LAMY AL-Star Fountain Pen Review

LAMY’s AL-Star Fountain Pen is one of its most popular sub-$50 fountain pens, but it gets surprisingly mixed reviews. The unique design has plenty to offer, but a few features give the pen a bad reputation.

The Lamy AL-Star Fountain Pen features a sturdy construction and sleek design. Between the fountain pen’s full size and lightweight construction, there are fewer opportunities for hand fatigue. While the grip is a point of contention, it also promotes a proper grip to reduce issues‌.

In this article, we look at the background of the AL-Star Fountain Pen before exploring its pros and cons.

Table of Contents

About the Lamy AL-Star Fountain Pen

lamy al-star fountain pen review

The AL-Star Fountain pen has a twisted reputation, and you’ll notice that most people sit on one side of the spectrum or the other. This is one of the pens that you cannot brush off until you try, and your preference could easily surprise you.

The ‘AL’ in AL-Star refers to the pen’s aluminum construction. We see this in other Lamy pens, but the AL-Star’s plastic grip distinguishes it from the traditional all-metal design.

Between the materials used, the sleek metal finish, and the unique grip shape, it’s easy to see why opinions vary so much. You’ll either love these features or hate them, but you cannot deny the quality of the AL-Star’s design.

Check out this video to see how the AL-Star compares to LAMY’s Vista and Safari pens:

What We Love About the Lamy AL-Star Fountain Pen

lamy al-star fountain pen review

LAMY is one of the most respected pen brands out there. The company consistently produces pens that provide high-quality results. For anyone that tries the AL-Star Fountain Pen, you’ll appreciate the pen’s construction.

Details that we love about the LAMY AL Star Fountain Pen include:

  • The sturdy aluminum construction
  • Sleek and timeless design
  • The full-size fountain pen
  • A lighter weight
  • The promotion of proper pen grip
  • Nib quality and ease of use
  • Cartridge and/or converter options

Some of these details may be disputed, but the AL-Star has plenty of benefits to offer anyone looking for a quality writing utensil.

Lamy Al Star Fountain Pen - Ocean Blue Fine
  • Sturdy steel nib for even ink flow
  • Ergonomic grip section
  • Ink cartridge window shows how much ink is left
  • Includes one blue Lamy T10 cartridge
  • Sturdy Aluminium casing

Metal Construction

lamy al-star fountain pen review

The AL-Star sits apart from plastic-barrel fountain pens with its sturdier metal build. While it is not entirely aluminum, the plastic grip doesn’t detract from the pen’s design.

Metal stands a step above other materials in regard to quality. While it may cost more, aluminum holds up better over time and it poses less of an environmental threat.

Aluminum also offers additional benefits, including anti-corrosive behavior and vibrant color changes through anodization.

The pen not only looks good, but it feels great in your hands and can easily serve as a daily workhorse to suit any needs.


The LAMY AL-Star Fountain Pen design coaxes a few words to mind, including:

  • Modern
  • Streamlined
  • Simple

Combined with the metal construction, the pen’s sleek design is enough to catch your eye without overpowering your senses.

It falls into a proper middle ground between style and simplicity. While there are several colors to choose from, you aren’t overwhelmed with tricky styles or flashy patterns.

The fountain pen easily suits any style, and its thin design lets you take it wherever you may go. The clip on the pen cap is another point of contention, but it helps the fountain pen hold tight to pockets and folder fronts.

Full Size

Some people use the LAMY AL-Star Fountain Pen as the standard when comparing other pen sizes. Its high-quality construction ensures that it fits perfectly in the hand without overwhelming your reach or falling short in any areas.

The pen is a good size to write with unposted, and you don’t need the cap at the end of the barrel to balance the pen. This is good news for anyone who keeps the cap off their pen as a habit.

It’s important to point out that the fountain pen’s full size doesn’t make it a large pen overall, and it will still be small when you compare it to modern pens.

Light Weight

Anyone sensitive to pen weight or likely to fatigue with extensive writing will benefit from the lightweight of the AL-Star fountain pen.

While aluminum is heavier than plastic, it’s lighter than other materials used for luxury pen construction. This puts less strain on you hand, and it may be a good choice if you:

  • Suffer from stress injuries to your hand
  • Are acclimating to heavier pens
  • Want a properly balanced pen for daily use

Not only is the pen lighter in the hand, but it’s properly balanced. You won’t need to make adjustments to accommodate skewed weight, and your writing sessions will benefit from the optimization of the pen.

Promotes Proper Grip

The triangular grip is not everyone’s favorite, but it has its uses.

The triangular grip section encourages the user to hold the pen in the proper writing position. While this is important for any writing utensil, having the feature on a fountain pen helps you find the correct orientation of the nib.

As long as you maintain this position, you won’t need to worry about realignment while using the LAMY AL-Star Fountain Pen.


lamy al-star fountain pen review

LAMY nibs are often smooth and wet, and they have a reputation for quality performance. While some finer nibs can get scratchy, there are few complaints across the board.

With the AL-Star Fountain Pen, swapping the nibs is as simple as sliding the old one off and the new one onto the feed. In all, this takes about 5 seconds.

The process is easy enough that you can swap through a few different nib sizes in no time at all, expanding your writing experience with a single pen.

It’s also easier to tune the nibs as you remove them, but you should take care to prevent bending that would damage performance.

Cartridge/ Converter

lamy al-star fountain pen review
Lamy Z28 Converter

The cartridge and/or converter used for the LAMY AL-Star Fountain Pen means you can quickly switch out inks.

LAMY inks have an excellent reputation, and their converters are a decent size. With the ink window on the body of the pen, you won’t worry about running out of ink without warning.

Lamy Z28 Fountain Pen Ink Converter, Pack of 5
  • Piston operated converter
  • For use with LAMY: AL-star, joy, Safari and Vista
  • Replaces T10 ink cartridges
  • 5 Pack
  • Made in Germany

Where the Lamy AL-Star Fountain Pen Falls Short

While the benefits outweigh any areas where the AL-Star falls short, people who have issues in these areas usually consider them deal-breakers.

The LAMY AL-Star Fountain Pen’s integrated grip is uncomfortable for some users, especially if they do not use a traditional grip when writing. To use the pen, they would need to relearn their entire grip, and it’s not worth the effort to use a single pen.

The included ink cartridges should last you a long time, but you’re limited to LAMY replacement cartridges when you finish them off. You can purchase a converter to use different ink, but it’s an additional expense and inconvenience to consider.

Final Thoughts

The LAMY AL-Star Fountain Pen is a great choice for anyone looking for a mid-quality fountain pen. The aluminum construction offers plenty of durability and style, but it doesn’t drive up the price like other materials might.

If you can get past the grip, the AL-Star can improve your grip and make sure you do not strain your hand while writing.

If you are interested in purchasing the Lamy Al-Star you can buy it on Amazon by clicking here.

Lamy Al Star Fountain Pen - Ocean Blue Fine
  • Sturdy steel nib for even ink flow
  • Ergonomic grip section
  • Ink cartridge window shows how much ink is left
  • Includes one blue Lamy T10 cartridge
  • Sturdy Aluminium casing

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.