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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Lamy/Platinum Converter Swap...?




Link to YouTube for the vid.

For anyone who wants to use their fountain pen with bottled ink, a cartridge converter (commonly called just a 'converter') is as essential accessory to your pen. I've been asked a few times before about whether Lamy and Platinum converters are swappable, and I hadn't really thought about it before. Most fountain pen converters (with the exception of Standard International size) are brand specific, and can only be used on that brand's pens.



Lamy and Platinum Converters

Lamy Z24 converter: this is the most recognized converter for Lamy pens. It works well, and has small posts on the outside to 'lock' it into Lamy Safari/Vista/Al-Star/Joy pens. Here's more detail on the difference between the two Lamy converters in my other post.


Lamy Z26 converter: this converter is designed for the higher-end Lamy pens, the CP1, Logo, Accent, and Studio. It can also be used in the same pens as the Z24 converter.


Platinum Converter: This converter is for all Platinum pens. Though its diameter is nearly identical to the Lamys, but the advantage of the Platinum converter is the fact you can easily disassemble it like this. At a $2 premium over the Lamy converters though, it's understandable that there's an incentive to explore the possibility of a Lamy one fitting the Platinum pens.


I wanted to do some testing to see if these two brands were interchangeable and here's what I've found:
  • Neither of the Lamy converters (the Z24 or Z26) fit on Platinum pens, the post is too wide to fit into the converter, so there's no hope.
  • Platinum converters will fit on the Lamy Vista and Safari, but not on the Al-Star, as you'll see in the video! I still have that trim ring from the Platinum converter stuck in my Al-Star!
  • Lamy converters retail for about $5, Platinum for about $7, so using a Platinum converter in a Lamy pen is all but silly.
I think the reasoning behind wanting to swap these converters has to do with the fact that the Platinum ones are more expensive, so if a Lamy one works in a Platinum pen, then you save $2. But they don't fit. Long story short, if you happen to have a Platinum converter to spare and a Lamy Vista or Safari that needs a converter, go for it. Otherwise, you'd be remiss to choose the more expensive Platinum converter over the Lamy in a Lamy pen.

6 comments:

  1. I'd consider using them in a Safari if they were easily disassembled. I've got a small pile of the Safari converters which have ink behind the stop. I've managed to take some of them apart, but it's a real pain.....   Of note, the Sailor converters are easy to disassemble but they seem to be the first to get ink behind the stopper....  I'm growing weary of converters......  Considering Sailor cartridges and I don't know what for my Safari's.

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  2. Yeah, the Lamy converters are the biggest pain of all the converters to take apart. It can be done, but rarely without a pair of pliers and a strong tug! You're not the only one to give up on converters, the other way to go about it would be to refill cartridges with a syringe, which is a completely legit way to go about it. In the case of Lamy, you'll get a lot more ink in their cartridges than their converters, too. Here's how to refill a cartridge: http://www.inknouveau.com/2011/04/how-to-use-ink-syringes.html

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  3. You didn't try it with ink in it, though.  If the Platinum converter has a wider hole in the first place it could well fit on to the Lamy, but then it might leak around the connection there.  Seems better to use the proper converter.  :)

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  4. You are correct. Pretty much, my consensus is that you should really only bother using a Platinum converter on a Lamy if you already have them on hand, then you can see if it works for you or not. I definitely wouldn't recommend buying a Platinum converter for the sole purpose of using it on a Lamy, and it wouldn't make sense to do that anyway because it costs more!

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  5. I know, why this cross fitting would be nice:
    I have almost 50 converters lying around, it would be nice if I just could pull one out and use it, instead I have to match it to the pen. Also I have much more Lamy converters than Platinum (only 1 for my 3776 with music nib).
    I would be nice, if one converter fit all, but not in my lifetime.

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  6. Yeah that would be nice! It would also be nice if all cars used the same replacement parts too, but that's not going to happen :P You can imagine how many converters I have lying around!

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