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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Lamy Al-Star vs. Pilot Metropolitan Retro Pop: Fountain Pen Battle

A fountain pen comparison between the Lamy Al-Star and the Pilot Metropolitan Retro Pop fountain pen.
Hey there, fountain pen lovers! Madigan and Lydia here, bringing you a pen battle for the ages. The Lamy Al-Star and Pilot Metropolitan are some of the most recommended fountain pens for beginners. In fact, they are both recommended in our Brian's Top 5 Fountain Pens for Newbies.

Since they come so highly recommended, we often get asked which is better. Arguably, this is a point of preference, which is why we're bringing you this pen battle today. We both have our favorites and will do our best to argue the merits of our favorite starter fountain pen. Let the pen battle begin!

Lamy Al-Star
The Lamy Al-Star BlueGreen fountain pen in a comparison with the Pilot Metropolitan Retro Pop Turquoise fountain pen.
Madigan here, starting off the pen battle by arguing for my favorite beginner fountain pen, the Lamy Al-Star. I like this pen for a number of reasons. It comes in a variety of gorgeous colors, including yearly special editions (have you seen the Lamy Al-Star Pacific?!?). It's well balanced, even when posted, and lightweight because it's made out of aluminum. The Lamy Al-Star is routinely referred to as a "workhorse" pen because it just doesn't quit! Whether you are using cartridges or a converter, you can write comfortably while keeping your eye on your ink level through the ink window.

One of my favorite parts of this pen, and the Lamy Safari, is the ergonomic grip section. The triangular shape gives me a little bit more control when I'm writing or drawing with it. I also love that you can easily swap Lamy nibs, so even if you buy an extra-fine, you can get a 1.1 stub and completely change your writing experience.

To sum it all up, I love this pen because:
  • Easy to swap nibs
  • Cool colors
  • Ergonomic grip sections
  • Lightweight 
  • Aesthetically Pleasing
  • Multiple color options
The Lamy Al-Star is available in a variety of nib sizes and colors at GouletPens.com for $37.60.


Pilot Metropolitan
The Pilot Metropolitan Retro Pop Turquoise fountain pen in a comparison with the Lamy Al-Star BlueGreen fountain pen.
Next up in the pen battle, it's Lydia here, shining some light on my favorite newbie pen, the Pilot Metropolitan. This was my first fountain pen and holds a special place in my heart. I still use my purple retro pop all the time. This durable metal bodied pen is crazy affordable with a lot of style. For a little over $20, you can have a classy pen with a CON-50 converter. Even if you don't want to spend the extra $5.50 for an  upgraded converter, the Metro comes with a squeeze style converter in the box so you can start using bottled ink right away. The Metropolitan has simple, clean lines and its classic styling appeals to a wide variety of fountain pen users. There are quite a few colors to choose from as well, ranging from basic black, classic silver and gold to bold turquoise and peppy purple.

I think my favorite thing about the Metropolitan is that it's perfect both posted and unposted. The snap cap makes it easily accessible and you can write without it posted or you can post it for a well-balanced writing experience. The length of the body is comfortable and fits nicely in just about every hand. Posting the cap does not add too much weight to the back of the pen either and it stays light and delightful to write with.

What makes the Pilot Metropolitan my favorite:
  • Metal body, durable
  • Affordable, Under $20 and comes with a converter
  • Clean lines, classic styling, fun color options
  • Comfortable to write posted or unposted
The Pilot Metropolitan is available in a variety of nib sizes and colors at GouletPens.com for $15.

A fountain pen comparison between the Lamy Al-Star and the Pilot Metropolitan Retro Pop fountain pen.

What do you think?
Now it's your turn to weigh in? Do you agree with Madigan (the Lamy Al-Star) or Lydia (the Pilot Metropolitan)?


Leave a comment and let us know your favorite beginner fountain pen! We'd love to hear what you have to say.

Write on,
Madigan & Lydia

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