Pens and Pencils | Reviews and Data

Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen

The Lamy Al-Star is the aluminum version of the Lamy Safari. The pens used the same nibs and have the same dimensions.

The Lamy Al-Star is a popular pen but the aluminum isn’t always as good an option as the Safari’s plastic. Critics of the Al-Star note that the aluminum is prone to scratching and dents, where the plastic of the Safari is quite tough. The Safari can scratch and scuff, but the plastic doesn’t show damage as easily as the anodized aluminum does.

The Lamy Al-Star is also similar to the Lamy Lx, which it the luxury version of this pen. The differences are limited to aesthetics though as the to pens are functionally the same. The Lx has metal hardware on the top and bottom of the pen, a black nib, and other minor upgrades.

The Lamy Al-Star, Lx, Vista, and Safari all use the same nibs, feeds, and grip section. All the of the parts of each pen are interchangeable with one another. The shape of the pens are all the same, but they will vary slightly in weight because of varied components and materials. The Al-Star is the second most expensive of the pens, right behind the Lx.

The Al-Star included a Lamy T10 cartridge, but can also use any Lamy converter. The pen is specifically designed to work with Lamy’s red-topped converters, the out-dated Z24 and then current Z28.

Lamy Al-Star Colors

Being made of anodized aluminum the Al-Star comes in a range of handsome metallic shades. These different considerably from the colors that are possible with the Safari’s plastic, and make the Al-Star rather collectible.

The Al-Star has its standard metallic colors like Ocean Blue, and Blue/Green, Black, and Graphite, but also popular limited run colors like Pacific Blue, Turmaline, Bronze, Bright Pink, and Charged Green.

Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen Review

Having owned a number of Al-Stars and most of Lam’s fountain pens, we have many thoughts about the Al-Star fountain pen. This is the aluminum version of the Safari, which makes it a more compelling purchase in many ways, especially given that it normally sells for only about $5 more and you can regularly get them for about $20 on Amazon.

The Al-Star is a light weight aluminum pen which feels like it’s make of little more than a thin aluminum shell. This isn’t technically true as parts of it are lined in plastic, but it’s not untrue either, as the aluminum of the Al-Star is much less scratch- and dent-resistant than the Safari.

The Al-Star isn’t any more repairable then the Safari either. The part at the top of the Al-Star’s cap looks like a screw, but it’s actually a rivet. This means you cannot take apart the cap without ruining the rivet and having to glue it back in place. This is a minor issue as the clip on the Al-Star rarely gets bent out (which would require you to have to take the cap apart) but it’s an annoying thing when it does.

The pen writes almost identically to the Safari and the Vista. The Al-Star uses the same set of Lamy stainless steel nibs, all of which are quite good! Lamy’s 14K gold nibs will fit on this pen as well, but the Al-Star is never sold with a gold nib as it’s far too expensive for this pen body.

The Al-Star’s triangular grip section is plastic, like the Safari’s, but it’s translucent, giving you some view of the feed inside, instead of opaque. This give the pen a classy, modern feel which is a nice little upgrade.

Overall this is a very good pen and some people will prefer it to the Safari thanks to the cool feel of the metal, but it’s not really a better pen than the Safari or Vista. Even so, the Al-Star is one of the best fountain pens under $50.

Lamy Al-Star vs. Lx Fountain Pen Comparison

The Al-Star and the Lx are essentially the same fountain pen with the Lx being the luxury version. The changes the encompass the luxury pen are relatively limited an include the Lx’s use of a gold metal clip, a black PVD coating nib, a metal screw as a finial piece on the top of the cap, and nicer packaging.

The Al-Star and the Lx write identically to one another and the black nib design used on the Lx makes no difference to the writing experience. While the Al-Star and Lx are substantially the same pen, but Safari and Vista are simply the plastic version of the same pen and write the same.

Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen Information

Street Price Check Price
Manufacturer Lamy
Pen Type Fountain Pen | Cartridge/Converter
Barrel Color Black, Green, Purple, Blue, Pink, Gray, Blue Green, Black
Barrel Material Aluminum
Body Diameter (mm)12.9 mm
Grip Color Black (Transparent Black), Transparent Black
Grip Material Plastic
Grip Diameter (mm)11.2 mm
Country of Origin Germany
MSRP $35
Still Sold Yes
Similar To
Capped? Retractable?Capped - Snap On
Length Capped / Retracted (cm)13.9
Length Posted (cm)16.7 cm
Length Uncapped (cm)13.0 cm
Weight (g)19.8
Ink Color ShippedBlue
Nib MaterialSteel
Nib ColorSilver, Black
Nib SizesExtra Fine, Fine, Medium, Broad
Writing SizesExtra Fine, Fine, Medium, Broad