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Lamy Vs Caran D'ache Vs Mont Blanc (Capsule Review)

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#1 olethros


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Posted 05 July 2011 - 11:22

After spending a considerable amount of time with a Pelikano (M), a Lamy Safari (F) and a Lamy AL-Star (F), I decided to try out
a Lamy Studio (F). I kept it for a week, then I went to an up-market shop to try out some Mont Blanc and Caran d'Ache. Here's what I thought:

Pelikano (M)

Nice shape, lightweight. The little depression where the index finger is placed is also good. The nearly cylindrical shape, with very little tapering towards the end, allows for a good grip. Moderate resistance on printer paper. The ink flows a bit too heavily for my taste. I hate this cartridge system.

Lamy Safari (F)

Nice shape, lightweight. I find the grip section very well suited to my writing style. Feels smooth and effortless on printer paper. The ink (black-blue cartridge) flows moderately. I love the cartridge system.

Lamy AL-Star (F)

Virtually identical, but looks much better and there is a definite lack of bite marks, though the aluminum body is prone to dents :P
This ink (turqoise cartridge) or maybe the nib, feels slightly less smooth on printer paper.

Lamy Studio (F)

This nib (or ink, here I am using Pelikan 4001 Turquoise) somewhat toothier [1] than the other two Lamies which I have. I got a converter for this one, since I'll be using it mostly at home. It is quick and simple and I had no problems using it.
The pen is hefty, but not too heavy for me. However, I think that the grip is a bit of a problem since it is very smooth.
I find I need to adjust my hold on the pen frequently. On the other hand, my writing tends to be more accurate and cleaner using this pen.

The remaining pens are not in my collection, but I tried them in a shop yesterday, all with Pelikan 4001 blue-black ink.

Caran d'Ache Ecridor (F)

That's a nice little pen. It writes very nicely and looks quite elegant. However I must admit that I was not very fond of the grip section. It is both too small and narrow for my hands; I find that I tend to hold it exactly at the point where the grip starts and the hexagonal body ends. Combined with the pen's weight, this makes it somewhat uncomfortable. I am not sure I'd have this over the Lamy Studio.

Caran d'Ache Leman (F)

I like the more flexible nib on this pen. This pen is quite hefty, a bit too hefty perhaps. I again had the problem with my fingers slipping up all the way to the interface with the top. It writes really well, though I am not sure the 600 CHF price tag is justified.

Mont Blanc Meisterstuck (M)

Considerably lighter and nicer feeling in the hand than the Caran d'Ache, this feels excellent. They only had the M nib available there, which is too wide for my taste. On the other hand, I had the feeling that it was not quite as wide as other nibs rated M. It seemed to me that upon initial application, the nib would write somewhat more thickly than later on.

All three pens felt quite good, though none of them seemed to clearly dominate the pens I already have in all departments.

[1] When I tried it in the shop (M) it felt great, then I asked the guy to change the nib to F and it also felt great (after dipping it in an ink bottle). Later, at home, it felt very toothy and upon examination it seemed like the two nib bits were a bit misaligned. After a quick adjustment it is much better.

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#2 nicholasyeo



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Posted 05 July 2011 - 16:37

Caran d'Ache is indeed expensive. Their nibs in these ranges are rarely ever fully gold,
but one must admit that the pens are extremely heavy and solid in the hand. :notworthy1:

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