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Very Heretical Question About Lamy Safari


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118 replies to this topic

#1 OMASmaniac

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 22:29

Hi!

I apologize for my question, which will upset many (if not most) of you:

I've noticed that everybody (or almost everybody) in this forum has at least one lamy safari..... lots of people even have it in their profile picture, so I guess that they consider it their favourite pen...

I never had one before joining this forum (I had a Joy, but it's different), so I decided to buy one, in order to understand what makes them so special for so many people... and I haven't understood yet... Posted Image I've found it soulless and I gave it to a friend of mine.

The safari is a cheap pen, ok, and yes, it writes rather well (but not particularly thrillingly), but I have tried dozens of cheap-pens-with-steel-nibs-and-modern-design in my life, and I simply can't understand why the safari is so special...

I can understand that it's a good cheap pen to start with, but... why people who have amazing collections and have been buying luxury and excellent pens keep buying Safaris? Posted Image

Sorry....
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#2 HelzBelz

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 22:35

They're cheap, widely available, and come in a range of pretty colours. Plus, as long as you like rigid nibs, they do, for the most part, write very well. They're not my favourite pens, but I do own a Safari, an Al-Star and a Vista, and I enjoy using them. Some people like their design, I'm ambivalent to it. Personally I don't see that they're much better than their competitors in a similar price point, with the exception of a greater variety of nibs and colours. That said, I do use them alongside 'better' pens, while my Parker Frontier and other low-cost pens languish in a drawer, so they must have something to them, I just don't quite know what it is. Oh, they have good quality convertors, too.
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#3 Silvermink

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 22:38

What would you recommend over it as far as cheap pens with steel nibs? Not to be argumentative, I'm just curious about your definition of "soul".

I don't find the basic round-point Lamy steel nibs to be too exciting either, but I do like my 1.1 italic.
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#4 rdh

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 22:47

You gave a soul-less pen to a friend? Must not be a very good friendPosted Image.

I like my Safari as a pen to carry in a jeans pocket. It is good to take grocery shopping or to Home Depot to mark things off my list. I also like that the nibs are easy to change and the wide variety gives beginners the opportunity to try a lot of different ones.

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#5 limesally

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 22:53

it's not special. It's just a versatile, durable, knock-around pen that won't make me cry if I break or lose it, which is why I have one in my bag or at work all the time. it's easy to replace if I do lose it.

It's that very non-specialness that makes it so useful for me, and since everyone in the family uses fountain pens (including the kids) its the one that sits by the computer desk, phone, etc.

forgot to add: we do have other inexpensive pens around - that plastic Parker one (vector?), Prera, Pelikan Go, Pelikano - but somehow the Safari is the only one that has thus far not suffered some mishap. That's why we have multiples - it has greater survivorship :rolleyes:

Edited by limesally, 02 June 2010 - 22:57.


#6 Martini25

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 22:55

For me it was my starter pen, a Red Medium Lamy Safari (which was lost a year after purchase) but I loved it and I still love it. Its not my favorite pen but then again, I currently don't have a favorite. There are plenty of pens out there too but everyone has that one special pen that they enjoy, be it a nameless random find or a branded pen.

If you had told me a year ago that I would branch out to other pens I would have laughed in your face and told you this was the only pen for me. I'm still searching and I have 1 Safari, 1 Al-Star, and 1 Vista. All are great but again, everyone has their own preferences towards pens. That's the best part of pens (in general) and fountain pens.

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#7 countrydirt

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 22:56

I like the price and seeming bomb-proof nature. I have a Safari and a Vista. I like the industrial appearance of the pens. They write fine for me, with a variety of inks and always behave like they should. However, I don't get a lot of line variation with them. I also have dip pens and holders and understand what line variation can be. With that said, even if Safaris are the "finest" pen around, they are fountain pens and just might introduce someone to this habitobby.

#8 watch_art

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 23:00

yeah it is a tough pen. that's what i like about it. i've lost mine again though. drat! lost lost lost. i've lost my lamy. this is the second time!

but my favorite thing about it, is that with a little epoxy you can turn that stupid barrel into an eyedropper. and the converter IS good, just TOO small. and i hate the lamy ink, too. not very saturated for my taste.

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#9 OMASmaniac

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 23:00

@Helzbelz: I agree on the positive aspects that you've underlined... but I don't think that they can explain the kind of feticism that surrounds these pens! :D

@Silvermink: I wouldn't recommend a Lamy safari as a cheap pen with steel nib. I would rather recommend an Aurora Idea. Actually, that's the pen I bought for a friend, to introduce her to the world of fountain pens. It's nicer, the design is not so strange as in the Lamy Safari, the nib is good and not dry-writer as the safari... and it's made in Italy! :D

I can't really say what "having a soul" means for a pen! :D I guess it means that it must give you some emotion. Love it or hate it. Lamy safaris rarely trigger emotions in me. They're tools, like screwdrivers or toasters... Posted Image they do their job, but that's it. Writing must be an emotion, otherwise I'd use a BP! ;)

@Rdh: actually, I really SUFFER when I give a pen. Even to my brother. And I have a couple of drawers full of pens that I don't use, but it would be VERY painful to get rid of them! :( This didn't happen with the Safari: my friend saw it and asked to try it, liked it, and I simply gave it away... Posted Image (i felt guilty, however!)

Edited by OMASmaniac, 02 June 2010 - 23:01.


#10 bphollin

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 23:02

As much as I love my fancy-pants FPs, there's no way I'm taking them in the backcountry camping/hiking/fishing--Safaris, being designed for school children, are notoriously rugged, even more so than their Lamy 2000 counterparts. Safaris are also good to have on hand to lend to non-FP people. They write reliably well and the italic nibs are great for what they are. Shall I keep going? :happyberet:

Edited by bphollin, 02 June 2010 - 23:04.


#11 Astroix

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 23:03

Perhaps nostalgia or emotional attachment? For a lot of people (including myself), it is the first fountain pen you own.

#12 tonybelding

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 23:35

I'm not a huge Safari fan. But. . . I have two of them. :rolleyes:

They don't cost much. It's just about the cheapest fountain pen you can get with all the basic, functional features: choice of color, choice of nibs, iridium tip, C/C fill, some kind of (minimal) box and instructions, and a warranty.

They write pretty well (if you get a good one, as their QC seems a bit spotty). They're fairly rugged and they have a sort of cheerful style. Since the demise of the classic Sheaffer No-Nonsense pen, the Safari is left in practically a class by itself.

#13 WendyNC

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 23:42

The funkiness is a big part of what appeals to me, but the one thing I can see that they have going for them which is not common with other pens at that price point is that the nibs can readily be changed by the user and can be purchased separately.
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#14 wallylynn

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 23:44

My Vista clips perfectly to my pants pocket each time, every time. It's my EDC.
There aren't many clear/demonstrators around.
The industrial look/design matches my work and mindset.

#15 Silvermink

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 23:44

@Silvermink: I wouldn't recommend a Lamy safari as a cheap pen with steel nib. I would rather recommend an Aurora Idea. Actually, that's the pen I bought for a friend, to introduce her to the world of fountain pens. It's nicer, the design is not so strange as in the Lamy Safari, the nib is good and not dry-writer as the safari... and it's made in Italy! :D


You know, funnily enough, I said to myself, "I bet he's going to recommend one of the low-end Auroras". And if they're as enjoyable to use as my 88 - or even close - I wouldn't disagree with you, either.
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#16 Pengrump

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 23:49

@Helzbelz: I agree on the positive aspects that you've underlined... but I don't think that they can explain the kind of feticism that surrounds these pens! :D

@Silvermink: I wouldn't recommend a Lamy safari as a cheap pen with steel nib. I would rather recommend an Aurora Idea. Actually, that's the pen I bought for a friend, to introduce her to the world of fountain pens. It's nicer, the design is not so strange as in the Lamy Safari, the nib is good and not dry-writer as the safari... and it's made in Italy! :D

I can't really say what "having a soul" means for a pen! :D I guess it means that it must give you some emotion. Love it or hate it. Lamy safaris rarely trigger emotions in me. They're tools, like screwdrivers or toasters... Posted Image they do their job, but that's it. Writing must be an emotion, otherwise I'd use a BP! ;)

@Rdh: actually, I really SUFFER when I give a pen. Even to my brother. And I have a couple of drawers full of pens that I don't use, but it would be VERY painful to get rid of them! :( This didn't happen with the Safari: my friend saw it and asked to try it, liked it, and I simply gave it away... Posted Image (i felt guilty, however!)


I bought two Aurora Idea fps when the local pen store had them on sale. They are absolutely horrible writers, dry and scratchy. Since they were inexpensive, it's not worth my while to pay to have the nibs adjusted. They are cute little pens though, much cuter than the Safari. I have a couple of Safaris to take with me on trips when I'm going to spend a lot of time outdoors and don't want to risk any of my better pens. I'm not a big Safari fan, however. The ones I have write very well, and the grip doesn't bother me too much. they're not favorites of mine, even among cheap pens, but they do what I need them to do. (Cheap Pilot fps are my favorites. I'll even take a disposable Pilot like the Varsity above both a Safari and an Aurora Idea.)

#17 SimonJamesLucas

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 23:55

Well I´ve got two things against the Safari, firstly the clip looks like a big paper clip and secondly when ever I look at cheapish FP´s on Fleabay, I get the distinct impression that Lamy are trying to take over the world.

However, as I have never used one and despite having bought lots of pens over the last couple of years, I don't have one in my collection (or any Lamy pen for that matter- or any German made pen full stop), perhaps I have viewed them unfairly. I say this because recently I did try out a couple of other Lamy pens that a girl in our office has and I was seriously impressed with the nibs, I don´t know what model they were but they were very slim and silver finished.

I know what I´m going to do, I´m going to bag me a Safari and see what all the fuss is about.....watch this space.

#18 bluemagister

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 23:59

I don't care for the Safari because, to me, it is not much better than a Pilot or Sailor pen I could get for the same price. Anytime I've had $25 to spend, I end up getting 78Gs or a Sailor Desk Pen because they write so much nicer than the Safari nibs (in my opinion). I've tried 5 or 6 in stores and just wasn't impressed enough with them. I also do not like that an EF Lamy still writes about a 0.5mm line when I expect EF to be around 0.3mm.

HOWEVER, they are rugged pens and I wouldn't hate it if someone gave one to me.

#19 OMASmaniac

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 00:00

@Silvermink: I wouldn't recommend a Lamy safari as a cheap pen with steel nib. I would rather recommend an Aurora Idea. Actually, that's the pen I bought for a friend, to introduce her to the world of fountain pens. It's nicer, the design is not so strange as in the Lamy Safari, the nib is good and not dry-writer as the safari... and it's made in Italy! :D


You know, funnily enough, I said to myself, "I bet he's going to recommend one of the low-end Auroras". And if they're as enjoyable to use as my 88 - or even close - I wouldn't disagree with you, either.


Ahaha! :D Well, it was an easy question! ;)


I have 2 Aurora Ideas, 2 "Ipsilon", one I-don't-remember-the-name-of-the-model-and-I'm-too-lazy-to-google-it, a couple of Magellano. The only one I was disappointed with was one of the magellano, which had an excessively abundant flow of ink, but I haven't tried to fix it yet. All the other are excellent writers, and the other Magellano has been my favourite (read: obsession) pen for 3 years (until my professor borrowed it and broke it.... Posted Image) :)

So, I would strongly recommend Auroras as cheap pens for beginners! :)

#20 Silvermink

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 00:04

I have 2 Aurora Ideas, 2 "Ipsilon", one I-don't-remember-the-name-of-the-model-and-I'm-too-lazy-to-google-it, a couple of Magellano.


Style, maybe?

I've been thinking of picking up a Talentum - not that that's a cheapie, mind you - but an Ipsilon might find its way into my collection one of these days too. Auroras really are pretty great.
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