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A Lamy Safari Review


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35 replies to this topic

#1 restlesscourage

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 05:05

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Untitled by restlesscourage, on Flickr

In case you can't read my chicken scratch:

New ink, new pen. This is Diamine Bilberry in an EF Lamy Safari.

I got lucky - this nib is exceptionally smooth.

This notepad is new as well - a Rhodia No 16 Dotpad and pad holder.

I am very pleased!

This is a very nice pen. I actually like the triangular grip section, since I naturally hold my pens in a tripod grip. The pen still strikes me as being a little funny looking, but I really like the matte black with the black nib, and it feels like a very sturdy pen, despite being plastic.

This is going to be my carry-everywhere pen, but I sure hope I don't lose it! It's a great writer! My handwriting is small enough that I prefer an EF or F nib, and this Lamy EF is a perfect fit for me.

My only complaint is the size of the converter - it's not huge to begin with, and It doesn't fill completely - there was a sizable air bubble at the top after each of multiple filling attempts.

Overall, I'd give this pen high marks - probably an 8.5/10. It's a winner!

Posted Image
Untitled by restlesscourage, on Flickr

Posted Image
Untitled by restlesscourage, on Flickr

Posted Image
Untitled by restlesscourage, on Flickr

Posted Image
Untitled by restlesscourage, on Flickr

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Untitled by restlesscourage, on Flickr

Posted Image
Untitled by restlesscourage, on Flickr

Posted Image
Untitled by restlesscourage, on Flickr

You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should've behaved better. ~ Anne Lamott (This is where I tell my stories.)

 

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#2 Ecriveur

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 07:50

I have a similar view of the Lamy Safari. It's quite a sturdy pen, considering it's plastic and the best part is that, for a fountain pen, it's quite affordable, so it's feasible to have several of them and it's not a disaster if one gets lost or stolen.

I have four of the charcoal / black clip Safaris and a red one I keep filled with red ink for markup.

Overall, a very solid pen.

#3 Bjorn Keizers

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:59

Hey, there's a reason they're probably one of the best selling fountain pens ever - Lamy pens in general really are great! I've never had a Lamy pen that I didn't like.

And while I only just started with two of their Safari fountain pens, I know I'll love these as well.

The fact that you can buy five for the price of any other 'cheap' fountain pen makes it really, really hard for me to spend more on another product.

#4 ShinyDemon

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:00

I've considered one of these, but I can't get away from that clip. It's ugly as sin and makes the pen look very cheap.
I don't really have a use for a clip other than to stop the pen rolling off the desk. Having it dominate the look of the pen like that seems so unnecessary.

#5 mikehodgman

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:22

Nice review! I am very mixed on the Safari. Some people do not like the grip, but I absolutely love it. Love the look as well. I have had two though, and I find the nibs pretty dry and scratchy. It's not terrible, but just enough that I'd rather use something else. I've got a 1.1 italic coming though, so we'll see how that goes!

#6 Mike 59

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:51

Hi All, Really well designed pen, it fits my hand well, but some users don't like the flats on the section, as it forces a certain 'correct' finger grip.
The nibs are usually good, or very good, I had one that was 'iffy' but needed some smoothing. My Vista demonstrator is a treat to write with, very hard to fault.
(If I had to, I would like the grip section to be a few mm's wider, and there can be a slight leak around the top edge of the nib.)
The clip is unusual, but I believe that it's really aimed at the school/student market, so maybe that explains the design, but unlike many clips, it does work and stays springy, unlike some other brands I own.
The charcoal Safari with a black clip is much less obvious, than say, the red pen with chrome clip.
I have 'improved' the ink flow on two of mine with a wider tine gap, but the last Safari I bought (Dec '12) had what I thought was too much gap, but it was very marginal, and to be fair it wrote very well.
The included cartridge works well too and the blue ink is as good as many other brands I have.
Otherwise Lamy make a very good converter, which works well and is also useful in cleaning the nib and section by drawing water up and down through section. Overall, good value for money.

Edited by Mike 59, 17 January 2013 - 13:06.


#7 restlesscourage

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 14:36

I've considered one of these, but I can't get away from that clip. It's ugly as sin and makes the pen look very cheap.
I don't really have a use for a clip other than to stop the pen rolling off the desk. Having it dominate the look of the pen like that seems so unnecessary.


I think they're seriously weird looking pens. One of the reasons I bought it was that I wanted a cheaper pen I could just toss in a bag and not worry about, and I figured the Safari was extra good for that because I didn't envision myself getting attached to the look of it, either. But I don't know, it's growing on me. I still think it's funny looking, but I don't hate it. (Also, while it does make the pen look cheap, it FEELS far from cheap. It's a serious clip.)

Nice review! I am very mixed on the Safari. Some people do not like the grip, but I absolutely love it. Love the look as well. I have had two though, and I find the nibs pretty dry and scratchy. It's not terrible, but just enough that I'd rather use something else. I've got a 1.1 italic coming though, so we'll see how that goes!


I realize that I got very lucky with my nib; I'd seen several posts complaining about scratchiness, especially with the finer nibs, and I was really nervous, but I figured if it was my toss-around pen it wouldn't matter as much. Turns out it's possibly the smoothest-writing pen I own. I let my partner borrow it to write a few lines, and his reaction was, "Yep. I want one." :thumbup:

You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should've behaved better. ~ Anne Lamott (This is where I tell my stories.)

 

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#8 Wheatflower

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 15:07

I think they're seriously weird looking pens. One of the reasons I bought it was that I wanted a cheaper pen I could just toss in a bag and not worry about, and I figured the Safari was extra good for that because I didn't envision myself getting attached to the look of it, either. But I don't know, it's growing on me. I still think it's funny looking, but I don't hate it.


My experience parallels yours, I think. A Safari was my first fountain pen, a gift, and when I got it out of the box my first reaction was, "What IS this THING?"

But it was a lovely writer, and as I learned more about fountain pens I began to understand how the weird things about it were all answers to questions of function. It's tough! Clips to anything! Won't roll off the table, capped or uncapped! Shows a newbie like me how to hold it! As a result, I've become very fond of the design and now own 4 Safaris and an Al-Star. They aren't to everyone's taste, but they have become mine.
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#9 Montblanc owner and lover

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 16:23

thanks for this nice review.Good idea to give it handwritten and by computer so when we can't read it's not a prob
A people can be great withouth a great pen but a people who love great pens is surely a great people too... Pens owned actually: MB 146 EF;Pelikan M200 SE Clear Demonstrator 2012 B;Parker 17 EF;Parker 51 EF;Waterman Expert II M,Waterman Hemisphere M;Waterman Carene F and Stub;Pilot Justus 95 F. Nearly owned: MB 149 B(Circa 2002);Conway Stewart Belliver LE bracket Brown IB.

#10 restlesscourage

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 16:39

I think they're seriously weird looking pens. One of the reasons I bought it was that I wanted a cheaper pen I could just toss in a bag and not worry about, and I figured the Safari was extra good for that because I didn't envision myself getting attached to the look of it, either. But I don't know, it's growing on me. I still think it's funny looking, but I don't hate it.


My experience parallels yours, I think. A Safari was my first fountain pen, a gift, and when I got it out of the box my first reaction was, "What IS this THING?"

But it was a lovely writer, and as I learned more about fountain pens I began to understand how the weird things about it were all answers to questions of function. It's tough! Clips to anything! Won't roll off the table, capped or uncapped! Shows a newbie like me how to hold it! As a result, I've become very fond of the design and now own 4 Safaris and an Al-Star. They aren't to everyone's taste, but they have become mine.


If I get another fountain pen (I probably will get one more at some point; my current point in life means I'm limiting myself to five for now), it may well be another Safari or an Al-Star. I'm definitely getting one for my partner at some point. They're a bit bizarre, but very functional, and you can't beat the price.

You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should've behaved better. ~ Anne Lamott (This is where I tell my stories.)

 

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#11 AlejoPlay

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 17:04

I love my Charcoal Safari. The nib is a tiny bit scratchy. I have a spare EF at home I should put on it but it's not black. I keep meaning to get a 1.1 for it, my Vista and Al-Star . . . but it's like when I have a spare $30 I only want inks.

I have mine loaded with Herbin Orange Indien and it LOOOOOOVES that ink :)

#12 Frank C

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 17:56

Nice review and good photos. The Lamy Safari is a real workhorse of a pen. I always recommend it for people just starting out with fountain pens. Thanks!
"One can not waste time worrying about small minds . . . If we were normal, we'd still be using free ball point pens." —Bo Bo Olson "I already own more ink than a rational person can use in a lifetime." —Waski_the_Squirrel
I'm still trying to figure out how to list all my pens down here.

#13 Flounder

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 18:15

About a year ago, I would have dismissed these offhand. That awful clip! Such ugly colours! I've since come to think I judged the Safari far too harshly. The clip is probably more geared towards securing the pen to a folder than a pocket, and the charcoal finish is quite nice. I can't figure out whether I'd find the grip section the best thing since sliced bread or a major annoyance. They actually have these in Rymans, and I always have a look when I go in for notebooks. They look a good size and well proportioned, at least through the blister packages security locked to the wall racks.

Many thanks for the review!

Latest pen related post @ flounders-mindthots.blogspot.com : vintage Pilot Elite Pocket Pen review


#14 Teacher Man

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 05:43

I love my Lamy's, whether Safari or Studio or Vista or whatnot. They are affordable and well-made, and most importantly for me: you do not have to make a final choice on what nib you would like when you by the pen! I have a small collection Lamy nibs and can convert my Safari FF into a Safari Italic 1.1 in no time.

My only complaint is the size of the converter - it's not huge to begin with, and It doesn't fill completely - there was a sizable air bubble at the top after each of multiple filling attempts.


In my experience, if you refil, empty, refil, empty a few times, the bubble gets significantly smaller (be sure to empty "under water").
Okay, I used to have the Letter Writers Alliance and The Snail Mail Exchange in here. Somehow, my browsers settings and the forum's settings work together to prevent that from being the case at the moment. Whenever I try to update my signature, the whole process breakls down. So. Whatever.

#15 restlesscourage

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 16:44

In my experience, if you refil, empty, refil, empty a few times, the bubble gets significantly smaller (be sure to empty "under water").


I tried that...although it's possible I didn't have it submerged enough. I messed up my back last weekend and bending over the table I was working on was a bit of a challenge.

You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should've behaved better. ~ Anne Lamott (This is where I tell my stories.)

 

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#16 Mercian

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 16:53

I've considered one of these, but I can't get away from that clip. It's ugly as sin and makes the pen look very cheap.
I don't really have a use for a clip other than to stop the pen rolling off the desk. Having it dominate the look of the pen like that seems so unnecessary.



I agree with your opinion of the appearance of the Safari - it's a weird shape and the brightware on it looks unattractive.

That's why I bought a Vista :D

IMO, the chrome actually looks appealing as a highlight against the Vista's transparent plastic body, and the transparency disguises the downright ugly shape of the grip section. And I enjoy being able to see how much ink I have left in the cart/converter/feed.

YMMV of course ;)

Cheers,
M.

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#17 Teacher Man

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 18:51


In my experience, if you refil, empty, refil, empty a few times, the bubble gets significantly smaller (be sure to empty "under water").


I tried that...although it's possible I didn't have it submerged enough. I messed up my back last weekend and bending over the table I was working on was a bit of a challenge.


Or we may have different tolerance levels for air bubbles in converters. :)
Okay, I used to have the Letter Writers Alliance and The Snail Mail Exchange in here. Somehow, my browsers settings and the forum's settings work together to prevent that from being the case at the moment. Whenever I try to update my signature, the whole process breakls down. So. Whatever.

#18 Vijay

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 16:27

I got my new Lamy Safari Fountain Pen with a medium nib yesterday. The nib has attitude. It writes like a charm when the surface of the nib is at 90 degrees with a vertical line drawn on the paper on which one is writing. Make the slightest change in the angle and it gets scratchy and inconsistent with ink flow. In my natural writing position the surface of the nib is turned a little in the anti clockwise direction. How can I correct the pen to suit my grip? Any help would be appreciated.

Cheers

#19 Frank C

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 17:00

I got my new Lamy Safari Fountain Pen with a medium nib yesterday. The nib has attitude. It writes like a charm when the surface of the nib is at 90 degrees with a vertical line drawn on the paper on which one is writing. Make the slightest change in the angle and it gets scratchy and inconsistent with ink flow. In my natural writing position the surface of the nib is turned a little in the anti clockwise direction. How can I correct the pen to suit my grip? Any help would be appreciated.

Cheers


1. Perhaps the easiest way would be to purchase a new nib for about $13.00 from gouletpens.com and others. Every nib is a little different and a new may be better--or worse.

2. Another alternative is to polish it yourself, get a nib smoothing kit from http://www.richardspens.com for about $8-15. You may mess up your nib, in which case, go back to #1.

3. The most expensive option is to follow FPN's own, Wim Geereats' Nib Grinding Experiences. Once again, in case of failure, go back to #1.

So this is another advantage of the Lamy Safari, a relatively inexpensive replaceable nib.

I noticed that you live in India. You might try contacting Hari317 for Indian sources for these items. He lives in Mumbai and posts all the time, about 9000 posts or so. He always has something worthwhile to say.

Good Luck and let us know what happens.

Edited by Frank C, 19 January 2013 - 17:05.

"One can not waste time worrying about small minds . . . If we were normal, we'd still be using free ball point pens." —Bo Bo Olson "I already own more ink than a rational person can use in a lifetime." —Waski_the_Squirrel
I'm still trying to figure out how to list all my pens down here.

#20 Teacher Man

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 19:45

1. Perhaps the easiest way would be to purchase a new nib for about $13.00 from gouletpens.com and others. Every nib is a little different and a new may be better--or worse.


Just as a general Lamy note: I have posted before somewhere about the fact that Lamys and Lamy parts are a lot cheaper in Germany than in most other countries. I have bought quite a few nibs over the past year or so, and never paid more than 4 Euro. Surely one of these places ships to India. I have just skimmed the amazon.de listings and many businesses seling Lamy nibs via that site offer internatioal shipping. Yes, it may cost you 14 Euros, but maybe if a few people get together and order a couple of nibs...
Okay, I used to have the Letter Writers Alliance and The Snail Mail Exchange in here. Somehow, my browsers settings and the forum's settings work together to prevent that from being the case at the moment. Whenever I try to update my signature, the whole process breakls down. So. Whatever.






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