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Safari Vs. Eco, A Beginner's Perspective.


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#1 Hubstacker

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 10:24

I like these pens...

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#2 Honeybadgers

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 06:00

Are you providing a review or asking for them from the perspective of a new user?

 

I don't like the safari, its quality used to be unmatched for the price, but china has firmly dragged the safari far behind them with the wing sung 698, 618, delike alpha, lingmo lorelei, and penBBS stuff.



#3 Bluey

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 07:36

You're better off getting something like a Wing Sung 698. The Safari and Eco both have issue-prone nibs (ie in the world of fountain pens they're your Walmart bargain-bin standard nibs). And they're somewhat expensive for what they offer.


Edited by Bluey, 21 December 2017 - 18:24.

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#4 IndigoBOB

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 09:00

The Safari and Eco are great pens and have quality nibs that are better than anything Wing Sung is coming out with.

 

The Eco-T is a great design that is a comfortable medium between a Safari Section and the original Eco section.

 

Eco uses Jowo nibs, which are used by Edison and Franklin Christoph so you know you're getting something great.

 

A lot of people are buying Wing Sung 3008's and adding Lamy Z50 nibs because it provides a nice upgrade.

 

The chinese pens feel like they are made in china.  They write, they function, and they feel cheap.


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#5 inkstainedruth

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 17:17

I didn't think I could used to the triangular grip on a Safari.  Then someone gave me a Jinhao 599 (their Safari/al-Star knock off).  It wasn't a bad pen (although the color -- Champagne Gold -- leaves a lot to be desired).  So I said okay, and got one of the Dark Lilac LE pens.  And you know what?  My Safari is a better pen overall.  And I've had zero issues with the F nib.  (I've also had zero issues with the B nib on my TWSBI 580-al, for that matter; I don't have an Eco to compare).

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


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#6 Honeybadgers

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 20:42

The Safari and Eco are great pens and have quality nibs that are better than anything Wing Sung is coming out with.

 

A lot of people are buying Wing Sung 3008's and adding Lamy Z50 nibs because it provides a nice upgrade.

 

The chinese pens feel like they are made in china.  They write, they function, and they feel cheap.

 

Sorry, but you're provably wrong.

Lamy's z50 EF and F nibs are pretty well known for incredibly inconsistent grind sizes and not great QC resulting in scratchy nibs. The Z50 is a dinosaur. Wing sung's 618 and 698 don't have the cracking problems the TWSBI is known for. They use pilot nib units that are reliable and very high quality. If you doubt me, I can show you two genuine lamy EF nibs with a 0.12mm difference in grind size. that's insane. None of the knockoffs have that kind of issue (they can write a little dry, but are easy to open up)

And no, people are not buying $1 3008's and putting $12 nibs on them. You can actually buy a knockoff z50 nib in any size from china right now and I can confirm the quality is as good as or better than lamy's.

 

And I'd argue that the safari and eco feels cheaper than a 698 in every single way. China is putting out some REALLY good pens these days, don't be so down on them.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 21 December 2017 - 20:45.


#7 Honeybadgers

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 20:44

I didn't think I could used to the triangular grip on a Safari.  Then someone gave me a Jinhao 599 (their Safari/al-Star knock off).  It wasn't a bad pen (although the color -- Champagne Gold -- leaves a lot to be desired).  So I said okay, and got one of the Dark Lilac LE pens.  And you know what?  My Safari is a better pen overall.  And I've had zero issues with the F nib.  (I've also had zero issues with the B nib on my TWSBI 580-al, for that matter; I don't have an Eco to compare).

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

 

The 599 is literally a fifty cent pen. Not pertinent to the discussion, it also uses the same plastic as the 992, which is known to disintegrate. The wing sung 698 and other chinese pens use acrylics and much higher grade plastics, I've been beating on two 698's and a 618 for some time now and they're very robust and reliable. A fifty cent pen is very much buyer beware. But almost nobody has had a complaint with the 698 or 618, the quality control on that old pilot tooling is spectacular.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 21 December 2017 - 20:44.


#8 IndigoBOB

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 03:23

The 698 nibs feel cheap.  They squeak like a cheap nib.  They feel like a cheap nib.  I know they are good values, but not everyone likes them.

 

Now we know you're overzealous.  The TWSBI feels much more solid than a 698 and the plastic on the safari is much stronger than anything coming out of china.

 

Yes.  People are putting Lamy nibs on 3008's.

 

The Chinese pens are nice, but even the 698 has a cheap feel to it compared to a TWSBI Eco.

 

Inkstainedruth's point is relevant.  The chinese knock off's are nice but still feel like they are "Made in China".  They don't compare to better models they take designs from or try to compete with.  They are good for trying out the more expensive versions, but in the end they don't feel as good.

 

I will agree that the Fine nib of the Wing Sung 698 and 3008 are nice compared to z50 nibs, but I couldn't get past how cheap it felt on paper.  And the broader nibs on the Safari feel so much better than anything put out by these chinese pens.

 

I don't care about cracking problems from TWSBI.   I have had my Eco for well over 6 months and no problems and the customer service is so good I don't have to worry.  The German Jowo Nibs on those pens feel much better than anything coming out of china.


A voice:  I'll write pages and pages, days upon days, to be able to breathe out a few lines,

I'll do whatever it takes to breathe out those few lines, where the breath breathes out on its own, in on its own,

To thine own...

...breath on its own.


#9 Bluey

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 04:03

They squeak like a cheap nib.

 

I think you need to reappraise what you consider to be cheap and what you consider to be "high quality" (just like Jowo nibs, as you've claimed before :lticaptd:)

That squeaking is called singing and can appear on all and any type of nib, and is not even remotely an indication of quality/cheapness or lack of.

 

Your opinions about China and what is made there is based on views that were popular 40 years ago by people who need to judge by stereotypes alone due to lack of knowledge about what happens there, but nowadays is considered to have the same merit as flat Earth theories.

You know, if you took your house apart and threw away everything that is made in China, you will find yourself living in a cave.


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#10 Honeybadgers

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 04:31

The 698 nibs feel cheap.  They squeak like a cheap nib.  They feel like a cheap nib.  I know they are good values, but not everyone likes them.

 

Now we know you're overzealous.  The TWSBI feels much more solid than a 698 and the plastic on the safari is much stronger than anything coming out of china.

 

Yes.  People are putting Lamy nibs on 3008's.

 

The Chinese pens are nice, but even the 698 has a cheap feel to it compared to a TWSBI Eco.

 

Inkstainedruth's point is relevant.  The chinese knock off's are nice but still feel like they are "Made in China".  They don't compare to better models they take designs from or try to compete with.  They are good for trying out the more expensive versions, but in the end they don't feel as good.

 

I will agree that the Fine nib of the Wing Sung 698 and 3008 are nice compared to z50 nibs, but I couldn't get past how cheap it felt on paper.  And the broader nibs on the Safari feel so much better than anything put out by these chinese pens.

 

I don't care about cracking problems from TWSBI.   I have had my Eco for well over 6 months and no problems and the customer service is so good I don't have to worry.  The German Jowo Nibs on those pens feel much better than anything coming out of china.

 

In the end, we're arguing opinions, but please keep in mind when beginners are asking for advice that your opinions on chinese pens are in the extreme minority.

And nib singing is common to all nibs. Mont blancs are just as prone to sing as a pilot metro. Maybe spend a little time learning about pens before spouting opinions, because the safari and ECO both have quality control problems. A 698 and 618 are made of plastic that's just as good, or better, than the eco. The Eco is prone to cracking and unscrewing its piston


Edited by Honeybadgers, 22 December 2017 - 04:40.


#11 Jamerelbe

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 04:42

I think we could all afford to take a little heat out of the discussion here.  Can we try to (1) focus on facts, and (2) recognise people are expressing differing opinions, without (3) becoming contentious and belittling?

 

The original thread expressed an opinion that the Lamy Safari and the TWSBI Eco are both great starter pens - and I agree with that wholeheartedly.  We have 4 Safaris and an AL-Star in the family, and they all write really well.  Their EF nibs can be a bit variable in line thickness, but their F and M nibs are very consistent.  My 3 Ecos (and my various other TWSBIs) are all well-constructed (cracking problems notwithstanding), and are excellent writers.

 

I also agree that cheaper pens like the Wing Sung 3008 are excellent value for money.  I don't think they'll prove as durable as the TWSBI - and they certainly won't have the same customer support if they break - but they're cheap enough that you can buy 2-3 and have a backup on hand.  Their nibs *are* cheap, though - mine all write fantastically well, and I haven't tried to push them, but I've read on a few threads that they're much more prone to bend out of shape.  The plastic from which they're manufactured will, I suspect, prove to be less durable too - given the relatively short time they've been on the market, I think it's premature to claim that they're not prone to cracking problems!

 

Just my 2c worth (OK, maybe 5c) - can we please try to stick to facts and opinions about pens, and avoid all the chest-beating that's going on over who knows pens / Chinese manufacturing processes better?  It would make for a more pleasant exchange all round!



#12 inkstainedruth

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 05:03

 

In the end, we're arguing opinions, but please keep in mind when beginners are asking for advice that your opinions on chinese pens are in the extreme minority.

And nib singing is common to all nibs. Mont blancs are just as prone to sing as a pilot metro. Maybe spend a little time learning about pens before spouting opinions, because the safari and ECO both have quality control problems.

 

And there are lots of people here who say the same thing about Noodler's pens -- that there are quality control problems.  Yet I have a bunch of them and haven't had issues with them -- I haven't even noticed the smell of the resin which everyone complains about.  Am I crazy?  Or lying?  No.  I may have been lucky, but I would buy another Konrad in a heartbeat, if I saw a color I liked.

People complain about expensive pens as well, and how they're not worth the money.

I know that in the past there were complaints about the plastic used by TWSBI.  I've also read that those problems have been fixed.  I don't have an Eco, or any of the earlier pens that people complained about.  I have one Safari, and I have had zero problems with it; and yes, it has an F nib and it writes just fine -- although I tried one with an EF nib at a table at the Ohio Pen Show in November which I thought was scratchy (but then, I tend not to like EFs for the most part).  I have one TWSBI (the 580-al) and the only issues I've had with that pen are  (1) that the piston doesn't extend all the way down to the feed, which can be a problem if you get an air bubble (but with showing the pen to someone more familiar with the brand, we managed to jiggle the remaining ink enough to get the bubble away from the feed -- although I do think that may be a design flaw); and (2) it's a heavier pen than pretty much everything else I have, and that took a little getting used to -- but that weight gives me a useful metric when considering buying or not buying pens in the future.

As for the Chinese knockoffs, I don't know what the other ones are like.  I have one Wing Sung, a 237, which is pretty decent (I would certainly consider getting another one).  I have a few Guanlemings -- and one of them, the 978 Accountant, is really well made for being a five buck pen (The 2001 Demonstrator, OTOH?  not so much...).  I have, as I said before, that Jinhao 599, and it's not bad -- but I think the quality on my Safari is better.  And that is ALL I said.  Oh and that it clearly *is* a knockoff.

I really wish people would not put words in my mouth, and that people would actually bother to read what I said.  :angry: 

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

#13 Honeybadgers

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 05:48

I think we could all afford to take a little heat out of the discussion here.  Can we try to (1) focus on facts, and (2) recognise people are expressing differing opinions, without (3) becoming contentious and belittling?

 

The original thread expressed an opinion that the Lamy Safari and the TWSBI Eco are both great starter pens - and I agree with that wholeheartedly.  We have 4 Safaris and an AL-Star in the family, and they all write really well.  Their EF nibs can be a bit variable in line thickness, but their F and M nibs are very consistent.  My 3 Ecos (and my various other TWSBIs) are all well-constructed (cracking problems notwithstanding), and are excellent writers.

 

I also agree that cheaper pens like the Wing Sung 3008 are excellent value for money.  I don't think they'll prove as durable as the TWSBI - and they certainly won't have the same customer support if they break - but they're cheap enough that you can buy 2-3 and have a backup on hand.  Their nibs *are* cheap, though - mine all write fantastically well, and I haven't tried to push them, but I've read on a few threads that they're much more prone to bend out of shape.  The plastic from which they're manufactured will, I suspect, prove to be less durable too - given the relatively short time they've been on the market, I think it's premature to claim that they're not prone to cracking problems!

 

Just my 2c worth (OK, maybe 5c) - can we please try to stick to facts and opinions about pens, and avoid all the chest-beating that's going on over who knows pens / Chinese manufacturing processes better?  It would make for a more pleasant exchange all round!

 

Can we at least all agree that TWSBI's US customer service is horrible? I would rather just buy another pen than deal with Philip Wang again.



#14 Honeybadgers

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 05:52

 

As for the Chinese knockoffs, I don't know what the other ones are like.  I have one Wing Sung, a 237, which is pretty decent (I would certainly consider getting another one).  I have a few Guanlemings -- and one of them, the 978 Accountant, is really well made for being a five buck pen (The 2001 Demonstrator, OTOH?  not so much...).  I have, as I said before, that Jinhao 599, and it's not bad -- but I think the quality on my Safari is better.  And that is ALL I said.  Oh and that it clearly *is* a knockoff.

I really wish people would not put words in my mouth, and that people would actually bother to read what I said.  :angry: 

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

 

 

I will just say - your chinese pens are definitely from the era where they absolutely were iffy. The wing sung 698, 618, the delike alpha, the lecai acrylic eyedropper, and everything made by penbbs are all exceptionally high quality and if they didn't have a chinese name attached to them, could be selling for $50-60 on Goulet right now and nobody'd bat an eye.

(this part doesn't apply to you) I just can't stand prejudiced ignorance in any form, so I tend to snap at people who spout it.



#15 DrPenfection

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 06:11

The topic appears to be between the Safari vs. Eco.  My vote is for the Safari, particularly if you live in a dry climate.  While I do love the Eco design, I have had issues with dry starts (I live in the high desert).  I rarely have the problem with my Safaris (6 of them).  I ended up giving all of my TWSBIs to my daughter who lives in a more humid climate.  They work great for her.  


Best always,

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#16 dkeester

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 08:09

I am also a newbie. My first pens are a set of Pilot Varsitys, a Pilot Metropolitan, and a Safari.

 

Of those, so far, I like the Safari the least. It has an F nib that I find to be a bit too scratchy and that has lots of hard starts. I am using the included cartridge with it. Hopefully things will improve a bit with more use and/or cleaning it and switching to the converter.



#17 AK-47

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 08:39

I own both pens...

 

Between the two the Safari is probably a more friendly beginner design for two reasons: the ABS is more durable and can take cartridges. The Eco's advantages are ink capacity and nib consistency (at least in my experience), but a piston filler is not always a newbie-friendly option.

 

Both are great pens though!

 

~AK


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#18 jchch1950

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 08:54

The Lamy Safari has a wide range of nibs to choose from. The eco has less but there are different possibilities. In the Chinese pens the options are more limited. 



#19 Jamerelbe

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 16:11

 

Can we at least all agree that TWSBI's US customer service is horrible? I would rather just buy another pen than deal with Philip Wang again.

 

You're not the only person on this forum who's reported having a negative experience with TWSBI's US customer service, but mine have all been positive: every time I've had a QC problem, Philip has made it right straight away - and on a couple of occasions, admittedly some years ago now,  he's sent me free replacement parts to rectify "user error" issues (including a nib I managed to mangle by my own carelessness).



#20 Bluey

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 16:20

 

You're not the only person on this forum who's reported having a negative experience with TWSBI's US customer service, but mine have all been positive: every time I've had a QC problem, Philip has made it right straight away - and on a couple of occasions, admittedly some years ago now,  he's sent me free replacement parts to rectify "user error" issues (including a nib I managed to mangle by my own carelessness).

 

Whether it's positive or negative is irrelevant. One shouldn't have to contact customer service at all, and if it's contacted with the frequency of companies such as TWSBI, Pelikan, MB, or Visconti, then that's a good sign to have second thoughts about buying their products.
 


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