Lamy sells a lot of ballpoint pens, many of which have been available for decades. Which are them are worth buying? Which have simply gained momentum over the years but aren’t worth your money? Let’s dig into Lamy’s best ballpoint pens.
In this article we’ll only focus on pens Lamy still makes, so great pens like the Lamy Unic will not be covered.
The Problem With Lamy’s Ballpoint Pens
Some people don’t like Lamy ballpoints because the company tends to use proprietary refills. Lamy’s only full-size ballpoint refill is the M16, which is a custom shape that is nearly impossible to replace with another refill. It’s not a bad refill, but it’s not a great one and it’s limited in colors and options.
In smaller pens Lamy uses the M22 refill, which actually not bad at all, but again it’s your only option. And then on multi-pens Lamy uses the M21, which is actually a standard D1 refill and interchangeable with almost any other D1 refill.
Lamy’s Top Ballpoints
1. Lamy 2000 Ballpoint
The Lamy 2000 is Lamy’s best ballpoint pen. It’s, as you probably guessed, the ballpoint version of the iconic Lamy 2000 fountain pen and it’s clearly the company’s flagship ballpoint. At under half the price of the fountain pen the ballpoint is a great way to get a feel for Lamy.
This pen is Lamy’s best looking ballpoint, though it’s not the best made or designed. It has a sleek Makrolon body and a heavily tapered shape that many people love but others can’t stand.
Of all Lamy’s pens, the ballpoint has the best special editions, with limited editions that have shipped in stainless steel, ceramic, titanium, and two kinds of wood!
Read all the details on our Lamy 2000 Ballpoint review page.
2. Lamy Econ
This might seem like a surprise pick, but it’s that’s only because the Econ has such a reasonable price. This all-metal pen is handsome, sturdy, and it has the low-key good looks of a nice piece of office equipment.
3. Lamy Pico
The Pico is Lamy’s most interesting ballpoint. It’s a tiny, pill-shaped pen that is quite pocketable. It can be pressed to expanded into a nearly full-sized pen, making it a great option for keeping in a bag, backpack, or everyday carry kit. Just don’t buy this pen if you are a fidgeter, since it’s quite fun to play with.
The downside of this pen are that it’s a bit expensive and it’s only works with one refill, Lamy’s M22.
4. Lamy Accent Ballpoint
The Accent is a large, well-built pen with lots of color options and a customizable grip. Grip options include briar wood, aluminum, rubber (no longer made), and others. If you like large pens then this and the Aion are Lamy’s top options.
Note: The Accent is sold as a multi-pen as all, but Accent Lamy Accent Multifunctional, but multi-pens are not included in this article.
5. Lamy Aion
The Lamy Aion has a lot going for it — it’s large, it’s new (released in 2017), its all metal, and its under $60. It’s a great looking pen that should be a testament to Lamy’s ability to constantly release pens that are innovative and feature the best in material design.
It’s an OK attempt at this, but some pesky build problems keep it from being completely great. The worst of these is that the pen sometimes comes apart in an odd way when you turn it. As in, it completely comes apart and it’s clear that Lamy’s grasp of working with aluminum isn’t everything it should be.
Still, this is a cool pen and one of the most giftable Lamy’s of the past 15 years.
6. Lamy Scribble
The Scribble is a mode that is mostly known for its art-friendly pencil, but it’s a cool ballpoint as well. This pen is short and shapely, with a curve that makes it seem a lot like the 2000. The hardware is metal and the body is a hefty plastic that feels and looks more like a dense wood. This isn’t the most practical everyday pen and it’ll be good small for some people, but it’s quite cool nonetheless.
7. Lamy Studio
The Studio is a nice metal pen that is a popular fountain pen, but the twist-style ballpoint is good looking and well-built. This is a good all-round and one of the most practical buys in Lamy’s lineup in the ballpoint, fountain pen, and rollerball. Unfortunately “practical” isn’t always what people are looking for in a pen so the Studio often loses out to more interesting, more unique pens.
8. Lamy CP1
Nine time out of ten, when you see a CP1 it’s an old-school Bauhaus-inspired fountain pen. It’s also sold as a rollerball and a ballpoint. The ballpoint has a top-button and unlike some of the other push-button Lamy ballpoints the cone piece at the front isn’t insanely long. The pen has a cool titanium coating and a nice texture. It’ll be a bit thin for some people and it’s hard to find and try out unless you are near a Lamy store.
9. Lamy Logo / Logo M+
The Logo and Logo+ are two of Lamy’s most affordable ballpoints. They are similar to the Econ, but has the extended cone at the front that is characteristic of Lamy’s ballpoints. The Logo pen also comes in colors and has the option of using all plastic hardware, which many other Lamy pens do not.
This pen isn’t too exciting, but it’s a good everyday ballpoint for Lamy fans, considering the sub-$15 price with metal hardware and under $10 with plastic.
10. Lamy St
The Lamy St is the basically a more affordable version of the CP1. It’s known for its mushroom button which flairs out at the top. The price of this pen is reasonable and it comes in a nice matte steel, but it uses a cheap clip, unlike the Logo which has a spring-loaded clip.
11. Lamy Dialog 1
The Dialog is Lamy’s series of its most highly designed pens, with the Dialog 1 being the ballpoint, the Dialog 2 being a rollerball, and the Dialog 3 being the fountain pen. The Dialog 1 is one of Lamy’s most distinctive pens because of its titanium body and triangular shape. Unfortunately the pen is expensive (about $150) and not very comfortable to hold. Additionally it uses a lot of complex plastic hardware which is rather fickle and not possible to replace without sending the pen back to Lamy.
12. Lamy Imporium
Lamy makes pens for the people, so the high-end Imporium line and the 280 euro retail price of its ballpoint never seemed to make much sense. That said, this is good looking pen that makes really nice use of a black PVD coating.
13. Lamy Pur
The Pur is, perhaps, Lamy’s least popular pen, but it has a clean look and a good build quality. Like the Accent it has some awkward mixing of plastic and metal, but this pen doesn’t have as distinctive a design as the Accent. Everything this pen does another Lamy does better.
14. Lamy Safari / Al-Star / Lx / Vista
These pens should be great ballpoints in the same way that the ballpoint Safari family is a great fountain pen and rollerball, but instead they are a disappointment. The ballpoint version of Lamy’s best-selling pens has a mushy click, and outdated baffle around the button, and are the pens that suffer the most from only being able to use the M16 refill since they are the ones that are the target of pen enthusiasts.
The pen can be rather good looking, especially in the Lx version. This pen design isn’t so much bad as it is disappointing.
15. Lamy Scala
The Scala ballpoint is elegant, but it strongly resembles the CP1, St, and even the Logo. The materials are nicer, but given that it cost up to 5x more than some of those pens, Lamy should be delivering a much more distinctive pen.
16. Lamy Noto
The Lamy Noto pen is affordable, but it has an all-plastic body and a confused design. It’s too long and looks like it would be a better letter opener than a pen.