Posts filed under Ballpoint

Lamy Safari Ballpoint Blue Macaron Review

Lamy Safari Ballpoint Blue Macaron Review

Throughout my lifetime of Lamy love, there is one model in their lineup that I had no interest in: The Lamy Safari Ballpoint. I didn’t think it looked terrible, I thought it looked unnecessary. Why would I choose this ballpoint over a litany of other better looking - and probably better performing - pens?

The 2019 Lamy Safari Pastel limited edition colors forced my hand. “Forced” definitely belongs in quotes. There are three colors - Blue Macaron, Mint Glaze, and Powder Rose - and three pen types - ballpoint, fountain, and rollerball. It only makes sense to buy one pen of each type, each in a different color, right?

Lamy Safari Ballpoint Blue Macaron

My intention with these three pens on the way was to take the Mint Glaze Lamy Safari for myself, and ship out the Blue Macaron Ballpoint and Powder Rose Rollerball to the review crew to test out and review. Then the pens arrived.

I did a JetPens unboxing of these pens, and more, last week and ended up enamored with the Safari ballpoint.

Lamy Safari Ballpoint Blue Macaron Knock

One of the ways Lamy has always gotten me with their pens is with their feel. Especially the initial feeling of the pen when picking it up for the first time. It feels substantial but comfortable. Not heavy, but solid. It feels well made and workhorse-like. Lamy nails that feeling almost across the board in their product lineup.

Based on my previous Lamy experience, I should have expected that, but I didn’t. I was more concerned how much I would be weirded out by the rubber accordion-style knock and the molded grip on a pen that doesn’t need it. Those things ended up being non-factors. Heck, they both land in the plus column on a pen that has a lot of them already. The knock is exceptionally sturdy and has a robust and satisfying click.

Lamy Safari Ballpoint Refill

My main hesitancy with any ballpoint pen in the non-Jetstream category is the writing experience. We have all been burned by bad ballpoints, but this is not one of them. The Lamy M16 ballpoint pen refill is spectacular. Shockingly so. The Safari ballpoint ships with a medium black refill that glides across the page and leaves a solid, consistent line in its wake. My mind is boggled that it is so good. The only downside is that there are not many Lamy-issued colors of ink, but the Monteverde Soft Roll Ballpoint Refill gives you ten other options. I’ll be picking up a set or two in the new future.

Lamy Safari Ballpoint

I’ll be picking up another Lamy Safari Ballpoint in the future as well. They are that good. They are priced fairly, too - currently $16.50 at JetPens. This is one of those pens that surprised me, and now I want it within arms reach at all times so I can keep on enjoying it.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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Lamy Safari Ballpoint Review
Posted on May 20, 2019 and filed under Lamy, Ballpoint, Pen Reviews.

Zebra SL-F1 ST Ballpoint Pen Review

Zebra SL-F1 ST Ballpoint Pen Review

(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter.)

I love pocket pens. They're cute and practical and easy to have always at hand. I have small hands, so pocket pens fit easily and comfortably in my grip. If you have larger hands, that might not always be the case. Pocket pens are not comfortable or practical or many folks. But this pen! This one has you covered. The Zebra SL-F1 ST ballpoint pen is a pocket pen that telescopes open to be a full-sized ballpoint pen. Kind of like a magic trick. Or a transformer. It even makes a satisfying click when you expand and retract it, like any properly fidgety pen should. This pen wasn't just designed, it was engineered. And even apart from its magical properties, it is a very fine pen.

Zebra SL-F1 ST Ballpoint Pen

When shortened, the pen has a tip cover that retracts as it expands, and re-emerges when contracted, so there's no risk of ink leakage in a pocket. The metal construction is sturdy and has a good weight to it. The finish is a pretty, vibrant blue, and it comes in a number of nice colors. The grip is smooth ridges, so it has good traction but no sharp edges. The edge where the barrel separates over the interior tube is slightly sharper, but not enough to cause any irritation to the hand. My hand doesn't even touch the pen at that part. The clip is metal and very solid, but has good flexibility.

Zebra SL-F1 ST Ballpoint Pen Refill

The refill is nothing to get too excited about--it's a fairly standard ballpoint. It writes smoothly and consistently with no skips and only a few blobs. It's certainly better than the big-box plastic ballpoints that you find on every public counter.

I'm in love with the simple practicality of this pen. It's become a staple in my purse. In fact, it slipped so easily into my life that I almost forgot I needed to review it.

Zebra SL-F1 ST Ballpoint Pen Barrel

JetPens sells this pen for $7.75, which I think is an absolute steal. I would not have flinched if it had been twice that. If you have any use at all for a pocket ballpoint pen (don't we all?), get you this one.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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Zebra SL-F1 ST Ballpoint Pen
Posted on December 13, 2018 and filed under Zebra, Ballpoint, Pen Reviews.

Faber-Castell Essentio Ballpoint Pen Review

Faber-Castell Essentio Ballpoint Pen Review

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

The Faber-Castell Essentio ballpoint pen is a classy pen with a stylish carbon fiber body that looks great with any outfit or carry.

There's a lot of pens available today that use the popular Parker style cartridge, which means that there are plenty of options in the way of third-party refills. This is always an interesting genre to me because I know that I can choose a pen based on aesthetics or feel and know that I can completely control most of the writing experience by replacing a refill.

Faber-Castell Essentio Ballpoint Pen

The Essentio is a bit on the larger side of the ballpoint pen scale, but it's also incredibly comfortable to use. The rubber grip section has a soft feel and a matte finish, which make it both comfortable and resistant to fingerprints.

The body is made of a carbon fiber (or something similar) material that lends a classy aesthetic as well as a light weight. It's shiny without being overly so, and there's a small and classy Faber-Castell logo toward the top of the body.

Faber-Castell Essentio Ballpoint Pen Clip

The clip is fairly light compared to most other pens I've used. I wish it were a bit stronger, but given the overall light weight of the pen, it does a great job of keeping the pen secured to whatever you attach it to. The clip has a slight curve that adds a bit of visual interest to the pen.

The click mechanism is smooth, reliable, and fairly quiet. The top of the nock has a concave surface that feels great on your thumb. While it's not loud or overly clicky, using the nock on this pen is incredibly satisfying and tactile.

Faber-Castell Essentio Ballpoint Pen Refill

Like I mentioned at the beginning, the Essentio uses a Parker-style refill. The included refill is a Faber-Castell bold refill that is actually stupendous. It reminds me quite a bit of the Schmidt EasyFlow 9000 refill, which is high praise. It's incredibly smooth, dark, and dependable. When so many ballpoint refills can suffer from skipping or dryness, it's always a relief when the stock refill performs so well. Most of the time, I replace the refill with an EasyFlow, but that's not necessary in this case.

Faber-Castell Essentio Ballpoint

Writing with this pen is a great experience. The combination of the size, light weight, smooth refill, and comfortable grip section make for a great writer. At $35, the Faber-Castell Essentio a bit on the expensive side, but it still falls within the normal range for a well-performing ballpoint pen. There are lots of attractive options in this price range, and this one should be on your list for gifts and affordable ballpoints. It's a great value and excellent performer. And, if the included refill isn't your thing, you have so many options for replacement.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, for which I am very grateful.

Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

Faber-Castell Essentio Ballpoint Pen Writing
Posted on November 21, 2018 and filed under Faber-Castell, Ballpoint, Pen Reviews.