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Do your Lamy Safaris leak a lot?


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#1 JonW

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 15:11

Iíve been into the fountain pen thing for about a year for now. Very glad I came across this silly web site. wink.gif Like many of you, I started out with a few Lamy Safaris. I got a medium, fine, and extra fine, each in a different color. I quite like the look and feel of the pen- the shape, the plastic, the bold look, and the snap cap. Not so happy in that the nibs all feel a little scratchy, nonethelessÖ

The big problem is that they leak a lot. All 3 of them. Ink gets in the cap, gets all over the part that you hold when you write, gets on the O-ring, etc. So whenever I write with them, I get ink on my hands. More often than not.

The pens never leave my desk so Iím not shaking them around or anything. Iím using the Lamy converters. The converters are seated well in the pen, with that little clicky part. For inks, Iíve tried many. Some of the ones Iíve had problems with include Diamine Violet, Diamine Orange, Herbin Lierre Sauvage, and Private Reserve Copper Burst, among others. So I donít think itís ink specific.

FWIW, Iíve since got myself a nice collection of other pens- Pelikan M215 (my all-around favorite), an M205 demonstrator, Visconti Van Gogh Midi, a raden Vanishing Point, and some more on the way. smile.gif Iíve not had a similar problem with any of these others. And I have not seen others complain about a similar problem. The only other pen I have that has been a problem is a Reform 1745 (?) that just drops lots of ink now and then. But I have a second one of those that is no problem at all.

With 3 Safari pens, Iíve had leaky ink problems with all of them. So I stopped using them a while ago. A shame because theyíve got some nice aspects to them. Oh well. Theyíre not too expensive so itís not a big deal.

Just curious if anyone else has had a similar experience. Or if I should give these pens another shot. Thanks.

"Who writes with a fountain pen? How friggin' pretentious is that?" --from the movie Duplicity. :-)

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#2 HenryLouis

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 15:13

I haven't had this problem. You may have a small crack in the section/feed.
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#3 JustDave

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 15:15

I've used mine ALOT and taken it a number of places fountain pens would not normally go and I don't have any leaks.
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#4 bardharlock

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 15:24

I would definitely give them another shot, but also look into the Lamy customer service. The pens are warrantied for the life of the product. For $7.50 shipping they will check the pen out for you. I've never had my AL-Star leak and I haven't yet inked up my new Vista. Is there a lot of temperature variance where the pens are stored by any chance?
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#5 dizzypen

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 15:26

I have an Al-Star which is basically the same thing and I have never had any leaks. As a matter of fact, I have it inked now and am having no problems whatever.

The only time I ever had a problems with leaking was when I had the converter in wrong. You're pens might need to be serviced.
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#6 lefty928

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 15:29

Wow. I have a couple Safaris and they are very sturdy and don't leak -- they often get thrown in a purse and carted around. And believe me, I have a lot of "failed the purse test" pens that stay at home. I have a few nibs: fine, extra fine, custom .5 mm italic, broad. None of them are scratchy, although the ital takes a bit more care in writing, but I have a very light (weak?) touch. Hope you can salvage those atypical Safaris.

P.S. I know the problem doesn't seem to be ink-specific with your batch, but one load of Tahitian Pearl did creep a lot and run into the cap, so that I got ink on my fingers for the duration of its stay there and temporary discoloration of the plastic above the feed. I hadn't had that problem with earlier fills of the ink, though. It was puzzling.

Edited by lefty928, 13 July 2009 - 17:08.

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#7 JonW

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 15:50

Thanks for the thoughts, folks. Interesting that I seem to be the only one having this problem. If it was just one pen I wouldn't have said much. But it's all 3 of them, each with a different nib (EF, F, M).

I didn't realize that there was a warranty of any sort on these pens. At the moment, I don't use any of them. But if I could spend a little to send them to Lamy it might be worth the effort. I'll go look at Lamy's web site and see if I can figure out how to do that. Thanks.
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#8 MJSchuelke

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 15:50

Over the year's, I've had quite a few Safaris and Al-Stars, and the only one that has ever given me trouble was the "Flame" 2005 (?) SE, which has a tendency to develop cracks near the end of the section. Otherwise, no problems, neither with dark nor with "silver" nibs, neither with cartridges nor with converters.

Can you tell where exactly the pens are leaking? If they're leaking through the ink window, something is probably wrong with the seal between the converter and the pen, or with the converter itself. If they're leaking through the nib, it's probably the feed. Did you get the pens and the converters new or used?

#9 usonian

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 16:04

I've had my Vista (pretty much a clear plastic Safari) XF nib for two years with no leakage problems whatsoever.
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#10 JonW

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 16:08

QUOTE (MJSchuelke @ Jul 13 2009, 11:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Over the year's, I've had quite a few Safaris and Al-Stars, and the only one that has ever given me trouble was the "Flame" 2005 (?) SE, which has a tendency to develop cracks near the end of the section. Otherwise, no problems, neither with dark nor with "silver" nibs, neither with cartridges nor with converters.

Can you tell where exactly the pens are leaking? If they're leaking through the ink window, something is probably wrong with the seal between the converter and the pen, or with the converter itself. If they're leaking through the nib, it's probably the feed. Did you get the pens and the converters new or used?


Thanks. They're not leaking through the window. It's all from below the O-ring area, at the tip somewhere. I can't tell where the ink is coming from but my guess would be *maybe* where the nib meets the body of the pen. There is ink over the metal nib. But even more ink collects and dries at the part just above that, where the cap probably clicks to the pen. Then the ink gets all over everything else, where you put your fingers and such.

Two of the pens have a black nib and one has a silver colored nib. Yes, I bought all 3 pens new, about a year ago, from isellpens.com. Sincee then I've been buying from shops, Richard's pens, etc.
"Who writes with a fountain pen? How friggin' pretentious is that?" --from the movie Duplicity. :-)

#11 Pfhorrest

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 17:18

My fine point and Medium don't leak. My broad does a little, however, but it's probably not related to the nib, might just be a lemon.

I have had no leakage problems with either cartridges or converters.
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#12 Silvermink

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 17:24

How do you store/carry your pens - nib up? Do they get vibrated around a lot or anything?
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#13 cmeisenzahl

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 17:40

I've owned several and never had that problem.

#14 Inka

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 17:57

QUOTE (bardharlock @ Jul 13 2009, 11:24 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
... For $7.50 shipping they will check the pen out for you. ...

Agreed and since 3 out of 3 suffer the same issue you could "possibly" save on postage by sending all 3 back at the same time.
Not sure about how equipped LAMY Customer Service is for doing nib smoothing but you might want to mention the scratchy nibs when sending them back.
As for that ďscratchinessĒ, sounds like there's just some machining burs where the nib slots were cut, typical of many brands and can be easily remedied with the proper supplies and skills.

Hearing youíre having the same problem with 3 pens, all the same brand/model, when other people aren't seeing this sounds really odd.
The only fountain pens I've ever had leak are the Platinum Preppy eye-dropper conversion pens.
The Preppy conversion has an odd feed system, in that the nib is attached to a plastic block with a long center feed post about the thickness of a pencil lead.
Ink flows past the feed rings, onto the nib block and drips while writing with 2 out of 5 Preppy E-Ds I've had.

I'd make use of a Lifetime warranty, despite the pens not being all that expensive.
From what others here have mentioned the Safari seems to be built like a tank, so something is definitely "off" with all 3 of yours leaking ink.
Seems to me they shouldn't leak unless you're shaking them like an old mercury thermometer, not saying you are only that they shouldn't leak regardless of how they're stored.
I have fountain pens stored in all different positions and not one [other than the Preppies] has ever leaked stored nib down/sideways/up/...
Something is definitely weird here and I for one would really like to hear the finding of why this is happening to you.

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They flow across paper as a brush to canvas, transforming my thoughts into words and my words into art.
There is nothing else like it; the art of writing and the painting of words!Ē

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#15 Silvermink

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 18:06

QUOTE (Inka @ Jul 13 2009, 10:57 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have fountain pens stored in all different positions and not one [other than the Preppies] has ever leaked stored nib down/sideways/up/...


For my part, I've definitely had pens (not specifically Lamys) drip a bit of ink into the cap while stored down or sideways, or jostled around in a pocket. I'm wondering if ink's dripping into the cap and then getting back onto the section, etc.
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#16 sarai

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 18:36

This is a stupid question, you have probably checked five times, but do you have the right converters for Safari? Lamy have three different converters that on first glimpse look the same.
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#17 skipwilliams

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 18:47

There has GOT to be an explanation. I've got two dozen Safari's and I've never had a problem with any of them writing in nibs from EF to 1.9mm stubs. The only time I could get them to burp inside the caps was a pretty violent dropping or shaking or a bad airplane trip.

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#18 JonW

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 18:57

QUOTE (Inka @ Jul 13 2009, 01:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (bardharlock @ Jul 13 2009, 11:24 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
... For $7.50 shipping they will check the pen out for you. ...

Agreed and since 3 out of 3 suffer the same issue you could "possibly" save on postage by sending all 3 back at the same time.
Not sure about how equipped LAMY Customer Service is for doing nib smoothing but you might want to mention the scratchy nibs when sending them back.
As for that ďscratchinessĒ, sounds like there's just some machining burs where the nib slots were cut, typical of many brands and can be easily remedied with the proper supplies and skills.

Hearing youíre having the same problem with 3 pens, all the same brand/model, when other people aren't seeing this sounds really odd.
The only fountain pens I've ever had leak are the Platinum Preppy eye-dropper conversion pens.
The Preppy conversion has an odd feed system, in that the nib is attached to a plastic block with a long center feed post about the thickness of a pencil lead.
Ink flows past the feed rings, onto the nib block and drips while writing with 2 out of 5 Preppy E-Ds I've had.

I'd make use of a Lifetime warranty, despite the pens not being all that expensive.
From what others here have mentioned the Safari seems to be built like a tank, so something is definitely "off" with all 3 of yours leaking ink.
Seems to me they shouldn't leak unless you're shaking them like an old mercury thermometer, not saying you are only that they shouldn't leak regardless of how they're stored.
I have fountain pens stored in all different positions and not one [other than the Preppies] has ever leaked stored nib down/sideways/up/...
Something is definitely weird here and I for one would really like to hear the finding of why this is happening to you.


Thanks for the help. Nope, Iím not shaking them. Just writing and sitting them on the desk. Pretty normal use, Iíd think. None of my other ~5 pens have this problem. I only had trouble with 1 of my 2 Reforms and that was different (it just lets ink go all at once, now and then).

Yeah, Iíll give Lamy a call and see what they say. If theyíll fix them that would be nice. If not, no big deal, really.

"Who writes with a fountain pen? How friggin' pretentious is that?" --from the movie Duplicity. :-)

#19 JonW

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 18:57

Wow. I had no idea Iíd receive so many responses. Thanks folks! I also would have guessed someone else would have encountered something similar.

QUOTE (sarai @ Jul 13 2009, 02:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This is a stupid question, you have probably checked five times, but do you have the right converters for Safari? Lamy have three different converters that on first glimpse look the same.


Given who youíre dealing with here, I think that all the stoopid questions are fair game. wink.gif User error is still an option.

I think the converter is OK. There is no leaking between the converter and the rest of the pen. Itís all inside the cap, section, etc.


QUOTE (Silvermink @ Jul 13 2009, 01:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How do you store/carry your pens - nib up? Do they get vibrated around a lot or anything?


QUOTE (Silvermink @ Jul 13 2009, 02:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Inka @ Jul 13 2009, 10:57 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have fountain pens stored in all different positions and not one [other than the Preppies] has ever leaked stored nib down/sideways/up/...


For my part, I've definitely had pens (not specifically Lamys) drip a bit of ink into the cap while stored down or sideways, or jostled around in a pocket. I'm wondering if ink's dripping into the cap and then getting back onto the section, etc.


I just store the pens on my desk top, horizontally. Nothing special at all. Like the rest of my fountain pens and they do not have any trouble. I donít carry them around in my pocket or hold them while gesticulating wildly or anything like that.

It could very well be lots of ink dripping into the cap and then getting back onto the section and such. At least if that were to occur, it would look exactly like what's happening. On the other hand, I have not had any trouble with them leaking ink while actually writing. But yeah, it's just lots of ink all over the section.

Edited by JonW, 13 July 2009 - 19:00.

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#20 biffybeans

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 19:28

I have 6 Safari's and where I don't really have this exact problem, I do notice a lot of ink in the cap of my yellow one. This is most likely because I often prime the converters for maximum flow and I can get sloppy about it. Never noticed this problem with any of the others.


QUOTE (JonW @ Jul 13 2009, 11:11 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Iíve been into the fountain pen thing for about a year for now. Very glad I came across this silly web site. wink.gif Like many of you, I started out with a few Lamy Safaris. I got a medium, fine, and extra fine, each in a different color. I quite like the look and feel of the pen- the shape, the plastic, the bold look, and the snap cap. Not so happy in that the nibs all feel a little scratchy, nonethelessÖ

The big problem is that they leak a lot. All 3 of them. Ink gets in the cap, gets all over the part that you hold when you write, gets on the O-ring, etc. So whenever I write with them, I get ink on my hands. More often than not.

The pens never leave my desk so Iím not shaking them around or anything. Iím using the Lamy converters. The converters are seated well in the pen, with that little clicky part. For inks, Iíve tried many. Some of the ones Iíve had problems with include Diamine Violet, Diamine Orange, Herbin Lierre Sauvage, and Private Reserve Copper Burst, among others. So I donít think itís ink specific.

FWIW, Iíve since got myself a nice collection of other pens- Pelikan M215 (my all-around favorite), an M205 demonstrator, Visconti Van Gogh Midi, a raden Vanishing Point, and some more on the way. smile.gif Iíve not had a similar problem with any of these others. And I have not seen others complain about a similar problem. The only other pen I have that has been a problem is a Reform 1745 (?) that just drops lots of ink now and then. But I have a second one of those that is no problem at all.

With 3 Safari pens, Iíve had leaky ink problems with all of them. So I stopped using them a while ago. A shame because theyíve got some nice aspects to them. Oh well. Theyíre not too expensive so itís not a big deal.

Just curious if anyone else has had a similar experience. Or if I should give these pens another shot. Thanks.








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