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Parker 51 vs. Lamy 2000


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#1 mkkm19912002

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 22:38

The Parker 51 and Lamy 2000 are both some of the best hooded nibbed pens that ever were. Now they face head off in a fight to the death review! Ding Ding!!!!!

Round 1
First Impressions
Lamy 2000 7/10: When I first saw the Lamy 2000, it came in a plain, cardboard box with the words LAMY italicized and printed on the front. The pen itself was nothing fancy with virtually no writing on the pen at all. The pen itelf, though, had a subtle beauty that appealed to me with a very graceful and practical nib design.

Parker 51 7/10: The Parker 51 (obviously since it's vintage youd be lucky to get it in a box) comes in a nicely decorated box that pops open to a satin fabric inside with the pen centerpieced in the middle. However the pen itself has not much writing on it except for the words PARKER imprinted on the cap. The barrel is one monotone color and the type of hooded nib design used makes it look like a sort of Asian themed pen.

Round 2
Filling System
Lamy 2000 9/10: This pen has a piston filling system which makes it great right away. The system holds a lot of ink (2.67 mL to be exact), and isn't messy at all. People say that the piston is stiff. To me, maybe a little, but it's really hard to notice it and it's definitely not worth complaining or whining about.
Parker 51 8/10: This pen has an Aerometric filling system which is the same as a squeeze bar except you only push down on the sac on one end. It's extremely efficient and holds a lot of ink except when filled up ink gets all over the lower part of the barrel and squirts in small droplets sometimes on my desk ( luckily never on my clothes and that my desk is laminated.)

Round 3 The Nib and Performance
Lamy 2000 10/10: This nib is a dream. Like butter on glass, it rights better than pens up to the Mont Blanc Le Grande. Super smooth it also gives you a bit of spring which smoothen your ride further as it glides across the paper. The nib has a sweet spot allowing for about 180 degrees of rotation and is beautifully designed and polished. Even though it has no ornamentation it relates back to that subtle beaulty I was talking about earlier

Parker 51 7.8/10: The nib isn't beautiful becauae you cant see it but it still performs. The only problem is the pen's sweet spot. Sometimes it's really smooth and sometimes it's terrible and hurts your hand to write with.

Round 4
Price
Lamy 2000 10/10: Although this pen retails for 160 USD, you can get it many places online for 100 USD or under. Truly a great value it writes better than many higher end pens.
Parker 51 8/10: Since it's vintage, this pen goes for around 150 USD or more. However the hard to find sweet spot and semi-messy filling system makes this pen a good buy but you could get more for your buck only.

Cummulative Scores
Lamy 2000 36/40
Parker 51 30.8/40

Lamy 2000 wins!

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#2 argonavis

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 22:57

I'll stay reasonably neutral. My L2K is as good as my P51s on Mon, Wed, and Fri, the P51s are as good as my L2K on Tue, Thur, Sat. Sunday they go out drinking together.

(Careful of using one 51 that's probably about 51 years old for general rating...)

Fun is going to be seeing some of the reactions you get mkkm19912002...

#3 mkkm19912002

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 23:19

I'll stay reasonably neutral. My L2K is as good as my P51s on Mon, Wed, and Fri, the P51s are as good as my L2K on Tue, Thur, Sat. Sunday they go out drinking together.

(Careful of using one 51 that's probably about 51 years old for general rating...)

Fun is going to be seeing some of the reactions you get mkkm19912002...







Your right. It's a contraversial subject and the feelings will be mixed, but I like good discusions like that.

#4 Nikhil

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 23:54

Lamy 2000 10/10: This nib is a dream. Like butter on glass, it rights better than pens up to the Mont Blanc Le Grande.

I don't think the 2000 can be directly compared to the Le Grande. There are many price ranges in between, and many treasures in the price range. From the writing sample with the Sailor 1911, the Sailor was better then the 2000, but that doesn't mean the 2000 is a bad pen. Otherwise, with a few exceptions, I agree.

You said something about the piston. I have read it gets stiffer with time, but since I do not have one, I can't help with the validity of this.

This was nicely done review, and is an interesting comparison. Throughly enjoyed it.

Edited by Nikhil, 11 November 2009 - 23:55.

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#5 mkkm19912002

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 23:57

Lamy 2000 10/10: This nib is a dream. Like butter on glass, it rights better than pens up to the Mont Blanc Le Grande.

I don't think the 2000 can be directly compared to the Le Grande. There are many price ranges in between, and many treasures in the price range. From the writing sample with the Sailor 1911, the Sailor was better then the 2000, but that doesn't mean the 2000 is a bad pen. Otherwise, with a few exceptions, I agree.

You said something about the piston. I have read it gets stiffer with time, but since I do not have one, I can't help with the validity of this.

This was nicely done review, and is an interesting comparison. Throughly enjoyed it.






Sorry, I should of clarified that better except for most Sailors which are the smoothest writing pens on the market.

#6 HenryLouis

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 00:06

This is a joke, right? You voted the P51's nib to be worse than the lamy 2000's simply due to the fact you can't see the nib? These pens are old, some of their tipping has worn off. The tipping on the 2000's nib is flat, meaning it's more prone to skipping due to rotation. The 2000's nib is much wetter than the 51's and it is also much thicker, bleeding through many pages. imo, the only advantage the 2000 has over the 51 is ease of cleaning, as you just need to flush without cleaning the collector in the 51's hood.

Also
"Parker 51 8/10: Since it's vintage, this pen goes for around 150 USD or more"

Most parker 51's can be had under $75... You can get maybe 3 user grade 51's for the price of 1 2000.
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#7 Nikhil

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 00:38

This is a joke, right? You voted the P51's nib to be worse than the lamy 2000's simply due to the fact you can't see the nib? These pens are old, some of their tipping has worn off. The tipping on the 2000's nib is flat, meaning it's more prone to skipping due to rotation. The 2000's nib is much wetter than the 51's and it is also much thicker, bleeding through many pages. imo, the only advantage the 2000 has over the 51 is ease of cleaning, as you just need to flush without cleaning the collector in the 51's hood.

Also
"Parker 51 8/10: Since it's vintage, this pen goes for around 150 USD or more"

Most parker 51's can be had under $75... You can get maybe 3 user grade 51's for the price of 1 2000.


How many 51's can you get for under 75 dollars that can right perfectly and are in mint condition. Chances are you will need the pen restored and you need to pay for that too, and I include that in the price, it like a hidden fee. Many 2000 sell way below the retail of 160 USD, they too can be had in the 89 USD, and that is new, out of the box never been used. You can't compare a new, mint condition 2000 to a vintage 51 in terms of price.I have written with a 51 in very good condition and still it isn't close to the quality of the 2000. What is the thickness of your 2000? I have a sample of it written by me and do not notice bleedthrough on any pages, much less many.
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#8 gary

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 01:31

"How many 51's can you get for under 75 dollars that can right perfectly and are in mint condition. Chances are you will need the pen restored and you need to pay for that too, and I include that in the price, it like a hidden fee. Many 2000 sell way below the retail of 160 USD, they too can be had in the 89 USD, and that is new, out of the box never been used. You can't compare a new, mint condition 2000 to a vintage 51 in terms of price.I have written with a 51 in very good condition and still it isn't close to the quality of the 2000. What is the thickness of your 2000? I have a sample of it written by me and do not notice bleedthrough on any pages, much less many."


The number of 51's you can get under $75 (including necessary repairs) is directly proportional to how lucky you are: my first was purchased for $20, plus $20 for vac repair, and smooth writing for years. You can't compare a new, mint 2000 to a vintage 51 because you can't buy a new, mint 51. This also explains why, when comparing nibs, you're comparing a direct from the factory Lamy with a Parker that's been used or abused for years.

I've had a 2000, and 51s, and the 2000 quality is easily met by the 51. The nibs are equivalent, though medium and broad nibbed 51s are harder to find. The 51 can be purchased with brushed metal, sterling and gold caps. No such choice with the 2000. You have a choice of fillers with the 51, but no piston. Both have flighter models, the 2000 Special Edition being very hard to find. No 2000 equivalent of the 51 Signet though. The 2000 has the "ears", or tabs, to keep its cap on. The 51 design needs no such annoyances.

The 2000 is a very nice pen. Call me back when it conquers the world, and becomes a legend. After all, it's the "old pen" that the 2000 is trying to measure up to.

garu

Edited by gary, 12 November 2009 - 01:31.


#9 HenryLouis

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 01:41

I'd also like to note that the Parker 51 was hand lathed; I don't think Lamy does that with the 2000.

Also there is that metal section which is slippery.

One more thing, I agree with gary's comment. How many people will tell you that Parker makes the best pens in the world? They won't ever hear about Lamy, even though the 2000 has been in production since 1966?

Edited by HenryLouis, 12 November 2009 - 02:02.

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#10 adam11

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 01:48

I'm to staying neutral; I deslike both pens in a somewhat same degree.

#11 italiansallion

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 01:51

This is a joke, right? You voted the P51's nib to be worse than the lamy 2000's simply due to the fact you can't see the nib? These pens are old, some of their tipping has worn off. The tipping on the 2000's nib is flat, meaning it's more prone to skipping due to rotation. The 2000's nib is much wetter than the 51's and it is also much thicker, bleeding through many pages. imo, the only advantage the 2000 has over the 51 is ease of cleaning, as you just need to flush without cleaning the collector in the 51's hood.

Also
"Parker 51 8/10: Since it's vintage, this pen goes for around 150 USD or more"

Most parker 51's can be had under $75... You can get maybe 3 user grade 51's for the price of 1 2000.


How many 51's can you get for under 75 dollars that can right perfectly and are in mint condition. Chances are you will need the pen restored and you need to pay for that too, and I include that in the price, it like a hidden fee. Many 2000 sell way below the retail of 160 USD, they too can be had in the 89 USD, and that is new, out of the box never been used. You can't compare a new, mint condition 2000 to a vintage 51 in terms of price.I have written with a 51 in very good condition and still it isn't close to the quality of the 2000. What is the thickness of your 2000? I have a sample of it written by me and do not notice bleedthrough on any pages, much less many.


i totally agree with henry louis, there is no reason that a p51 nib can is worse than a lamy 2k nib just because you cant see it. and there are quite a few p51's on here that can be had for under 50 dollars. and as for the repair and restoration, you can do that yourself for a fraction of the price a professional charges.

#12 MYU

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 02:06

Ok, I need to chime in here, for the sake of civility. These pens are two VERY different writing instruments. In actuality, I'd say it is very difficult to compare them. The Parker 51 came out in the early 1940's, while the Lamy 2000 debuted in 1966. So, the L2K has the advantage of superior technology of the day, some automated and some manually implemented. The P51 came out during the latter half of prominent fountain pen usage and had a serious amount of engineering behind it, much more so than most fountain pens of its day. It has its own merits by virtue of the timing and importance to the writing instrument community. The L2K comes to the game later, but personifies the Bauhaus style and wins a coveted place in various modern museums. Again, the serendipity of timing. Both pens have their own unique histories and successes.

So... what you have here is mostly based on subjectivity. A P51 picked from the wild can vary tremendously in performance, and price. The L2K is far more consistent in used and new prices. The section as slippery? Subjective. And the nibs? Well, BOTH can perform extremely well. Wet, dry, scratchy, smooth... BOTH nibs in these pens can be found performing this way. And btw, I don't get the sense that mkkm judges the P51 performance by its aesthetics. Again, the preference is in the eye of the writer. YMMV.

Therefore, please don't take a strong stance in responding to this review, and throw barbs of criticism (HenryLouis, a review isn't a joke). Any review is subjective and the opinion of the author, of which they are entitled to. I don't think the author was unjust to either pen. So, let's stay civil here, please. Otherwise I'll have to lock it down and take administrative action on protagonists.


Thanks...

Edited by MYU, 12 November 2009 - 02:38.

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#13 Namo

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 08:37

The 2000 is a very nice pen. Call me back when it conquers the world, and becomes a legend. After all, it's the "old pen" that the 2000 is trying to measure up to.

garu


The 2K isa legend - but maybe for other reasons than only its quality.

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#14 argonavis

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 08:47

Right MYU. Two pens which are difficult to compare. I salute mkkm19912002 for the review, as it brings home some important points, IMHO.

I would, again, note that all 51s are not alike, due to age, treatment etc. This makes such a task all the more difficult. On the other hand, I suggest that most people (not all, and that's good) will agree that a good 51 is, at least, a fabulous pen. I think the L2000 is good enough to be able to be compared to the 51. That I think is a point well made in the review. A pen that has been in production since 1966, and going strong, has earned the right.

These are two of my favorites, so please be suspicious of what is, of course, only my opinion.

#15 hari317

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 10:08

Thank you for this nice review. It is a difficult review to do between two iconic pens with some period of overlap in production. The L2k wins in my book too, but YMMV.

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#16 trent

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 11:36

I've been using some P51's recently and they vary from excellent to maddeningly inconsistent because of the tiny sweet spot. I had to go through several P51's to find the one or two that are great. However, my best P51, which has wonderful flow, smoothness and consistency of line, and for which I paid in the $100 range, is better than the two Lamy 2000's that I own. For starters, the Lamy's leak, both of them, at the section, under the nib. While the Lamy nibs are very smooth indeed, they have a certain lack of tactile feedback---they are TOO smooth! And then, ergonomically, the P51's are slimmer and tire my hand much less. As for design, there is something much more Bauhaus and essential to me in the P51 than in the Lamy 2000; the P51 is streamlined like a plane of the era. The Bauhaus artist Moholy Nagy really admired the P51, which does not surprise me. Yes, so much of this is subjective, but I am merely relating my experiences. To me, the P51 wins, and is the overall better daily user and workhorse pen, but neither the P51 nor the Lamy 2000 approach the perfection of my Aurora 88.

Edited by trent, 12 November 2009 - 11:38.


#17 Koyote

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 14:14

I think this review, and the comments, reflect the differences between buying vintage and buying new, not just when it comes to P51s and L2Ks. At their best, I am sure both are good pens. You will have greater odds of getting a great writer if you buy a new L2K because it will be new and any problems will be handled under warranty -- but you could get a great P51, too, either by buying carefully (and having a bit of luck) and/or having it reconditioned.

#18 diplomat

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 14:48

They are two great classics in pendom, and both are great pens. I wouldn't give up either of them.
But I concur (with trent) that the Aurora 88 (vintage) may be a good compromise between the two contenders of this nice review.

#19 richardandtracy

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 15:40

I'd also like to note that the Parker 51 was hand lathed; I don't think Lamy does that with the 2000.

...

The Vac 51's were hand turned, however not all aeros were. The MkIII aeros, I'm confident in saying, were injection moulded. I suspect that many of the later MK1 Aeros were moulded (and possibly all), but whether they were injection moulded, I don't know - it's quicker than casting but I'm not sure when the technology came in.
Prior to that the Aeros were copy turned - this involves having a full scale master that the lathe operator follows with a mechanical follower, and the blank is machined to the same shape. There is negligible skill involved, production speeds can be very high and the repeatability is similar to moulding.

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#20 Ernst Bitterman

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 15:52

The problem with a head-to-head review like this is that each pen is so idiosyncratic that it's really just a comparison of those two specific pens rather than of the models. I was very surprised by the comments on writing properties, as I find my 2000 much less tolerant of rotation in all axes than almost all 51's I've had to do with and with one exception (surprisingly, from England) the firm 51 points seem at least as smooth if not moreso than the 2000. A 51 that dribbles when fully filled has something wrong with it, too, and shouldn't be taken as an exemplar of the model.

I find complaints about the slippery metal section of the 2000 rather odd, too-- are you really holding it that low, that your fingers even touch the metal fore-end?

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