.
There are many reasons you might want to consider this pen, be it for learning how to use a fountain pen or whether you just want a more casual pen for everyday use. It should be noted that it is best suited to the standard medium LAMY nib.
Similarly, writers who tend to swap their nib out to serve different writing styles should be warned that the Safari should only be used for long or shorthand journal writing.