Fountain pens are great but there are instances when they are just not appropriate. For me, the Lamy 2000 Multi-pen is the perfect tool to meet the requirements of all such cases.
This is the best non-fountain pen I own.
The pen is made from the same brushed makrolon material as the Lamy 2000 fountain pen, a similar but smaller clip and a metal section. There is no cap with this pen.
Inside the pen takes four D1 refills, Lamy’s own being included with the pen. There are three colour indicators (blue, red, green) with black indicated by the clip itself. The clip has some lateral give, something not present on the fountain pen clip. It felt at first as if it was broken and took me some time to get used to it. To change refill, unscrew the end of the pen and pull out the refill to be replaced. The mechanism is quite firm so I find I need to give a strong pull. Next insert the new refill into the open spot, pushing it in until it stops then screw back on the end of the pen. Note that due to the brushed effect on the pen there is a certain alignment to the two parts, if not properly aligned on mine the join is not quite flush; if this happens just open again and give a half turn to realign the threading.
I mention above a strong pull, well perhaps not too strong, I have damaged one of the slots which now will not hold some slightly slimmer refills.
The selection mechanism uses gravity to engage the desired refill. For example, to extend the green refill you must hold the pen with the green indicator facing upward before depressing the knock. To achieve this functionality there is a movable part within the mechanism of the pen which can rattle about in the pen when all refills are retracted. This does have a negative impact on the overall feel of the pen. While mostly accurate, the selection mechanism does occasionally miss, usually when I try to change colour quickly. A quick shake sets things right.
I’ve not yet mentioned writing with this pen. If you have ever held a Lamy 2000 fountain pen you will feel totally at home here (assuming you enjoyed the fountain pen which of course you did). But, as a multipen, the writing is somewhat independent of the pen itself and primarily dependent upon your choice of refill.
Your choice, that’s important.
The included Lamy D1 refills are ballpoints and are fine if that’s what you like, I don’t. And so the greatest feature of this pen comes into play, the sheer depth of choice of refills. It should be said though that I found the amount of available options to be a little daunting at first.
Others1 have posted detailed guides to refills so I will only address those which I have tried since buying this pen. I used these other guides to help me select refills so do go have a look.
- Lamy M21 – ballpoint refills. Functional but not enjoyable. I keep a black one in the pen, gets very little use, for when a gel refill just won’t work.
- Lamy M55 – highlighter refill. Very useful, gives a wide orange line though not as wide as a proper highlighter.
- Zebra JSB 0.4 – reminds me a lot of the Pilot G2 refill, gives a nice sharp line and is available in a great range of colours. Currently using red and green refills from this line. Occasionally the refills do not retract correctly, catching at the opening. A little tap will free the refill. It’s an irritation due entirely to the refill itself and not the pen. No other brand of refill has this issue.
- Tombow Outdoor BR-VMP – a hybrid ink refill, smooth but still reminiscent of ballpoints. This is a pressurised refill, so will write upside down.
- Schneider Express 56M – a nice smooth refill, mine has green ink. The colour is dull but this a perfectly serviceable refill.
- Pilot LHRF-20C4 – my absolute favourite. Sharp line with great colour. Can be difficult to source as it does not appear to be sold in the EU.2 This is the slightly slimmer refill I refer to above, it just slides out of the damaged slot.
Now for the but…
Nothing is ever perfect; this pen does have one drawback though its impact will differ depending on use; the refills, specifically their expense. Individually they’re are not going to break the bank but keep in mind just how small they are; heavy users of these types of pens will require regular purchases of refills. The best bet is to buy in bulk with Amazon or eBay being two good sources.3
This is a great pen which I enjoy using immensely. I love the flexibility of use this pen offers and I still enjoy the selection mechanism every bit as much as I did on first purchase of the pen.
The clip and the rattle of the selection mechanism are slightly negative aspects for me but these are minor points really. As mentioned above, do take care when changing refills as I found that too much force damaged the mechanism in my pen. Cost of the refills could become a factor over time, depending on how heavily this pen is used.
I have owned this pen eighteen months and it continues to hold its place in my daily rotation.
1 Ian Hedley of the Pens! Paper! Pencils! blog had posted a two part guide which I found incredibly useful when selecting refills. Part 1. Part 2. Another useful list is provided by The Well Appointed Desk. There are alternative multi-pens out there too such as the Zebra Sharbo X reviewed by The Gentleman Stationer.
The following are some reviews that I enjoyed, there are others out there.