Lamy Safari AL Review

In the last week or so I have had a little extra time so figured I would review a Lamy Safari AL. The Lamy Safari is considered an introductory fountain pen in the same breath as the Pilot metropolitan whenever the conversation of a “good starter pen” is brought up.

The Lamy Safari debut in 1980. Lamy attempted to design a more kid-friendly model that incorporated an ergonomic grip in order to aid proper finger placement. The Safari accomplishes this is angular styling and sheer simplicity.  The design has remained a favorite ever since.


The Safari’s ease of use and ergonomic design help more effectively manage long writing sessions and even sketching. Of course despite its popularity Lamy needs to keep selling pens so every year a limited edition color is produced. In 2017 it was the Petrol Edition and 2018 Lamy released an all-black edition.

The AL (aluminum) edition feels more sophisticated than the plastic versions, but is no less versatile.  Generally, I beat up my pens.  I don’t mean that in a neglectful sense, but I do use them and have high expectations.  Most of my pens I describe as workhorses.  I use pens that I can whip out at a moments notice that are comfortable to write with, robust enough to be dropped and not break but most importantly have a story.

[Writing Rhodia DotPad 80g/m] ((Left: Pilot g2 038; Pilot g2 05)) ((Right: Lamy EF, with Pilot Blue/Black Ink))
The Lamy Safari AF is a great pen and can even be posted. The history and simplicity of the design is reminiscent of so many others and reminds me a lot of the Bauhaus School. The pen itself is made of simple materials, swappable nibs and the addition of a converter allows you to use any of the inks available. My preferred fountain pen color is blue/black; Enzo Ferrari used purple for all of his personal correspondence (link) and I am sure once you get into fountain pens you will figure out what colors work for your style.

The Safari has plastic inside the cap that protects the nib and likewise protects the body when posting from any scratching. I prefer to post it because it feels more evenly balanced but to each their own. The Lamy Safari is a solid choice for any fountain pen user, whether its our first or fiftieth.  I would suggest trying one out before you commit because the grip sections one of those you either hate or love.

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