Pens and Pencils | Reviews and Data

Lamy Safari Ballpoint Pen

Lamy Safari Ballpoint

The Lamy Safari family has a fantastic fountain pen, a very good rollerball, and a middling ballpoint. This pen has withstood the test of time, but it’s a disappointing part of an otherwise excellent line of pens.

The Lamy Safari ballpoint is a top button retractable pen. It uses Lamy’s proprietary M16 ballpoint refill, which is the only option for this pen. (Getting another refill to fit in this pen is practically impossible.)

The Safari has an ABS plastic body which is sold in both gloss and matte finishes. The conical tip by the writing end is often matte black plastic and looks like would unscrew, and it does. This is how new refills are added to the pen.

The Safari has the distinctive triangular grip found in all the other pens (and the pencil) in the series.

There is an baffle around the neck of the push-button at the top. This has an old-school, even outdated, feel and it seems out of place on the pen, not cool like it does on the Pentel Smash.

Modding the Safari Ballpoint

As noted above, Lamy’s ballpoint designs have made it basically impossible to use any full-sized ballpoint refill in any of their pens. The one thing that does work is getting an M16-to-D1 converter, which a few specialty companies are currently selling.

Some people have also released designs of this converter so you can 3D print your own if that’s better route for you.

These converters do work relatively well, but they are often sold for over $10 so they make little sense on a $20 (or so) pen. They are a better fit for something like the Lamy 2000 ballpoint.

Lamy Safari Ballpoint Review

Despite its heritage and the popularity of the Safari fountain pen, but Safari ballpoint is not generally considered to be a very desirable pen. It isn’t particularly cheap and it has a number of factors going against it:

  • A single refill option (the M16)
  • Refills aren’t particularly cheap
  • Fully plastic, aside from the clip
  • Many of the cooler color options are limited edition or part of higher end models

While the Safari does have issues, the M16 refill has gotten much better of the years and is now a pretty OK ballpoint option. It lasts a long time and has nice writing options in fine, medium, and broad.

The pen’s click is not particularly interesting or expensive feeling, which is disappointing given the price. This is a highly competitive category and while Lamy products do command a price premium, this ballpoint’s design, adequate build quality, and lack of refill options don’t really justify the price.

Lamy Safari Ballpoint Pen Information

Street Price Check Price
Manufacturer Lamy
Pen Type Ballpoint
Barrel Color Black, White, Purple, Green, Red, Blue, Gloss Black, Gloss White, Charcoal, Lime
Barrel Material Plastic
Grip Color Black
Grip Material Plastic
Country of Origin Germany
MSRP $25
Still Sold Yes
Similar To
Capped? Retractable?Retractable - Top Button
Length Capped / Retracted (cm)13.9
Weight (g)14 grams
Ink Color ShippedBlack
Writing SizesMedium