A Happy Ending: Lamy Safari Ballpoints with Monteverde Soft Roll Refills

You probably already know what the Lamy Safari ballpoint pens look like. If you don’t, here they are:

They’re sturdy and colorful and have that iconic accordion style knock. Problem is, they write like crap. (Familiar Lamy complaint from me, eh?!) I bought one, KNEW it wrote lousy and yet, bought another one! Can’t explain it, but there it is. I think the colors got me. Or the clip. Or a magic Lamy spell.

Yet the pens languish in a desk drawer because of the poor writing performance (the ink looks washed out, and when the tip moves across the page, it draaaaaggggs). This is not what you would call a fast writing pen, is what I’m saying. I like the pen colors and construction, but I NEVER use them. Never.

All of this changed about two weeks ago, when I stumbled upon an alternative refill for the Lamy ballpoints…the Monteverde Soft Roll L131BU. Within minutes, my fingers were  flying over the keys, my credit card was out, and I ordered a couple…one blue, one black.

Oh, how I tracked their journey and awaited their arrival.

And THEN, the test drive. See for yourself:

Night and day.

The Monteverde refills are still ballpoint refills, so they aren’t hybrid ink perfect, but they’re sooooo much better than the Lamy refills that I’m finally using the pens. And I kind of like them.

A serendipitous find. New life for my Lamys.

For the time being, all is right in my little corner of the pen universe.



8 thoughts on “A Happy Ending: Lamy Safari Ballpoints with Monteverde Soft Roll Refills

  1. Pingback: Save Money, Buy Pen Refills - Tiger Pens Blog

  2. I’m glad you found something that works. Those are nice looking indeed and it’s a shame that so much thought was put into their design and not the ink itself. I can write with a crappy looking/feeling pen a lot easier if the ink is of decent-high quality. If the ink doesn’t feel right, the perfect pen physically would still make me want to chuck it across the room.

    The Zebra F-301 for example, I LOVE that pen’s body. It’s a little rigid, but it would be great for me to use at work. I just can’t get past the ballpoint ink they put in them. It’s just dreadful to me. I think they have gel versions now, but blue is hard to come by and I now found better options anyway. Oh well, sorry I got so long winded. Great post.

    • Exactly! I keep hoping Lamy will get on the ball (pun intended!) and FIX their ballpoint and rollerball ink issues. I just don’t get it. Don’t they use their own pens?!

  3. So glad I found your blog this morning! I have a Lamy Studio ballpoint languishing in my work desk drawer, due to the poor writing experience. I’d never thought to look for a different refill!

    Cult Pens sell the Monteverde refills, so a pack will certainly be on my next order, thank you!

    • Glad to help out. I don’t understand why Lamy doesn’t improve the quality of their inks. The ballpoints are just bad, and my Balloon rollerball is unusable due to excessive skipping. Very weird for a company with great design.

  4. I have been using Lamy Safari ballpoint pens since they were first put on the market. In the early years, the refills were good, and because they lasted me a long time, the replacement was likely to have benefited from more research and development.

    For quite a while, the Lamy Safari ballpoint refills got progressively better. Then they started to skip. I have tried several new Lamy refills, and they all skip. Lamy suggested to me on the phone that perhaps toner particles from copiers or printers or residue from thermal paper cash register receipts was compromising the refill, but I have not had skipping with much cheaper pens. It was interesting to learn that one should not write on thermal paper with a ballpoint.

    Thanks for finding and testing a suitable alternative refill, and for photographing the results so we can see for ourselves.

  5. Pingback: Most Improved: Lamy 2000 Ballpoint (Makrolon) | From the Pen Cup

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