Part of the fun of owning fountain pens is trying out the many different inks that are available. Unfortunately, if a pen has a specific refill cartridges, you may be stuck to a limited color set. Additionally, those cartridges are generally made of plastic and eventually thrown away. Combined with disposable pens, the amount of pen-based plastic thrown away in a year is likely a depressing statistic.
I love my Lamy pens and decided to order their refill converter for their Al-Star, Joy and Safari pens. It arrived recently and I immediately put it to use.
The converter snaps into place in the pen using small posts that fit snugly into small clips on the front portion of the pen. A small rubber gasket at the front of the converter prevents leaks. There is not a lot of wiggle room here, the converter, at least in my pen, was secure with very little movement.
Once inserted, it is very simple to use. Dip the pen in your chosen ink up to the grip. Turn the red portion of the converter counter-clockwise to lower the piston until it stops. Now turn the red portion clockwise, and it will draw in fresh ink. Like I said, pretty simple.
When done, you can wipe off the nib with a soft cloth or tissue. You may need to wipe the grip, as well, if you got it into the ink like I did when I first tried this.
Some things to note about these converters. First, you will not get the volume of ink as you would with a disposable refill. I don’t mind that trade off, since I am no longer wasting plastic. Second, be sure to clean it from time to time, and particularly if you are switching ink types or colors.
I really like this converter and they are now in place in my three Lamy pens. They have opened up a whole new world of inks, all of which I hope to write about in the future.