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Lamy Safari Vs. Yiren 566 Vs. Jinhao 599

lamy safari lamy yiren jinhao yiren 566 jinhao 599 dark lilac pilot kakuno safari

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18 replies to this topic

#1 phillieskjk

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 22:23

           The Lamy Safari is arguably the most significant fountain pen currently in production.  Its popularity is immense, and if you go to any thread even remotely about beginner pens you’ll see its name, or at least the name of its twin the Vista or older brothers the Al-Star or LX. Although it now has its rivals, the Pilot Metropolitan and, to a lesser extent, the TWSBI Eco, the Safari will always hold a special place in the fountain pen world, and was the first fountain pen for countless new enthusiasts.  However, this popularity doesn’t bring only good effects.  Like any popular pen, or popular item for that matter, the Safari has countless knockoffs.  The most prevalent, other than straight-up counterfeit Safaris, are the Hero 359 and the Jinhao 599.  There is a new pen emerging, however, and it is a closer replica to the Safari than ever before.  The Yiren 566 is a near clone of the Safari in size, mass, and even nib and feed size and shape.  (The nib on the 566 cannot be removed though, so sadly no nib swapping can occur).  It even takes Lamy (and Parker) cartridges.  So, here is a brief comparison of the Safari with this new knockoff and one of the older and most famous ones, the Jinhao 599.

 

Lamy Safari:

Pros:

-It’s the original, the real thing.  The pen comes with the reliability and ethos of an 80-some year-old German pen brand.

-(For this specific pen) DARK LILAC!!! The best Safari Color in history, in my opinion, looks even better with its black clip and nib.

-Everything feels a little bit smoother, and more refined, from the screwing in of the section to the polish on the nib.

-Easy nib swapping with other Lamy Pens.

Cons:

-Money.  The Safari costs $25 to the other pens’ $1-$2.

-No convertor without added cost.

 

Yiren 566 (The Newbie):

Pros:

-Cheap.  Only $2.

-Takes Lamy and Parker Cartridges.

-Comes with a converter.

-Clear Section looks great.

-Pen is relatively attractive.  (It’s no Dark Lilac, but I kind of like the “When a Pilot Kakuno and a Lamy Safari love each other very very much” vibe it has going.

Neutral:

Every dimension is an exact copy of the Safari.  It is as close to the definition of a “clone” in terms of pen knockoffs as is possible.

Cons:

-No Nib Swapping.

-Price goes up if you want shipping to take less than a month and a half.

-Quality control/finish issues.  The steel in the nib has some surface level scratches, the body has a tiny dent.  The screwing out of the section feels friction-y and rough.

 

Jinhao 599:

Pros:

-Cheapest of the three, only costs a dollar.

-Takes a number five nib, meaning you can easily outfit the pen with a high-quality JOWO nib if you so desire.

-Takes international cartridges.

-Comes with a converter.

-Jinhao has a little bit more brand ethos than Yiren, they generally don’t have too many quality control issues.

Neutral:

-Enough has changed that it feels like its own pen.  It is obviously a Safari clone, but the completely different nib style, cartridge format, and slightly different weight gives it its own distinct feel.

Cons:

-The section screwing into the barrel is prone to cracking, and feels weaker than the other two.

-Feels like cheaper plastic.

-Very long shipping time.

-Short international cartridges only make it halfway down the window.  They sacrificed functionality for looking more like the original Safari.

15515518_384303808570494_1750607128_o.jpg

If you want my opinion on which one to buy, I'd honestly say all three.  Why?  The Safari, in my opinion, is a must-have pen.  The knockoffs are great, great values for their price, but the Safari is just better.  So, if you're looking to get a new Safari, get a Safari.  The knockoffs together are cheaper than a Lamy convertor, so it wouldn't be the end of the world if you hated them.  In conclusion, you should definitely try the knockoffs, but don't try to substitute them for the real thing.



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#2 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 23:04

Hmmm....I have the Safari (in many colors!), a load of the 599s (ditto, with all three nibs), and some Heros that take only their own weird carts and which look suspiciously like the Yiren (which I have yet to try).

Best writers, the Safaris, by far. But the other pens make good Science Experiment subjects, such as nib-smoothing practice, knockaround pens, BSB-dedicated and Glittery Inks Only.

Thanks for the comparison!

Edited by Sailor Kenshin, 14 December 2016 - 23:05.


#3 SenZen

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Posted 15 December 2016 - 16:25

Good write up! When one is starting out there are several aspects which might not be clear; one of them is the value of reliability: a cheap pen which malfunctions or doesn't write nice might turn you off from an otherwise lovely hobby and writing tool... That and the lower chance of being called "knock off John" by your friends and colleagues would give the original Lamy more value, plus it's not exactly expensive either.


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#4 k3eax

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Posted 24 December 2016 - 19:17

This thread has a more complete discussion of Lamy-like pens.

 

http://www.fountainp...adged-hero-359/



#5 Seele

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Posted 25 December 2016 - 02:04

Thanks for a hands-on comparison test. I am waiting for more pens of the same general description to arrive, so I might be able to do something a little more comprehensive, but it would be some time before it happens.

 

The Yirens that I own seems to be a little less good than yours. First of all, the Yiren does differ from the Safari in some aspects: like the Jinhao, it's not meant to take a converter with studs at the sides that goes into slots in the rear extension of the section, for the purpose of holding both together securely. The rear extensions of the Yiren (like the Jinhao) thus have no slots for the purpose, that is different from the Safari.

 

Taking a step back, the rear extension of the Safari section is there purely for securing the studded converter anyway, so additional wider slots have to be cut for clearing the ink windows, while the more precise molding techniques allow perfect alignment. In other words, there's no reason for these pens to have that rear extension at all: I have had it sawn off on an example by another make and it works just as well. When the time comes I shall elaborate it further.

 

The two Yirens that I have both showed some further - and identical - issues. As they came out of the box, both the nibs were very poorly fitted: the folds at the edges did not grab hold of the matching ledges at the bottom of the feed correctly, due to the distance between the edges of these folds being a little too wide, so the nibs were practically jammed in position with some considerable force. I managed to take the nibs off, did some careful bending, and then they managed to fit in the right positions, but I have to take some marks off because the feeds also got jammed inside the sections, which I have not been able to remove. Regarding the nib fitting situation, I got back to the seller who admitted that it's a known issue.

 

As one of the Yiren is a clear demonstrator I also found that the feed design is different from the two-piece unit in the Safari. Also, the cap is assembled differently, with all the components held together with a philips-head screw from the inside. Judging by my examples, the caps are not totally cross-compatible either.

 

So the Yiren is not really a direct copy of the Safari, but more of an interpretation of making a Safari-like pen. Eventually I will get a few more examples from different makers, that would be an interesting exercise in design and production analysis.


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#6 k3eax

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Posted 25 December 2016 - 03:13

Seele, I have purchased quite a few Yiren 566 as give-aways and have found them, upon testing, to be faultless performers and equal  to my Safari.

 

While your analysis is a bit difficult to understand, I am never-the-less left with the thought that you are nit-picking. Even without fully understanding your review, I fail to see any relevance in your comments relating to the performance of the pen in actual use.



#7 Seele

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Posted 25 December 2016 - 07:06

k3eax,

 

When both examples of my Yiren pens turned up with nibs not properly attached to the feeds, it's natural for me to feel somewhat concerned! But then it could well be the luck of the draw when both examples are less satisfactory than what others have experienced.

 

The point is this: while the OP looked at the Safari and two Safari-like pens, and then compared them against each other, it's only natural for me to combine his report with my first-hand experiences, and then make public of my findings. I can't do much if what I wrote was not understandable to you, but I do have it in my longer-term to-do list that a more comprehensive overview will eventuate.


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#8 bob_hayden

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 23:16

I have maybe a dozen each of the Yirens and Jinhaos.  I think the Yirens write better than my Safaris while the Jinhaos have had various quality control issues.  While I can insert Lamy cartridges into the Yirens, I need pliers to get them back out again.  Parker cartridges fit fine.  I have a couple Hero 359s and some of the 359 cartirdges, but those pens also take Lamy or Parker cartridges. 



#9 TruthPil

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 12:52

          

Jinhao 599:

Pros:

 

-Takes a number five nib, meaning you can easily outfit the pen with a high-quality JOWO nib if you so desire.

 

Has anyone done this and had no issues with putting a JoWo #5 in the Jinhao 599a? Pictures would be nice if convenient. :)

 

I'm hunting for Jinhao pens to put JoWo #5 nibs in. If they fit flawlessly in the 599a, then the same should be true for the 992 and 991.


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#10 Spector

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 00:10

I have had a lamy safari for a long time and now this has made me curious enough to order the other two Chinese pens
Posted Image "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored" -Aldous Huxley

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#11 RoyalBlueNotebooks

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 13:33

I have had a lamy safari for a long time and now this has made me curious enough to order the other two Chinese pens

I can vouch for the Yiren 359. At 1,10€ you get a decently smooth, wet writer. The plastic feels brittle and the clip of mine is absurdly tight, but the nib is wet and the inner caps helps keeping it so, it doesn't skip, it doesn't show hard starts or baby's bottom, and it lays down a consistent line at every angle. The only perk I have with mine is that I was buying one with a F stamped on the nib because I wanted a fine line, but the nib is so swet that it doesn't lay down a fine line, I would call it between a fine and a medium of my Lamy.


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#12 mitto

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Posted 15 October 2017 - 14:37

Nice comparison between the three pens. Thank you.
Khan M. Ilyas

#13 Honeybadgers

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 07:24

all clones are junk when compared to the wing sung 6059. It's an al-star clone that's... actually well made, with an EF nib better than lamy's z50 EF, and is completely interchangable with lamy nibs (converter is only interchangable with platinum's, weirdly)


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#14 bob_hayden

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 12:02

Honeybadgers, do you have any more information on this pen?  A Google search and a search on eBay turns up no Wing Sung 6059.



#15 vojtahlad

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 12:18

It seems to be a typo. He probably meant Wing Sung 6359. I wrote a review of this pen some time ago.


Edited by vojtahlad, 16 October 2017 - 12:18.


#16 TruthPil

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 12:38

WingSung makes a couple Safari clones now....a quick survey of Taobao reveals that they now also have a 7359 and 9359. The 6359 is the aluminum version referenced above. They do look like decent knock-offs, but I personally can't stand the triangular grip that tries to force me to do a tripod grasp. 


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#17 RoyalBlueNotebooks

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 13:46

WingSung makes a couple Safari clones now....a quick survey of Taobao reveals that they now also have a 7359 and 9359. The 6359 is the aluminum version referenced above. They do look like decent knock-offs, but I personally can't stand the triangular grip that tries to force me to do a tripod grasp. 

I didn't know about the 7359. Will look into it for my niece. To be completely honest, I am also starting to dislike my Lamy's strict grip section.


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#18 TruthPil

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 14:00

I didn't know about the 7359. Will look into it for my niece. To be completely honest, I am also starting to dislike my Lamy's strict grip section.

 

I much prefer the subtlety of the indentations on my son's Lamy ABC. What a great pen!


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#19 bob_hayden

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 00:38

Thanks for the review and correction, vojtahlad.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: lamy safari, lamy, yiren, jinhao, yiren 566, jinhao 599, dark lilac, pilot kakuno, safari



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