Thursday, February 11, 2016

Review: Lamy Safari & AL-Star Ballpoint Pens GIVEAWAY! @GoldspotPens

Thank you to Goldspot Pens for sending these for review AND GIVEAWAY! To enter the giveaway, leave a comment - what's your favorite ballpoint EVAR?! Also, please consider giving some love to Goldspot for sending these to me so I could give them to you! You can find Goldspot in the following ways:

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Below, a bright selection of Lamy! This is why they're dangerous and fun to collect.
Review Lamy Safari & AL-Star Ballpoint @GoldspotPens @Lamy @LamyUSA (9)
Top to bottom: Lamy Safari NeonLime ballpoint, Lamy Safari NeonLime fountain pen, Lamy Safari Lime, Lamy AL-Star CopperOrange ballpoint, Lamy AL-Star CopperOrange fountain pen, Lamy Safari Orange fountain pen.
ABOUT

Safari
Body Material: ABS Plastic
Trim: Chrome
Length (capped): 6.1''
Length (uncapped nib-end): 5.28''
Length (posted): 6.7''
Barrel Diameter: 0.46'' - 0.50''
Section Diameter: 0.36'' - 0.48''
Weight (all): 17 g
Fill type: Lamy LM16
Price: $21.95USD
Where to buy: Goldspot Pens
Goldspot Pens

AL-Star
Body Material: Aluminum
Trim: Chrome
Length (capped): 6.1"
Length (uncapped nib-end): 5.28"
Length (posted): 6.7"
Barrel Diameter: 0.46 - 0.50"
Section Diameter: 0.36 - 0.48"
Fill type: Lamy LM16
Price: $29.95USD
Where to buy: Goldspot Pens
Goldspot Pens

PACKAGING

Each ballpoint was packed in the simple dark grey cardboard box with thin viewing windows. The pen is clipped to a piece of the same cardboard that slides out. I like this packaging a lot because it's minimal in space, wastes little material, can be recycled, and I doubt this packaging increases the price of the pen that much. I'm also pleased that there is no added plastic.
Review Lamy Safari & AL-Star Ballpoint @GoldspotPens @Lamy @LamyUSA (1)
APPEARANCE

The Lamy Safari NeonLime ballpoint looks like, well, the ballpoint version of the Safari fountain pen. They make a perfect pair, in fact, so for all you matchy-matchy people out there, this is ideal. It has a round body, the chrome clip that is found on the fountain pen, although it's a little smaller, a rubbery black knock at the back, a slightly triangular grip section (in the same piece), and a black plastic nose cone. The whole pen, aside from the black nose cone, knock, and clip, is neon lime.
Review Lamy Safari & AL-Star Ballpoint @GoldspotPens @Lamy @LamyUSA (2)
Review Lamy Safari & AL-Star Ballpoint @GoldspotPens @Lamy @LamyUSA (3)
The AL-Star CopperOrange looks like the Safari in shape, but has a translucent grey grip section, and a matte metal copper orange body. I really like this color, too. It's a little more cool looking than the NeonLime, which looks and feels a little more playful in hand.

PERFORMANCE

I found both ballpoints performed really well. In terms of the functionality of the pen itself, there were no issues. The clip worked, the knock mechanism was super satisfying to operate and didn't pop out of the pen or something weird, and unless you hate the grip shape, that worked, too.
Review Lamy Safari & AL-Star Ballpoint @GoldspotPens @Lamy @LamyUSA (10)
Review Lamy Safari & AL-Star Ballpoint @GoldspotPens @Lamy @LamyUSA (11)
Review Lamy Safari & AL-Star Ballpoint @GoldspotPens @Lamy @LamyUSA (12)
The refills I tested (black, M16) gave no issues either - they weren't too wide, nor too inky, so there was no blobbing, minimal smearing on smooth paper and none on regular paper, and it kept going and going. It's not my favorite refill in the world - the Schmidt EasyFlow9000, but it's also not as inky, so it feels easier to use these as daily writers. If the tip touched something, it didn't immediately leave a smear of ink.
Review Lamy Safari & AL-Star Ballpoint @GoldspotPens @Lamy @LamyUSA (5)
IN HAND

The clip is built into the cap, long, sleek and curved outwards at the end of the cap so it will slide easily on to papers or on to shirts. It is not too tight, but I wouldn't pull too hard on it - I've seen this be the weak point in the indestructible ABS plastic!

Inside the pen, the refill is a proper fit, and it doesn't rattle around as you write.

I prefer how the Safari feels in hand, because the plastic feels warm and happy. I hate cold pens, but neither are slick, slippery, or uncomfortable to use. However, I was a bit disappointed to find the Safari had a noticeable seam on the body, which I could not only see, but I could feel. This wasn't the case with the AL-Star.
Review Lamy Safari & AL-Star Ballpoint @GoldspotPens @Lamy @LamyUSA (4)
PROS
  • Both pens feel robust and sturdy.
  • Super satisfying clicky knock mechanism.
  • Refill is pretty nice - not smudgy, smooth writing, not super inky, a nice usable tip size, easy to replace.
  • Comfortable in hand.
  • Match the fountain pen line up!
  • Affordable.
  • Pretty easy to find.
  • Fun colors to choose from.
  • Tempting to collect... or is this a bad thing?
Review Lamy Safari & AL-Star Ballpoint @GoldspotPens @Lamy @LamyUSA (7)
Review Lamy Safari & AL-Star Ballpoint @GoldspotPens @Lamy @LamyUSA (6)
CONS
  • Uses proprietary refills, so if you don't like the refills, the pen is pretty much useless to you.
  • The seams of the Safari ballpoint were very noticeable - to the eye and to the touch.
  • I gripped the nose cone too much.
OVERALL
Review Lamy Safari & AL-Star Ballpoint @GoldspotPens @Lamy @LamyUSA (8)
Hey, sometimes you just need a ballpoint. If you don't like these colors, there are other, more reserved colors available in both the Safari and AL-Star line up, but why not live a little? They're great to collect, too, since they're reasonably priced. Keep some around with you.

I received this pen free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion. There are no affiliate links in this review.

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GourmetPens by Azizah Asgarali is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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