Fountain Pen Friday #4

Today I’m going to talk about the very first fountain pen I bought myself the Lamy Al-star (Goulet, Amazon, Jet Pens). The Al-Star and the Safari are very similar with the Safari being a little smaller and the Al-Star having an aluminum casing. I won’t lie, I bought this pen because it is a sexy pen and the color is even more impressive in person.

Lamy Al-Star
Lamy Al-Star

The pen won’t roll off your table (though I’ve managed to drop it, so there are a few dents and scratches on this one).

folding knife and tic tacs for scale. No idea why I picked these items.
folding knife and tic tacs for scale. No idea why I picked these items.

This is a pretty standard-sized pen in length, but is a little wider around than a lot of pens.

Lamy cap off

It has this cool little porthole in the side so you can see how much ink you  have left. This one currently has no ink in it. I use this pen with bottled ink.

Lamy in pieces showing converter.
Lamy in pieces showing converter.

It does require a proprietary converter so I’d recommend picking one up at the same time. So here’s a few pictures of how to fill a pen with bottled ink. If you’re really curious, YouTube is always a good place to look for how-to’s.

Step one: Put converter into pen.
Step one: Put converter into pen. Nailpolish: Sally Hansen Triple Shine Fanta-sea. Been really big on clear polish with glitter recently.
Step Two: Dip pen into ink until the nib is covered. You will over-dip, don't freak. It wipes off. Have tissue or a rag handy.
Step Two: Dip pen into ink until the nib is covered. You will over-dip, don’t freak. It wipes off. Have tissue or a rag handy.
Step Three: twist the converter to suck ink up into the pen. I usually have to squish it back out and re-do it to get it totally filled. Tap the pen against the side of the bottle to get rid of extra ink. Wipe off pen from where you over-dipped. Usually manage to stain your fingers somehow.
Step Three: twist the converter to suck ink up into the pen. I usually have to squish it back out and re-do it to get it totally filled. Tap the pen against the side of the bottle to get rid of extra ink. Wipe off pen from where you over-dipped. Usually manage to stain your fingers somehow. Screw pen back together.

This is a very nice pen. It writes REALLY well. It doesn’t write as fast as last week’s pen, but it is smooth and steady.

Ink is Noodler's Red-Black
Ink is Noodler’s Red-Black. Nib is Medium

It is a little big and I do find my hand becoming fatigued after awhile.

Pen without cap in hand
Pen without cap in hand

Oh another thing, it has an ergonomic grip which forces you to hold the pen properly. This is good and bad. Good, cause it makes sure you hold the pen properly, bad if you don’t normally use that exact grip.

Personally I think it is way too heavy and long to use the pen with the cap on it.
Personally I think it is way too heavy and long to use the pen with the cap on it.

The Good

  • sexy
  • impressive (people notice it)
  • writes REALLY nice
  • ergonomic grip
  • solid without being really heavy
  • can use a converter

The Bad

  • ergonomic grip
  • proprietary cartridge
  • proprietary converter
  • slightly more expensive pen
  • aluminum can dent and scratch pretty easy
  • I have not had this one leak, but the cap feels like it MIGHT fall off in certain situations
  • I will admit I’m just not a fan of the pocket clip on this pen. I think it would be even sexier without it

Overall grade: B+

I love the look and feel of this pen. I wish it was just a tiny bit lighter and thinner (I suspect I’d like the Lamy Safari). I did carry this as my every day pen for awhile (hence the dents and scratches) but prefer to use less expensive pens for that now.

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